For reference, S&S are the guys that manufacture Harley’s biggest heart (the 2,340cc one), so when we heard Andrew Marsden had made a bike twelve years ago – and then spent the next decade testing the thing – we knew Andy had a special speed beast on his hands.
Part of the equation lies in the handcrafting of a quality chassis. Here, the bike’s frame is based a bit off the Manx Norton’s featherbed unit, with rake and angle set to that of a Ducati 916 – all tasks Andy apparently taught himself as he went along.
Ducati 916 forks show off upgraded K-Tech internals, while a one-off Nitron shock dresses the rear. For rolling duty, the duo chose Marchesinis magnesium wheels, with a 916 single-sided swingarm and repurposed Ducati front fender lending extra racing lineage.
Of course, no bike build would be complete without a techy aficionado playing Deus Ex Machina; here, that role is reserved for Pete Sutton, Andy’s bud and an engineering/fabrication specialist who handled the steel fabrication.
“On one of these [regular visitors to the Manx GP on the Isle of Man], we took the newly finished S&S Cycle café racer, and every time we pulled up, the bike was immediately surrounded by a crowd of admiring people.”
“I was often asked if I wanted to sell it, which of course I didn’t. This then turned into the question, ‘Are you building any more?’”
“Such was the interest that we decided to do just that; Pete and I set up a business solely for this project. The new company is known as Sutton & Marsden Café Racers, and we are planning to build a very limited run to customers’ specs.”
The second machine – meant to be a functional model of the ‘limited run’ mentioned above – is slightly different than the OG bike but carries very similar componentry, including the “Koso clocks, Yamaha headlights, and small windshields to keep the bugs at bay.”
Awesome job, guys.