Tagged: featherbed

Frisky Featherbed: 1965 Norton Atlas for Sale

1964 Norton Dominator L Side

Often overlooked in favor of the more rakish Commando and more famous Triumph Bonneville, the Norton Atlas offers familiar British twin strengths with its own particular charms. The parallel twin may be the perfect motorcycle powerplant. Compact, simpler, and easier to package than a v-twin or inline-four, smoother and more sophisticated than a single, the layout was used extensively by the British biking industry in the 1960s and 1970s. Unfortunately, the layout’s Achilles heel is vibration, especially in larger displacement applications.

1964 Norton Dominator Engine

Certainly vibration was an issue as Norton’s twins grew past 500cc, eventually necessitating the Commando’s innovative Isolastic frame, but handling certainly wasn’t a problem for the Atlas: it was fitted with the famous “featherbed” frame, so named after racer Harold Daniell described the 1950 racebike that originally used a similar design as being so smooth and comfortable it was “like riding on a featherbed.”

1964 Norton Dominator Dash

Today’s example has been well-maintained and features some appropriate, period-correct updates and modifications along with tons of character and patina.

1964 Norton Dominator Primary

From the original eBay listing: 1965 Norton Atlas for Sale

This auction is for a very good example of a great British motorcycle, don’t overlook the Atlas model: they are very sought after on the other side of the pond and my personal experience has been that it has out performed my other similar Brit twins, Triumphs and BSAs included.

It is still a low mileage mostly original bike even has  the std size factory dished top pistons for low compression are still in their noticed them when I decarbonized the top end also that is the original seat covering in place.

Here is a list of repairs and up-grades that I have done since I owned the bike and It probably has only covered 7k afterwards(other bikes to ride)

6 start oil pump drive, cam chain replaced, mag chain replaced, oil distribution seal for crank changed, gearbox sprocket  changed, solid state voltage regulator, Boyer dual coil, 1968 Commando distributor in place of magneto with electronic ignition now starts with key.

Bob Newby primary belt drive, best on the market, cost $780 eliminated oil leaks from the badly designed steel primary cover and as an added benefit bike has less vibration also changed to the newer laminated style stator. Norvil pushrod seal conversion insures clutch stays dry.

Clutch now has a sweet take up and very light lever pull. 

If you are a  collector the Frame and Engine numbers do match. 

This  motorcycle is a collectible model that won’t depreciate with its slim line “featherbed frame” really is a joy to ride, extremely stable for a classic bike and can handle  100 mile weekend  day rides in the summer months even on the highway with no over-heating!

1964 Norton Dominator Front Wheel

The seller also includes a list of some original parts that are included. It’s obviously been enthusiast-owned and well cared for, although with no takers at the $5,500 starting bid, the seller may be aiming high, even considering the condition.

-tad

1964 Norton Dominator R Side

Working Class Hero: 1958 Triton for Sale

1958 Triton L Side

One of my favorite things about motorcycles is the seeming endless ways there are to mix and match parts to create new machines. Chain drive and fairly simple frames mean that it’s no big deal to say, sling an RD400 motor into the old GS500E you have lying around. But while many of these creations are born of necessity or just to see if it can be done, the classic Triton was a very functional motorcycle that actually managed to achieve some legitimacy among the motorcycling community.

1958 Triton R Side Engine

The Triton was a hybrid that used a Triumph parallel-twin engine and the famously excellent-handling Norton “featherbed” frame to create a seriously nimble motorcycle with good power and endless tuning potential. It also happens to be the name of the half-man, half-fish son of Poseidon in Greek mythology, something that the motorcycling community has sadly not capitalized on.

1958 Triton Dash

The choice of a Triumph engine might seem odd at first. After all, in stock form, it was actually a bit more powerful than the Triumph. But the Norton’s longer-stroke engine had a much higher piston speed and was considered less reliable, and a wealth of performance parts and tuning expertise were available for the Triumph as well.

