The news follows the company’s announcement that Destiny Cycles’ new Swedish style chop will receive it’s premiere at the NEC show.
As the name suggests – the Gladstone No.1 is the first machine to be produced by Gladstone Motorcycles, the new marque created by Henry Cole, presenter of television’s World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides and The Motorbike Show.
The first bespoke British motorcycle brand since Hesketh, Gladstone is debuting with a stunning British Bobber, only nine of which will be produced – with six of the £22,995 machines already snapped up. The 750cc bike features the classic Triumph T140 engine of Bonneville fame, mounted on a distinctive Metisse nickel-plated frame.
It is, says Cole, a bike that is “quintessentially retro British” and designed to be ridden. “We’re building a Bobber that actually rides, it’s all about go rather than show,” he enthuses. “That prototype has been hammered, on purpose, so we could spot what did and didn’t work. For instance we’ve just fixed a bit of tank slapping on the fake oil tank.
“Whilst it’s detailed to perfection and stunningly beautiful it’s not a show bike, it’s a go bike,” he continues, “I’m determined to offer a bike you can get on and ride to the South of France.”
The bike mad eccentric is happy to admit that his design expertise comes only from a lifelong love of motorcycling. His ideas have been translated into reality by Metisse’s Gerry Lisi with long time pal Guy Wilson handling manufacture.
However unusual that set up, the results speak for themselves. Incredibly detailed the bike’s retro styling includes a vintage style brass bound battery box – housing somewhat more modern lithium batteries – bespoke alloy petrol and fake oil tanks and a handmade diamond-stitched leather seat fitted on string twisted springs. Then, of course, there’s the familiar roar of that Triumph engine to add aural beauty to visual elegance.
Meanwhile for those of you wondering where the Gladstone name comes from it derives not from former four time Prime Minister William Gladstone – Cole’s great, great uncle – but a relative closer in more ways than one to the TV presenter. “My Uncle Dick, an eccentric bike nut we knew as ‘Red Beard’ made a profound impression during my formative years,” explains Henry. “He had Broughs, BSAs and Triumphs knocking around his garage in Liverpool and they stirred something in me. I’ve been obsessed with motorcycling ever since.”
You can catch first sight of the Gladstone No.1 – it’s only thus far been displayed at the £250-a-head high society Salon Privé event – on stand 3E30 in Hall 3 at the NEC. To benefit from lower cost advance ticket sales and for more details of the Motorcycle Live 2013 show visit www.motorcyclelive.co.uk.