Category: Norton

Vintage Rider: 1964 Triton for Sale

1964 Triton L Side Rear

It’s interesting that a bastardized hybrid like the Triton could become such an iconic classic motorcycle. It’s an anecdotal observation, but it seems that engine swaps are more acceptable among the motorcycling fraternity than they are in the automotive world. Certainly, there are subcultures of swappers and hot-rodders putting all sorts of engine into cars, regardless of make or model. But they’re looked at a bit askance by more “cultured” enthusiasts… Not so much in the motorcycling world, it seems like. Maybe it’s that motorcycles are easier to work on, more modular. Or maybe it’s that the engines and parts are generally less durable, meaning owners are more likely to have replaced some or all of the original components through attrition…

1964 Triton R Side

The Triton used Triumph’s famous parallel-twin engine and Norton’s justifiably famous “featherbed” frame, combining what was considered to be each bike’s strongest feature and turning them into a high-performance motorcycle: virtually the only custom parts needed to build one were custom engine and transmission mounting plates. Although some established shops built, and continue to build these, many were built in sheds by your average Joe Enthusiast.

1964 Triton L Side Front

Power wasn’t an issue for Norton’s parallel-twin engine, in fact it actually had a bit of an advantage over the Triumph in stock form. But the long-stroke Norton engine was pushing what was considered at the time to be the limits of acceptable piston speed, and the more “square” Triumph engine was more durable by far, and could be easily tuned. The pre-unit construction of both bikes even made it easy to keep the Norton four-speed box that was considered the better choice of the two, although some used the Triumph transmission.

1964 Triton R Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1964 Triton for Sale

Good running motorcycle. Its been very reliable and has never given me issues or failed to get me to my destinations. It’s not perfect cosmetically, it’s not a show bike so if that’s what you want then this bike is not for you. Fiberglass tank is solid but paint has some scratches. Fiberglass oil tank is nice, and fiberglass seat is solid but leather cover has some scuffs here and there. The frame is a 1964 Norton Atlas, and powder coated, both front and back fenders are too for that Manx look. Both 19″ Rims and spokes are brand new, laced to a front TLS and rear brake. Avon tires are new too. Forks are rebuilt, new bushings and seals. Swing arm has copper bushings. The ’65 T100R Daytona unit engine has about 3000 miles since rebuilt, converted to single carb. The right side header has a weld due to hairline crack few years ago, it’s been solid since. I consider this bike my daily rider, it’s been garaged these last couple of years. Reason for selling..??.. Now a dad!

This Triton runs very well. The TLS brake does have the backing plate bracket that helps stop this bike well! 

1964 Triton Front Brake

If this were mine, I’d want to source a couple of appropriate Smiths gauges, and I understand that the “twin carburetor” configuration is the hot set-up, but I expect the single carb improves rideability. I’m also not clear on when the bike was originally built: was the recent work a refresh of a vintage Triton build, or was it a more recent conversion? Either way, the seller freely admits this is no show bike, and personally that’s how I like them. These will always need more attention than a modern machine, but it speaks volumes that the seller considers this a “daily rider.”

-tad

1964 Triton R Side Front

No Haters: 1974 John Player Norton 850 in Denmark

1974 JPN L Front

In spite of all the race-replica motorcycles named after their riders like this week’s Eddie Lawson Replica Kawasaki, the John Player Norton was not actually named after a particular rider. It was named after the British tobacco company that sponsored Norton’s race teams and the distinctive looks effectively bridge the 1960’s half-fairing sportbike style of the Ducati Super Sport and the later, fully-faired GSX-R750.

1974 JPN R Side

For the most part, it’s a Norton Commando under the skin and features the same strengths and weaknesses of those bikes. The main changes were cosmetic, with the wild, twin-headlamp bodywork and solo-seat tail section. Road-going examples used Norton’s standard 828cc parallel-twin and four-speed gearbox, although an optional short-stroke 750cc version was available for US race classes.

This one looks to be in excellent shape, and is fitted with the road-oriented “850,” rather than the short-stroke engine, and is currently located in Denmark.

1974 JPN L Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1974 John Player Norton 850 for Sale

This is a very, very cool bike.

