Evolution is inevitable, which is why modern bikes often look the same, feel the same and handle similarly. But back in the Fifties the British bike industry was still evolving, with some manufacturers better at chassis design, while others had more engine know-how, hence some great, and some not so great specials.
One of the poster bikes of these specials was the Norvin – a Norton Featherbed frame fitted with a Vincent V-twin engine. This was no easy task, as the Vincent engine was enormous and extremely heavy, so while the power was there, many examples were not the greatest at handling.
You can still buy a brand-new Norvin and with modern engineering techniques and a better understanding of chassis dynamics, they handle better now than ever. One man, John Mossey of JMC Classics, has spent eight years perfecting the design of his JMC Norvins.
Read more in the April issue of CBG – on sale now!