1971 Norton Commando LR Fastback Special

by George Kraus
(Portland Oregon USA)

1971 Norton Commando LR Fastback Special

1971 Norton Commando LR Fastback Special

1971 Norton Commando LR Fastback Special 1971 Norton Commando LR Fastback Special 1971 Norton Commando LR Fastback Special 1971 Norton Commando LR Fastback Special

The Manx Commando concept that my Norton eventually developed into - black primary and brake drums, ace bars, drilled components, Manx number plate/windscreen, solo seat, etc. - came about during an all night drive back from the San Jose BSA Clubman Show, about 1993 or '94 with Kenny Dreer (Norton America). Kenny and I were good friends back then. The sleep deprived drive developed a drug-like effect on us two vintage crazed individuals, all hopped up on the exposure of the show. In our hyperactive minds, we designed the perfect Manx Commando. We had it built in our minds before the sun came up. I don't claim to have any effect on the success of Kenny Dreer. He is an ambitious, work driven perfectionist, and a craftsman. He was a good teacher and I was eager to learn. I later spent about a year in the barrel working for Kenny, building many Norton's, Triumphs, and BSA's from my home shop.

I designed Kenny's original Vintage Rebuilds and Restorations brochure, as a trade for a core bike and all the parts and services at cost. I did all the upgrades Kenny had developed at that time. I don't claim my Norton as a Dreer bike and I wouldn't truthfully call it the prototype, but you get the idea. It's the likeness of an idea. Kenny had no true prototypes. It's a process of evolution. I built my Norton myself in my shop with the tutelage and support of Kenny. I now have over 23,000 flawless miles on this bike.

I restore Norton's and Triumph's in my small shop. www.gekrestorations.com.

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