British

Mead & Tomkinson Motorcycles

Most famous for their 1000cc endurance racer, Nessie, the car and motorcycle dealership run by the Tomkinson father and sons in Hereford and Tewkesbury successfully raced machines based on the BSA Gold Star engine at the IOM TT and in a variety of endurance races including Le Mans, Spa and Barcelona in the 1960s and 70s, with several wins and a 4th outright at Barcelona despite their lead bike crashing in flames.

In 1974 their first multi appeared powered by a Laverda 3C engine. This was Nessie, which proved to be one of the most innovative racing machines of the period, if not the prettiest - hence the name.

Along with modified Difazio hub-steering it had an underslung fuel tank to reduce C of G, parallelogram rear suspension (as used later by Hesketh), and sophisticated electronics. Decades later most of these ideas had been employed by high-end sports machines.

Later versions were propelled by Kawasaki 1000cc fours, the Laverda-powered machine passing into private hands in 1977 with the original Difazio front end (the racing version had been much modified, with the standard 6" trail reduced to 3½").

Sources: Wikipedia, et al.




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