Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas
Leading a French comeback
Although French fim1s such as De Dion and Werner were among the pioneers of motor-cycle manufacturing, motorbike-crazy France has produced almost no powered two-wheelers in recent years. Barigo aimed to change that with the sporty Onixa.
Off-Road Racing Heritage
Barigo is a small firm from La Rochelle on France's west coast. In 1992, founder Patrick Barigault produced a road-going version of his dual-purpose "Supermotard" racebike. After Barigo had been taken over by an industrial machinery firm, the Onixa was developed - a striking sportster powered by the same single-cylinder Rotax engine.
Highly-Tuned Power Plant
The 599cc water-cooled motor had twin overhead-cams and four valves and kicked out 61 hp at 8000 rpm-impressive for a single. It was held in a twin-beam aluminum frame of Barigault's own design. Chassis specification included upside-down forks and a single rear shock from Dutch specialists WP, a huge single front disc with a six-piston caliper and 17 inch magnesium wheels that used soft-compound radial tires. The odd, humped gas tank was necessary to increase the Supermotard's under-seat fuel capacity with a second tank. Despite punchy acceleration and a respectable top speed of about 120 mph, the Onixa was most notable for its superb handling. The French bike's rigid frame, excellent suspension, powerful brakes and light weight (just 330 lb) made for unbeatable cornering power and a thrilling ride on a twisty road.
Engine: 599cc (97x81mm) Water-cooled single-cylinder
Power Rating: 61 hp @ 8000 rpm
Valves: twin overhead-camshafts; 4-valve
Fuel System: twin Mikuni carburettors
Transmission: 5-speed, chain final drive Suspension: telescopic forks (front); vertical monoshock (rear)
Brakes: disc (front & rear)
Wheels: 17 inch cast-magnesium (front & rear)
Weight: 330 lb
Maximum Speed: 120 mph
The French bike's strangely shaped second gas tank inspired jokes about the Hunch back of Notre Dame. However, the light and agile Onixa won universal L praise for its handling.