Up for your consideration is a 1974 Norton John Player 850.  (It’s kind of like a Commando but my boss says don’t call it that…)

From the sales brochure:

“Limited production run of this eye-catching luxury machine for the connoisseur.  Powered either by the high torque 850 unit to provide outstanding flexibility for the highways or by the 750 c.c. short-stroke high output engine as a base for competition.  White fibreglass fairings give the same aggressive appearance as the machines which carried the Norton name to yet one more victory in the 1973 Isle of Man T.T.  This model offers the ultimate in exciting high performance motorcycling combining style with comfort, speed and safety.”

“Features Twin double-dip headlamps with halogen light units if required; high output alternator with twin zener diode charge control.  Rear set footrests, brake and gearchange pedals; clip-on handlebars.  3½ gallon (15 litre) steel petrol tank.  Access to flip cap through quick-release cover in the styling.  Access to steel oil tank by lifting seat panel.”

This bike comes from a good a respectable home where it has accrued only 12,198 original miles over its lifetime.

1974 JPN Dash

While somewhat awkward in appearance, the JPL has undeniable presence and is historically significant, an evolutionary step to the sportbikes of today. Approximately 200 are believed to have been made in 1974, their only year of manufacture. At the time, they were not especially desirable and were difficult for dealers to unload but this, as so often seems to be the case, simply makes them rarer and more valuable now.

There’s very little time on this auction, so move quickly if this strikes your fancy!

-tad

1974 JPN L Side

Clean Commando: 1969 Dunstall Norton 750

1969 Norton Dunstall R Front

Today, we have a very clean Dunstall Commando 750 . The seemingly modular nature of British motorcycles of the 1960’s allowed for a dizzying number of permutations: compact singles and parallel twins from Norton and Triumph fitted to frames from either manufacturer, with non-unit gearboxes that allowed additional installation flexibility… And that’s before outside companies like Dunstall and Rickman got into the act, with purpose-built racing and road machines so different from the donor bikes that they were sometimes considered manufacturers in their own right.

1969 Norton Dunstall L side

After getting his start customizing and then racing a Norton Dominator in the late 1950’s, mating the twin-cylinder engine with a Norton Manx gearbox and frame, Paul Dunstall parlayed his unlikely success with the hybrid machine into a business producing a range of tuning parts for British twins.

Instead of focusing on frames like other British businesses, Paul Dunstall tuned engines and offered a range of bolt-on parts to improve performance, as well as completely built machines based on various British brands.

1969 Norton Dunstall Dash

Although complete bikes fit into general “levels” of performance and customization, there were many options in the Dunstall catalog, and no two bikes are exactly alike. This particular bike has twin discs at the front, although the seller does mention that the original drum is included with the sale, so you can make that switch to old-school aesthetics if you like. The twin-disc set up was available from Dunstall, so the current set up is period-correct and should provide reliable stopping if you plan to ride rather than display the bike.

1969 Norton Dunstall L Foot Control

The original listing includes details from the build sheet regarding the engine and options for the rest of the machine: 1969 Dunstall Norton Commando for Sale

Here we have a Genuine Dunstall 750 Commando that that received a complete restoration early this year.  I purchased this bike from the original owner who in 1981 completely disassembled it.  It remained in boxes since 81′ until I rescued it in 2011.  This is an original bike that was ordered from Dunstall’s 1968-1969 Catalogue.  I have the original build sheet that was provided to the new owner upon purchase.  You will also see a picture from a motorcycle magazine in the UK that featured a 69′ 750 Dunstall just like this one.
 
First I want to say that corners were not cut during this EXTENSIVE AND ALSO EXPENSIVE restoration.  These early frames had a weak spot where the top frame meets the neck.  They would crack and the factory had a recall on them.  This frame was not one of the bikes that received the upgrade so I had a professional welder do this.  Pictures of the upgrade are also available (before and after).  I replaced the red plastic brake lines for more modern braided lines.  Plastic red lines are also included.  Also included is the original early Dunstall Decibel 2-2 exhaust system. These are very rare and earlier than the famous 2-1-2 system.  They were originally black so I had the mufflers ceramic coated.  The pipes need new nuts and collars soldered back on.  They are are in pristine condition.  The seat covers still wears the original leather on top.  I had my upholstery guy remake a new cover using the original top side leather.
 all sides and red bead are new.
1969 Norton Dunstall Rear Hub
With five days left and bidding up to $7,900, there’s still plenty of time to get in on the action, and I’d expect bidding to go a good bit higher: this bike is in excellent condition and represents a high-water-mark for Dunstall in terms of style and performance. While Dunstall continued into the 1970’s and added Japanese manufacturers to its range, the Norton-based machines have a definite cachet.

