Tagged: 350

Flying the Flag, Sort Of: 1967 Harley-Davidson 350cc Racer for Sale

1967 Aermacchi 350 Race Bike L Front

Today’s Harley-Davidson isn’t exactly a Harley. Looking for a quick way into the sporty middleweight market, Harley purchased 50% of Aermacchi’s motorcycle production operation in the early 1960’s. Rebranded as Harley-Davidsons, they clearly didn’t have much in common with the big v-twins from The Motor Company, other than that classic logo. Aermacchis were mechanically simple, but lightweight and nimble, with a history of racing successes in various forms of competition.

1967 Aermacchi 350 Race Bike R Rear

In fact, I’m sure it was a pain for shops and dealers, since they now had to have complete sets of both English and Metric tools! And historically, we know how that usually goes for outsiders who come into conflict with Harley’s entrenched mindset both inside the company and among their legions of dedicated fans: by 1978, they’d sold off Aermacchi.

1967 Aermacchi 350 Race Bike R Cockpit

Over at eBay, you can read a bit more about Aermacchi’s history in the very detailed original listing: 1967 Aermacchi 350cc Racer for Sale

With so much intermingling of parts and specifications, a race bike is often made up of from the best components for the job. So it is with the unquestionably beautiful bike offered here. It consists of a 350cc dry clutch motor in a 1967 Sprint H style frame, an Ala Verde style peanut-shape tank, and a twin-leading shoe front brake. Built to race, the bike was then subject to a comprehensive and complete restoration and since has been meticulously stored and displayed in a prominent Southern California collection. With only shake down miles on the rebuild, the bike will need re-commissioning before returning to the track. I would suggest tires in that.

Although he never rode the bike, it was signed by Mert Lawwill’s, who saw it at a concours event and expressed his appreciation for the quality of the build. Beautiful as it unquestionably is, the bike is ready to start and run or to take pride of place as a museum exhibit, such is the quality of the restoration and build.

 1967 Aermacchi 350 Race Bike Numberplate

These make excellent vintage race bikes, with good parts availability and plenty of tunability. They may lack the manic excitement and outright performance of a two-stroke, but they’re much more durable, meaning less time wrenching and more time riding. So if you’re looking to dip your feet into the vintage racing scene, and a Honda CB is just too pedestrian, this might make a great choice: the Buy It Now price is $9,900 which, while far from cheap, represents a pretty good price, considering the preparation that’s gone into this bike.

-tad

1967 Aermacchi 350 Race Bike L Side

Racing Heritage on the Cheap: 1975 MV Agusta Ipotesi Racebike

1975 MV Agusta Iptotesi Race Bike L Front

Considering how rare MV Agustas are in general, it’s been positively raining them for the past month, and this Ipotesi [“hypothesis” in Italian] race bike is certainly new to me: we’ve featured several of the roadgoing Ipotesis recently, but this is the first race version I’ve seen. The MV Agusta Ipotesi was produced between 1975 and 1977 and was available in faired and unfaired flavors. It was powered by a relatively unexciting 350cc pushrod, air-cooled parallel-twin engine but did use an innovative electronic ignition system that should remove the headache of points… Unless you need to get parts for it.

1975 MV Agusta Iptotesi Race Bike R Front

The bike was styled by famed designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. I’m a huge fan of his car designs, especially the Maserati Ghibli, Alfa Romeo GTV, and Lotus Esprit. His bikes? Not so much. In fact, bikes like his Ducati 860GT and Kamen Rider-styled Suzuki Re5 were notable failures that were quickly toned-down by the manufacturers after disappointing initial sales. I’m okay with both of those bikes, but they’re hardly styling triumphs. The Ipotesi, on the other hand, is a great-looking machine, especially in traditional MV Agusta colors and tricked out with race bodywork and a bum-stop seat.

1975 MV Agusta Iptotesi Race Bike Cockpit

The original eBay listing can be found here: 1975 MV Agusta Ipotesi Racebike for Sale

The fragile fairing plastics look to be in perfect condition in the photos, a genuine concern on a bike this rare. Much as I prefer the function of disc brakes, that front drum does look pretty great, and those slightly curved Magni pipes [thanks for pointing those out last time Daniel!] apparently have the qualities you’d expect from Magni, including lighter weight and better sound.

1975 MV Agusta Iptotesi Race Bike L Detail

So far, this Ipotesi has generated no real interest, with just two days left on the auction. That may be because the seller includes basically no history of this particular bike, although some nice photos help to make up for that somewhat. $12,000 seems like a pretty reasonable price for an authentic racing MV Agusta, but some history would be appreciated. Has the bike had any famous riders or notable successes? Does the bike have any mechanical issues? That might go some way to justifying the price, as previous Ipotesis have been listed with starting bids several thousand less.

But whether you plan to run it or just display it in your living room, it seems like a relative bargain, even at that price.

-tad

1975 MV Agusta Iptotesi Race Bike R Front 2

 

 

Affordable Exotic: 1977 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi for Sale

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi L Side

Although vintage MV Agustas like the 750S command hefty sums when they trade, it’s easy to forget that they also made a range of other bikes, generally of much smaller displacements. These bikes are also extremely rare, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they command commensurately high prices. Several of these Iptotesis have graced our pages and, considering how rare they are, can be had for surprisingly modest amounts.

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi R Side Detail

The Ipotesi, or “Hypothesis” was first shown in 1973 and produced between 1975 and 1977. It was powered by an air-cooled, parallel twin with overhead valves. It was styled by Giugiaro, whose automotive designs were generally better-received than his two-wheeled creations. This particular bike though features a clean, elegant design that is pretty successful.

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi L Side Front

Unusual among bikes of the era, the Ipotesi featured MV’s electronic ignition instead of points and was available with or without the fairing shown here, so don’t let the minor damage put you off, since you could certainly show or ride the bike without it.

From the original eBay listing: 1977 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi for Sale

Fast little bike. This bike was imported from Belgium 3 years ago. It fires right up and is happy to rev and shift, stop and steer like only an Italian thoroughbred can. Quite a surprise to ride, seems diminutive but a credit to the race engineering legend of MV Agusta. It has some minor cosmetic issues from shipping on left fairing and muffler. Priced to sell, bid only as much as you are prepared to pay, will send second chance offer if not sold at auction to highest bidder. The title reads as a 1975 model year, if this is a problem for you, do not bid.

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi L Side Detail

The title issue he mentions seems to be pretty common among older bikes, likely the result of examples sitting in showrooms for several years before being titled. The last one we posted came with an asking price of $10,500 so it looks like the seller means it when they say “priced to sell.” The Buy It Now price is $8,950 with bidding currently up to $6,100 with just over 24 hours left on the auction. These are very rare, and although certain parts might be tricky to source, this Ipotesi looks like it will provide lots of entertainment for a relatively small outlay of cash.

-tad

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi R Side

Champagne Taste, Beer Budget: 1975 Moto Morini 3½ Strada For Sale

1975 Moto Morini Strada L Side

Still the bargain of the vintage Italian biking scene, today’s Moto Morini 3½ Strada needs a bit of cosmetic work, but the price is in the ballpark and is said to run very nicely. With just 344cc’s and two valves per cylinder, you’ll need to make the most of the bike’s prodigious handling capabilities to keep up with bigger bikes on back roads but, like the RD400, these were famous giant-slayers in their day.

1975 Moto Morini Strada R Side Rear

The unconventional 72º v-twin was more compact than a 90º engine, and the smaller displacement meant that vibrations weren’t noticably increased. And while many machines still made do with a four-speed gearbox, the Morini’s six-speed part made sure riders could get the most from the bike’s 35-ish horses. The engine used pushrods to operate its valves, but the camshaft was driven by a toothed rubber belt, and the heads themselves were “Heron”-style, reducing manufacturing costs while allowing nearly 60mpg.

The bike came in two flavors: “Strada” and “Sport,” with the Sport being the sportier of the pair. The Strada came equipped with lower pegs and higher bars and a slightly lower state of tune for the engine.

