Tagged: Dunstall

Beautiful MaSheene: 1979 Suzuki GS1000S Ex-Barry Sheene Race Bike for Sale

1979 Suzuki GS Barry Sheene R Front

Today’s Suzuki GS1000S was touched by the hand of a master, the late Barry Sheene. In an era of sullen, sanitized superstars, it’s easy to forget that there used to be some really charismatic racers, folks who not only seemed to enjoy racing, but enjoyed life. But you certainly can’t expect guys barely out of their teens to have fully-developed personalities, and “early-to-bed, early-to-rise” is the name of the game so riders can stay in peak physical condition because racing is big business, and these guys are professionals.

1979 Suzuki GS Barry Sheene L Side

With so much money on the line, modern riders are endlessly coached: it’s pretty difficult to remember to name-drop all those sponsors without practice. And it’s especially difficult to remember that long list just thirty seconds after competing in a grueling, dangerous race.

1979 Suzuki GS Barry Sheene Fairing Detail

But back in the 60s and 70s, some of the most high-profile racers on two and four wheels were basically party animals… Chief among them was Barry Sheene. He was a popular character both on and off track and an outspoken champion of rider safety. He partied with notorious driver James Hunt, married a Penthouse Pet, and eventually succumbed to cancer, a likely result of his years of smoking: he once famously had a hole cut in the chinbar of his helmet so he could smoke before a race…

1979 Suzuki GS Barry Sheene Dash

While much of his career was spent on purebred two-stroke racing machinery, today’s bike is a highly modified GS1000S prepped by “Pops” Yoshimura.

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Dunstall Suzuki GS1000S Ex-Barry Sheene Race Bike for Sale

The machine offered here for sale was raced by Barry Sheene at the August bank holiday meeting at Oulton Park 1979. UK importer Heron Suzuki was interested in promoting production-based racing and asked Paul Dunstall to enter a Yoshimura prepared factory GS1000s Suzuki in TT Formula One events in 1979. Barry Sheen was the Texaco-sponsored Heron Suzuki teams number one rider in Grand Prix and his dislike of racing heavyweight four strokes was well known, once referring to them as ‘muck spreaders.’ Nevertheless Barry acquitted himself with distinction in his one off ride at Oulton Park, Finishing a close 2nd to Honda mounted Ron Haslam. Indeed the Suzuki star might have one had he not been balked by a back marker on the final lap For its first foray into Formula 1 racing Suzuki adopted a relatively cautious approach to tuning the GS1000S roadster. 

The machine offered here for sale was raced by Barry Sheene at the August bank holiday meeting at Oulton Park 1979. UK importer heron Suzuki was interested in promoting production-based racing and asked Paul Dunstall to enter a Yoshimura prepared factory GS1000s Suzuki in TT Formula One events in 1979. The machine was sent from Japan to Pops Yoshimura in California where the engine received special cams , larger inlet and exhaust valves , high compression slipper pistons, self generating ignition, close ratio gears and a stronger clutch basket , The crankshaft conrods and bottom end being left in stock . Retaining the standard 28 mm carburettors a Formula One requirement. The 1000cc tuned GS produced around 114 bhp with a wide spread of usable power .

As well as other additions to inside the engine which were a Kawasaki KZ 1000 idler wheel fitted into the cylinder head below the intake cam and an inverted stock GS 750 idler roller was installed into the GS 1000 cylinder head to help keep the cam chain under control when revs were 10,000 RPM plus, reduced valve stems and enlarged valve seats, 10.5 -1 high compression slipper pistons, confirming this is an original Yoshimura race tuned F1 engine (by Pops Yoshimura). Changes to the chassis included a shorter Peckett and mcNabb swinging arm and RG 500 fork yokes. Period photographs of the Sheene Suzuki racing at Oulton Park show it equipped with only a cockpit fairing , whereas photographs taken later in the season show the type of full fairing that it also wore. It can also be seen that this machine was equipped with a right foot gearchange as were many of Barry Sheene’s bikes.

The Dunstall Suzuki teams regular riders were Steve machin and Bob Smith but Sheene’s 2nd place at Oulton park would be its best result in 1979. The Ex-Sheene Suzuki was later sold by Tony Robinson (who was involved in the running of the Suzuki Dunstall team) to Martin Jones of Muswell Hill London then sold it to Mike Ryan of Cheltenham in April 1998 then purchased by Richard Ford in June 1999, since 2002 the Suzuki has been on display in the Lake land motor museum . This Suzuki has not been run since being loaned to the museum but has just recently been recommissioned by Dyna tech and the present owner, only requiring new tyres to be able to race this one off classic machine .

