The decision to start Works Racing Motor Cycles Ltd. was taken by founders Patrick Walker and Miles Robinson on the members' lawn at the Goodwood Revival in 2008.
Whether it was the intoxicating Goodwood atmosphere or the Veuve Clicquot, it seemed like a very good idea at the time; and the passage of time has shown it to be a most excellent one. Patrick and Miles are lifelong Manx Norton enthusiasts. Miles owns a large and impressive collection of important Bracebridge Street hardware and has been involved at the top level in classic bike racing for many years. Miles has provided bikes for riders of the quality of Wayne Gardner, Glen English, Bill Swallow and Chris Palmer and counts Senior Manx Grand Prix, Goodwood revival and Lansdowne Championship wins among his achievements.
Patrick runs the technical side of the business. He has an Honors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and has spent 25 years working as a professional in the engine design and development industry. His CV features many diverse projects, but highlights include 3 years as a Project Manager on the rotary engine bikes at Norton (Shenstone), followed by periods developing the Jaguar XJ220 engine, the Aston Martin DB7 engine, various racing engine programs and then the formation of his own engine development company Maxsym Engine Technology.
At Shenstone Patrick was lucky enough to work in the drawing office alongside Norton legend Doug Hele, the man who took charge of Manx development and production following the death of Joe Craig in 1957. Patrick explains:
“Doug was a great Engineer and a perfect gentleman. He had a way of analysing a problem and then explaining the solution which made everything seem so simple. As a young graduate I learned an enormous amount from him and the rest of his experienced team.”Whilst Shenstone may have been a great grounding in all things Norton, it was 12 years spent running Maxsym that gave Patrick the experience he needed to build the Works engines. Again Patrick explains:
“Maxsym was set up to design and develop small high performance 4-stroke engines for recreational products. We designed 5 or 6 all new prototype engine series for vehicles including bikes, snowmobiles, racing cars and watercraft. Each project would use between 5 and 50 engines so it was a perfect training for producing exotic engines in small volumes. We always utilized the very latest technology for both design and manufacturing and we have continued in this vein with Works Racing.”Patrick has also raced classic bikes extensively. He has competed all over the UK and raced on the roads of Belgium and the Isle of Man.
Miles' original motivation for starting the company was his requirement for a reliable source of original specification Manx Norton parts, to enable him and others to keep their original and replica Nortons on the track. To achieve this,
Patrick produced a fully detailed 3D CAD model for every single engine component. This enabled the latest Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to subtly optimize the design of each part.
The models were also used (via CAM software) to produce the cutter paths to run the Company's new 5-axis CNC machining centre and lathe (housed in a brand new specially built manufacturing facility).
Using the very latest manufacturing technology and Quality Assurance processes ensures ultimate precision and it is this accuracy that ensures ultimate performance and reliability. All castings are machined and can be chromated after machining if the customer desires – also in house.
The parts may be produced using the modern methods but they are all either identical or fully interchangeable with the original Manx parts.