I like to think that I am at least aware of a reasonable range of motorcycle manufacturers but yesterday, at the Godden.I came across a name that was new to me,
Godden Engineering is a small precision engineering company founded in the 1970′s by former European Grasstrack Champion Don Godden.
He initially started out by making speedway and grasstrack frames. Don quickly progressed into engine manufacture for speedway and grasstrack application and by the end of the 1970′s the GR 500 was an established world class engine, soon to be followed by the Godden 1000cc SOHC V-Twin.
This ca 1980 1000cc Godden V-twin is merged with one of the best racing frames available at the time, the Rickman Metisse.
Best known for their Metisse frames, Rickman made frame and body kits for competition off-road bikes such as Montesa and Zundapp, and sports road bikes most famous of which were probably the Rickman Hondas, SOHC Honda Four powered machines which were state of the art in the early 1970s. There were also Matchless roadracers, the Enfield powered Rickman Interceptor, the Triumph Metisse – much favoured for desert racing in the United States , the mighty Rickman Kawasaki 900 and the Goddon 1000cc V-twin.
On methanol the power output would be approx. 128 BHP, however for road use this Godden V-twin is tuned back to a healthy 100 BHP.
There is something really appealing about hill climbs and part of it is the hands on appeal to the design of the machines. Most of them are ‘form follows function’ in the extreme. The bike is only going to be ridden for about 50 seconds, or 900 metres so we don’t really reed a fuel tank, or much of a saddle as was the case with the Sunbeam (rider wearing olive coloured 70s leathers and straw hat in paddock).
The day concluded with a couple of spills on the final ‘open’ run. Notable was seeing a 1928 Douglas 500 in a shower of sparks. But, the bike (and rider) were there, in action, and will be out again. Hats off to you, Straw Panama or full face.