1958 Triton L Side Engine

Interestingly, the non-unit design of both bikes meant that either four-speed gearbox could be used, although the Norton’s was generally considered superior. Really, all it took to make a Triton was a couple of donor bikes and a set of engine/transmission mounting plates, so it wasn’t too difficult to build one if you were reasonably competent with a set of tools, and plenty of these were built then and are being built today, so “authenticity” is hard to define and hard to verify.

From the original eBay listing: 1958 Triton for Sale

Ultimate Cafe Racer

1958 Norton Featherbed frame (Model 88)

1971 Triumph T120R engine with 4 speed transmission.

  • Unity Special Equipe UNAX2 Polished aluminum, Lyta style, 3 Gallon Short Circuit fuel tank.
  • Unity Wideline oiltank w/ battery holder
  • Unity Wideline Seat
  • Unity Fiberglass Fenders
  • Gold Star Silencers
  • Converta Engine plates
  • 4 Leading shoe Brake hubs
  • Akront Rims laced by Hagon
  • Far too many parts to list them all. For more information please feel free to contact us with your inquiries. 
  • Clocks show 269 Miles. Actual mileage is unknown. 
  • Was acquired from a museum. Rides and sounds wonderful. 

1958 Triton R Side Rear

I don’t know all that much about Tritons, but I know enough to know that they naturally vary a bit from bike to bike, since there’s no such thing as a “factory” example. These really do take the best bits and incorporate them into one of the most beautiful bikes of the era: everything is on display here, and looks purposefully industrial, but hand-crafted and decorative at the same time… So far, bidding is very slow, with the Reserve Not Met at $5,000 which is obviously well below where I expect this to sell, but maybe someone will manage to scoop a bargain with this one…

-tad

1958 Triton L Side Riding

Perfect Recreation: 1961 Norton Manx Replica for Sale

1961 Norton Manx Replica R Front

For many vintage motorcycle enthusiasts, the Commando is what first springs to mind when you mention Norton. But while that bike was stunning to look at and fast, its design wasn’t really cutting-edge, even when new. For vintage racing fans however, the name Norton probably conjures up images of this bike, the Norton Manx, a bike whose technical specification set the standard for privateer racing in a career that spanned 20 years, an almost impossible-to-imagine longevity in a sport where last year’s bike isn’t a classic, it’s just slow.

1961 Norton Manx Replica R Side Rear

The single-cylinder engine came in two flavors: 500 and 350cc’s. Both used reliable and precise bevel drive and tower shafts to work the dual overhead cams. But while the engine was sophisticated and reasonably powerful, it was just part of the picture and far from the bike’s defining characteristic. Instead, it was the bike’s “featherbed” frame that was the standout feature. The innovative frame was lightweight, stiff, and featured a swingarm rear for excellent roadholding that allowed it to compete against much more powerful machines.

1961 Norton Manx Replica Dash

Christened the Featherbed frame by racer Harold Daniel who described the experience of racing the bike like “riding on a featherbed.” That’s obviously a far cry from the “riding on a bedframe” experience of most motorcycles built when motorcycle frame technology was still in its infancy. But amazingly, the Manx was still winning races almost ten years later…

1961 Norton Manx Replica L Side Engine

So the bikes were stone-axe reliable, nimble, and made decent power, making them hugely versatile tools for the wide variety of events held during that period. In fact, the folks at Molnar will still be happy to build you a perfect replica of the original Manx today, if you have the cash…

From the original eBay listing: 1961 Norton Manx Replica for Sale

I have for sale here a “new” Norton Manx Replica.  This bike was built in the image of a 1961 Manx.  The bike is a re-creation, built to modern standards.  I am relisting the motorcycle with lower Buy It Now and lower reserve.  It was previously listed as a 1962 Manx Replica but Andy Molnar pointed out the single-sided brake is proper for 1961 and earlier, not 1962.

