Tagged: cafe racer

Tasteful Custom: 1973 Ducati 750GT Café Racer

1973 Ducati 750GT Cafe R Side

Built around an early, very desirable “round-case” L-twin Ducati engine, this bike is based on a 750GT. As such, it does not use Ducati’s desmodromic valvetrain and makes do with simple springs instead. While that may not be as sexy to say as “Desmo”, it means that maintenance will be simplified, although the bevel-drive and tower-shaft arrangement still requires some expertise to set up correctly.

1973 Ducati 750GT Cafe Engine Detail

Although it’s obviously of questionable wisdom to modify such a valuable classic, most of the cosmetic modifications look like they could be easily reversed, if the new owner decides to sell, or decides that they prefer a more original style. It’s also nice to see that the engine build includes VeeTwo parts: they disappeared for a while, but it looks like this Australian company is back in business, making hot-rod parts for bevel and belt-drive Ducatis.

1973 Ducati 750GT Cafe Dash

It’s so easy to screw something like this up, just by adding a splash too much color, or the wrong color. But the builder of this bike went simple silver. Period-correct style or not, I’m not a fan of the “750” decal on the side panels, but that’s easy enough to fix. And that Grimeca front drum looks great, although no Ducati twin I know of ever used a front drum… Otherwise, it’s a very nicely turned-out special.

1973 Ducati 750GT Cafe Front Brake

From the original eBay listing: Custom 1973 Ducati 750GT  

Custom café racer in the spirit of the prototype

I bought this Ducati in 2005 in the current condition with 20,609 miles on the odometer. Previous owner started with a standard 750 GT and had it extensively customized. Here is his description of the work done:

With custom paint, seat, linkage, front brake, clip-ons, side covers, and seat back, this is a one of a kind bike inspired by the prototype. The engine is completely rebuilt with improvements throughout, giving it more power and better response without jeopardizing reliability. The pistons are short skirt sport pistons from V-Two to raise the compression. The heads got lighter 7mm valves with better springs, new seats and guides. From the Carillo rods to the 36mm carbs, to the polished crank to the billet cams to the smaller stem valves, all things were considered with this project.

The bike is one of several classic bikes in my collection and it got regularly used on short trips. Bike runs extremely strong, starts with one or two kicks and is ready to ride. Nice chrome and paint with very few minor scratches.

No manual or tool kit. GA registration in my name. GA did not issue titles for bikes over 25 years old. Also have ex California title assigned to my name.

1973 Ducati 750GT Cafe L Rear

The seller also includes a more comprehensive list of modifications over on eBay, worth a look if you’re curious about this bike. The internal modifications sound like they’ve been well thought-out and the bike is ready to run, no matter what it looks like. Bidding is pretty active on this one, and up to $12,500 with the Reserve Not Met.

-tad

1973 Ducati 750GT Cafe R Side Detail

Café Done Right: 1975 Honda CB750 for Sale

1975 Honda CB750 Cafe R Side

I try to stay away from posting up too many café-styled machines here, especially of the home-brewed variety. There’s nothing wrong with them necessarily, but the do-it-yourself vibe also leads to some half-cocked ideas and questionable engineering: take a half-decent Honda CB750, slap on a fresh coat of paint on the tank, flip the bars, fit a set of individual pod-filters and, voila! You now have a bike with probably less performance than the original and likely far less comfort as well…

1975 Honda CB750 Cafe L Side Rear

Introduced in 1969 as part of Japan’s opening salvo in the war for big-bike domination, the CB750 combined the sophistication and exotic wail of a four-cylinder with the durability of an appliance. Along with Kawasaki’s Z1, the CB brought sophisticated engineering to the masses. In recent years, these workhorse UJM’s [Universal Japanese Motorcycles] have become the darlings of a custom-bike scene tired of overpriced, fat-tired choppers with ubiquitous S&S twins and Baker non-unit gearboxes. Cheap to buy, with a wealth of parts to maintain and customize, cast-off Japanese bikes democratized the custom movement, although prices of even poor examples have been driven out of the basement, leading bourgeoning bike builders to search for less-expensive alternatives…

1975 Honda CB750 Cafe Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Honda CB750 Cafe for Sale

Honda CB750 cafe racer w/ new black paint/gold racing accent stripes. Clear California title – runs and shifts with no issues – Front and rear drilled racing rotors, new handle bars, new mirrors, new seat pan, new upholstered seat, new gas tank emblems, new front & rear turn signals, new brake light, new oil & filter, new brake fluid, rebuilt (2) front and (1) rear calipers, rebuilt master cylinder, new speedo cable, new clutch cable, (2) new throttle cables, new reflectors and much more – feel free to contact me with any questions or to set up a time to inspect – thank you!

