Driving report Norcroft Interceptor Metisse


Driving report Norcroft Interceptor Metisse

A hunter for gatherers

Vincent sends his regards: Based on the Enfield Bullet, two British engineers are producing a classic bike with a 1000cc V-Twin. The prototype of the Norcroft Interceptor (Jager) Metisse is already rumbling along English coastal roads.

Anyone who imitates or falsifies motorcycles is a Japanese, whoever remodels them so that the original can hardly be recognized or hardly recognized at all, can only be an Englishman. The latest example of the latter species is 40-year-old Bill Hurr and his buddy Richard Hurst. “It all began,” recalls Hurst, “when Bill was given the task of improving the Enfield India, which was built in Madras, from the Austrian company AVL years ago.” He was given a test object for study purposes and went to work. “You’re having fun, I blurted out when he came up with the idea of ​​putting two bullet cylinders and their respective cylinder heads on a newly designed housing and thus putting a motorcycle on the wheels that is similar to a Vincent, or at least the water can be enough, ”explains Hurst.
Fun turned serious. In order to do justice to the style of the fifties, the classic British separation of engine and transmission should be retained. When designing the motor housing, Hurr integrated a full-flow oil filter with a filter cartridge into the new housing. The crankshaft has three roller bearings, the connecting rods are fitted with robust needle bearings to increase the service life. Instead of the heavy original pistons, the two managing directors of the newly founded Norcroft Engineering Ltd. Pour lightweight versions with a pinch edge, the Indian cylinder heads were converted to dual ignition and their inlet and outlet ports were optimized.
“Our budget wasn’t big, so we built the finished engine into a modified Enfield Bullet chassis and drove it until the two-cylinder ran properly.” The child also got a name: Interceptor, in German Jager, became the 1000 series Named Norcroft, loosely based on Royal Enfield’s hapless parallel twin bike of the late sixties. It soon became apparent that the bullet chassis had far too little ground clearance and lean angle to match the performance of the V-engine. “We only moved the frame beams down by 25 millimeters in order to be able to fit the V-Twin,” explains Hurst, “but in tight bends the load simply touched down much too early.”
The two were looking for someone who could install the unit in a classic but competitive chassis. Your choice fell on the chassis manufacturer Pat French and his company MRD Metisse. French, who had taken over the frame and chassis tuning company of Moto Cross aces Don and Derek Rickman in 1983, initially declined with thanks on the phone. “It wasn’t until I visited him one morning on our bike under his bum and asked him to take a lap that his face lit up, and we agreed that he’d build the Interceptor’s chassis with us.”
Just in time for the Stafford Show in 1999, the first pre-production model was finished, now called Interceptor Metisse. The machine works fine on the winding streets of Devils Dyke behind Brighton. As it should be for a classic retro bike from the late nineties, the optional kick starter was not dispensed with, although it is easier to use the electric starter. The Interceptor requires concentration and a lot of manual strength for the first few meters: a Bowden cable that is currently too short makes engaging and disengaging the seven-plate clutch a feat, the first gear of the Albion gearbox on the right is above neutral, the remaining three gears are à la Moto Guzzi inlaid with print from above.
Without a hole, the Indian-British V-Two pulls up to just over 5000 rpm, there is decent torque just above idling speed, and from 3000 rpm the push rod motor accelerates enormously. Vibrations can be felt, but thanks to the low compression ratio, the Interceptor engine does not shake more than the competition. Once fourth gear is in, the shift foot pauses.
The speed can now be regulated down to the 40 km / h limit using the throttle. The V2 then bubbles away with only 1500 tours. The small 28 mm Mikuni carburettors pay off, but above 5500 rpm the engine runs like rubber. That is a good thing, because the robust sound from the two-in-one exhaust system now swings into a fortissimo furioso. The tightly tuned Metisse chassis looks downright Italian, the steering behavior of the Interceptor is wonderfully neutral. You can live with the Grimeca double duplex drum, but its setting is a science in itself.
Zu Ninety percent is done, explains Richard Hurst, but only when details such as the shape of the seat bench, fittings, the final footrest position and finally the tank size and shape have been clarified, will it be seen whether fans of classic bikes are ready, around 30,000 marks for the British-Indian one Pay hunters.

Technical specifications

Engine: Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 50-degree V-engine, two camshafts below, two valves per cylinder operated via bumpers and rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, two Mikuni carburettors, diameter 28 mm, double ignition. Bore x stroke 84 x 90 mm, displacement 998 cm³, compression ratio 6 , 5: 1 Rated output 44 kW (60 PS) at 6000 / min Max torque 95 Nm at 3000 / min Power transmission: primary drive via duplex chain, cable-operated seven-disc oil bath clutch, revised Albion four-speed gearbox, chain running gear: steel double loop tube frame from MRD Metisse, Metisse- Telescopic fork, stanchion diameter 28 mm, two encapsulated NJB struts at the rear, Grimeca double duplex drum brake at the front, diameter 230 mm, simplex drum at the rear, diameter 178 mm. Wheels: Akront light alloy rims WM 2-19 at the front, WM-3-18 at the rear, Avon 90/90 tires -19 front, 110/90 rear Chassis data: wheelbase 1448 mm, steering head angle 63 °, caster 85 mm, spring travel front / rear 114/102, weight 170 kg (dry) tankin Holds 18 liters Price: around 30,000 marks Manufacturer: Norcroft Engineering Ltd ,. Namrik Mews, St. Aubyns, GB-Hove, East Sussex BN3 2 TF, phone 00 44 1273 747900, fax 747970, email info@norcroft.co.uk

Builder Richard Hurst

“Bill did not let his crazy idea dissuade,” said 39-year-old Richard Hurst from Wiggley Bay, Newcastle. “And said I should try the Bullet for a while. My skepticism soon subsided and we began to think seriously about the project. Somehow that was our dream since we were studying together, when Bill was still driving his T 120 Bonnie and I was driving a BSA A 65. At that time, none of us would have touched an Enfield Bullet with a pair of pliers, but on the other hand, a bike with a V-twin was a long way off beyond our budget. ”So far the Interceptor Metisse has devoured about £ 200,000 that Norcroft has been able to raise with the help of investors. “Aside from the idea, we would never have been able to put the V-Twin on its wheels without the Indian Enfield Bullet parts,” explains Hurst. The Interceptor should be ready next year, and a higher-density sports version is being considered.

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