Believed the only Japanese  four -stroke ever raced by the late ex-world champion  (he did race a Seeley Norton in 1970 retiring with gearbox problems). This is very rare ex-factory production racer is now offered with various bills of sale and period press cuttings tracing its history back to  Tony Robinson with a bill of sale and internal engine photo’s previously sold by Bonhams as the original bike raced by Barry Sheene.

1979 Suzuki GS Barry Sheene R Rear

What’s it really worth? Well, this is a one-of-a-kind machine that appears to be in perfectly-preserved condition, and and is ready to race. Just add tires. Sorry: “tyres.” And while it certainly isn’t as desirable as one of Barry’s two-stroke race bikes would be, it was ridden by the man himself in competition, and looks great in Heron Suzuki livery: he rode for Heron Suzuki until after the 1979 season and his famous battle with Kenny Roberts at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone would have been on a bike with these colors.

A beautiful piece of racing history and touched by the man himself.


1979 Suzuki GS R 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.


1969 Norton Dunstall Cockpit

1973 Norton 850 Dunstall with history

Update 2.18.2013: Previously listed in July of last year, this Norton Dunstall is back on Craigslist. Links updated. -dc

This was sent to us from a reader with the story how it came to be. Really I cannot add much to the story, so here it is from the seller.

In the beginning I had a 1968 Triumph Bonneville. I had to sell it to buy a car. A few years later I wanted a bike again and went shopping for another Triumph. In those days you went to bike shops to shop for bikes . So off I went to the only bike shop in town , Ross’s Harley Davidson to look for a Triumph! That day the only thing close was an old Norton commando. This was around 1978 and the Norton was a 1973 750 so it was 5yrs old but seemed much older, go figure. It was no Triumph but I bought it anyways. I never looked back from then on.

Not long after as I was cruising along the Mississippi on River Drive, in the opposite direction came another bike. I sure enough it was a Norton, we both did an about face. That was the beginning of my friendship with Merlin Johnson. Merlin was younger ,crazier a better wrench and rider. He was on a Commando, and had other bikes. This is where the Dunstall comes in. Later he would hang out with his 1973 850 Dunstall. It had a bigger counter shaft sprocket than my 19 toother, . We did a top out , I remember his clutch was slipping on the 850 but I had my 750 revd to the sky, trying to keep up as he kept waving is arm as to tell me “you’re going to blow it ,you dumb ass” We’ll life was throwing some curve balls to Merlin, as he didn’t like cops and they were always looking for him.It just got worse and worse. The big red fairing on the 850 Dunstall was pretty easy to spot, after several run aways he had to hide the bike . Things got even worse for ol’ Merlin, and I told him to just keep clean to about a year or so and everything will become bearable. His Mom confiscated the Commando.

He was left with another Dunstall that was a work in progress to which I was helping.We had dreams of racing it when it was done.. He killed himself I believe running away from cops on the unfinished 750 Dunstall. I was devastated but I also wanted to reach across the abyss and slap the shit out of him for being so stupid . He was so bright sometimes and it was a great loss. I got a call from his mom, afterwards ,he had loan out on the 850 Dunstall .She said that Merlin was afraid that the bank was going to reprocess the 850 Dunstall so he took it all apart .

That’s where it was sitting ,scattered all over his moms garage. She asked me to try to reassemble it. I said I would very much like to. It was good therapy putting my good friend’s bike back together and helping the family. After I was finished somehow the bank found out about the bike and reprocessed it. I found out about that episode somehow , maybe one of his brothers told me I don’t remember . But I do know I was fairly angry. I contacted the bank and made an offer to purchase the bike. After some legal s*&% it was mine.

And now it is up for sale and you can contact the seller through the craigslist add. BB

Norton Commando Dunstall Cafe

For me the Dunstall body parts are kind of a like or hate situation. Some of them are just awkward and the lines have absolutely no flow at all. That is not the case with the bike. This is one of the earlier designs when things were more round and less angular. It’s not often you find a nice “rider” Norton with a Dunstall kit. Usually I see the body parts for sale or a complete museum piece with Dunstall parts. That’s why I’ve taken interest in this bike. You can have a unique piece of motorcycle racing history with the option to ride it. The bike seems to be mechanically sound even though its a little rough in looks. I’d take that over a pristine unridable museum piece any day.

Norton Commando Dunstall Cafe for sale on eBay

Seller’s description.

For sale is my Norton Commando 750 Dunstall Cafe. I’m selling this very reluctantly, but I need the space and cash for my next build.
Background: I purchased this 2+ years ago from MA and had it shipped to CA. It sat for 5+ years. The top end was refreshed by a Norton Mechanic and the transmission was recently redone, a hydraulic clutch from Colorado Norton Works was also installed which makes it very smooth to operate. Electronic ignition is also in it and it purrs at 900 rpm. The seat is from England and is a cafe style – worth about $500- the gas tank is fiberglass, black MANX style from Clubman Racing worth $500 ish- if you can find one!

