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The ultimate British cafe racers!

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Testing the Tornado

Extracts from articles in magazines across the world, as seen in Klassic Motorrad (Germany), The Motorcycle Classics (Japan), Australian MCN, Classic Bike Guide (UK), Moto Légende (France), MO (Germany), Motorcycle Classics (USA).

“Geoff Duke, John Surtees, Phil Read, Mike Hailwood. The list of riders who made their mark on a Manx Norton reads like a who’s who of racing royalty. Now Steve Tonkin has turned the legend into the ultimate café racer – the Tornado.”

“Just about every classic bike enthusiast has dreamed of owning the ultimate café racer – a thinly disguised racing machine that has been tamed just enough to be used on public roads. Steve Tonkin, Isle of Man TT winner and full-time classic bike builder, has made the dream come true.”

“You can still cruise all day at 100mph but if you want more speed then swapping sprockets and chains won’t take long.”

“That bend on the horizon came up rather quickly but fortunately the Fontana four-leading shoe front brake is smooth and powerful.”

“When we ride through sleepy villages I keep the five-speed gearbox in second and the throttle barely cracked open to leave the merest hint of Castrol R behind.”

“I don’t know how Steve has done it, but in spite of the clip-ons this is the most comfortable café racer I’ve ever ridden – I really could spend a day in the saddle.”

“The Tonkin Manx was going to need an alternator, so Molnar Precision, owner of the Manx brand, made a longer crankshaft to carry the Lucas rotor. The Norton-AMC gearbox carries a Quaife five-speed cluster and a kickstart.”

“A racing magneto works fine if you want to bump-start the bike, but the kickstart cranking speed was not fast enough for a strong spark so the ignition is now courtesy of a BT-H electronic magneto. Now the Manx always starts after two or three kicks.”

“Brackets for the brake linkages, engine plates and triple clamps have all been water-jet cut – things have moved on from the time when specials builders used a hacksaw and file.”

Tonkin is ready to start work on the 2014 production run of the Manx engined road bike. If you want one, expect to pay around £36,000. it might seem a lot of cash, but what you get is a hand built cafe racer like other - and one that’s been properly sorted.

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