NOR­TON CAFÉ

Real Classic - - What Lies Within - Pho­tos by Henry Greg­son

When a project is done and dusted, you nor­mally know ex­actly what not to do next time around. But it’s rare that you get the op­por­tu­nity to build a se­cond spe­cial along the same lines. Henry Greg­son catches up with a ta­lented chap who’s done just that, and built a bike which could bet­ter its pre­de­ces­sor…

When a project is done and dusted, you nor­mally know ex­actly what not to do next time around. But it’s rare that you get the op­por­tu­nity to build a se­cond spe­cial along the same lines. Henry Greg­son catches up with a ta­lented chap who’s done just that, and built a bike which could bet­ter its pre­de­ces­sor…

Readers with mem­o­ries longer than Frank’s beard may re­mem­ber a story in RC129 about a very lovely Nor­ton Domi­na­tor café racer, built by re­tired devel­op­ment en­gi­neer Chris. The Dommi had many home-de­signed and fab­ri­cated fea­tures and was Chris’s first at­tempt at restor­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle. Such was the qual­ity of the build, that since then the only mod­i­fi­ca­tion needed was an oil catch tank on the end of the en­gine breather tube. The need for this ad­di­tion be­came ob­vi­ous at the 2017 Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor­cy­cling Jurby event in the Isle of Man, when the Nor­ton was given some very spir­ited laps of the cir­cuit.

A very good friend of Chris’s was so in­spired by this bike that he de­cided to build one of his own. Sadly, he died be­fore the build had pro­gressed very far, so Chris took over the project. He’s now pro­duced a Mk2 ver­sion of his café racer, in me­mory of his friend. Dare it be said – this one is pos­si­bly even nicer than the orig­i­nal!

So what’s dif­fer­ent about the Mk2? For starters, the lat­est café racer started off life as two dif­fer­ent bikes. The slim­line feath­erbed frame and short Road­holder forks came from a Nor­ton Model 50, and the en­gine from a Domi­na­tor 88. No match­ing num­bers here – but that won’t af­fect how well the ma­chine looks and per­forms. The ex­cel­lent frame and

Com­mando 2ls does the stop­ping – if not as well as the builder ex­pected

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