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1964 Mallala, S.Aust.

1971 IoM

2006 Mid Ohio, USA

 

Tony Foale B.Tech, M.Eng.Sc, C.Dip.A.F.

Educated in Australia, Tony graduated with a degree in electrical engineering,  followed by a M.Eng.Sc. in nuclear engineering.  He worked at a research establishment, creating mathematical models and subsequent computer programmes for performance analysis of various mechanical and aerodynamic systems.  Some of this period was spent as leader of a team developing mathematical techniques for the prediction of human response in situations not unlike those applicable to motorcycle and car driving tasks.

This was then followed by a period as a project engineer with a car manufacturer.  From there he moved to a nuclear research lab. Providing mechanical and electronic design services for research departments.  At the same establishment he later moved into a research team as group leader developing original finite element solutions for failure prediction in some unusual machinery.

Moving back to England in 1971 (driven by his passion for racing motorcycles and the desire to compete in the Isle of Man).  He followed a period as factory manager with a F1 car racing team, with 18 months working as a structural engineer in the Ocean Engineering field,  responsible for developing computerized motion prediction and structural analysis models for floating oil drilling platforms subject to wind and waves.  During this employment he was admitted as a member to the Institute of  Marine Engineers with Chartered Engineer status.

From his mid teens Tony has been a passionate motorcyclist, both on the road and in competition.  He has ridden in road-racing, moto-X, enduros and trials events.  With a natural instinct for building a better mousetrap he constructed (often with primitive facilities) several of his own machines, both engines and chassis.  With a scientist’s curiosity, during the 1960s. he used the facilities and experience of his work to develop mathematical models to provide him with an understanding of motorcycle behavior in excess of that to be found in the literature of the time.

In 1973 he succumbed to his passion completely and started a business making complete chassis etc. for racing machines.  Many of these were highly successful, winning several championships in various countries. The range of machines built included championship winning sidecars as well.  In the early 1980s. Tony began a project to improve upon the design of front suspension systems for motorcycles which culminated in the construction of a small number (about 20 in all) of road machines featuring these ideas,  named QL (Quantum Leap) and the Q2.  During the design phase for these machines he embarked on a series of experiments into the fundamentals of steering geometry,  the results of which verified his long held beliefs that established practice had many failings. These experiments are detailed in his 1984 book “Motorcycle Handling & Chassis Design” , the 2002 book "Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design" and in some of his numerous magazine articles.  Since that time many standard production models and particularly racing machines have gradually moved toward the use of steering geometries as suggested by Mr. Foale.  He has also consulted on various motorcycle projects including successfully advising a police force in regard to measures needed to cure stability problems with a large fleet of motorcycles.

Unable to further tolerate the English climate he moved to Spain in 1987 where he acts as a consultant on various vehicular projects, specializing in chassis and suspension design, with particular interests in the development of computer simulation models predicting motorcycle behaviour. He also writes regular technical articles and is technical editor of the US based "Motorcycle Consumer News". Also responsible for the motorcycle content of a masters degree programme in motorsport engineering given by Modragon University at Epsilon Euskadi in Spain.

After a 30 year layoff Foale returned to racing in 2006, competing in prestige classic racing events in the USA at Daytona, mid Ohio and the Barber raceway, Winning the AMA national 500cc grand championship in 2009.

From 2008 to 2010 he lived in New Hamshire, USA to take a 3 year position as Director of Advanced Product Development with the Segway company. Whilst in the USA he raced with the USCRA many times at Loudon.

Now resident back in Spain Tony is also available to give seminars on motorcycle dynamics and similar topics, either to privately or club arranged events, also to race teams and design departments. Please send an email for details.