-tad

1969 Norton Dunstall Cockpit

The Perfect Cafe Racer: 1966 Norton Atlas for Sale

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe R Side Front

At first glance, the tank shape suggests that this is a classic Norton Commando, but the upright engine reveals the truth: this is a very well put-together Norton Atlas café racer. When building the perfect café bike, many builders prefer the more sleekly-canted engine from the later Commando that supposedly improved center of gravity, but likely just looked cool and created additional space for carburetors. Redesigning the engine for the Commando was easy for the same reason it’s very easy to mix-and-match parts from these bikes: the pre-unit gearbox.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe L Side

While an obviously outdated design, even when new, Norton made it work well, and their parallel-twins were the bikes to beat on both road and track: the “Featherbed” frame gave famously sharp handling and the engines could tuned to be very powerful, yet the package remained relatively lightweight.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe Dash

The seller’s description mentions significant engine work that stresses balancing and lightening, a great idea, since the 750 twin did have some issues with vibration. The original Dominator was powered by a 500cc version of the engine, but successive increases in displacement exacerbated the vibration inherent in a parallel-twin design. The 650cc Atlas was the last of the line before the famous “Isolastic” system was designed for the Commando, intended to keep that bike from literally shaking itself to pieces.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe L Side Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1966 Norton Atlas 750cc Café Racer

I am the second owner. I have owned and ridden this classic for 7 years, I ride it mostly on weekend rides ( about 1200 miles since purchased) and it always brings a smile to my face. It has always been stored indoors, only seen dry weather and has never to my knowledge been dropped.

No expense was spared in creating a beautiful café racer typical of the late 60’s/early 70’s; the detailing is superb. This bike uses real original café parts, not reproductions.

Slimline featherbed frame; alloy Real “Lyta” short circuit tank; polished alloy oil tank; frame, swing arm, primary cover, etc. powder coated; alloy parts are all polished; Commando forks; hard chromed stanchions; triple clamps machined from aircraft Dural (aluminum); Akront stainless, flanged wheels; stainless spokes; lightened hubs; rare, magnesium racing Lockheed front brake and master cyl. with drilled front disk; all fasteners are stainless steel; stainless fenders.

Engine dynamically balanced and head flowed; lightened and polished valve gear; genuine Dunstall camshaft; 850 oil pump with modified flow to head and spin-on filter modification; Superblend bearings; magneto ignition; new Amal 930 Concentric carbs (installed by Brian Slark); g’box also with Superblend bearings and all new gears and bushes; chain-driven Barnett clutch. Many more features.

As with all pre-Commando, primary chain Nortons, weeps some oil out of the primary case, but is otherwise oil tight. Starts first kick (usually), handles and stops as you would expect from a featherbed frame/disk brake classic. Acceleration from 4,500 rpm is exhilarating. This is a bike you can ride and enjoy!!!

The engine work should go a long way towards making this bike smooth on the road. I’d imagine this still isn’t great for touring, but I doubt anyone looking at these plans to use it for that, or would care much if they did.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe Oil Tank

That oil tank is an especially beautiful piece, the color choice is classic and simple, and the single mirror is a very nice, authentic café-racer touch although, for US roads, I think I’d move it to the left-hand bar…

My fantasy garage definitely includes a 60’s British parallel-twin, and this is exactly the type of bike I’d want. Bidding is active and up to $9,000 with less than one day to go on the auction, so jump in quickly!

-tad

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe R Side

1962 Norton Manx Race Bike for Sale

1962 Norton Manx R Side

The Norton Manx was a racing motorcycle built from 1947 to 1962. Just think about that for a second: it was a motorcycle that was good enough to be competitive, not just on the street, where that kind of longevity is still fairly uncommon, but in the brutal, cut-and-thrust world of professional racing, during a period of time where motorcycle development in general was rewriting the rules of what could be done every few years…

1962 Norton Manx L Side Engine

A hugely impressive feat, and part of what makes these bikes so desirable for collectors. It also helps that this thing looks just about perfect, with proportions, colors, and simple engineering that is aesthetic as it is effective on track.

1962 Norton Manx Dash

While Norton officially retired from GP racing in 1954, they continued to sell the bike to individual racers. The light, nimble, and most importantly durable bikes were the perfect privateer bikes, easily adaptable to a variety of tracks and riding styles. They were simple and rugged, with excellent handling that put them ahead of more sophisticated or powerful bikes.

