New Saietta with HCS + Old Agilities

This photo gives a better look at the hub centre steering fitted to the Saietta 'NGS' prototype shown for the past two years at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Event at Millbrook. The blurb about the machine below, written in early 2016, has already proved to be absurdly optimistic since, at the time this photo was taken, (September 2017) no rigorous testing had taken place because the machine was still just a mock-up and so was not rideable at any speed.
The following blurb comes from the Agility website, here:
NGS (Next Generation Saietta) is a new breed of motorbike spearheading a new electric era for bikers, delivering superbike performance, a highly distinctive iconic design and unmatched personalisation.
NGS boasts a number of technology firsts including a revolutionary new electric motor, an innovative lightweight, immensely strong structural monocoque, industry-leading battery capacity and range, 3D printing of the body and even a new, highly distinctive roar!
NGS will undergo rigorous engineering testing throughout 2016 including taking part in an extensive race programme. First customer bikes will be delivered before the end of 2017 as part of a limited edition of up to 100 bikes priced around £50,000 (excluding local taxes).
The essence of biking is all about leadership, standing out from the crowd and taking your own path … that’s precisely what NGS delivers.
More information will be released over the coming months and interested parties can receive updates by signing up to Saietta’s NEWSLETTER."

Photo: © Paul Blezard

New Saietta with HCS + Old Agilities

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"Both with Hossack stryle steering" Not.

The system shown above, on the right, the one with an upright, lower fork arms, a top wishbone and steering arms all clearly visible, is not a Hossack system, or even a Hossack-like system. It's double wishbone HCS. It's sad to see ignorance of such a core FF technology on Bikeweb so here's a quick primer.

Double wishbone HCS was created by Jack Difazio of Frome, England, in the late 1950's and is an elaboration and refinement of the simple system used on the 1928 Neracar. Jack built well over 150 HCS systems, all as hand-made one-offs and in the early eighties one was used in the "Banana" (HCS no. 152) prototype, the first connection between HCS and FF's since A.V. Roe's "Monocar" of the late 1930's. A developed version designed by Bob Tait rapidly followed and was used by Malcome Newell in his Phasar FF series. Meanwhile several Difazio systems were fitted to one-off FFs. At the end of the eighties I carried out a further development of Double Wishbone HCS for the Voyager FF project and this was refined in a Mk11 system in 2001. All the Voyagers and various other one-offs, most recently the Monoliner race development prototype, use one of these systems. All these prototypes and people are covered on this site.

Double wishbone HCS resolves all the major loads at the wheel centre, with the upright and top wishbone controlling geometry and torsional stiffness. All loads are carried symetrically allowing the simplest and lightest structures (Forks, wishbones etc.). Braking, steering and suspension are separate functions which do not interact. Development has seen a steady progression to fewer components, less weight with ample lock (40 dgrees each side) and suspension movement. It is particularly suitable for FFs due to the very low total hieght of the system - not more than 75mm above the wheel. Current versions have covered over 500,00 'fleet' miles, are fully rebuildable at minimal cost and run around 45,000 miles between lower ball joint replacements (£10, replaced with wheel in situ)

Geometrically, Double wishbone HCS is the familiar automotive system, turned through 90 degrees so the wishbones face forward. Suspension is usually mounted on the lower wishbone (which becomes a fork, like a rear swinging arm fork). There's an axle across the ends of this fork with a barrel-like member mounted at it's centre on some form of ball joint that allows steering and suspension movement. The wheel mounts, on large wheel bearings, on this barrel. The automotive system 'upright' becomes a hoop running over the wheel and is attached to each outer face of the barrel. The upright carries the brake callipers and connects to the top wishbone over the centre of the wheel. Steering arms usually connect to the top outer corners of the upright. One leg of the lower fork, most of the upright, calliper mounts, top wishbone and steering arms are visible in the picture above.

Saietta are to be congratulated on their further devlopment of this key FF technology and I hope to see further details and technical description in due course. Hopefully it will be available to other constructors, expecially of FFs!

Saietta have now coupled an E-drive with the HCS ideal for FF application. I know that they are fully aware of FF technology and I hope that they shortly proceed to exploit it. They know it makes sense!

Better reading glasses required?

Royce, you have not read the caption on the photo properly, nor looked at the photo closely enough, nor, apparently, read the blurb I wrote for this page. There are THREE (3) machines in the above photo. Two of them have Hossack-style front ends, the third has HCS, which is why I uploaded this photo in the first place!
As it says in the caption, there is a RED machine with Hossack-style steering and a YELLOW machine, at the back, top right corner, also with Hossack-style steering.
Both of them are Agility Saiettas.
The third machine, closest to the camera, the black and blue NGS, has HCS, AS IT SAYS IN THE CAPTION!

