Craven Collection of Classic Bikes

Stockton on Forest YORK


An engine with a big piece of History.
It is a chopped 1000cc engine, i.e. the gearbox has been cut off, "tears in eyes" because they were regarded as too slow a gear change for racing, and the clutch was a bit quirky also as they used a single plate for setting off and then a centrifugal clutch took over as speed rose.
It had a Norton Commando gearbox and clutch grafted on to it.
The engine ran on Methanol with a compression of 12 - 1 as all grass bikes ran on dope i.e. Methanol, in those days, because it gave more power and ran cooler.
Alan Fairweather, from amotherby   rebuilt the engine I used in my grass outfit.



Dennis Teasdale used this engine in his grass outfit  after i retired , then when he retired  from racing he had someone put the Vincent engine into a Norton featherbed wideline frame still with the Norton gearbox, but the clutch was changed for a Bob Newby race item and belt primary drive, a pair of Suzuki front forks were substituted for Norton ones and a pair of front discs

The compression had been lowered so it used petrol instead of dope fuel, and it has been successfully used for Hill climbs in 2001 with Rob Bradley, the 2001 sidecar Grass champion riding it.




When I purchased it the gear lever was just reversed so the gears were down for down, up for up just as Triumph, but I am more used to one up and three down so I have converted it to such, and as it didn't have a kick-start, I have also altered a Yam 650 excess lever to fit.
gone back to norton front forks.
I couldn't bounce my passengers 1000cc Norvin off on my own 30 years ago, so I didn't fancy my chances at bouncing this one off now, so I fitted a kick-start.




I have started 1/4 mile sprinting, on petrol, with it this year. (2002)

The last weekend of April 2002 I entered the 1/4 mile sprint competition at Elvington, just outside York.

Run Number 1.

13.89 seconds.



Result :     Finished 1st place.

The weekend of 11th May 2002 I entered the 1/4 mile sprint competition at Melbourne, just further along from Elvington.

Quickest Run.

13.23 seconds.

Terminal Speed.

98 Mph.

Old Class Record.

13.57 seconds.

Result :     A new Class Record..

I made a few changes, in fact I am always changing things.
The latest is a new pipe. This gives an extra 10 mph.

Below you can see some of the changes, and the results to go with the new spec.

Elvington 16 June 2002

Quickest Run.

12.77 seconds.

Terminal Speed.

100 Mph.




Elvington 7 July 2002

Quickest Run.

12.13 seconds.

Terminal Speed.

110 Mph.

Elvington 11 August 2002

Quickest Run.

12.12 seconds.

Terminal Speed.

110 Mph.



East Kirkby 11 August 2002 . set new class record

Quickest Run.

12.12 seconds.

Terminal Speed.

110 Mph.

REBUILT top end , to stop it oiling plugs & smoking 

Getting quicker at every meeting, broken the class record at six meetings and got down to an ET time of 11.52 secs, and 115 mph running on pump petrol.

Entered in the post vintage class , won the NSA sprint championship. It is believed to be the fastest vintage machine in the country with an ET time of 10.76 secs, terminal 120 mph.

ELVINGTON  , dropped a valve while flat out in 3rd ,destroyed front head & holed a piston,
rebuilt it with lots improvements to make it more reliable,

still remains unbeaten in class  BUT NOT AS QUICK AS BEFORE,  but remans reliable

 joined straightliners, to race against jap bikes this year, certainly embarrased a few jap riders with a 56 year old  brit bike


joined nsa this year. run well all year   .got a best time of  11.15  et  122mph terminal. at elvington

did  NSA  50th anaversary  sprint at SANTA POD  19/10/2008  .broke class record by over 1/2 a second
building another for next year & putting a 500 comet engine in , as a test bed for the twin
still unbeaten in class.



ELVINGTON  19th APRIL, Down  to new best time of  11.04et @ 121mph 

 SET NEW CLASS RECORD  houghton tower september sprint  998cc  

see it run 4 runs,   on ,U TUBE     enter  ,       dick craven  vincent sprinter
2011  DONE IT ,  BROKE CLASS RECORD . MELBOURNE , 29/05/2011    SPRINTER   10.81 ET  . 127MPH  . FOR SS 1/4 mile . 102mph at 220yds .133mph  at 440 yds  dustbin fairing fitted . 