1975 Honda CB750 Cafe L Side Engine

This particular example caught my eye for the dual-disc conversion up front, an nod to performance and safety. Looking very much like a modern Triumph Thruxton, this is a pretty nice, rideable classic, although the seller wants a pretty penny for it, with an asking price of $6,500. There are three days left, so maybe make him an offer.

It isn’t perfect, but the CB750 is a terrific platform and this should give you Brit-bike looks and style without the headaches and leaked oil in the garage…

-tad

1975 Honda CB750 Cafe L Side

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

Best of Both Worlds: 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe L Side

When is a vintage Guzzi not really a vintage Guzzi? When it’s a combination of the old and the new, like this Moto Guzzi LeMans café bike. The relatively slow pace of development among many smaller manufacturers is at times very frustrating, and bikes at the end of a glacially slow production cycle can seem like dinosaurs.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe R Side Rear

But that same slow change can pay dividends down the road: long periods of slow improvement mean that those same dinosaurs are pretty well-developed by the time they’re finally replaced, and many updated components can be retrofitted to earlier machines, allowing a modern builder to take the best of each era and combine classic looks with improved reliability and performance.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Dash

This is definitely true of the Tonti-framed Guzzis of the 70’s and 80’s, and the builder of this example has combined the classic look of the original LeMans with the updated, square-head motor from the donor LeMans III, here bored out to over 1000cc’s and fitted with twin-plug heads.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe L Side Engine

The word “agricultural” gets thrown around a lot with Guzzis but, in this case, that’s no bad thing: the tractor-like torque this nearly 1100cc motor should put a big smile on your face. And don’t assume that the pushrod valvetrain makes this thing a low-end-only proposition: a number of comparisons I’ve read between the LeMans and the Ducati 900SS comment on the fact that the Guzzi is actually the revvier of the two motors.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Front Brakes

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Café

True cafe racer and not only in looks. This bike was built in California with little expense spared. Based on a 1984 Lemans III, Allegedly over $10k spent on the engine, 1060cc, extensive twin plug head work, reworked gear box with silky smooth shifting, heavy duty starter, Olin shocks, twin floating front discs, single floating rear, Alloy tank from the Tank Shop in Scotland, Lemans I faring and Agostini tail piece, new Mikuni slide carbs w/chokes, wire rims, open exhaust, frame powder coated, battery moved to bottom of bike for better balance. I am selling this for a friend and although I have not ridden it I have ridden with him/it and BEHIND it, which is not  a common position for me and my modified BMW R1100s. It is a very fast bike. And I think for an experienced rider, in my opinion.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Shock Detail

I’m not the biggest fan of the tail section on this bike, but that could easily be changed by the new owner, and the aluminum tank makes up for it in any case. There is a very minor dent as shown in the photo, but slight imperfections are part of the charm of a part like that.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Tank Detail

I’d say if this goes for anywhere near the starting price of $6,000 it’s a good deal, considering the development that’s claimed to have gone into it, although at some point I’d want to see more documentation of exactly what went into the engine build.

-tad

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe L Side Front

Super-Clean Custom: 1977 Yamaha RD400 for Sale

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Front

So hands up if you think the whole cafe racer thing is played out! I do love the democratic nature of the café racer movement, the democratic nature. You can spend as much or as little money as your imagination allows, and build your dream using any brand machine you want. But the thing that makes is so cool is the exact thing that makes it so cliché: everybody with a battered old bike, a hacksaw, and some flat-black spraypaint can get in on the action.

But, every once in a while, a bike comes along that shows just how the whole thing got legs again. And this cool, relatively simple Yamaha RD400 is one of those bikes.

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Tank

By the late 1960’s, Japan had proven that it had the engineering expertise to take on the established brands from Europe and America and was busy crushing them under their heel in terms of sales. They were inexpensive, featured sophisticated engines, and were much more reliable than their rivals. But the one area where they generally couldn’t compete was handling: bikes like Kawasaki’s Z1 were very fast in a straight line and merely competent in the corners, while their H1 earned a reputation for being downright treacherous. For most street riders, that was fine, and Harris, Spondon, and Rickman could whip you up a new frame if you really needed to go around corners.

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Engine

But there were some notable exceptions to this, and Yamaha’s line of middleweight two-strokes combined playful, two-stroke punch in a lightweight package that made it the ride of choice for backroad-burners and aspiring racers: while heavier than the track-only TZ, it featured that bike’s racy geometry, strong brakes, and a six-speed gearbox. Worry-automatic oil-injection helped keep two-stroke hassles to a minimum.