Also, while I'm sure the descriptions above will be helpful to many people who read this site, it's just a shame that you've got a couple of key dates wrong by a decade.
The first Neracar was designed by Carl Neracher in 1918, not 1928. "About 10,000 of these motorcycles were manufactured in the United States by the Ner-A-Car Corporation under the Neracar name, while around 6,500 are believed to have been produced in England under licence in England by the Sheffield-Simplex company between 1921 and 1926 under the Ner-A-Car name."
The first Avro Monocar designed by Sir Alliot Verdon-Roe, was built in 1926, not 'in the late 1930s'. He had a second machine built in the 1950s; both of his monocars are in the Southampton Aviation Museum.
Also, Malcolm Newell spelt his first name the conventional way, that is with two Ls and no E: Malcolm, (not 'Malcome'). As seen in 'Malcolm Newell's Creations' elsewhere on this site.
Finally, in view of the hopelessly optimistic statements on the Saietta website quoted above, I am not holding my breath in expectation of a Saietta electric superbike making it into production any time soon, FF or otherwise! PNB

How wonderfully useful!

Where would the FF movement be without Pauls wonderful attention to historical detail? My own slack attitude - "Fuck history, what about tomorrow?" - is clearly an obstacle to progress. I thought the yellow stuff was just a collection of GRP in the background - only having the photo to go on.

I'm hopeful that our premier FF journalist will also be able to turn his pedantic expertise to the technical issues of Saiettas HCS and the value of the C-evo as an FF powertrain (I've been talking to Park Lane and I'm still not convinced it's a real production deal).

However my last paragraph is entirely accurate, unless Agility/Saietta have had a memory outage - or a courage by-pass.


I appreciate Paul's pedantic criticism. I think it's quite important to be accurate to maintain credibility in other areas, irrelevant or not to the points being made.

I nearly commented about the 2 Hossacks myself until I read Paul's description. The yellow bike in the background could indeed be a pile of GRP panels.

Saietta direction

Saietta's future is very much dependant upon what funding it can generate to pay its overheads as it strives to productionise it's offerings. It is heavily ensconced with the Niche Vehicle Network and is quite successful in this tax payer funded money pot club. Most of their staff are incentivised to hunt down these revenue streams. They have recently again been successful in the latest round of funding, securing £150K for a proof of concept project. They are currently likely to produce a high end (£50k ish) crotch rocket style of bike with the HCS tech as you see here, They have ambitions of making a working profit after many years of being in the red. Although interested, going down the FF route would be an enormous risk they are not prepared to take, although they apparently have designed several FF bikes to test the concept Here is a breakdown of their winning partnership bid. All information is in the public domain.

Electric Drivetrain Innovation to Transform Lightweight Electric Vehicles
Project Type: Vehicle Level
Lead: Saietta Group Ltd
Partners: Indra Renewable Technologies, Eco Charger Quad Bikes

The project delivers electric drivetrain innovations to transform the viability of lightweight electric vehicles. Saietta is developing next generation controllers featuring torque control, mated precisely to its leading DC traction motors. This will improve vehicle control and deliver an ultra-efficient motor-controller combination which reduces the battery capacity required for a given range.
Indra is developing an innovative battery cassette storage for next generation lithium batteries, a bespoke BMS, a hot-swap battery system and is integrating the entire electric drivetrain. Eco Charger is testing the drivetrain in its prototype next generation electric quadbike which features novel gearbox technology.

This is just a snapshot of the flavour of what you need to get Involved with to draw down any Gov't funding. Go to the NVN website for further details. I have been there and put many months of effort in to bids for these small pots of funding to try and get a small FF project off the ground. Strangely it always seemed to be the same old snouts getting the lions share of the swill. I did have one success with a day out at a Gov't funded facility. I was unofficially told (off the record) that I was "given"this as a consolation prize and that my project was never really considered as a serious contender for any of the major funding rounds. This is despite it being one of the most aerodynamic 2 wheel vehicles ever tested at MIRA in the last 60yrs. Great design Royce...

Thanks to all readers that have contributed to these funding competitions through your PAYE or self assessment over the years. I am sure all you tax payers received a personal thank you from the many grateful and latest funding winners.


David of Phasar EV design fame visited them earlier this year. I emailed them about 3 months back, saying I would like to reply yet. Colin Russell also has some info, I recall. Seems a very inactive website to me!!


presumably there is a single shock above top arm, hidden by the bodywork. Do they have any production plans, anyone? I sense not soon!