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Cannondale: How to Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

We admire the innovative approach Cannondale has taken with its four-stroke motocross bike, and related enduro and cross-country bikes. In fact, on March 7, 2000, we wrote about our expectation that Cannondale will take motorcycle suspension in a new direction.

The problem with Cannondale is not their vision or their designs, it is their execution. The introduction of this bike has been delayed more than any motorcycle I can remember. Perhaps the leap from successful bicycle manufacturer to motorcycle manufacturer was greater than Cannondale anticipated. A motorcycle is far more complicated than a bicycle, and the fact that Cannondale even attempted to manufacture its own engine is almost incredible. The fact that the engine involves fuel injection (and all the complex mapping that goes along with it) is even more incredible. Do you remember how long it took Triumph to dial in its first fuel injected bike? It is not an easy task.

If Cannondale survives the gestation of its motorcycle division, it may well be an innovative force in the motorcycle industry. Production bikes are apparently trickling into dealers. We hope that the long wait has resulted in a machine that functions as Cannondale intended it to. We’ll be following the story, and keep you posted.