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Bike Profile - Posted 12th Feburary 2010

Norton - Classic Motorcycle Marque Profile
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More than a century after Rem Fowler won the first TT race aboard a Norton motorcycle, the marque is still so famous that Norton motorcycles command a price premium over other Britbike equivalents, and attempts continue to this day to breathe life back into the brand.

1956 Manx Norton... 1956 Manx Norton

Yet Nortons aren't one of those classic bikes which are beyond the reach of the everyday classic rider. The exotic, overhead cam, works and clubman racers like the Manx and Inter singles are only part of the story. The Norton factories at Bracebridge Street, Plumstead and Andover produced a full range of motorcycles for some 70 years, so today's classic bike enthusiast can purchase lightweights like the Jubilee or Navigator if buying on a budget, or might consider one of the heavyweight singles like the Model 50, ES2, Big Four, or Models 16, 18 or 19.

Matchless G15 and Norton P11... Matchless G15 and Norton P11 today

Sporting riders have always adored the superb steering supplied by Norton's Roadholder forks and featherbed frame, and for many the Norton Dominator represents the ultimate British post-war sporting twin. For others, the British superbike of the 1970s was epitomised by the Norton Commando and the various versions of the isolastic 750 and 850 twins represent the marque's ultimate achievement. The Desert Sleds, a hybrid of Norton Atlas engines in AMC frames, are the icing on the cake for marque aficionados.

Norton Aurora '1010' Prototype... Norton Aurora '1010' Prototype in the studio

Norton is unusual for a British manufacturer in that its story doesn't end in the 1970s with the collapse of the old industry. The rotary engine project created new Nortons for the 1980s in the shape of the F1 racer, the Classic, Interpol 2 and Commander.

Norton Big Four... Bruce Pollard rode his Norton Big Four to Featherbed Lane in Shrewsbury

RealClassic contributors have ridden many miles aboard a surprising variety of Norton motorcycles and our rebuild of a Dommi 99 is (still!) a work in progress. Follow any of the links on this page to learn more about the different models of the marque and real-life riders' experiences with them…


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Norton on RealClassic.co.uk
All of the Norton pages on RealClassic.co.uk, in one big list:

Norton Commando

  • 1973 Norton Commando 750: Keith's Commando started life as Roadster...
  • Norton Commando 750 Roadster: Tony Page has travelled the world with his...
  • Norton Commando 850 Interstate: Barry's Commando is out to get you...
  • Norton JPS Commando 850: Steve lets rip on a 1970s JPS Norton...
  • 1975 Norton Commando 850: Dennis W Lid's story of a restoration...
  • 2008 Norvil Commando 850 Roadster: See it start on the button! Blimey...

    Norton Atlas

  • 1962 Norton Atlas 750: Something of a bone-shaker, or a 1960s superbike?

    Norton Dominator

  • 1958 Norton Dominator 77: Part 1 - Halfway around the world...
  • 1958 Norton Dominator 77: Part 2 - Pushrods in Greece, ice-cream in Iraq...
  • 1958 Norton Dominator 77: Part 3 - Petrol in Pakistan, bandits in Baluchistan...
  • 1958 Norton Dominator 77: Part 4 - Quarters in Quetta, Spaceships in Orbit...
  • 1959 Norton Dominator 88: Noggy88 is inspired by two twins...
  • 1962 Norton Dominator 88: John and Lizzie rode across Canada...
  • 1964 Norton Dominator 88SS: A decade on a Dominator for David Cooper...
  • 1956 Norton Dominator 99: Jim Algar turns California dreams into reality...
  • 1956 Norton Dominator 99: Chapter One of Jim's Diary - Cracking Up...
  • 1956 Norton Dominator 99: Chapter Two - The Norton Gets Naked...
  • 1956 Norton Dominator 99: Chapter Three - Gremlins and Gearboxes...
  • 1956 Norton Dominator 99: Chapter Four - Bits Arrive, Depart, Get Stuck...
  • 1956 Norton Dominator 99: Chapter Five - Bits Arrive, Have to Depart Again...
  • 1956 Norton Dominator 99: Chapter Six - It's all too easy. Should Jim worry?...
  • 1956 Norton Dominator 99: Chapter Seven - Jim's head has been pounding...
  • 1956 Norton Dominator 99: Chapter Eight - 50 years of abuse take their toll...
  • 1956 Norton Dominator 99: Chapter Nine - The world's biggest rubber band...
  • 1956 Norton Dominator 99: Chapter Ten - Head goes on, comes off. Repeat...
  • 1957 Norton Dominator 99: John Kerridge celebrates his Dommi's 50th year...