1962 Norton Manx Rear Wheel

Powered by engines of 350cc or 500cc displacement, they featured reliable and precise tower-shaft and bevel-gear driven overhead cams. The almost square bore and stroke gave a wide, flexible powerband that made the most of the 500’s 50bhp and would push the 300 pound machine to 140mph, very impressive for a single-cylinder motorcycle

1962 Norton Manx R Side Engine

The Featherbed frame that gave the bike its winning handling was introduced in 1954 and was welded up without any of the normal mass-produced cast pieces that added weight and could reduce strength. With telescopic forks up front and a swingarm rear suspension, the bikes had forgiving handling that allowed riders to make up time against more powerful motorcycle on many tracks.

Believe it or not, Molnar in the UK will still build you one of these from the original 1961 specs and drawings, as they bought rights to the tooling in 1994.

From the original eBay listing: 1962 Norton Manx 500cc Model 30M 

Set up and ready to go for AHRMA Vintage Racing with Norvil close ratio five speed transmission, fresh low end engine rebuild, short course fiberglass gas tank, Mitsubishi magneto, correct four shoe front brake, reverse cone exhaust, numbers matching engine and frame numbers and much more. An excellent investment! 

Located in Southern California.

These are hugely iconic bikes and very collectable, and there’s no need to let these sit in garages or under tarps where they slowly decay: organizations like AHRMA allow owners to thrash these things on track with other like-minded folks. I had the opportunity to meet some of the riders and their families down in South Jersey last weekend and found a whole bunch of people who’d traveled from all over to entertain the crowd with some great, on-track action. Hugely recommended, even if you can’t scrape together the cash to buy one of these yourself.

-tad

1962 Norton Manx L Side

1952 Norton Manx 40M

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The “Norton Winning Way” was a catch phrase that was used by Norton to sell on Monday after they won on Sunday. One of the most successful Nortons ever was its OHC Manx racer. It was offered in both the Senior 500cc 30M, and the Junior 350cc like this 1952 Norton Manx. The Manx name was a tribute to the Isle of Man and the annual race around it which has tested machine and man since 1907. The first Senior race was won by a motorcycle with Norton painted on the tank, albeit one with another manufactures V-twin cradled in the frame.

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From the seller

1952 Norton Manx Engine/Frame #G10M2-46939

This is a rare opportunity to own a legend. The Norton Manx, both 350cc and 500cc were the dominant racing motorcycles of their era, in fact, these motorcycles still dominate the Vintage Motorcycle Racing Circuit today.

This Norton Manx model 40M is authentic in every way

This Manx has a very interesting history.  It was last ridden prior to my purchase in the 1993 Isle of Man Lap of Honor by 1948 TT winner of the 350cc junior class Ron Hazelhurst.

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The Manx name was first added to the Norton Internationals that had been specially prepared to race at the Isle of Man before WWII, but following the war the racing Nortons were called Manx.  From 1947 until the end of production in 1962, the OHC singles were the motorcycles that dominated the start lists, and the podiums of world class racing. If you wanted to go racing, you ordered a Norton Manx, and because of this, apparently lots of people ordered a Manx.

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Sometimes it’s who has owned it

With the assistance of Renowned Manx Guru Maurice Candy at the No Nonsense Raceway in 2004, the motorcycle was prepped, started and ridden around the pits. Mr. Hazelhurst had informed the previous owner from whom I purchased the Manx that this Manx had been sold new to the Prince of Singapore. Unfortunately the Royal Family had a dim view of the Prince participating in motorsports. Due to the disapproval of his family, the Prince purchased the motorcycle under the name of the English mechanic he had hired, Palmer Kyle. There is documentation supporting the fact that Palmer Kyle had ordered the motorcycle from Norton and there is no name inserted for the intended rider.

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The engine of the Norton Manx was the heart, but over the years, it was the Featherbed frame that was able to keep the heart winning. The McCandless brothers of England had developed a frame which out-classed all other frames. When it was combined with the Norton Manx from 1950 onward, the frame is what was able to carrier the 30 year old engine design onto the podium.

