Thunderous American V-twins and sportbike dealing with don’t normally go hand-in-hand, however that hasn’t stopped individuals from attempting through the years. Andrew Marsden from Bristol, England is a kind of individuals. He dreamed of using a V-twin café racer that dealt with like a race bike and regarded unimaginable—so he constructed one round a stonking S&S Cycle energy practice.
“I began serious about constructing this bike in 2008 after I completed 17 years of racing on quick circuits and the Isle of Man,” says Andy. “I needed to construct a giant capability V-twin in a chassis with nimble dealing with, however with the look of an older Manx Norton race bike.”
Andy kicked off his S&S Cycle café racer venture in a giant manner—by making the body himself. Utilizing a borrowed guide tube bender, and a body jig set to a Ducati 916 wheelbase and head angle, Andy taught himself as he went alongside. It was a gutsy transfer, but it surely paid off.
These aware of the Manx Norton will discover how Andy has taken inspiration from the Featherbed body and utilized it right here. The curved, tubular body expertly cradles the engine and gearbox, however has a barely totally different geometry from the unique.
At this level, Andy’s mate Pete Sutton got here on board. Pete has a background in engineering and fabrication, so he dived into aluminum and stainless-steel fabrication. Andy makes a speciality of paintwork (he runs Final Bike Ache in Bristol), so he centered on the bike’s aesthetics.
The primary incarnation of the bike was completed 12 years in the past, however that was only the start for Andy and Pete. From there, they spent appreciable time testing, refining and bettering the bike. Then they determined to take the idea from a one-off particular [above] to a made-to-order café racer [below].
“Pete and I are common guests to the Manx GP on the Isle of Man,” Andy explains. “On one in every of these journeys we took the newly completed S&S Cycle café racer, and each time we pulled up, the bike was instantly surrounded by a crowd of admiring individuals.”
“I used to be typically requested if I needed to promote it, which in fact I didn’t. This then changed into the query, ‘Are you constructing any extra?’”
“Such was the curiosity, that we determined to just do that; Pete and I arrange a enterprise solely for this venture. The brand new firm is called Sutton & Marsden Café Racers, and we’re planning to construct a really restricted run to clients’ specs.”
With the unique Sutton & Marsden café racer going from testbed to template, Andy and Pete started working on the brand new bike. They quickly realized that working from a practical instance would considerably streamline the venture.
Each bikes are powered by the identical engine—an S&S Cycle 1,600 cc V-twin with modified and ported S&S Cycle heads. The barrels, cams, and crank are from the American V-twin specialists too, with gas delivered by a single 45 mm Mikuni carb. The gearbox is from Baker, and the clutch and first drive elements are from Belt Drives Ltd.
The exhaust on the unique bike is a surprising two-into-one system with a carbon muffler, whereas the second bike wears traditional twin pipes. They’re barely larger than what the blokes would have preferred, as a result of they have been designed to go England’s strict SVA noise and emission restrictions.
One lesson discovered from the primary construct was understanding tips on how to make the wheelbase as quick as doable. To attain this, the blokes spent a variety of time attempting to get the gearbox proper up near the engine. They finally succeeded by having a customized billet major backing plate made for them—however this wasn’t the one hurdle.
Throughout early growth, Andy and Pete discovered that the facility of S&S engines may cause a problem the place the first belt jumps on the pulleys. To beat this, they devised a system to maintain the belt at optimum rigidity and involved with the pulleys, no matter whether or not the bike is scorching or chilly. This is only one instance of the kind of issues that they needed to resolve, since they weren’t working with off-the-shelf elements.
The bikes share a home made body that’s closely braced across the headstock (and in just a few different key areas) to offer it the required rigidity. The unique bike has Ducati 916 forks with upgraded Okay-Tech internals, and a customized Nitron rear shock. The only-sided swingarm can be from a Ducati 916, and the wheels are magnesium Marchesinis.
The white bike has a really related setup, save for just a few small variations. Each bikes use a repurposed Ducati entrance fender.
The very first thing that Andy purchased for the unique venture all these years in the past was an alloy Manx Norton tank, setting the tone for the remainder of the construct. The Sutton & Marsden body has a barely totally different design from the unique Featherbed, so the tank wanted a brand new tunnel to make it match. The V1.0 bike encompasses a Manx-style tail part, whereas V2.0 has a café racer-style carbon fiber seat cowl and leather-based seat.
The entrance finish is held in place by modified Ducati yokes, with modified Woodcraft clip-ons on the prototype and extra conventional handlebar setup on the V2.0 construct. Each bikes use Koso clocks, Yamaha headlights, and small windshields to maintain the bugs at bay. A smattering of Acccossato, Renthal and Brembo elements spherical out the spec sheets.
Another stand-out elements sits decrease down—a front-mounted oil tank, skillfully made by Pete. This not solely retains the oil cooler, but it surely additionally carries the load low and near the body. Pete additionally made the under-seat battery field, and each bikes characteristic all-new wiring looms.
“The most recent bike is now completed to our specs and is prepared for the brand new proprietor—whoever that could be,” Andy says. “The white paintwork is only a prime undercoat with the concept that the brand new proprietor can determine on a paint scheme if required. This can be included within the worth, and can be painted by me at Final Bike Paint.”
Each bikes are extremely well-engineered creations that signify numerous hours of labor from each Pete and Andy. Whereas we love the clear, well-executed strains of the brand new bike, we will’t assist however fall for the unique—the wild paint and lived-in aesthetic are simply excellent, like a well-worn pair of shoes.
Alas, as Andy has confirmed, he’d by no means promote it. At the very least Sutton & Marsden Café Racers can construct us the subsequent neatest thing.