Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 16th November 2009

Mick Barton’s Norvin special was one of the stars in the bikes section at the Classic Motor Show this weekend, reports Alastair Walker.

Mick had a Norvin when he was a teenager in the 60s, but back then he couldn’t afford to customise the bike with the very best performance parts. So spending the last eight years, `on and off,’ building this ultimate cafe racer Norvin was a real labour of love.

“The hardest part was sourcing an original Vincent engine,” said Mick, “I could have used a re-manufactured motor, but I eventually found a 1955 V-twin and then had it stripped, with bigger valves, hotter cams, low comp pistons fitted, plus GP 32mm carbs and a custom made 2 inch set of exhaust pipes made. The bike really goes well now. I think it’s realised the full potential of the bike, yet sticks with the old cafe racer styling of the 60s.”

Other mods on the bike include Ceriani suspension, many polished and chromed parts, a V-Max fly screen and Yamaha TZ spoked wheels. The bike also has a neat, hand made oil tank placed beneath the seat hump, rather than set behind the engine. There’s no battery on the Norvin, instead it uses a Boyer Bransden power box, plus a Kubota alternator as its electrical system.

The striking colour of the Barton Norvin is an Audi orange and caused a few eyebrows to be raised at the Ace Cafe stand, which hosted the Best Cafe Racer concours at the Classic Motor Show, held at the NEC halls.

“Well, I know Vincents, or Norvins are often all black, but I hate black, it’s for funerals isn’t it?” Mick told insidebikes, ” I spend time in the USA and there you see brighter looking machinery so I went for the orange and polished up loads of parts. It’s too nice to ride in winter, but I hope to take it to various rallies and shows next summer.”

Mick’s got another Vincent engine, this time a 1275cc one-off, which he intends to use on his next special project;

“I found a supercharger the other week, so I might stick that on it, really create something that causes a stir!” said Mick with a wry grin.