1977 Yamaha RD400 Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Yamaha RD400 Custom for Sale

This 1977 Yamaha RD400 custom is a real head turner!  People will stop you all the time to ask about it!  This was professionally built by Motohangar in Vienna VA.     The bike was completed in June of this year.  Bike is a total, ground up restoration and performance modded machine.  It was a feature story on the Pipeburn website on June 16th 2014.    It was also featured on Yamaha USA’s Facebook page where they called it “a masterpiece.”  If you search it online you will see that it has been re-posted to dozens of enthusiast websites around the world.  Take a minute to check out the feature story on Pipeburn where the builder details the build process and there are lots more photos.    

Bike has fewer than 100 miles on it since rebuild and is absolutely immaculate.  Starts beautifully and sounds like two-stroke heaven due to the hand built Jim Lomas race pipes. Pat at Motohangar has built a number of show stopping bikes over that last few years, including the best in show “Honduki” bike.

This bike has been described as a 70’s LeMans style resto mod due to its stunning paint and graphics.  Everything was completely disassembled and rebuilt and repainted–engine cases are beautifully detailed, frame is freshly painted, wheels were blasted and painted, new seat pan and tail section custom built (oil filler relocated to top of tail section)  custom LED tail light fabricated, neutral and oil warning lights relocated into top triple.

Vintage Smoke rearsets–which include a Brembo rear caliper, Jim Lomas pipes, clip on’s, Frank’s fork tubes, new Dunlop tires, new Assault rear shocks, new chain, new brakes, cross drilled rotors– the list goes on.  This bike is far superior to a brand new RD.

This bike is very fast and responsive to the throttle.  It will put a smile on your face every time!  It sounds like a crazed pack of hornets coming down the road!  Seller has current Virginia title.

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side Rear

Very clean and striking, this is the kind of custom that emphasizes the original bike’s style, while doing its own thing. The taillight is very cool and nicely done, if a bit overstyled, and I love the warning lights integrated into the top triple. I assume the “MH” on the engine is for “MotoHangar”, although I could do without that particular detail…

1977 Yamaha RD400 Tail

At $6,300 with the reserve met and a couple days to go, I’m very curious to see what this goes for. If this stays anywhere in that range, someone’s getting a serious bargain for a very classy, one-of-a-kind motorcycle.

-tad

1977 Yamaha RD400 R Side

1980 BMW R100 Cafe Racer for Sale

1980 BMW R100 Cafe R Front

As often as people hack “cafe racers” together these days, it’s surprising how often such a simple idea goes wrong. In an era when the aftermarket was in its infancy, and not much was available to increase the speed of your bike, or to make it look more like the bikes your idols were racing, you often took things off your motorcycle.

To go faster, simplify and add lightness.

1980 BMW R100 Cafe L Side Rear

And while the original “Ton-Up Boys” built their bikes for speed, current café racers are, let’s face it, more concerned with image than outright performance. If you want to go fast and don’t have much cash or have a do-it-yourself mentality, you’re much better off buying a well-used GSX-R and thrashing the hell out of it on road or track.

1980 BMW R100 Cafe L Front

So bikes like this are really about owning a cool old bike that looks and sounds right, that mixes vintage feel with some modern concessions to function: clip on bars halfway between the top and bottom triple may look pretty tough, but who the hell wants to ride that?

1980 BMW R100 Cafe Dash

This bike though, gets things mostly very, very right, with very classy ivory white paint and a and I’m not sure that classic half-fairing has ever looked so right on a motorcycle. This is based on either the R100/7 or the sportier R100S, although the ad doesn’t specify. Both were powered by BMW’s sporty, reliable 980cc horizontally-opposed twin that was flexible and basically vice-free.

1980 BMW R100 Cafe L Side Engine

If you’re building a bike to meet those criteria, the BMW “airhead” models are the perfect foundation: they’re mostly very affordable, much more reliable than a British twin, parts are readily available, they handle well for a classic machine and, maybe most importantly, supply a classic look and feel of a big twin clattering away beneath you.