1975 Moto Morini Strada R Side Engine

Period reviews found very little to complain about, other than the performance-per-dollar when compared to Japanese four-cylinder machines. But the Morini had vastly superior handling and that difficult to quantify Italian style that made it worth the cost then, and a complete bargain now.

1975 Moto Morini Strada Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Moto Morini 3½ Strada for Sale

The bike has been in storage for many years (at least 15 years)  There is a workshop manual with the bike, there are some original tools.  the timing belt was just replaced and there is another new belt and the puller for the flywheel needed to replace the belt, with the bike.

It has a new rear chain. I went through the fuel system.    The bike runs beautifully, it has a 6 speed gearbox.  electrical system is good, system charges, Lights all work. new battery. the tires are very old.

The miles are correct, it is missing the right side tank emblem, there is a dent in the gas tank and some rust at the very rear of the right muffler. ( see pictures)   The alloy ball end is broken off the clutch lever but the bike does not appear to have any road damage

1975 Moto Morini Strada Rear

The $3,450 Buy It Now price seems smack in the middle for Morinis right now. This one has some cosmetic imperfections, including the missing tank badge on one side and the dent along the top, but with such low miles and in running condition, it looks like this will just need a basic tune up and a new set of tires to be ready to go!

1975 Moto Morini Strada Tank Detail

These are uncommon motorcycles that provide a ton of bang for your buck, so if you’re a fan of Italian twins but your budget won’t stretch to a vintage Ducati, grab one of these unintimidating little machines and get ready for the spring riding season!

-tad

1975 Moto Morini Strada R Side Front

Sophisticated Simplicity: 1939 Velocette KSS / MAC Special

1939 Velocette KSS Special R Front

For many riders, motorcycles are all about simplicity: throwing off the shackles of a roof and four doors, sound-deadening, automatic climate control, lane-change warning systems, info-tainment systems. And the real purists, be they lovers of modern or vintage machines, often gravitate towards single-cylinder machines like the Velocette KSS.

1939 Velocette KSS Special L Rear

Single cylinder bikes represent motorcycling at its most elemental: fewer parts to break and fewer parts to maintain, along with plenty of torque and charisma. Who needs a tachometer with that spread of power? Just shift it by feel. And while that simplicity and economy means that modern single-cylinder motorcycles are typically of the cheap and durable variety, that hasn’t always been the case.

1939 Velocette KSS Special R Engine

Based in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, Velocette built their enviable reputation for durability with machines like the KSS 350cc. The “K” series bikes were very innovative, with a bevel-drive and tower shaft-driven overhead cam engine and a foot-operated gearshift with the very first positive-stop, something found on basically every modern motorcycle.

1939 Velocette KSS Special R Tank

Later “M” series machines switched to a much cheaper-to-produce engine with pushrod-operated valves, but used an improved frame and suspension based on the racing “K” bikes.

This particular example features the best of both worlds: a refined and sophisticated bevel-drive engine with the improved handling of the later frame and suspension, making it a period-correct hotrod. Perhaps an all-original KSS would be worth more money, but this hybrid should make a better overall motorcycle…

1939 Velocette KSS Special R Rear Suspension

From the original eBay listing: 1939 Velocette KSS/MAC Special for sale

The marriage of a KSS motor with the more current MAC rolling chassis was a fairly common practice that resulted in a far better platform for the OHC KSS motor.  Classic Motorcycle & Mechanics tested one in July ’92 and came away impressed with the combo.  This example (’39 KSS motor # KSS9121 and ’54 MAC chassis # RS7479) was built by a Velo expert in the Florida area during ’91 and ’92 and acquired by the current owner in 2004.  He rode it occasionally over the next few years and decomissioned it for display in his climate controlled collection in 2008.  He considered the machine to be a fine example with no mechanical issues.

1939 Velocette KSS Special Dash

I love how the seller refers to the 1954 MAC chassis not as “later” but as “more current”. Ha! It’s all relative, I guess… In any event, this bike is in beautiful, but not over-restored condition, although I’m not sure just what it would take to “recommission” it for road use. It’s only been off the road for a few years, so hopefully it won’t take too much effort: this bike deserves to be ridden.

