- 6

any one time . This avoids the sudden jerking motions that were predicted , and observed during testing , on a differential

equipped machine . Although this created a unique handling

characteristic for the ATC , Mr . Takeuchi and the development

staff determined that it was very easy to adapt to this . At the

same time , instructions were provided in the Owner ' s Manual that

the rider should learn to operate the ATC in this manner .

One of the most significant discoveries during the

development phase related to suspension . Mr . Takeuchi has

remarked that , with his technical background , he never envisioned

creating a vehicle without mechanical suspension using tradi

tional springs and dampers , both front and rear .

Therefore , he

equipped his initial prototype vehicles with mechanical

suspension borrowed from motorcycle technology . However , Mr .

Takeuchi found that the addition of mechanical suspension gave

the rider an uneasy and unstable feeling , especially during cornering and turning . It was , as he describes , mushy like walking on a mattress .

was ,





Because of the soft balloon tires applied to the

machine , the prototype with mechanical suspension was effectively

equipped with a double suspension system . There were spring and

damping suspension characteristics in the tire , as well as the

mechanical suspension .

Together these contributed to the poor

handling feeling . Once Mr . Takeuchi removed the mechanical

suspension , he found that uneasiness and instability were removed

from the vehicle .

The tires , because of their balloon quality