Steve Tonkin Classics


In the world of Classic motorcycle, Egli-Vincent is not the only re-creation available on the market. There is also some other great Classic like these Tonkin Tornado, Typhoon and Tempest, which stands for Manx, G50 and Goldstar. Three pieces of the British motorcycles history.

Steve Tonkin, a former professional racer, has an illustrious race career between 1970 and 1983, included numerous top 6 Isle of Man TT places, the 250cc Junior TT title in 1981, and winning 3 British 250cc.  Today, Steve is reconverted in the restoration of British Classic Bikes and the re-creation of these three famous fifties racers adapted to road specifications.

The Norton Manx is certainly the most famous racer in the 500cc category. Many riders dreamt to convert this base to road legal and some did, but such conversion is not really straightforward and the adaptation of the charge alternator, the kick-start or even the decompressor are quite a challenge. Thus those who converted the Manx, finesse the charge electric system and accommodated with the bump start style.

This was not acceptable for Tonkin, which collaborated with Molnar to develop this road specification. As Molnar owns the Manx heritage and focus exclusively on racers specification, Tonkin assembles focusses on the road bikes. The result is quite outstanding and definitely in the same class than the Egli-Vincent re-creation proposed by Godet. Everything works and the road Manx is nimble and fast, reaching easily 130mph.

Beside the Norton Manx, the Matchless G50 and BSA Goldstar are the two alternative choices. Unlike the Manx, which is installed in its original Featherbed, the Typhon and Tempest have a Seeley Mk3 replica frame.

Philippe Guyony © 2013

Steve Tonkin on the first Tonkin Tornado.

Steve Tonkin on the first Tonkin Tornado 500.

Inspiration; an original Norton Manx 500 30M © Brendan Bogue

Inspiration: an original Norton Manx 500 30M
© Brendan Bogue

Recreation: the Tonkin Tornado. Engine is the 500cc DOHC Molnar Manx (86 x 85.6 mm) delivering 50 HP at 7,000 rpm with an Amal 38 mm concentric © Patrick Douki

Recreation: the Tonkin Tornado. Engine is the 500cc DOHC Molnar Manx (86 x 85.6 mm) delivering 50 HP at 7,000 rpm . Note that the battery is hidden under the seat.
© Patrick Douki

The Manx engine has been modified to road spec, including a decompressor. The Quaife 5 speed gearbox has a kick start.  © Patrick Douki

The Manx engine has been modified to road spec, including a decompressor, and electronic magneto, while the GP carburetor has been replaced by an Amal 38 mm Concentric. The Quaife 5 speed gearbox has a kick start. © Patrick Douki

The Manx engine has been modified to road spec, including a longer crankshaft to accommodate the charge alternator. The enclosed primary case is similar to the Commando but is specific to Tonkin road bikes.

The Manx engine has been modified to road spec, including a longer crankshaft to accommodate the charge alternator. The enclosed primary case is similar to the Commando but is specific to Tonkin road bikes.

Inspiration: an original Matchless Seeley G50 500cc at the Barber Museum

Inspiration: an original Matchless Seeley G50 500cc (the Barber Museum)

Recreation: Tonkin Typhoon with 500 or 600 cc G50 engine in a Seeley Mk3 Replica rolling frame.

Recreation: Tonkin Typhoon with 500 or 600 cc G50 engine in a Seeley Mk3 Replica rolling frame.

Inspiration: an original BSA 500 Gold Star DBD34GS

Inspiration: an original BSA 500 Gold Star DBD34GS

Recreation: Tonkin Tempest with a 500 or 600 cc DBD34GS engine in a  Seeley Mk3 Replica rolling frame.

Recreation: Tonkin Tempest with a 500 or 600 cc DBD34GS engine in a
Seeley Mk3 Replica rolling frame.

Sources:

http://www.stevetonkinclassics.com

http://www.manx.co.uk

http://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-british-motorcycles/street-legal-norton-manx.aspx#axzz2kd9tNFLt

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