This 1952 Manx Norton was produced 2 years before Norton pulled out of Grand Prix racing, but over a decade before the Norton Manx was offered to the Public. The success of the Manx is still felt today even though Norton, the original one that is, no longer makes Norton Manx race bikes, there is a healthy after market for Manx engines, frames, brakes ect. You will not be hard pressed to find replacements if you were to bend or break something if you go racing, like the Prince did so many years ago. BB

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The tale of two John Player Nortons

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Norton and their Winning Ways were making a comeback in the 1970’s, and with the backing of John Player Tobacco Company, they were back on the track. The Norton Atlas had grown into the Norton Commando, and with the addition of a rubber isolation system, the vibration was tamed, and with a total of 850cc, the Norton became a Super Bike, again. These two John Player Norton’s may be “paint editions” and not have the twin headlight fairing to emulate the JPN endurance racers, but you are getting possibly the pinnacle and swan song Norton.

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From the first seller

For sale is my 1975 Mk.3 Norton Commando John Player paint edition. The bike has had a full engine rebuild with forged JE pistons, Black Diamond valves, Superblend bearings, re-sleeved Amals, Boyer ignition, new camshaft, upgraded starter wiring, and new British made peashooter mufflers.The iso’s were also rebuilt….Bike has new British made stainless steel rims with new spokes in stock size and has new Dunlop Roadholder K81’s with maybe 1000 miles total since I mounted them….The bike was repainted very nicely in it’s stock JPS paint scheme. The seat cover is in nice shape but the foam should at some point be replaced or better yet, upgrade to a Corbin seat.

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Both of these bikes offer electric starters. These were first offered in 1975, also introduced in 1975 was something that wasn’t new, but something required by the Design Company that is the United States regulation committee. They said that all motorcycle have to have the brake on the right, and shifters on the left. This Design Company that was the United States ruined a lot of good designs, both motorcycle and automobiles.

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From the second seller

1975 Norton Commando John Player Edition. Numbers Matching, Excellent original condition,  down to the black cap silencers and very well maintained. Includes detailed service records since new. I purchased this from the original owner who bought the bike new from the Norton Dealer in MN. The mileage and paint is original with service records to back it up. Starts and runs excellent, doesn’t smoke and the carb is tuned to idle at that perfect Norton low rumble. The electric starter has been rebuilt and upgraded to the 4-brush starter, it works great (it will also start first kick, if you prefer to kick start it). The original air box, tool kit and service manual will be included in the final sale. I put about 400 trouble free miles on it last year.

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Now it was difficult to get a sense of the difference between the full fairing JPN replica racers and the John Player paint edition, but I was able to find the below numbers for performance. The key may be in that the JPN full fairing seems to have been offered for 1974-75, and the electric start from 1975-78. The Tobacco Company left the Norton racing effort rather quickly and it would make sense that they would not want to advertise a sponsor that was no longer sponsoring Norton. Something else that these two auctions might give is a sense of how much buyers value original pain. At the time of this writing the first Norton John player with its re-paint has 9 bids up to $5700. The second Norton John Player with its original paint has 30 bidders up to $10,000. BB

John Player Norton Commando
Years produced:
 1974
Total production: 200 (est.)
Claimed power: 50hp @ 5,900rpm
Top speed: 115mph (est.)
Engine type: 828cc air-cooled OHV parallel twin
Weight (dry): 435lb (198kg)
Price then: $2,995
MPG: 40-50

 

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1964 Norton Atlas Race Bike for Sale

1964 Norton Atlas L Rear

Powered by Norton’s proven parallel twin and suspended in their simple and rigid “Featherbed Frame”, the bike, the Atlas features classic British styling and an evocative name. The British biking industry is rightly famed for its singles and parallel twins, and Norton used both to great effect, first with their long-lived Manx, a bike so elemental and right it was competitive literally for decades, then in a line of twins starting with the Dominator.

1964 Norton Atlas R Rear

The 500cc Dominator gave way to the 750cc Atlas. With lower compression and a single carburetor, it wasn’t much more powerful than the “Dommie” on paper, but supplied the torque and displacement required for strong US sales, the major goal of the model. As displacement grew, so did vibration, to the point where a solution was required before the introduction of the later Commando.

1964 Norton Atlas Dash

Reving to 7,500rpm and making over 70hp, this particular bike might possibly vibrate enough to shake your teeth loose, but it’s intended as a race bike so that really shouldn’t matter too much! And it has all that wonderful naked metal to stare at while the feeling comes back into your hands and feet.