The bike’s features are:

  • New, never run, Molnar Precision Limited 500 cc. DOHC motor.  I have a copy of the original build sheet.
  • Believed new Mick Hemmings Quaife 5 spd. transmission.
  • New Molnar Precision Lightweight beltdrive
  • New Featherbed frame produced by Andover Norton
  • Newly strung alloy wheels, built by Buchanan on proper period magnesium hubs, all new bearings/axles
  • New Ken McIntosh oil and fuel tanks
  • New tachometer 
  • New Amal GP carburetor and Matchbox floatbowl
  • New controls including levers, throttle, rearsets and all cables
  • New seat
  • New exhaust pipe and megaphone
  • Number plates are alloy, not plastic, and new
  • All new nuts and bolts, proper Manx rifle-drilled where appropriate.  The number plate and fender bolts are aerodynamic stainless from Racing Norton
  • Rebuilt, period correct Featherbed forks, new internals, new rear suspension units
  • New alloy fenders
  • New fairing and windscreen

This bike has recently been professionally completed and as noted, has not been run, in respect for its “new” condition.  The Molnar motor was factory equipped with a PVL electronic racing ignition hidden in the stock magneto housing, and initial timing was set at the factory.  (NOTE:  If you intend to purchase this motorcycle to race in a class that prohibits electronic ignitions, I do have a newly rebuilt Lucas magneto that is available separately.)

Andy Molnar is well aware of this motor and will be pleased to discuss it with a purchaser.  The initial cost of the motor is roughly half the Buy It Now price.

An individual purchasing this motorcycle to display will be pleased with the beauty of the bike and the quality of construction and the fact that there has never been petrol or oil in the tanks (I believe this makes international shipping easier as well).  A racer acquiring the bike to compete will need to safety-wire as required by sanctioning bodies.

1961 Norton Manx Replica Shifter

Keep in mind that, in this case, “replica” is underselling it a bit. Molnar makes what are basically recreations of the original Manx bikes, similar to “continuation” Cobras. They’re the real deal in every way, except that they weren’t built fifty years ago. In many ways, this is actually more desirable to anyone who wants to use the bike in anger, since they won’t be risking an irreplaceable piece of racing history and will get a very authentic experience racing one of the most perfectly designed and executed motorcycles of all time.

-tad

1961 Norton Manx Replica 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

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

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

1962 Norton Custom Isolastic Featherbed

Looking for a race ready street legal British bike with lots of cool upgrades for handling and power? Hey, me too. Have a soft spot for Norton engines sitting in Featherbed frames? Hey me too. Have lots of money to spend on a vintage bike that’s built the way you would have built it? Yeah, me neither. A guy can dream though.

Norton Featherbed For Sale

This is one of those bikes that always made me wonder something until I did it myself. For years I always wondered, why spend all the time, money and effort to build your dream bike to just turn around and sell it? Well, I built a very nice custom CB400f once, It took me a long time because I was short on budget and long on wants. Once I got it close to done I began to ride it. At some point I realized it would never really be “done” and so much time had passed I wanted something completely different now. I sold the bike for a fair price but still came out as little bit of a loss. Then I started building a KZ1000 but before that got done I started building a Ducati 250 bevel drive. Maybe that’s what happened here. Somebody has a custom frame built and spends countless hours scouring the internet for the perfect era correct parts and then puts together his dream bike only to find out its not his dream bike anymore.

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Anyway, the buyer of my CB400f got a neat cafe racer for half of what it would cost him to build one and you might be able to buy this Norton for half of what it would cost you to build it. Building motorcycles is nothing like I see on TV where parts magically show up at your door and fit together perfectly the first time. Engines rarely start on the first try. I also find there’s at least one purchase that you have second thoughts about and you spent to much on so it just goes on a shelf waiting to be repurposed someday. Who ever cleans my attic when I’m gone is gonna be stoked. Alright, I’ll get to the point. My point is, if you would like to fast forward threw all the headaches and bad purchases of building a bike buy this one. It’s done, and ready to ride. No crying over midnight eBay parts purchasing or nothing. Turn key and go ride.

$T2eC16F,!zcE9s4g0t87BRQ6ZiZiCw~~60_3

Here’s the sellers long list of stuff and things.

