In today's world, there appears to be fewer and fewer experts who are committed to keeping vintage motorcycles functioning. At Italianiron Classics and BritIron Classics, we continue our commitment to the best in vintage racing motorcycles. We recently had the opportunity to buy a Norton inventory from a British Motorcycle shop where the owners were retiring. Not only will this allow us to complete 5 Norton twin builds, but we will be able to offer some hard to find Norton items for our customer base. As discussed previously, expanding into the Norton world will allow us also to continue to build synergies with the new owners of Two Wheel Classics, Molnar Precision LTD who provide many of our Ducati TT Racer bits and as a result, we hope to continue to jointly support the sport of Vintage Motorcycle Racing worldwide.
We are excited to participate in the world of the Norton Manx and Norton Commando racers and street bikes. At BritIron Classics we will continue to focus solely on twin cylinder Nortons. However, Molnar Manx does make items for Norton Commandos in addition to the bits available for the Molnar Manx race and street machines. I will continue to list both Manx and Commando bits in addition to our Ducati TT & Ducati F1 race items as quickly as I can on our Italianiron.com website. Shown below is a set of cylinder barrels for the Norton Commando made by Molnar Precision LTD. These barrels come in 83 mm, 77 mm, 73 mm and 68 mm bore sizes and with iron or nikosil liners. Head and barrel bolt kits are also available to fulfill your requirements.
Our current inventory of Norton Commando & Dominator bits consists of a large array of both OEM and NOS items. We have several 850 and 750 engines that came in this inventory. Shown below is a Norton Commando 750 race engine with some specialty Harley-Davidson Sportster race pistons and head work. This engine was built in New Mexico by a speciality race shop according to the owner of the British Motorcycle shop. We have not pulled the head yet but I was told by the shop owner that the previous owner of this racer found the power delivery characteristics of this 750 race engine beyond his skill level. We will have to see. However, once we have all of the spare parts catalogued and listed, we will have time to be able to do some analysis of these different engines and share our results of the condition of all of these engines. We will also be using our SmartCarb flat-slides on these British "Beasts" and will share the test results from our dyno work. Stay tuned!
In addition to Norton Commando, Atlas and Dominator engines, we have primary covers, timing covers in addition to gear boxes. I have always found that the Norton engine as well as the round-case Ducati 750 bevel drive engines are two of the most striking engines to look at by their design. Arguably, both the Ducati and the Norton engines have had significant race successes in their day as well. As I have always focused on vintage racing motorcycles, we will be building a John Player Norton street bike but also a John Player Norton 750 race bike. These efforts will be a way to connect with my childhood when I was growing up in Edinburgh, Scotland and followed Norton racing greats like Peter Williams and Dave Croxford. This was before I discovered the Ducati bevel drives that I have focused on for the past few decades . However, I have never lost my fascination with nor respect for the Norton marque.
Back in the 1960's, it was an exciting time to follow two and four wheel racing when the British industrial complex was the envy of the world and British racers were making their impact felt on the international stage. This was a time when the world of motor racing and technology was in its infancy and these mechanical engineers were pioneers in this "brave" new world. What a dynamic time in history when racers from different nations could compete against each other and their machines without a weapon of war in their hand!! It is truly remarkable where technology is today and in contrast to those humble beginnings. This is why, in my opinion we need to keep this chapter in motor racing alive and well!!
It is remarkable how this 50 year old "vintage" alloy polishes up! One of the many benefits to living in the Sonoran desert of the American Southwest is the number of craftsman that are available who can offer their expertise at a reasonable cost due to the very cost effectiveness of having a shop space here. It is our hope to share those items and expertise from our "little part of the world". Shown above and below is the polishing work of Don Jose's metal polishing who is located here in Tucson. It is exciting to see these bits of metal to "come back to life!"
We will continue to get engine case covers polished in addition to frames, swingarms and isolastic components cleaned. There are also Commando & Dominator engine heads, barrels, engine crank cases and gear boxes all to be brought back to life with some TLC. Further, we have many NOS Norton items still in the factory packaging. It has also been a trip through history going through this inventory as there are original factory workshop and parts manuals. I will continue to list what we have as quickly as possible (as it is quite a great deal of bits) or you can contact me through the website, italianiron.com for items that you may be searching to find.
To keep our Italianiron and BritIron initiatives separate for ease of organization, in addition to my Italianiron@msn.com email address, I have created a BritIronclassics@gmail.com email address today. In addition, we are also working to build a Facebook Store for our Italian and Brit specialty bits and will make that information available once we have that set up. Please contact me through one of those email addresses if we can be of help in offering Norton and Manx spare parts or to purchase one of our Norton builds.