GT’s First Full-Suspension Bike – It’s Not What You Think – Video

Long before GT Bikes was born, there was Gary Turner Bikes

By Zap

Although the Jim Busby designed RTS-1 is widely considered the first full-suspension bike to come out of the GT Bicycle headquarters, that’s really only half-right.  Recently, Gary Turner himself (as in the GT of GT Bikes) rediscovered an ancient BMX bike build that he created back in 1974.

This original GT designed full-suspension bike came during the heyday of the SoCal BMX explosion and it followed on the heels of a radical monoshock bike that was built by Wayne King and originally raced by local hotshot Thom Lund.

Gary said the bike had “about five or six inches of travel” and weighed close to 50 pounds. The modified forks came off of a Yamaha moto-bike.


At the time Gary was building dragsters and going to the local BMX races with his brother. As he tells in the video (below) the courses back then were nothing like the smoothly polished courses used today, so the thought was that some form of suspension would be helpful. Alas, just as the road bike world learned after a brief, mid-90s foray with suspension for the Paris-Roubaix race, nothing proved as fast and efficient as a rigid bike.  Suspension came and went, but thankfully. both Gary and Stu Thomsen held onto their bikes.

To celebrate the place in history that Gary’s bike played (one of only six built in 1974), veteran filmmaker Todd Huffman (of The Motocross Files and the history of GT  suspension bikes in “Full-Travel” fame) produced this awesome video that that captures all the went into the bike’s evolution.


The man himself…Gary Turner proudly poses with his rare monoshock bike. In addition to his place in the history books of the mountain bike industry, Gary is responsible for the countless smiles, scraped knees and trophies that resulted from millions of kids riding his BMX bikes.



The original GT FS bike was the RTS which was designed by Jim Busby.


Busby also penned the LTS which was used to great effect on the downhill circuit by team GT.


Things started to get a bit complicated with i-drive.


Only “senders” need apply!




bmxGary TurnerGT Bicycles