FRESH- NORTON COMMANDO 750 SHORT STROKE IN  A  ISOLASTIC FEATHERBED FRAME, ONE OF A KIND, AND ALL PARTS ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST, BORRANI,BREMBO , GRIMICA, TOMMASELLI, DUNSTALL, GIRLING DUCATI CUSH DRIVE HUB AND SWINGARM ECT,ECT. EVERYTHING IS FRESHLY POLISHED,PAINTED, REBUILT ECT.  BIKE WAS BUILT BY THE BEST NORTON GUY IN THE BUSINESS. BELOW ARE THE SPECS, ON THE BIKE, ALSO INCLUDING A HALF FAIRING WHICH I WILL SEND PHOTOS IF SOMEONE IS VERY INTERESTED.THIS BIKE CAN BE VIEWED ANYTIME IN LAS VEGAS, ALSO FOR SALE LOCALLY AND MAY END AUCTION IF IT SELLS. GOOD LUCK BIDDING.

LIST OF SPECIAL ITEMS:

ENGINE

770CC SHORT STROKE, 78MM BORE X 80.5 MM STROKE WITH CUSTOM MADE TITANIUM RODS, ARAIS SLIPPER PISTONS, SPECIAL LITE STEEL FLYWHEEL, BALANCED BY LINDSKOG BALANCING IN FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (THEY DID ALL THE WORK FOR THE BUTLER AND SMITH BMW’S IN THE 70S AND 80S.  CAM IS A NORRIS RADIUS LIFTER TYPE USING SPECIAL TAPPET BLOCKS INSERTED INTO BARRELL WHERE STOCK LIFTERS SIT.  BLOCKS ARE MADE OF AMPCO 45 MATERIAL AND TAKE SPECIAL CUSTOM ONE PIECE LIFTERS TO FIT INTO BLOCKS MADE FROM P20 OR H13 TOOL STEEL (CAN’T REMEMBER WHICH TYPE MATERIAL) THEY HAVE STELLITTE WELDED TO BOTTOMS AND RADIUSED, NOT BRAZED ON PADS.

CARBS ARE 36MM MK2 AMALS WITH CUSTOM MADE VELICITY STACK ON SPECIAL MADE STEEL MANIFLOWS.  TOMMASELLI.QUICK THROTTLE.  HAS CABLE OPERATED CHOKES FOR EASIER STARTING.

GEARBOX

HAS A NEW CLOSE RATIO 4 SPEED GEAR CLUSTER.  HAS A QUAIFE GEARBOX SHELL WITH NEW BEARINGS.  20T SPROCKET.  CLUTCH IS A NEW BARNETT.  PRIMARY DRIVE IS BY CHAIN.

ALL NEW CABLES.

INSTRUMENTS WERE REBUILT.

HAS NEW BOYER IGNITION AND BOYER POWER BOX, FULL LIGHTING AND HORN.

FRAME

NORTON SLIMLINE FEATHERBED, MODIFIED TO ACCEPT AN ISOLASTIC CRADLE.  ISOLATED CONCEPT IS THE SAME AS A COMMANDO.  HAS A SPECIAL MADE CHROME-MOLY SWINGARM TO CLEAR SUB-FRAME.  MADE  LIKE A DUCATI AND SEELY OF THE 70’S.  HAS A SPECIAL ISOLISTIC HEAD STEADY, LIKE A NORTON PRODUCTION RACER. FRONT DOUBLE DISC IS A DUNSTALL AND REAR WHEEL IS A TRIUMPH WITH A SPECIAL CUSH DRIVE.  ALL DISCS ARE MATCHING IN SIZE AND SHAPE.  LOTS OF STAINLESS THROUGHOUT.  ALL THE FIBER GLASS WORK IS ONE OFF.  EXHAUST IS SPECIAL TUCKIN TYPE  WITH STOCK MUFFLERS, FOOTPEGS, BRAKE PEDAL AND SIDE PLATES ARE ALL SPECIAL MADE CLIP ONS ARE MOTO GUZZI LEMANS.

Now, click, buy and ride.

~Buck

$T2eC16h,!)8E9s4l90(,BRQ6cK62W!~~60_3