From the original eBay listing: 1980 BMW R100 Café Racer

Turn-key bike, ready to ride now, and was just serviced by licensed BMW dealer. Very nimble and fun to ride, and has great visual presence.
Bike starts up easily, runs well, and sounds awesome.
Prior owner did the following work:

  • Ivory White paint with black pin striping, 3-4 coats of two-part clear coat.
  • New BMW badges for tank.
  • SuperTrapp Dual Exhaust, tremendous sound, clean, no rust.
  • Original seat pan, with custom shaped and covered seat done professionally, with brushed aluminum trim kit.
  • Cafe Racer Half fairing (small crack at bottom, barely visible).
  • Windscreen by Zero Gravity.
  • Clip-on bars.
  • New rubber grips.
  • New rear tire, front has 80% + tread.
  • Valves and end play adjusted.
  • Forks cleaned, lubed, and rebuilt.
  • New Transmission fluid, brake fluid.
  • Splines lubed.
  • New oil and oil filter, along with oil pan gasket and valve cover gaskets.
  • Bike has Mikuni carb upgrade.
  • Bike is gorgeous, but this is not a concourse example.
  • Mileage is in my opinion greater than that reflected on odometer.

If you can sit through the overproduced, Ken Burns-style slideshow [or just skip it], there’s some good riding footage of the bike in there to give you a feel for the bike’s character:

If you’re building a bike that needs to be ridden every day, sound good, and look right, the BMW “airhead” models are the perfect foundation: they’re mostly very affordable, much more reliable than a British twin, parts are readily available, they handle well for a classic machine and, maybe most importantly, supply a classic look and feel of a big twin clattering away beneath you.

1980 BMW R100 Cafe R Side Petcock

Aside from the plastic bezels and dash sourced from the original bike and those slightly questionable “BMW R100” badges, I really like this bike, and I think it would make a great daily-rider. Bidding is active on this one, but at just $4,050 and with The Reserve Not Met, I think this one has a ways to go, since a bone-stock example would likely fetch that.

-tad

1980 BMW R100 Cafe L Side

 

Lemony Fresh: 1977 Ducati 500GTL Cafe Racer for Sale

1977 Ducati 500GTL R Side

The Ducati 500GTL is a motorcycle that Ducati would clearly rather forget, a bike from the era before they realized that heritage sells, and any attempt to introduce something really new could backfire and cause the ruin of a company as small as the Bolognese firm. Especially when the bikes were powered by motors that liked to eat themselves alive.

If you’re not aware, Ducati’s famous v-twin is difficult to package: the horizontal cylinder looks great and sticks out into the cooling breeze, but makes for a very long, slow-steering motorbike. And as suspension caught up with engine design and quick turning became an actual thing for motorcycles, Ducati had a bit of a problem on their hands.

1977 Ducati 500GTL Dash

In addition, the good looks of the bevel drive twin came at a price. Literally: it was very expensive to manufacture and service, and Ducati was looking for a way to solve both of these problems in one fell swoop in a new entry-level model.

Enter: the 500GTL.

The new parallel twin, while no powerhouse, was sweet and handled well. But with angular styling that aped the unpopular 860GT, you can see where this is heading: Ducati purists didn’t like the new looks and unfortunately, a reputation for crankshaft failures put the final nail into the coffin. Luckily, Signore Taglioni had been developing a belt-driven v-twin all along, and the new Pantah 500 was there to propel Ducati into the modern era.

1977 Ducati 500GTL R Side Front

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Ducati 500GTL Café Racer for Sale

THIS BEAUTIFUL AND RARE 35 YEAR OLD CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE IS THE FINE EXAMPLE OF A FINE ITALIAN BIKE, ITS BEEN CONVERTED TO A CAFE RACER. THE BIKE SOUND BEAUTIFUL FAST AND STRONG, OIL SERVICE, BRAKE FLUID, SPARK PLUGS, WIRES, PLUG POINTS AND CONDENSER HAVE BEEN REPLACED. THE CARBURETORS WHERE REBUILT. THE GAS TANK IS RUST FREE, BRAKES ARE ALMOST NEW. THE SEAT ITS BEEN UPHOLSTER WITH GERMAN LEATHER, CONTI MUFFLERS, ALL THE ORIGINAL PARTS LIKE MUFFLERS, SEAT (4) TURN SIGNALS TAILLIGHT ASSEMBLY, FRONT AND REAR, STAINLESS FENDERS, HANDLE BAR (2). EVERYTHING GOES WITH THE BIKE THEIR IS NO MODIFICATION DONE TO IT, SO IF ONE DAY YOU FEEL ON PUTING IT BACK TO ORIGINAL STYLE ITS NO PROBLEM,

1977 Ducati 500GTL L Side Engine

I’d say that, considering the redheaded stepchild status of the 500, a $7,500 asking price might be a little rich, especially with such a… distinctive color choice. While I do love a truly individual motorcycle, sometimes it’s worth considering your personalized machine’s eventual sale. The overall presentation is clean, but I think that color choice might make this one a hard sell.

