Tagged: supercharged

Faster! Faster! Supercharged and Fuel Injected 1974 Norton 850 Commando

1974 Norton Commando SC L Side

Introduced in 1967 and displacing 745cc’s with pre-unit construction that was rather unimpressive in specification, Norton’s Commando was a development of the Atlas and distinguished by its simple but effective “Isolastic” engine-mounting system that allowed for the needed increase in displacement without the associated increase in paint-shaker vibrations. The Commando’s rakish leaned-over engine was largely a visual update to the engine, although Norton also claimed an improved center of gravity and increased space for carburetors and airbox.

1974 Norton Commando SC L Engine

So for vintage biking fans, the Norton Commando has it all: decent power, classic good looks, a great soundtrack, and tons of aftermarket and community support. All it really needs is a bit more poke and something to make it just that bit more exotic so it stands out in a crowd.

1974 Norton Commando SC Dash

Kawasaki have gotten a lot of ink recently with the introduction of their supercharged H2 and H2R bikes. While there have been a number of production turbocharged motorcycles, supercharging generally seems to suit motorcycles a bit better: the performance is more linear and the plumbing is much simpler.

1974 Norton Commando SC R Rear

Simply: a supercharger is generally belt-driven off the crankshaft and works as an air pump to cram more fuel/air mixture into the engine than would be available at normal atmospheric pressure. Technically, a turbocharger is also a type of supercharger, but is driven by exhaust gas instead of a belt, meaning power is determined by throttle-opening and revs. Turbos are a great way to get “free” horsepower, but since turbos are driven by exhaust gasses, you have to route all that air from the exhaust to the turbo and back into the engine. Something that’s generally not such a big deal with cars, but often difficult and very inconvenient on a bike.

1974 Norton Commando SC Oil Cooler

This particular Norton 850 Commando is fitted with a period Drouin supercharger unit. Period tests saw north of 100hp, up from the approximately 60hp produced by the stock unit. Early versions used a side-valve carburetor that apparently leaked, so this later, fuel-injected setup should be a big improvement.

From the original eBay listing: Supercharged and Fuel Injected 1974 Norton 850 Commando for Sale

A 1974 Norton 850 SC Commando with 13,669 original miles. A series of tasteful custom features adore this wonderful street bike. They include the following; Competition Fairing, Full instrumentation Package, Wickedly Beautiful Black Paint, Corbin Gun Fighter Seat, Carry On Tool Kit, Light Weight Front Fender, Back Dated & Vented Front Drum Brake, Custom Oil Lines, Twin Oil Coolers and the incredibly Rare Drouin Super Charger with Fuel Injection. 

The Drouin unit, Slide Throttle Fuel Injection unit and the Instrument Package were after market item that could have been purchased in the 1970’s, through the Norton dealer. The Drouin Super Charger and the Slide Throttle Fuel Injection unit are fully operational and produces amazing and quick 100 HP. The Fuel Injected Slide Throttle system was the very last iteration of the Drouin Super Charged series intake systems, therefore, being the most advanced and powerful. Upon riding this custom Norton there is sense of amazement in the additional torque and power that comes from the bike. It runs properly and smoothly. The shifting in precise and positive. The brakes are quite ample in bringing this bike to a halt. The tire have some age on them, but are quite usable. The fuel tank interior has been cleaned and sealed. 

The rear fender has some small dimples and a little discoloring. There is some very minor pitting on the wheels, a 1/8″ hole that had been drilled through the front, between the forks. Otherwise, this Norton 850 SC was shown recently at the prestigious “Riding Into History” Motorcycle show in May and was judged as a first runner up in the all Norton class, next to a very well known, twin engine Bonneville Norton. A spare Super Charger Drive Belt is included with the sale of the Norton, as well as an original Drouin Super Charger Manual.

1974 Norton Commando SC L Rear

Drouin superchargers are desirable period mods should add significantly to the performance and value of this bike. Bidding is very active at this point, with several days left on the auction. I’m thinking this would make for a possibly fiddly, but very rewarding motorcycle. I’d love to hear that classic British twin noise with a supercharger whine laid over the top!

-tad

1974 Norton Commando SC Front

Supercharged 1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Stanley Woods Replica

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Rear

Now this is a race-replica! No mere paint, decal, and clip-on conversion here, the seller has put some serious money into a vintage machine, fitting a supercharger to an early horizontal-single Moto Guzzi PE250. Most of the early Guzzi’s I’ve seen for sale have plenty of vintage patina, but this one looks better than factory fresh, with some hot-rod touches I’ve never seen applied to a vintage Guzzi.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Side Front

Although current owners over at Piaggio have cast Moto Guzzi as their line of retro-riffic cruisers and neoclassic sporty machines that appeal to born-again-bikers and riders “of a certain age,” it’s important to remember their rich racing history, and this bike harkens back to that era, when Guzzi’s raced on the world stage and won.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Dash

Prior to the introduction of their iconic v-twin in the 1960’s, Guzzi’s successes were based around variations on their “horizontal single” theme. Singles were ubiquitous during the period, when simplicity equaled reliability and light weight in the motorcycling world. Guzzi laid their engine over on its side to keep the center of gravity as low as possible and stick the cylinder head out into the cooling breeze, although I do wonder about their insistence on exposed valvesprings with the head so vulnerable to debris and road grit… Their distinctive exposed flywheel was a better idea, and allowed them to keep the weight of the engine low, since the cases didn’t need to actually enclose the spinning mass of flywheel itself.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 R Engine2

This configuration worked well on both road and track: the same simplicity that meant reliable, torquey race bikes made for durable, long-legged and easy-to-ride transportation during an era when ordinary people were just getting used to the idea of personal mobility. And later, the configuration meant for reliable transportation for a country reeling from the devastation of war.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Side Front

From the original eBay listing: Supercharged 1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Stanley Woods Replica

This is a replica of Stanley Woods 1938 Moto Guzzi 250 Supercharged.

We fired it up 4 months ago and it had a problem with being too large for the Supercharger. I gave up at that point and fitted the stock setup without the supercharger. I have all the parts for the Supercharger if you wish to fit it again. 

Much work has gone into the engine for use with the Supercharger. Feel free to call me and I can better detail these for you. ph.360-387-5038.

I have over $30K invested in the bike. Some special features are: alloy fuel and oil tank, front and rear fender alloy, alloy wheels, alloy brake and shift assy, Special light weight suspension springs and alloy bellypan for them and custom leather seat and pillion. Much more…

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 SuperCharger

There is still plenty of time left on the listing, and the Buy It Now is set at $26,000. The seller mentions that there were some teething problems with the blower and it’s currently not fitted to the bike. Never thought I’d actually be typing “blower,” writing for this site… I’m not sure what “a problem with being too large for the supercharger” means exactly or what running problems that issue caused. But it sounds like it was built with supercharging in mind, so if I had the money to buy this bike, I’d definitely be sorting that out!

A vintage 250 single with a supercharger? Sign me up!

-tad

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 R Front