NORTON CAFE RACER s
The Norton Cafe Racer is the quintessential type. One of the first cafe racers was the Norton Manx. Norton Motorcycles were one of the few major manufacturers to truly recognize embrace the Cafe Racer theme.
They capitalized on it with several excellent factory-specials.
Once the Norton Manx was put into a proper Featherbed frame in 1949, it became an incredible street machine was instantly transformed into a winning GP bike the average Joe was replicating them on the street. When the Norton Dominator 88 500cc twin came out in 1952, it had the Featherbed. This frame carried virtually every heavy bike Norton built, right up through the 750cc 1966 Norton Atlas, when it was by the Commando an all new frame.
The Norton Commando came out in 1967 it introduced an entirely new type of frame. Norton’s patented Isolastic Suspension mounted the swingarm pivot to the back of the engine, then rubber mounted the whole thing in the frame, as a means of isolating the rider from vibration. It worked it transformed the big vertical twin into the world’s first superbike.
The Norton Commando enjoyed great success in racing several street models were introduced to capitalize on it, with a number of factory-specials like the Norton John Player Special the Norton Production Racer. All make great Cafe Racers, Norton Cafe Racers.
1975 Norton Production Racer
The Norton Production Racer began in 1971 with a special high-compression Norton Commando 750 engine. The series ran until Norton Motorcycles fizzled out in 1975. Gorgeous motorcycles.
Norton teamed up with John Player Special cigarettes went racing. After Peter Williams achieved a stunning Formula 750 victory at the Isle of Man in 1973 on Team Norton’s John Player Special, the company scrambled to create a road version of its famous racer to sell to the public. Clearly a case of Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.
Period-correct 60s-style Norton Cafe Racer. 1966 was the last year for the Norton Atlas for the famous long-running Norton Featherbed Frame that had been born in the late 1940s served Norton Motorcycles so well, earning it the reputation as the best-handling motorcycles in the world! The Norton Commando was introduced in 1967 the Featherbed was replaced by the Commando’s Isolastic Suspension.
This 1972 Norton Production Racer is the epitome of a Cafe Racer: fast, sexy, hunkered-down street legal. These bikes have beautiful lines. But then, what Norton doesn’t (well. the High Rider was pretty ugly!)?
There’s some about yellow bikes that really turn me on.
This delicious 1972 Norton Production Racer (technically a replica, made from a standard Norton Commando) has a polished aluminum alloy tank side covers, while the fiberglass seat fairing are painted silver to match. Polished aluminum is an especially attractive finish a personal favorite of mine.
The Triton is a cross-breed or hybrid, created with you put a Triumph (the TRI-part) engine in a Norton (the TON part). Of course, these weren’t factory-built bikes. Many were built by fabricators in private shops, some were cobbled together in garages. This is a prime example very nicely done.
The 1963 Triumph Bonneville 650 engine fits nicely with custom-made alloy mounting plates. But, is it a Norton Cafe Racer?
- Norton Classic, 588cc Rotary Engine: 1988 Rider Magazine
- NORTON MOTORCYCLES
- Norton, the Later Years
- 2010 Norton Commando 961 SE
- Faster and Faster: Norton Commando 961 SE riding impression