A West Midlands engineer is celebrating five years of trading with the offer of a free consultation and repair on any competitively raced classic motorcycle, whose owner wants the machine to perform to its full potential.
Located in Ackleton on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border Parallel Engineering was established by Simon Ratcliff in 2014. Simon’s passion for motorcycles began on a repair and maintenance course in his late teens and as well as riding, maintaining and improving his own Norton Commando for over 30 years, Simon has also gained invaluable experience as an automotive mechanic and a motorcycle courier in London. His qualifications include an HND in automotive engineering and a degree in mechanical engineering as a mature student from Coventry University. Although a Norton specialist, Simon is happy to work on all makes of classic bikes and has customers throughout the UK.
Research into the unsatisfactory handling of his Norton suggested the general consensus pointed towards the Commando’s frame and isolastic rubber mounting system. However, based on Isle of Man TT success of both the production Commando and Norton Monocoque, Simon concluded the problem was not frame design but frame alignment. Using his knowledge of engineering principles and motorcycle chassis design and theory, Simon developed a method to precisely align the rolling chassis and thus provide the solution for motorcycles suffering from steering and handling problems.
Although customer testimonials from prominent members of the classic motorcycle community wholeheartedly support the work Simon has carried out, he is still keen to spread the message. He said: “The theories as to why some classic bikes do not perform have reached almost mythical status. I am happy that the process I have developed is the most effective and to celebrate the five years since I established the business, I am offering a classic bike owner who races in competitions an opportunity to have the work carried out for free.”