Maeving gets 90-year-old ex-factory test rider back on a bike after 10 years

Maeving has been built on a 21st century take on 20th century looks, and it looked to the history of British biking to get an ex-test rider back on a bike.

Colin Dean on Maeving RM1. - F Stop Press

The British motorcycle industry is unlikely to ever return to the peak of the first half of the 20th century. Major brands like Triumph remain, and Norton continues after its revival despite recent difficulties, and even BSA is still around. 

These factories were accompanied by a host of other, smaller, brands in the 20th century. For example, there was Francis-Barnett: a Coventry-based manufacturer which began in 1919 in the direct aftermath of the First World War. They are back now with a selection of electric and combustion bikes, with designs which take their visual cues from Francis-Barnett’s past. 

Around the 1950s, Francis-Barnett produced bikes such as the Cruiser, Falcon, Starmaker, and Kestrel, and around the same time they welcomed a new test rider: Colin Dean. Colin, who began test riding for Francis-Barnett in 1957, is now 90-years-old, and, until recently, had not ridden for a decade. 

To get Colin back on two wheels, he linked up with another Coventry-based firm: Maeving

Maeving is a part of the new wave of British manufacturers who are taking advantage of the increasing popularity of electric bikes. Currently, electric motorcycles comprise only five per cent of the British motorcycle market, but the industry registration figures show that their share of the market is increasing.

You can check out Colin’s experience with Maeving and their first bike, the RM1, in the video - courtesy of Rod Kirkpatrick and F Stop Press, with music from Bensound - below.

With its first bike, the RM1, Maeving looked to do something similar, in fact, to the rebirth of Francis-Barnett: couple mid-20th-century aesthetics with 21st century technology. In the case of Maeving’s RM1, that means a look inspired by the board trackers of the 1920s, combined with an electric motor and swappable battery, giving a top speed of 45mph, a range of up to 80 miles and a charge time of 3.5 hours. 

All images and video courtesy of Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press and Bensound.

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