From Cycle Magazine, July 1955 P. 12 Bud Willoughby on his 1937 100 inch wheelbase Feet Forward Indian
Pioneers in "Feet Forward" Design

I confess. I knew very little about the work others. Little by little, I have gotten to know the movers and shakers of these wonderful new vehicles and I thought you would like to meet them too. I have asked them to tell their stories for you.

Meet Royce Creasey, Bristol, England

Coined the phrase Feet First; Designer of the Voyager

A FF proponent since mid-seventies, Royce coined the phrase "Feet First" in 1977, which got shortened to "FF" which, over the years, became "Feet Forward."

Royce says:

Here's a picture of me and FJ in demo mode, from Beaulieu "World of motorcycling" 2003

Born August 1944, Air Force trained aircraft fitter (100th. entry Halton) F1.Tech.

I live in Bristol, in the southwest of England.

When I started out in 1977 I believed, as a result of the 'oil shocks' that there would be a demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. The Quasar showed that the comfort, safety and skill problems of motorcycles could be overcome and I set out, with others, to develop the minimal two-wheeled vehicle that would provide the handling, comfort and safety that would persuade users of large motorcycles and small cars that this was a better option. As a prototype enginer I believe we succeeded, however we were unable to overcome the reactionary attitudes commonplace in England and since the Voyager project folded (in the 1991 recession) I have only produced individual FF's as above. With others, I attempted to put together a team for the 'carbon-free' TTXGP race in the IoM this year but our financiers failed to produce. I do not expect any interest in FF's to appear from established vehicle manufacturers who, I have found, lack the balls for innovation. There is an obvious opportunity to build super-efficient electric FF's and it's possible that someone may exploit this in the future. I am hopeful that I will be able to build a 'new' Voyager, incorporating better knowledge and components to ride about untill my licence is finally taken away!

I got to sit on Colin Russell's Voyager at Beezumph, 2003. I wish I had taken Colin up on his offer to ride it.

Early prototypes showed that small motorcycle engines couldn't run at continuous high speed so I used a small all-alloy car engine (850cc Reliant) with a Moto Guzzi transmission in the Voyagers.

See: Ian Kews 1979 feature:

This is a very practical powertrain but hopelessly obsolete now. (Single choke carb, 8-valve pushrod engine) However the Voyagers are still highly competitive on fuel economy, comfort and handling and only one of the five production prototypes is not in regular use. Fuel consumption in 'sporting' use is in the mid-sixties with over 80 mpg @ a steady, motorway, 80 mph being achieved. Top speed is around 120mph. Apart from the ancient powertrain these vehicles are chiefly limited by their high weight and the primitive Motor Guzzi rear suspension. Chief qualities are outstanding braking, agility and controllability - oh, and heated comfort.

The most important thing I've discovered is that most people are in denial about anything that will require them to change any aspect of their lives. Business people reject the concept of using less of anything, Manufacturers reject the idea of making anything they're not already making, People reject any idea they haven't seen on TV. Innovators should start with a large fortune! There are loads of pictures of the FF's I've designed on <> This is a compilation site so you can see all the worlds FF's here.

Right now (2009) I'm converting a customer Yamaha Tmax scooter into an FF, with two-seats and luggage space. The Tmax is a very easy conversion but stuck with CVT transmission and a 100mph top speed, so it's a bit slow and thirsty. After this I have a customer BMW F800 to convert into a 'Track Day Special' FF. I also provide technical support for the Voyagers, last year we produced a new front end, to repair crash damage, using the original factory jigs.


Royce' proposal for a FF 'Carbon-Free' ACU TTXGP racer.

Meet Arnold Wagner

Designer of the Eco

Arnold piloting his 2-seater SUPER TURBO ECO

Meet Cedric Lynch

Designer of very respected electric motors

Builder and pilot of this super light electric bike which requires about 2 hp to cruise at 60mph.

Dear Craig,

I am currently in India and the bike is in the UK,

I am now aged 53 but have been enthusiastic about electric vehicles since my mid teens. In about 1984 I invented an electric motor of a new layout that can give higher efficiency than the conventional type in a similar size. This design happened to be very well-suited to the much improved permanent magnets that first became available in the late 1980s, making possible a very high power-weight ratio with quite modest revs. This motor is now in production by Agni Motors for whom I am working; through various accidents of history it is also produced by Perm Motor and by LMC, and was made for a time as the Briggs & Stratton Etek.

The feet-forward bike I have built is a development of several others I built in the 1980s for competitions that were run in the UK by the Battery Vehicle Society, where the object was to go as far as possible in a time between one and two hours on the energy of lead-acid batteries weighing no more than 55 pounds. I rapidly found that it was necessary to give full attention to minimising all sources of drag. Vehicles were allowed to have any number of wheels but a two-wheeler had a big advantage through much lower losses due to tire scrub on the corners.

