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Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by theturtleshead, Jan 5, 2013.
Norton Model 18
Nice old Norton...
Shot taken by GeofS, and lifted from this site... http://www.ikba.co.uk/ showing a VMCC track day
IF you look at Norton's output from 1962 through 1967 you will see their average production of all motorcycles 500cc-750cc was around 3-4 thousand a year total!
This pales in comparison to all other popular advertised brands with wide dealer networks.
In comparison Triumph put out 10K-30K 500-650cc twins each year in the same time period, and BSA sold at least as many as Triumph.
Most of the 20K over 500cc Norton motorcycles sold from 1963 through 1967 were 750cc twin Atlas street scramblers or road bikes for the USA market. Very few 500cc-650cc Nortons were produced during this time.
Owner's of Triumph TT specials and BSA Hornets think they have rare bikes, and in comparison to other BSA and Triumph bikes they do, but very often the number of regular Norton catalogue models was as low or lower than the "specials" larger companies produced.
For 1961 Norton produced about 550 650cc bikes total, 1962 might be the largest year for 650cc production with about 1400 built, after 1962 the production of 650cc bikes was very small as the 750cc bikes were pushed for export markets, and even they were low production.
While Triumph was putting out thousands of 500cc twins each year during the 1960s, 9000 during 1966 alone, Norton was making their 500cc twins in batches of a few hundred each year. Production of the 88ss sports model was 175 units for 1962-1963 combined, and probably only around 100 units each year for 1964 through 1966.
So if you have a chance to get your hands on a Norton Dominator SS from the 1960s of either 500cc, 600cc or 650cc displacement then you should do it as you will have not only one of the best all around road bikes sold in that era, you will also have a very rare motorcycle that is not generally available no matter how much money someone has in their pocket. These bikes were ignored, neglected, scrapped and turned into Tritons and other specials for many decades making intact examples super-rare these days.
It is usually much easier to find a Vincent twin(7000 produced) for sale than an 88SS or 99ss Norton, and not much easier to find a good 650ss. All the SS Nortons were tested in period magazines at over 100mph, and they did very well in production races of the era. The 650cc Norton SS had a top speed between 110-120mph.
Now is the time to pick up an SS Norton as they are under-valued classics with great history behind them. Prices for good originals are steadily climbing and eventually they will end up priced with Velocette Thruxtons and Goldstars and other low-production 50s and 60s performance specials......
Spotted at a historic event last Saturday
I bought this last summer and after a bit of tidying up took it for its first ride out last week.
Spotted this for sale today. Hell of an engine spec and not cheap at £6500 but looks like a lot of fun and all road legal.
What about the bike?
Here is my '71 Production Racer. It takes a special individual to ride these things in anger.
FWIW It takes a special person to ride one with love. Beautiful bike.
This was one of the few that didn't see the track. The guy I bought it from owned it since 1972. He was in his 70s and hated to see it go.
I told him I would love it just as much as he did.
Photo by WP Barlow, posted in his thread "Delaware Valley Norton Gathering" here in Old's Cool. My white/red Norton between two others with white/blue/red classic paint/graphics: