Nor­ton wins Spe­cial Build of the Year

walks off with an over­sized com­edy cheque for £1000 as his Ro­tary Cafe Racer sneaks our hotly-con­tested com­pe­ti­tion

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - News -

Ge­orge Molyneux

THE IN­AU­GU­RAL PS Spe­cial Build of the Year com­pe­ti­tion has a win­ner: Ge­orge Molyneux and his im­mense Nor­ton Ro­tary Cafe Racer.

Af­ter thou­sands of votes, Ge­orge’s bike – which fea­tures a home­made gear­box as well as a plenum cham­ber made from a melted-down Yamaha TDM850 wheel – got the nod from the top-10 short­list. It was se­ri­ously close, though – he beat Gary Parker and his Suzuki RGV500 by just five votes.

“It feels tremen­dous – I was driv­ing home af­ter the show think­ing, ‘Did that really just hap­pen?’” said Ge­orge. “I was just happy to be in the top 10, and any of the other bikes would’ve been wor­thy win­ners. Gary’s RGV500 is in­cred­i­ble – the first time I saw it I turned to my wife and said, ‘I haven’t got a chance against that.’”

As well as bag­ging the £1000 prize from our spon­sors Ven­hill, Ge­orge was par­tic­u­larly pleased given that you don’t see Nor­tons in PS that of­ten. “I know that Ja­panese bikes are the main­stay of the mag­a­zine, and the ’70s-’90s Ps-era also hap­pens to be a pe­riod when the Bri­tish bik­ing in­dus­try was pretty non-ex­is­tent un­til Tri­umph got go­ing again. I’m glad the bike wasn’t too un­usual for peo­ple’s tastes.”

RGV500 owner Gary was im­pres­sively gra­cious in de­feat. “I’d rather have lost by a thou­sand votes than five,” he laughed, “but I feel very proud to have fin­ished run­ner-up. Ge­orge is a very wor­thy win­ner – the ef­fort that went into his Nor­ton is mind-bog­gling. Mak­ing your own gear­box is pretty hard­core.”

The good news is that you’ll be see­ing both bikes in PS next month. “It’ll be great to see it get a big fea­ture,” said Ge­orge. “I prob­a­bly could’ve gone out and spent two grand on a bike that’s tech­ni­cally bet­ter but when I was rid­ing the Nor­ton the other day I thought, ‘I put ev­ery sin­gle nut and bolt on this thing.’ That feel­ing is price­less – and that’s why we build spe­cials.”

We couldn’t agree more, Ge­orge. Con­grat­u­la­tions, and well done to ev­ery­one who en­tered Spe­cial Build of the Year. See you again in 2017…

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