Borani wheels, brand new front brake pucks made to order. Carbs rebuilt 12 months ago – original Amals. I have several bikes and this one is the one that turns heads when the sound goes by or when people walk by. Like most british classic, it drips a small amount of oil but nothing to worry about. The isolastics have been tuned also. The rev counter has a crack in the glass- which I never replaced. Front forks rebuilt, brand new battery with tender installed also. If your interested but have never owned a Norton- please do your research, the components alone a worth quiet a bit. Dunstall was a specialties performance house (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_Dunstall ) The bike also has the original Paul Dunstall rear sets foot rubbers.
The bike starts on the 3rd to 7th kick which is normal. This is a great chance to own a Norton Commando Classic with rare Dunstall components, amazing seat, MANX tank and a beautiful red frame. Please check out the pictures and videos, the picture with me in it shows the old tank which unfortunately was eaten by the California Ethanol in the fuel here- I will include it if you really want it, the silver seat I will also include.

Tank eaten by ethanol, can we stop putting food in our fuel? Also, can we a start a campaign explaining to owners of rare fiberglass tanks that ethanol will ruin them so please stop putting modern fuel in your tanks?

Get your next rider right here.


1968 Triumph Bonneville with Dunstall

This British Racing Green Dunstall did not appear to have sold last month, it is available again with a buy it now of $10,00. If anyone saw the ending bid of the last auction, you can add it to the comments to let possible bidders know what they might have to bid to bring this one home.

We have shown a few Triumphs her at CSBFS, and we have shown a few Dunstall equipped bikes as well. I am a fan of small, independent aftermarket manufactures that can take a good bike and make it better. Dustall is a man, Paul is his first name, who went out and raced his bike and was able to make a profit at it. What he learned on his own bike he offered up to others. This 1968 Triumph Bonneville offered on eBay now takes advantage of what Paul did, and the future owner is going to be better for it.

From the seller

This is a beautiful matching number 68’ Bonneville with original Paul Dunstall tank, seat, fenders, and fairing. All Dunstall parts are in perfect condition and NEVER damaged. The Ceriani front forks with clip on bars makes the bike handle like it’s on rails. A steering dampener was added for additional safety. The pipes are by Raymond Hyde, and the mufflers are by SuperTrap. The tires are Bridgestone Battlax 100/90-V19 & 120/90-V18

I often try to get some performance numbers for bikes we highlight, but this is becoming difficult. I am not going to criticize, because I would do the same thing. As people are resurrecting these Classic Bikes they are taking advantage of today’s technology, and today’s aftermarket providers to make them better. Bigger, faster, stronger; Kind of like the Steve Austin.

Here are a few things inside the engine.

Engine specifications:

750 big bore kit

Carrillo rods

JE pistons

Megacycle cam

4 valve oil pump

Boyer electronic ignition

Balanced pistons, rods, and crank  shaft

Amal concentric Carbs

Mechanical oil pressure gage

Transmission has been converted to a 5 speed

This Bonneville offered up on eBay now was written up in a classic motorcycle magazine. Looking at the pictures and reading the work that has been done, I can see why. The nice thing about eBay, is that the new owner can now say they own a magazine bike, without having to have spent the time, money and energy to get it to Magazine quality. All you need is the cash. Good Luck. BB

1970 Dunstall Norton Commando

With any sports bike offered by a manufacture there is someone out there who wants to improve it. This is the case with Paul Dunstall. He started as a club racer, started to produce his own race ready parts, and by the mid ‘60s was the go to guy to make your street bike much more then the bike that rolled out of the factory. This Dunstall Norton offered on eBay now is a nice looking representation of effort of Paul at the turn of the 1970’s.

From the seller

1970 Norton Commando
Dunstall Kit
750 CC
Rear Sets
Re-Sleeved Amals
Lucas Rita Electronic Ignition
Rebuilt Tachometer and Speedometer
Bike runs good, but does wet sump. I have two anti-sump valves installed, but I still get smoke from time to time, out of the left hand side, when starting. Could need valve guides, I’m not sure. Mileage is unknown. I noted 85 because that’s what the speedometer reads since it was rebuilt.

If you were to walk into your Norton dealer in 1970 you would have been able to get a couple different styled Commando’s. Performance off the showroom was near to 58hp at 6800rpm from the 745cc engine fed by 30mm Amals. Before 1973 you could order Dunstall kits which would address braking, exhaust, engine performance and styling. You could choose the full meal deal, or just add some mufflers. After 1973 Dunstall shipped complete bikes to US dealers. He had also started producing Honda and other Japanese performance parts. When you hear someone say Dunstall, you have to wonder to what extent they were able to take their bike.

