This shed-built Norton rotary sports bike is a mix made in heaven


The perfect motorcycle does not exist. Yamahas offer precise handling, but they can’t match the outright power of a Ducati. Suzukis may be economical and reliable, but they don’t offer the user interface found on BMWs. We’ve all dreamed up our own dream bike that selects the best parts from opposing manufacturers, but mechanic George Molyneux didn’t just dream.

Instead, the Britain-based enthusiast has fashioned his own Norton rotary-engine sportbike with a little help from the competition. Starting with a Norton Interpol 2 police bike, Molyneux pulled out the relic’s 588cc twin-rotor Wankel engine. Despite the air-cooling of the rotary mill, the moonlighting builder felt the powertrain could power a true sports bike.

While many considered his idea insane, Molyneux let no obstacle deter him from realizing his ultimate Norton-fueled vision. After sourcing a Suzuki GSX-R transmission, the British manufacturer went so far as to mold its own casings for a custom gearbox. However, this heavily modified unit unleashed the full potential of the Norton engine, delivering 85 horsepower to the rear wheel.

Of course, you need a chassis to hook that engine, transmission and rear wheel to, and an Aprilia RST1000 Futura fits the bill. With its aluminum-alloy, twin-parallel-beam frame, Aprilia’s sport-tourer imbued Molyneux’s project with a true sportbike look. He then topped off the chassis with an Aprilia RSV Mille front end while a set of Triumph Daytona wheels did the trick without distracting from the Norton centrepiece.

Of course, you can’t complete a dream build without Honda being involved in some form. Team Red’s VTR1000F Firestorm donated its hard drive and endcaps to the effort. Despite the disparate sources and clashing eras, Molyneux’s Norton-based build ultimately looks like a cohesive sportbike, a particularly difficult feat to pull off given the Frankensteinian nature of the build.

The perfect bike may not exist, but George Molyneux’s project combines Norton’s engineering power with Aprilia’s chassis expertise and Honda’s practicality. It seems that dream bike isn’t just a figment of your imagination after all.


Comments are closed.