NEXT OUT elvington june 19th
BROKE CLASS RECORD,   10.98 , ET.    into a head wind

built new norvin for hill climbing 998cc , lightning eng , norton featherbed frame
DUNCAN PARK . twisty hill climb .9/7/2011           FTD with 998cc  sprinter.  class win with 499 comet
EAST KIRKBY  10.91   133MPH   BROKE RECORD & class win.   fastest mph yet 
ELVINGTON 11.09.2011 ,    10.77 et  119mph . new class record
YORK RACEWAY  9.10.11    12.99 et  NEW CLASS RECORD , with 500cc  comet

HOUGHTON TOWER  hill climb  1st April 2012
new class record .     8.3   with 498cc comet

new class record.     7.4   with 998cc  norvin

EAST KIRKBY   11.aug 2012

broke class record  with 498cc comet     12.95 et  96mph       into head wind

norvin  998cc     11.08 et   118mph          into head wind


norvin 998cc       11.13 et   118mph

norvin 499cc        13.40   94mph        very cold & windy

broke class record  12.86 et  100mph with 499cc comet

norvin 998cc   11.03 et   120mph



NORVIN  998cc   10.87   124mph

NORVIN  499cc   12.67    99mph


NORVIN  998cc   10.79   122mph

NORVIN  499cc   12.46    102 mph

next out  june 23rd  elvington   got to go fastest ever to break record with 998cc    500cc break record easy. I hope
who ordered a bloody strong head wind,  broke record with 500cc  couldn't with twin

ELVINGTON  23/06/2013    ONLY 500cc BROKE CLASS RECORD   strong head wind

NORVIN   998cc   10.95   121mph   record is    10.77

NORVIN   499cc   12 92   99mph     record was  13.14

 HOUGTON TOWER SPRINT      oh dear, twin dropped a valve . ouch .  500 COMET CLASS WIN      7/ 2013

TAKEN 5 MONTHS  to rebuild modify & get back to peak performance . bhp 86.08 . torque 73 ft lbs    7/12/2013    

disaster RAIN no grip on wet tarmac , early bath

EAST KIRKBY  13/04/2014   10.84 et  124mph  998 norvin

                                                12.77 et 101mph  499 norvin

 EAST KIRKBY  29/06/2014   10.76 et  , new class record & personal best time ever  

MELBOURNE   13/07/2014   11.05    broke valve spring

MELBOURNE    24/08/2014   10.85 et 120mph 

EAST KIRKBY   14/09/2014    11.18  120mph    too much wheelspin

ELVINGTON       21/09/2014    11.17  126mph      

MELBOURNE    12/10/2014     10.99   124mph   long swing arm slick & dustbin

Houghton tower  10/05/2015      7.12  new class record, old record 7.47.  second fastest time of the day against modern bikes

long swing arm slick,

MELBOURNE      4/07/2015      10.64 et   126mph  new class record

EAST KIRKBY     17/04/2016     10.68 et   122mph new class record.   old one  10.79

EAST KIRBY        17/04/2016      13.00 et  with 500   99mph

EAST KIRKBY      19/06/2016      10.90 ET  119 MPH

EAST KIRKBY       19/06/ 2016     12.80 et  with 500   96 mph

MELBOURNE         02/07/2016      10.77 et  125 mph

MELBOURNE         02/07/2016       12.82 et   102 mph   new class record.  old one   12.93


                                                        12.78 et 101mph   500,     10.91 et, 120 mph  998

EAST KIRKBY        9/ 04/2017       10.72 et  129 mph.  998cc

EAST KIRKBY        9/04/2017         12..98et  100 mph    500cc

MELBOURNE        1/05/2017          10.92et   124 mph   998cc

MELBOURNE        1/05/2017          13.02 et  96mph    500cc

EAST KIRKBY       18/ 06/2017        10.73 et  128 mph   998cc   best ever 60 ft 1.57

EAST KIRKBY       18/06/2017         12.54 et  107 mph   499cc   best  ever 1/4 with 499.

EAST KIRKBY       13/08/2017         10.68 et  122 mph   998cc   1.52  60ft   best ever  George brown memorial

EAST KIRKBY       13/08/2017         12.66et   100 mph  499cc

EAST KIRKBY       10/09/2017         10.84et   120 mph  998cc    1.54 60ft
2011 built norvin for
hillclimbs. 998cc
   Starting 2012. with more power on both bikes 500cc vin 40.3 @ back wheel. 998cc 85bhp at back wheel .

        BOTH BIKES LIGHTER  FOR   2013

Copyright (c) R. Craven