From the history of Dunstall

Dunstall was closely linked to the launch of the Commando. At the launch there were brochures listing custom and conversion or tuning kits. The conversion kits provided three levels of tune and resulted from collaboration with Dunstall. The first stage raised the compression ratio to 10:1 and included a pair of long tapered megaphone shaped silencers to push the speed up to 120 MPH. Stage two brought in a new camshaft, exhaust pipes, inlet tracts and inlet valves to go to 130 MPH. Stage three added a hotter camshaft, racing exhaust system with megaphone, bigger carburettors and a further 7 MPH. All the kits included various other odds and ends, but in the end, none were ever produced.

One of the major improvements offered by Dunstall were in the front end. Twin disks were relatively new to the scene, and Dunstall offered some of the first after market upgrades. This Commando appears to have the stock twin leading shoe front brake, and this leads me to wonder how much of the catalog was used, or how little. There is really no way to know without taking the engine down, and since the seller doesn’t let us know, you can only use your eyes, and not assume things you cannot see. BB


1970 Dunstall Norton Commando

I had done a little research about Paul Dunstall when writing about this Triumph back in May, and since then have been keeping an eye out for other bikes claiming to have Dunstall connection. Mostly you find a bike with Dunstall mufflers, maybe a Dunstall replica fairing, but few which claim to be Dunstall Bikes. This Norton Commando offered here on eBay is the only one I have seen with Dunstall in the title.

The seller says


Paul Dunstall was a racer who decided to market some of the parts that he had developed to go faster, and by 1961 had a catalogue of parts. By 1966 he was developing whole Dunstall motorcycles, starting with “of the shelf” Triumphs, BSA, and Norton. By 1971 Paul has stopped racing and worked full time at creating fast European and Japanese bikes.

From the seller


The pictures show a well put together machine with nice paint, shinny chrome, bikini fairing, and cafe seat. It also shows a huge tachometer and no speedo.

For 1971 Dunstall offered the Mark 1 and Mark 11 Norton Commandos in economic or high performance tunes. Pulling from the many parts offered, this could have included new aluminum cylinders, and attention the head porting, as well as mufflers and fairing as mentioned by the seller.

The bike is listed with 1198 miles and is a restoration. But did this Commando start out as an original Dunstall Norton? The seller implies this. Or was is a restoration of a Norton Commando put together with a collection of original Dunstall parts?  With a buy it now price of $16,975 you are going to get a very nice Norton, with some nice Dunstall parts. But at that price I would be surprised if it could get yourself a Dunstall assembled Norton Commando. BB

1970 Dunstall Triumph

During the 1960’s and 70’s there were companies started by ex-racers that took what the factory offered and made it their own. Paul Dunstall was one of these racer/builders and a 1970 Dunstall Triumph is being .

Starting racing when he was just 18, Paul Dunstall designed his own parts to be competitive. By 1961 he had a catalogue of parts, and in 1966 started to build complete bikes. Starting with a stock  Norton, BSA or Triumph, he would strip it down and put it back together with his fairings, seats, and exhaust. He would then replace heavy steel components with lightweight alloy parts. For a few dollars more you could get Dunstall to tune your engine with improved porting, and larger carbs. The great history I found also showed that Paul would work with Universitiy engineers to develope his exhaust for better power.

The seller gives provenance for his bike

Titled as a 1971 Dunstall (engine and frame are matching numbers with a a July build date), not a stateside conversion.  Have documentation from VMCC that it was shipped to Dunstall and the dates.

The history of Paul Dunstall tells that 1970 offered a new twin disk system up front. This bike offers twin disk up front but it is hard to tell enough details to know which set up is offered.

Seller states:


The master cylinder and calipers are rebuilt with new pads, 20 miles.Tires are almost new…the wheels are Borranis as is correct for a Dunstall.

For the engine Dunstall replaces the 650cc cylinders with a larger 750cc big bore kit. This engine comes with a Routt steel unit, who was another aftermarket performance designer of the time. Quaife was a name from the period known for the 5 speed transmissions offered on this bike.

The seller also points out the faults:

windshield which has been replaced (Gustafson), bike as not been down while moving, believe it has tipped over and cracked fairing and windshield.  Fairing has had slight repairs done to it……Del’Orto 34mm pumper carbs (not original – should be 32mm Amals)

Yellow may not be a color that you would choose for yourself, but when buying a period modified bike, you often have to accept the period popular colors. Maybe you can paint the spare fairing a color of your choice.