Norton Cafe Racer
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.FEATHERBED FRAMES
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.ISOLASTIC SUSPENSION
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.PRODUCTION RACER
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 Commando 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.
1974 John Player Norton
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".
1972 Commando Production Racer
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.
TRITON = Triumph Engine + Norton Frame
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?
NORVIN = Norton Frame + Vincent Engine
Norton Cafe Racer meets Vincent V-twin. The Norvin is what you get when you cross a NORton frame (Norton Featherbed Frame to be exact) with a VINcent engine (in this case a 1000cc Vincent Black Shadow V-twin. It's a beautiful installation all around. You can see that the engine had to be tipped back slightly to make it fit. Wonderful machine!
Check out these CAFE RACER BOOKS
BRITISH CAFE RACERS
BRITISH CAFE RACERS
CAFE RACERS: SPEED, STYLE & TON-UP STYLE
ITALIAN CAFE RACERS
BMW CAFE RACERS
CAFE RACERS OF THE 1970s
CAFE RACERS OF THE 1960s
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