1964 Norton Atlas R Suspension

From the original eBay listing: 1964 Norton Atlas Race Bike for Sale

Here’s a professionally built, fully sorted Norton Atlas 750 race bike. The bike was built, developed and raced by Les Cook of Cook’s Norton Service as a rolling business card in AHRMA’s BEARS (British European American Racing Series) class. The frame is a modified slimline Norton featherbed, WITH TITLE!

This final version of the bike spares no expense in terms of mechanical components. Nearly everything is top shelf (and very pricey) aftermarket, from the Steve Maney Racing engine, ignition, exhaust, and belt drive, to the TT Industries, drum selector, magnesium-cased racing gearbox. Just the Maney parts and TT Industries gearbox sell new for approximately $15k. Add to that alloy fuel, oil and catch tanks, shouldered alloy wheels, Lockheed Racing caliper front disk, Grimeca cush-drive rear hub, Works Performance shocks, electronic racing tach, two race seats (Manx-style and alloy cone type), Amal Mk2 carbs, magnesium steering clamps, and Cosentino Engineering cartridge fork internals, and the major parts total grows to well over $22k, before considering all the miscellaneous items: cables, manifolds, clip-ons, timing set, race tires, chain, petcocks, plumbing, hand and foot levers, and wiring. Figure another $1k for those items. Then there’s professional assembly of the race engine, $3-5k. So, just the parts and engine build and we’re around $27k. But then, this bike is complete, available now, fully sorted, fully safety-wired and with a fabricated alloy belly pan, newly made fairing mounts (no fairing though). If you tried to build a Norton slimline featherbed-based race bike of similar specification, you’d be in to it for at least $25-30k, plus a few hundred hours more in assembly, tuning, sorting, safety wiring, etc. What’s your time worth?

According to Les’s dyno sheets, this bike generates 72.1 rear wheel horsepower at 7400 rpm and 59.1 ft-lbs torque at 5300 rpm. Importantly, hp was 70 or higher from 6500 to 7500 rpm and torque is 50 ft-lbs or more from 4200-7500rpm. This is a well-tuned, well-sorted stonker of an engine!

1964 Norton Atlas Carbs

The listing also includes a comprehensive account of the parts that went into the build and a bit of history. This bike isn’t quite complete, but wouldn’t take very much to make it so: just add fairing. Or you could just ride it as-is. Take this beast to the track, or maybe convert it to street duty? I wonder just what that would require… Either way, you’ve got some pretty serious performance on tap for a fifty year old motorcycle!

Bidding is almost at $13,000 with five days left on the auction. Jump in now for this chance to own a fire-breathing British classic!

-tad

1964 Norton Atlas L Side

 

1965 Norton Atlas

Norton had been making motorcycles since 1902, and the “Norton Winning Way” described how successful Norton had been. For the Model year 1962 Norton rolled out at 750cc rocket called the Atlas. This 1965 Norton Atlas has made it through the last 50 years, and is offered today modified to the sellers vision, and understands that the new buyer might have different ideas.

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From the seller

I am selling my 1965 Norton Atlas. This is a very special bike and has had a lot of really great people’s time, blood, sweat and tears put into it over the past few years. The bike was re-built from the ground up and every piece on it was hand picked with specific reasons and a specific purpose. …First thing I want to mention about this bike is that it starts from cold on the first kick, EVERY TIME. It has great compression and sounds amazing and having it fire up on the first kick is always a good feeling and leaves guys with modern bikes shaking their heads.

Atlas_EELV_family

Norton’s Burt Hopwood had designed a vertical twin to match the parallel twins most British manufactures were offering. First appearing as the 497cc Dominator, by 1962 the Atlas motor had been bored and stroked to 745cc. Like others had done, Norton saw the buying power of North America, and more power is what was wanted, so more CC’s are what Norton gave them. Oh and did North America want those CC’s a shakin’?

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More from the seller

Front brake has been upgraded to a commando disc brake for increased stopping power and safety, maintaining the stock Atlas yokes with Commando Roadholder tubes and forks. New Avon tires were put on during rebuild and have the same mileage on them as the motor.

