Mac Ruby from the side
Mac Ruby engine
mac ruby frame and swing arm
Mac ruby front wheel close up
The British motorcycle industry is enjoying a period of exciting growth, with Triumph ramping up their UK manufacturing, and iconic names such as BSA and Norton rising from the ashes, with new models, fresh backers and cutting-edge production facilities.
But it’s not just the famous names of old making waves, with multiple smaller teams now taking the plunge. This includes Mac Motorcycles, who are aiming to bring a production-ready version of their British-built ‘Ruby’ café racer to this year’s Motorcycle Live, at the Birmingham NEC from November 19-27.
“We are diehards about motorcycles,” co-founder Ellis Pitt told MCN. The 55-year-old began working on the brand in 2009 and was later joined by former Jaguar Land Rover powertrain engineer Ian Oliver in 2017 to create a running one-off prototype machine.
“The reaction we had to the first prototype was overwhelming,” Pitt said. “We are just committed to what we think will be a good British product at a time where the market seems to be increasingly fuelled by overseas motorcycles.”
Ellis initially planned to power the bike using a 492cc single-cylinder Buell Blast motor, but then switched to a 600cc single produced by Italian firm SWM to bring it to market after the Blast was removed from the American firm’s line-up.
If you’ve not heard of SWM, the Italian firm began life in 1971 and produce a number of small to mid-capacity machines. The 600cc unit for Mac motorcycles can also be found in the SWM SuperDual X and is the same motor as used in CCM’s popular Spitfire range.
“I think the idea for the product is spot on,” Ian Oliver told MCN. “We don’t want to cut any corners. We want customers to have a great experience of buying and owning and it just takes a long time working that all out.”
According to Mac, the motor produces 52bhp at the crank, and features electronic fuel injection and a six-speed gearbox. This then sits in a tubular steel backbone and cradle frame with a striking triangular swingarm.
“We rapidly got immersed in the whole thing,” Ellis added. “We just thought there wasn’t anything on the market that we wanted to ride and own.”
Dressed in a glossy deep red, the Ruby features a 760mm seat height and a wheelbase of 1430mm. For road-friendly handling, it rolls on 17in spoked rims complete with the individual buyer’s choice of Michelin or Avon rubber.
Unlocking that thrapping single-cylinder soundtrack is a stainless steel exhaust system built by Italian firm QD and sounds beefy but still meets current emission and noise regulations.