The paint seems nice, mind you, it’s just that I can’t look at it and not think I should stick it in a tall glass with some ice for a refreshing, summer treat…

-tad

1977 Ducati 500GTL Tank

1960 Ducati Elite 200

$_57 (1)

Why is it that I am drawn to bikes from sellers of few words? This 1960 Ducati Elite 200 SS is one of the early Ducati singles, the beginning of what would become the Ducati we know today. But in 1960, these singles were just starting to come out of Italy, just starting to be caught up in the bigger is better axiom that sold bikes in North America.

 

From the seller

I traded a 750 GT for this Elite many years ago. First place concourse winner at many shows in the midwest.

see pics. Email me if you have any questions or need more pics

$_57

I think that the fact that this seller saw the value of this Ducati single measured up against an big L-twin tells a lot about the Elite. It’s more then just the Jelly Bean tank. Dr Fabio Tagloni had a hand in its design, and though there are only 203cc under the Bevel drive cylinder head, it generated 18hp at 7500rpm and gave a top speed of 80mph.

$_57 (2)

This 1960 Ducati Elite 200 might be a small, small single cylinder, but it is a Ducati. Offered from 1959 until 1965 the Elite can be seen as one of the bikes that lead Ducati to where it is today, both on the track and on the road. You might not think of this 200cc bike as a rider, but you might surprise yourself. Buy it and ride it, don’t stick it up on a shelf. BB

$_57 (3)

1948 Norton International

This 1948 Norton International appears to have spent some time with the Rudge Ulster that we had just pointed out. That is probably why it jumped out at me as I was cruising listings this morning.

$_57 (3)

From the seller

This came out of the same collection as the Ulster. The matching number engine was in another Norton in the collection !  So I put it back where it belongs. Doing an internet search revealed that the “sister” Inter to this beauty exists in California i.e. sequential serial number!  I have not done any work to attempt to start this bike. The indicated mileage is a guess as I can not read the first digit  and who knows if the speedometer was changed in all those years. The speedometer drive is not installed and the cable is missing. The engine appears to be in good condition without broken fins or other signs of abuse. Tail light is incorrect.

$_57 (6)

The Norton International is an OHC single cylinder bike which has a long and rich racing history. Beginning in the 1930’s and concluding with final production in 1958. Norton raced, and won far longer then should have been expected with a single cylinder. In the beginning the OHC design was supreme, later the featherbed frame kept the Norton Winning ways.

$_57 (2)

Like all good manufactures, Norton saw that putting lights on their race winners would allow them to sell more bikes. So you could buy two bikes, this 1948 Norton International with lights to ride to work, and find another one without lights that you could race on the weekends. BB

$_57 (4)

1964 Triton for Sale

1964 Triton L Side

I don’t often write up Triumphs here because they’re comparatively not all that rare. TriTONS, however, fit the bill and this 1964 example is exactly the kind of bike you’d want to buy: reluctant but knowledgeable seller, great pictures, extensive details on the bike, and several videos, one of which is a clearly narrated walk-around with cold start.

1964 Triton L Front

Tritons by nature are all custom-built and they vary in terms of quality depending on who put them together. An attempt to combine the reliable power of a Triumph engine with the sharp handling of a Norton “Featherbed” frame, these homebrews became a bit of a cottage industry for a while in the 60’s and 70’s, with many reputable shops assembling them. Parts between the two original machines can be mixed and matched, depending on the builder’s preferences, since the pre-unit gearboxes that featured on both give a bit of choice: some bikes used the Norton gearbox, others the Triumph.

1964 Triton Dash

While the resulting machine wasn’t necessarily much faster than the original Norton, it was definitely more reliable.

From the original eBay listing: 1964 Triton for Sale

This bike embodies the soul of vintage British racing motorcycles. From the days of early Isle of Man TT and hybrid experimental motorcycles.
This is an actual cafe racer! Not your neighbors CB360 with a seat pan kit.
First time ever listed on ebay. Here is your ONE time chance to own it. I will not relist it after this auction concludes.

1964 Triton Oil Tank

There’s a ton of information in the original listing, so make sure you take a look if this piques your interest. The walk-around video in particular is confidence-inspiring, and the shorter video of the bike revving gets the blood pumping. I’m not a big fan of the look of high-pipes in general, but you can’t argue with the sounds this one makes: to me, hotted-up Triumphs always sound like a pair of dirtbikes revving together, an appealingly playful sound that encourages you to annoy the traffic around you by blipping the throttle at stoplights…

1964 Triton R Tank

The seller claims this one won’t be offered again if it doesn’t sell, and there’s only a couple days left on this auction, so if you’re in the market for a nice British twin, move quickly!

-tad

1964 Triton R Side