The perfect motorcycle doesn’t exist. Yamaha’s deliver precise handling but they can’t match the outright horsepower of a Ducati. Suzuki’s may be budget-friendly and reliable but they don’t offer the user interface found on BMWs. We’ve all imagined our own dream bike that cherry-picks the best bits from opposing manufacturers, but garage builder George Molyneux wasn’t satisfied with dreaming.
Instead, the Britain-based enthusiast fashioned his own Norton rotary engine-powered sportbike with a little help from the competition. Starting with a Norton Interpol 2 police bike, Molyneux hoisted the twin-rotor, 588cc Wankel engine out of the relic. Despite the rotary mill’s air-cooling, the moonlighting builder felt the powerplant could power a bonafide sportbike.
While many deemed his idea certifiably harebrained Molyneux let no obstacle deter him from realizing his ultimate Norton-powered vision. After sourcing a Suzuki GSX-R transmission, the British builder went as far as to cast his own cases for a custom gearbox. However, that heavily-modified unit unleashed the Norton engine’s full potential, delivering 85 horsepower to the rear wheel.
Of course, you need a chassis from which to hang that engine, transmission, and rear wheel, and an Aprilia RST1000 Futura fit the bill. With its aluminum-alloy, double-parallel-beam frame, Aprilia’s sport-tourer imbued Molyneux’s project with a genuine sportbike look. He then crowned the chassis with an Aprilia RSV Mille front end while a set of Triumph Daytona wheels do the deed without distracting from the Norton centerpiece.
Of course, you can’t complete a dream build without involving Honda in some form. Team Red’s VTR1000F Firestorm donated its cush drive and end cans to the effort. Despite the disparate sources and clashing eras, Molyneux’s Norton-based build looks like a cohesive sportbike in the end, a particularly difficult feat to achieve given the Frankensteinian nature of the build.
The perfect motorcycle may not exist, but George Molyneux’s project pulls together Norton’s engineering might with Aprilia’s chassis expertise and Honda’s practicality. It looks like that dream bike isn’t just a figment of your imagination after all.