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
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…