This vehicle has one of my motors. Originally the motor ran on 12 volts from one large truck battery and there was a 6-speed derailleur gear for speed control, with resistance steps for starting. This gave a top speed of about 45 mph with range of 80-100 miles at 30 mph and 50 miles at top speed, but hill-climbing and acceleration were slow because the maximum power was less than 2 hp. Later I changed to a fixed ratio with three and then four Optima Yellow Top valve-regulated batteries and an electronic controller from Brusa. This gave slightly more range and much better acceleration, with about 12 hp available. In 2003 I changed over to Thunder Sky lithium batteries, 14 cells of 100 AH, with which I made journeys of up to 175 miles at 40 mph average. These original Thunder Sky cells were not good in cold weather because the internal resistance became excessive. In 2006 I replaced them with the vastly improved new version (TS-LCP100AHA) which is really superb; these cells seem to have no snags at all and are still performing like new. When I am in the UK I usually do 500 to 1000 miles a month in this vehicle, and get most of the power from 160 watts of solar panels on my house roof. I have added three more cells to the 2003 Thunder Sky battery and this is installed at home to receive the power from the solar panels when I am out. I can then connect the bike battery to this stationary battery to charge it; in this way I can charge from solar power at night.

My ultimate dream goal is to produce, or persuade someone else to produce using the Agni motor, a proper production version of this vehicle that is glamorous-looking and has fully-enclosed mechanisms for steering, suspension, transmission and brakes so that water and dirt do not get in, and that goes at least 300 miles at normal traffic speed on a single charge. Such a vehicle would need almost no maintenance (most things that go wrong with vehicles are caused by dirt and water) and could be largely charged by solar power. It would be very suitable for many people's travel between home and work. The performance of such a vehicle could be much better if the tire industry would make tires optimised for it, with low rolling resistance (possibly of radial-ply construction).

We still have not found a rider who would ride a FF in the (2009) TTXGP. I think we will have to stick with a conventional bike for this.

Yours sincerely, Cedric.

Meet Paul Blezard

Journalist & Photographer

Meet Ian Pegram

Designer of the Genesis


Genesis was a project initiated several years ago as a response to the joint issues of motorcycle safety and alternative design. The philosophy was simple, design a two wheeled vehicle that allowed you as many advantages of the car as you could get, but still retain the best elements of a bike, traffic penetration, excitment to ride and fuel economy being the main ones. To this end the vehicle had to;

Protect the rider in the event of an accident. This means not only reducing the effects of the impact, but keeping the rider within as safe an environment as possible during the accident. To this end a safety cell was designed by a racing car team that was designed to progressively collapse, as well as protecting the occupant from side impacts and slides. Included in this were seat belts and supportive bolstered seating, repositioning the fuel tank and providing the rider with much improved protection for the lower legs..

The vehicle also had to provide protection from the worst of the weather (It rains a lot in England). This meant some kind of enclosure, although following extensive road and wind tunnel testing, not full enclosure. It was also decided to investigate the use of a different seating position, not the normal bike one of being ready to be catapulted head first into the scenery, often with tragic consequences. It was therefore decided to use what is known as the FF or Feet Forward position for the rider. This also means lowering the seat to around 18" from the ground plus the addition of an intergrated seat back. Or, as in our case the whole seat from a Honda sports car, very comfey.

The vehicle had to retain all the standard operating parts, still be parkable in a standard motorbike bay and be able to easily carry 5 bags of shopping or a weekends camping kit. In addition it had to provide the rider with weather and wind protection, a 5 gallon fuel tank and a cup holder. . . . .

To this end Genesis was a success. Also, as a result of the much lowered and streamlined frontal profile the fuel consumption was reduced by half, regularly seeing 80-100 miles per gallon, giving a range of 400+ miles per tank of fuel, luckily the seat was comfortable enough too.

There were 3 version of Genesis, the first two sets of bodywork were constructed of plastic sheet, very much like Craig's and the last one was constructed of Carbon Fibre. During the course of development the chassis was lengthened by 8 inches to allow better leg room (i'm over 6 ft tall). The end result was a vehicle that met or exceeded all the criteria set for it (we have dropped it a number of times during testing, with no injuries) and in some areas it has exceeded all expectations, especially regarding fuel consumption.

The photo shows me on a V2 Genesis next to Paul Blezard on a standard 400cc scooter. It shows how small Genesis is. Sadly we have been unable to interest any organisation in taking on further development of this project and the bike is now available for sale, as I have other projects in the pipe line.
This page posted Mar 8, 2009

Updated June 2, 2009