-tad

1939 Velocette KSS Special R Rear

Classy Little Italian: 1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 for Sale

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 L Front

If you’re looking to ride something a bit different and don’t have a ton of cash to spend, you can’t go wrong with a Moto Morini like this 350 K2. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, Morini’s v-twins were available in both 350 and 500 flavors. This example is clearly a child of the 80’s, but the styling is relatively restrained for the period and very tasteful.

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 R Rear

Powered by a little 72° v-twin that was more compact than the 90° engines from Ducati and Guzzi but was still very smooth, the 344cc engine generated a respectable 37hp and it put those horses through a six-speed gearbox and dry clutch combo. While pushrods were a slightly low-tech feature, the engine was otherwise very sophisticated: the camshaft was driven by a toothed rubber belt and Heron-style heads helped provide excellent fuel economy, as well as yet more interesting trivia for bike-night discussions.

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 Dash

Largely overlooked here in the US because of their small displacements, Moto Morinis made up in handling what they lacked in outright power. Famously nimble and sophisticated, they’ve been overlooked by collectors for a very long time, although prices have been on the rise in recent years. Morini twins featured both kick and electric start but, as the seller mentions: the “electric leg” was always a bit temperamental…

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 L Rear2

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 for Sale

If you are looking at this, then you already know that these Moto Morinis are renowned for their razor-sharp handling and their nimble, fun-to-ride nature. This one is no exception. The V-twin is surprisingly powerful for a 350 and road tests had their top speed around 100 MPH. The 6-speed trans is a delight to use, snicking up or down with a left-hand shifter that was much improved over earlier versions. The dry clutch is easy to pull but it never slips. It starts easily with the kicker and it also has an electric starter that works-sometimes. These engines have a reputation for reliability and durability. They need very little maintenance with their electronic ignition and simple screw-type valve adjusters.

When I bought the bike four years ago I was amazed at its excellent original condition. When I got it home I changed the oil, cleaned the oil filter and adjusted the valves. Since it had the original timing belt, I changed it for a new one that I got from North Leceister Motorcycles. They are the experts on these and they have a great stock of parts. They hold the K2 model in very high regard.

I have since put about 750 miles on it. Some of those were from riding it in the Cycle World Rolling Concours at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2012. It was in the Modern Classic class along with some really over-the-top restorations, so I felt almost guilty about it winning 3rd place since all I had to do was wash it!

The bike shows well, but there are the inevitable imperfections that one finds in a used, original bike. The windscreen is cracked. The flopping keys have worn the paint away at the ignition switch. There are a few nicks, the worst is shown in the pics.

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 L Rear

Bidding on this is active, although at just $1,500 or so, the reserve has not been met. Which is no surprise: aside from a couple minor scuffs, this thing is in amazing condition and is very rare. Morinis are rising in value, but are still very affordable. If you’re looking for a quirky, collectable Italian that you will definitely not see at your regular bike meetup, give this one a serious look.

-tad

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 R Side

Yellow One-Lunger: 1975 Ducati 350 Desmo for Sale!

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo R Side

Today, Ducati’s famed “Desmo” valvetrain features across their entire range, giving them something to crow about in their marketing material, something for bench-racing affectionados to brag about, something that adds just a bit to the symphony of noise these bikes make. But with today’s streetbikes that can rev to 16,000rpm and still go 16,000 miles between valve adjustments, there’s really little practical advantage to Ducati’s avoidance of valvesprings.

These days, the biggest limiting factor for Ducati motors is piston speed, not valve float.

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo L Side Detail

But in the 1950’s, when “hairpin” valve springs were still regularly used and metallurgy was less advanced, there was a definite performance advantage for a desmodromic system. Most cars and motorcycles use the lobes of cams or pushrods to open valves, and springs to close them. But at high speeds, springs just can’t close the valves fast enough before the cam pushes them back open, leading to “valve float” where the valves never actually close all the way. In addition to the obvious performance problems this can generate, pistons can actually strike the open valves, causing catastrophic failure.