    Norton Hybrids

  • 1958 Norton Nomad N15: The Dominator that started the Desert Sled look...
  • 1970 Norton Mercury 650: John Blades rides his dream...
  • AMC / Norton Hybrid: Part 1. Frank Westworth investigates...
  • AMC / Norton Hybrid: Part 2. Frank Westworth spots the differences...
  • AMC / Norton Hybrid: Part 3. Frank Westworth concludes...

    Manx Norton

  • 1957 Manx Norton 30M: What’s it like to own a living legend? Dave explains...
  • Molnar Manx Norton: Classic racer riding impression from Mike Edwards...

    Norton Singles

  • Norton 1931 490cc Works Racer: Does a Norton racer belong in a museum...
  • Norton Big 4: Howard H wants only time and skill...
  • Norton Singles: Pictures and lists from Howard and David...

    Norton Jubilee and Navigator

  • Norton Jubilee: Tom Rodford built a bike out of bits...
  • Norton Navigator: Rob Seedhouse wanted a project to keep him out of trouble...
  • Norton Navigator: Part II - Rob gets busy on the engine...
  • Norton Navigator: Part III - Just the paperwork, then finished...
  • Norton Navigator: Andy discovered that no knowledge at all can help...

    Vintage Norton

  • Norton 1902 Energette The oldest Norton of them all...

    Rotary Nortons

  • Norton Rotary Racers: Reunited at Mallory Park...
  • Norton Rotary Prototype: Frank Westworth on the Aurora 1010 prototype...
  • Norton Prototype Racer: From drawing board to TT triumph to Museum...
  • 2004 Norton F1 Sport: Norton Motors Ltd are back in business...
  • 2007 Norton NRV 588 Racer: Look out Senior TT, here we come...

    The RealClassic Norton Challenge

  • www.NortonChallenge.net: An invitation to ride your classic bike to anywhere called Norton. Norton motorcycles welcome but not essential!

    Norton Tech

  • Oil for Nortons: Many classic bike specialists run a technical helpline, and they're often asked exactly the same question. So we investigated: what's the most common technical question asked about Norton Commandos? Norvil's Les Emery tackles fuel, oil, liquids and lubricants...
  • Norton Commando Brakes: It started with a simple post about Norton Commando brakes and ended up keeping the message board buzzing for days. NVNL shares what he's learned so far...

    Norton Videos

  • Norton Owners' Club Gearbox Servicing DVD: Rowena Hoseason and Frank Westworth review the latest video from the Norton Owners' Club. FW: "This is a masterclass in the noble art of gearbox building"...
  • Rising From The Ashes: Enough of all this riding around in the sunshine. Get back indoors and watch some TV. We dragged Frank Westworth away from his spanners and sat him in front of the telly for an hour...

    Norton Touring

  • Norton Commando Travels - Part 1: Gino Rondelli took his 850 Commando on a extended European excursion, aiming to reach Dracula's castle in Transylvania...
  • Norton Commando Travels - Part 2: So far, they've made it as far as the Romanian border...

    The Norton Owners' Club

  • www.nortonownersclub.org: Founded in 1959, the Norton Owners Club is now an international organisation with several thousand members worldwide. It is dedicated to the worldwide promotion, encouragement and development of an interest in Norton motorcycles, their preservation and usage

    Norton Commando and Dominator Parts

  • www.norvilmotorcycle.co.uk: With over 4000 Norton product lines in stock, Norvil are the largest supplier of genuine Norton & Norvil spares in the world.




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