1968 Norton Atlas

When looking for Classic Motorcycles, you have two choices on fit and finish. These days a collector are not interested in the bike that has had thousands of dollars, and hundreds of hours put into making a Classic bike look like it just rolled off the factory floor. These days collectors are looking for originality, and this 1968 Norton Atlas has that, but not in a really bad way.

From the seller

For Sale is this 1968 Norton Atlas. Bought from original owner, bike is very original and not restored. The bike sat for many years and needed a lot of clean up and has had the following done to it: New rings, guides and gaskets. New Barnett clutches and steels. New rear drive chain, battery, and speedo cable. Carbs rebuilt, new fuel and oil lines. New Dunlop K 70 tires and new tubes.  The bike is in good running order and I believe the mileage is original. The speedometer worked when I first got the bike running, but has quit working. I have only put fifty or so miles on it since I got it running. The original owner replaced the mufflers with Dunstall mufflers which are a bit pitted but still sound good. The rear fender has the classic cracks in it that apparently are common to these models. Rear fender struts are also damaged by a homemade grab bar the original owner put on it. Paint is original and is pitted. I took a lot of pictures to try to depict the overall condition of the bike.

The seller may have been conscious of this, or was just getting small things right so that they could ride it. The parts replaced could be considered perishables and are easily sourced new. I have heard stories from the good old days were a person would send a self address, stamped envelope to some company in a far off land, then have to wait weeks just to get a mail order catalogue to start shopping for parts. Now we have the Internet, a wonderful tool for motorcycle revival.

The Atlas was one of a line of Norton’s that grew from humble beginnings (500cc Dominator) into large vibrating twin’s. 55 hp at 6500rpm could rattle you to a point that you could not focus your eyes. But the twin would shake up to 113mph. Maybe not with the high bars that come on this Norton, but then the late  1960’s and early 1970’s were a time of Easy Rider comfort.

This bike looks like it was stored in a relatively constant temperature, as the chrome is not pitted. There are areas that will need addressing, but those are likely the same areas that needed addressing before the bike was put away. With the new rings, guilds, gaskets and tires, you will likely be able to start this bike up and enjoy it for years to come. But I would guess with its Featherbed frame there will be a buyer out there looking at this 1968 Norton Atlas for its potential, and not just as it is. BB

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