A few other things the bike features are:

• Dunstall clip-on bars (rare)

• Tommaselli throttle

• Magura grips

• Magura clutch lever

• Brembo master cylinder and brake lever from Colorado Norton Works

• Smiths gray face gauges

• Swept back pipes (very hard to find, rarely in stock anywhere)

• Rear sets

• Milled and upgraded gear box cover and kick start seal

• Super blend bearings all around,

• Tommaselli headlight ears

• Aluminum front and read fender from Clubman

• New custom leather seat

• New rear shocks

• Rebuilt front shocks

• New Fork Seals

• New tank rubbers

• New gas cap

• Freshly lined tank

• New rear frame loop from Clubman

• New rear tail light

• Reverse cone mufflers

• Fresh bulbs in tail light and head light

• Recently serviced transmission

• New Napoleon Bar End Side Mirrors

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The Norton Winning ways had begun with a single cylinder, OHC engine which out classed the competition. As Norton fell behind in engine development, it was able to use the Featherbed frame designed by Rex and Cromie McCandless, which gave Norton a helping hand to stay ahead of the competition. The Atlas jointed the big 750cc engine with the Featherbed frame, giving power and road holding. Growing pains were felt by the Atlas, and from first production, to final production in 1968, the Atlas lost HP, and RPM’s in an attempt to remove vibration. The seller of this 1965 Norton Atlas had a vision, and as the bike sits, it is a very well put together café racer. If you are interested in the bike, check out the sellers other requests and statements as they are ready to pass on their vision. BB

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Something a Little Different: 1970 Norton 750S Custom

1970 Norton Custom L Rear

The iconic Commando was an example of classic British ingenuity: decidedly old-tech, but featuring simple innovations to keep it competitive in the marketplace. A needed bump in power necessitated a corresponding increase in displacement. That increased displacement led to unacceptable shaking from the bigger slugs. The solution? Norton’s Isolastic system that separated the rider from numbing vibrations.

And the primitive pre-unit engine and gearbox design was turned into an advantage: Norton could easily revise the parallel twin to cant it forward and make it look like it’s leaning forward aggressively into the wind, clearing up additional space for carburetors and airbox.

1970 Norton Custom R Engine

This one’s something of an odd duck, not quite a cafe racer, not really a cruiser, a bike that was built to look sporty, but in a laid-back sort of way. Like it’s trying to say, “Hey, I like to have fun and go fast and all, but I’m way too cool to try all that hard…” As if the builder was kind of a cruiser-guy but realized that, for the most part, British bikes can be turned into fine bobbers, but make really weirdly-proportioned choppers…

With its lowered stance and sporty style, it reminds me of the Harley 883 Sportsters I’ve seen with mid-pegs and clip-on bars, sort of a “drag-café” style.

1970 Norton Custom Dash

Some little details need to be put right like the weirdly canted tach, single-sided pipe wrap, and the droopy taillight. And are those highway pegs?! Regardless, this is someone’s particular vision of the perfect bike, but should be very easy to change if it’s not quite to your taste. And photos suggest that it’s been cared for, or at the very least thoroughly washed before the pictures were taken…

From the original eBay listing: 1970 Norton Custom for Sale

This 1970 Norton custom is a very nice ride for the person that enjoys being different. Not everyone has anything like this one. It has been lowered and made to look very different than the scrambler it started as. It runs and shifts through the gears nicely. It sat for about a year and a half though and needed the carb cleaned. Having done that we inserted new plugs and a new battery. The paint is not perfect but decent. I do not have the original seat or scrambler pipes for the bike. All that you see is what you get (the only way I know it was a scrambler was from the word of the previous owner). I liked the style of it so I bought it, wasn’t going for the scrambler remake. Having said that, I consider the bike somewhat of a project. There are no turn signals or mirrors on the bike… I have ridden it this way with no problem but it is probably not exactly legal. The headlight, brake light and speedometer all worked when parked but are not working at this time. I will need to go through and see if I can fix but I am no electrician. This is a super cool bike that really looks and sounds great. Tires are in good shape and the engine number matches the title. There is no serial number plate like on my other Norton.

According to the seller, this bike was built up from a Scrambler, Norton’s dual-sport variant of the Commando that featured taller suspension, a different seat, and high-pipes. Like the Ducati singles, there are many common parts shared with other Norton models, and it’s pretty easy to mix-and-match to build something that suits your style.

1970 Norton Custom Front

Purists may scream, and riders may bemoan the loss of do-it-all dual-sport ability, but the price is pretty low: bidding is currently at $1,100 and the asking price is set at $5,500. $5k will buy you a pretty wide range of bikes both new and old these days, but this one looks to be worth consideration if you’re into riding and not collecting. It’s no trailer-queen and could make a really nice bike for someone with the appropriate expectations.

-tad

1970 Norton Custom R Side