Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Gurney Alligator Instigator: Make it snappy!


The all-new Gurney Alligator Instigator. Conventional, it certainly isn't...

Dan Gurney, founder of Dan Gurney Alligator Motorcycles, Inc. is at it again. One of our readers, Bill Kniegge has sent us some information and pics of the latest Gurney project – the Alligator Instigator – which has been developed by Dan and his son Justin.

While the earlier Alligator was powered by a 670cc, single-cylinder Honda engine, the Instigator is fitted with a 2032cc S&S V-twin, which is much bigger and more powerful than any engine previously used on Alligator motorcycles. The feet-forward design, however, is the same as before and the very low seat height provides a very low centre of gravity, which is said to help handling in a very big way.

Other bits on the Alligator Instigator include a Baker six-speed gearbox, custom-built exhaust system, a chassis made of chrome-moly 4030 tubing, machined-from-billet aluminium swingarm, USD fork, Penske monoshock, Dymag forged alloy wheels and Beringer brakes. The bodywork is made of carbonfibre and instrumentation is from Motec.

‘Conventional sportbikes are tall, with short wheelbases to make them turn quickly. This limits their acceleration and braking by making them prone to wheelies and stoppies. Gurney's concept has some extra wheelbase that may slow steering somewhat, but its centre of gravity – another important aspect of swift turning – is so low that the Alligator flicks into corners very quickly,’ said the legendary Kevin Cameron, when he rode a Gurney Alligator bike back in 2000, for Cycle World magazine. ‘Under acceleration and braking, the Alligator's lower centre of gravity and longer wheelbase allow it to generate higher peak values without lifting its wheels. And why not? Orthodoxy is not destiny,’ said Cameron.

Hmmm… the Gurneys plans to build around 50 units of the Instigator, so if you want one, you’d better hurry up already. Visit the Alligator Motorcycle website here for more details.

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10 comments:

Phil H said...

"WHY?!"

I understand the theory behind it - lower CG, less drag...etc. - but I can think of many other ways of achieving the same results without looking like some ape-bar-hanging- arse Harley rider.

Limiting acceleration and braking? I don't see them MotoGP guys complaining...

I think Gurney deserves credit for doing someting different, but for now it remains a nice theory.

Jason M said...

It just might work, but really, did it have to look so bad? I'm sure HRC's 'mass centralisation' thing works very well, and the RC212V looks quite all right, eh...? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Looks like Gurney and Co. are not sure about what they want this bike to be? Sportbike? Why use that massive S&S lump. Cruiser? Why bother with low CoG etc., all that matters is style. Maybe they wanted to do a giant scooter...

Anonymous said...

It doesn't look good and the ergonomics on this bike must be a disaster. I'll take an ABS Fireblade, thanks very much!

Speedy Waheed said...

Well, at least the Gurneys are trying something new. When was the last time you bunch saw a mainstream motorcycle manufacturer stick its neck out and try something dramatically new or different? It's the thought that counts, so there.

Paul McKendry said...

Gurney Gator? Interesting. Not sure why he bothers. The last one was like $30K with a single, this one must be $50K with a world class paint shaker for a motor or as you Brits like to call them, lumps. I could more easily see this thing with a hot little parallel twin like the Kawasaki 650. Light, short and narrow. Go figure.

Bill said...

Great Comments and questions.. i can say that once you have ridden a Gurney Gator... not this one however.. you quickly find out what low CG and Aero does to handling.. As old as Dan is... he makes the Gator fly like something most riders have never seen... yes at 73 years young he does that. If I a not mistaken the Gator still holds Cycle World acceleration record for 0-50. Just a simple 700cc single that also propels it to a 152+ mph.
The Instigator is an exercise in putting mass torque to the ground and to also straighten out corners like most other street bikes dream about.. Remember this man built the fastes Indy and F1 cars of their era... and don't forget about Trans Am ..Seeing is not believing... riding is. Ask 3 Time World Champ Eddie Lawson.. He knows. Stay Tuned.. more to come.
Bill Kniegge

78SS said...

The rider sits that low it looks like you would have to be 10 feet tall to see where youre going.
Bill you must be mistaken, how could a 700cc Single beat a 180+ hp superbike? Answer; it couldnt. I dont care how low the CG is its just not possible.

Anonymous said...

78ss, The alligator beats a superbike for the same reason a bullet flies faster than a baseball. Less mass means less force required to accelerate it to the same(or faster) speed. Diesel ship engines have orders of magnitude more horsepower than a superbike, but you don't see them beating it in the 0-60.

Anonymous said...

From my experience as a mechanical engineer working in advanced concepts my whole career & riding motorcycles since age 13, this bike is a breath of fresh air. I look at this concept by comparing the riding position of an ATV rider sitting on top of his ride to a Honda Pilot rider who sits in his ride. Now if the Alligator was just a little more affordable.

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