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo Dash

Designed by Fabio Taglioni and first applied to the 1956 125cc race bike, Ducati’s desmodromic system uses cams to both open and close the valves, completely eliminating float and allowing for very precise tuning. In 1968, Desmo performance came to the street and was eventually available in 250, 350, and 450 flavors. The 350 was actually 340cc’s with 10:1 compression and a 5-speed box.

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo R Side Detail

Interesting, the 250 and 450 models were far more flexible on the street, with the 350 the hot-headed middle child. The bike could top 100mph easily in stock form and was just about ready to go racing right out of the box: just add a bigger carburetor and megaphone exhaust.

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Ducati 350 Desmo for Sale

An exceptional example of an original yellow 350 Desmo Single. Designed by Italian designed, Tartarini, these Desmos were the pinnacle of Ducati’s single-cylinder design and performance. Restored by current owner approximately 20 years ago with limited mileage since then.

Bike comes with 36-spoke Borrani alloy rims, four-leading-shoe Grimeca front drum brakes, and 32 mm Dellorto SSI remote-float racing carburetor. Engine was disassembled, inspected and rebuilt with new parts as required, including 76.4mm high-compression piston and electronic ignition. Starts and runs perfectly.

Includes original parts (not pictured) such as steel chain guard, engine brackets and front brake stays. Other minor engine spares also included.

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo L Rear Suspension

This particular example is finished in classic Ducati yellow, that’s almost orange. Yellow is a color that’s so easy to do badly, but this particular shade is a very rich, evocative color. Shouty and just a bit “look-at-me” but classic and subtle at the same time: it’s easily my favorite yellow and a great match for the bike. I also love the gauges that swing underhand in a more British style, but with classic Italian markings.

At $12,000 currently with the Reserve Not Met, I’m curious to see what this sells for. Most 60’s and 70’s Ducatis are not Desmos and feature regular valve springs, and the early Desmos have been highly valued for some time.

-tad

1975 Ducati 350 Desmo Cockpit

Little Rocket: 1973 Kawasaki 350 S2 Mach II

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 R Side

Kawasaki’s two-stroke triples were a milestone in Japanese motorcycling history. While the Honda’s CB750 offered sophistication and technology at a relative budget price, it wasn’t really doing anything you couldn’t get elsewhere, although you’d have to pay a lot more to get it… But Kawasaki’s line of two-stroke triples that started with their H1 500 in 1969 was exactly its own thing and created its own, purely Japanese vision of what a performance motorcycle should be. The bikes were designed for basically one thing and one thing only: brutal straight-line speed with a crackling, angry-buzz soundtrack that left a haze of blue smoke hanging in their wake.

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 R Engine

Made between 1971 and 1974, the Kawasaki S2 350 was instantly recognizable as a part of their two-stroke family, and featured familiar styling cues that included the three asymmetrical exhaust pipes and kicked up ducktail rear. As with many of the smaller-bore machines sold in the US, the S1 and S2 were really overseas models designed originally to skirt taxes on bigger machines and licensing laws for new riders. So the 250 Mach I and 350 Mach II were actually more civilized than their bigger 500 and 750 brothers, although maybe “civilized” might be pushing things a bit, or should at least be considered a relative term…

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 L Dash

The 346cc engine featured a smooth 120° crank and put out a claimed 45hp at 8,000rpm in typical two-stroke, lightswitch-style and the narrower engine of the smaller bike improved cornering clearance. It was a good bit lighter than its bigger brethren at 330lbs dry, and that lighter weight led to a corresponding improvement in what was known at the time as “handling”.

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 L Side Tank

These little triples were actually pretty nimble, although the first year was definitely underbraked and the marginal front drum was replaced with a more powerful disc for 1972. The 350 was eventually replaced by a 400cc version in 1974 that actually made less power but was more flexible.

