What made the Yamaha GTS1000 stand out is its radical forkless front end — a quirky departure from conventional motorcycle design. We’re all used to two or three-wheeled wonders like bicycles and motorcycles having a standard fork to hold the front wheel, suspension, and handlebars in place, but the Yamaha GTS1000 has none of that. It was the first production motorbike equipped with a RADD (Rationally Advanced Design Development) front suspension. Besides giving the motorcycle a hi-tech, out-of-this-world vibe, Cycle World adds the RADD design separates the steering from the suspension system, giving the bike a lower center of gravity and better handling.
However, Yamaha didn’t invent the RADD suspension. Credit goes to American inventor James Parker, who patented the design in 1985. According to an interview republished by Motorcycle Classics, Parker started working on a RADD-equipped motorcycle prototype in 1983, and patented it in 1985. Parker adds the RADD suspension acts directly on the frame, and the pivoting system delivers a smoother ride. Yamaha patented the design in 1990, and adapted it for a Yamaha GTS1000 prototype by 1992.