Translated from ALL CAPITALESE over at the original eBay listing: 1973 Kawasaki S2 350 Mach II

This is a fine example of a 73 S2. A fair amount of time and labor went into this bike to spruce it up. It runs very well and is very good condition. The tins were completely stripped to bare metal, reconditioned and painted to the stock original color. There is no decal: it’s all paint. A professional vintage motorcycle auto body shop performed the work and it is showroom condition paint.

The seat is in pristine condition and is original. New bars, grips, mirrors, polished controls. The engine covers were removed triple polished and new gaskets were installed. Tube seals and dust boots were replaced. Both rims were in great shape and were cleaned, rear hub was triple polished, new spokes installed along with new tires and tubes. Cylinders were honed and new std bore pistons and rings installed. The caliper and master cylinder were serviced. Oil change, plugs, points and condensers, dialed in, timed and tuned. The carbs were serviced, synced and adjusted. It still has the clean original exhaust pipes. All hardware was cleaned, polished, and/or replaced. It is all stock in appearance.

It starts on the first kick and rides nice and smooth.

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 Seat

The S2 wasn’t simply an H1 with a de-bored and de-stroked engine stuck between the frame rails: while it used a similar design for both frame and engine, parts are not generally cross-compatible. And therein lies the problem: parts for these cool little machines can be difficult to come by. Luckily, this particular bike appears to be in great running shape, so bodywork won’t be a problem unless you loop the little monster over backwards…

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 Underseat

The S2 really isn’t at all what you might be expecting if you’re familiar with four-stroke engines of similar displacement. These things are very quick for their size and although tested top speed is shy of 100mph, they’ll get you off the line in a hurry and feel very much like their larger brethren, with the same dismal fuel economy: Kawasaki’s triples were the fastest machines in their respective classes, but you paid for that speed at the pump.

With prices of the H1 and H2 bikes skyrocketing in recent years, this presents a cool opportunity to get one of Kawi’s famous triples in a much more manageable package for a much lower price.

-tad

1973 Kawasaki S2 350 L Side

 

1939 Velocette KTT Mark VII

$_57

When your dad owns a motorcycle company, you as the children have a very important role in the business. You are to go racing. This is what Percy and Eugene Goodman did for their father, the owner of Velocette. They built an over head cam racing bike, put Alec Bennett, an established racer, on it and went to the Isle of Man. They won in 1926 and the motorcycle they built was the bevel drive, OHC, KTT. K for camshaft, TT for Tourist Trophy, which they won. This 1939 Velocette KTT Mark 8 was the first iteration with a rear swing arm, but also the last version, production would end in 1949.

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From the seller

1939 Velocette KTT Mk VIII

Factory built racer with 350cc single cylinder overhead cam engine. Engine # KTT/1074, Frame #  SF/257 Purchased from original owner/racer approximately fifteen years ago out of South Africa. Sporting later year Velocette hydraulic front suspension and full width front brake. Later year rear shocks mounted with original rear “air shocks”  present and included in the sale. Very rare and desirable pre war British racer.  An excellent investment!

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Early in the production of the KTT, Velocette developed the positive stop foot shifter. The Velocette KTT success at Grand Prix racing was helped along by riders like Stanley Wood who gave valuable input into design and performance.  It was Stanley’s suggestion to move the engine forward and lower in the frame to improve handling. Over the 8 Mark versions, other improvements included an aluminum cylinder head, enlarged over time for better cooling and therefore more power. In 1937, Velocette designer Harold Willis borrowed air suspension developed for airplane landing gear, and grafted them onto a KTT to create one of the first rear swing arm suspension.

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Velocette made motorcycles from 1904 until 1971, but their most successful Grand Prix racer was the KTT produced from 1929-1949. This 1939 Mark 8 KTT is one of those pre-war British racing singles which has had a few alterations over the years. The original ‘oleo pneumatic’ shocks have been replaced, but are included with the bike. Also seen on this KTT is a large for its time front brake, but still with only a single brake shoe.  If you want to play L.R.Higgins and become a Private Owner of this KTT, take it to the track, preferably one on an island, and put yourself and this KTT to the test. BB

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1952 Norton Manx 40M

$_57

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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