Norton is a brand of motorcycles that is known for its dynamic handling and speed. The British motorcycles are aesthetically pleasing as well. The brand became well-known and respected upon the release of the world's first production superbike, called the Norton Commando in 1969. For your enjoyment and consideration, here are the 10 best Norton Motorcycles of all-time.
10. 1953 Norton Manx GP Racer
The 1953 Norton Manx GP Racer was one of the most innovative machines in the 1950s era. It featured Road Holder forks, a Featherbed frame, and a dual overhead Cam engine. This bike was made for track racing but it was also a fast commuter that could get you from one place to another in record time. It showcased the advanced technology of the Norton Motorcycle company.
9. 1927 Norton CS1
The 1927 CS1 was one of Norton's great early accomplishments. It was a success on the racetrack and was an instant hit. The bike was billed as a Super Sport Roadster that led the sales from the late 1920s through the early 1930s. Norton continued its legacy of producing popular motorcycles since its founding in the early 1900s. Norton was off to a good start even as far back as the 1920s, building its strong reputation for quality motorbikes. This is a tradition that would continue for the next half-century.
8. 1952 Norton Dominator 88
The 1952 Norton Dominator 88 was an important motorcycle in the history of the brand. It was the first model to feature the brand new Featherbed frame. The engineering team also used an alloy head on one of the fastest twin engines of the day. It was at this point that Norton established a solid reputation for the speedy twin engines used in its production motorcycles.
7. 1962 Norton Atlas
The 1962 Atlas was a model that featured Norton's 750cc engine. The model series ran through 1968. It featured the legendary Featherbed frame that Norton was famous for. The frame gave the motorcycle exceptional handling. This was another legendary bike that ended up being a hit in the United Kingdom because it was so easy to ride, it cornered well and it was easier than most other bikes to maneuver into higher spaces. The Atlas was just one more feather in the cap of Norton.
6. 1969 Norton 650SS
The 1969 Norton 650SS is a classic British motorcycle that earned a significant position in the history of Norton as well as in the motorcycle industry as a whole. 1969 was the last year that Norton used the Featherbed frame. It was the very last Norton mode that would feature the build that received such high praise and approval from fans of the brand who valued the exceptional steering and handling it had to offer.
5. 1969 Norton Commando
The 1969 Norton Commando is another significant model. This bike premiered Norton's new isolastic suspension. It was a revolutionary innovation at the time. The designer engineered the design with the entire engine-gearbox on rubber mounts, which attached the swingarm pivot to the rear to the engine to maintain constant chain travel and to direct the vibration to the ground via the back wheel. The bike was equipped with a 750cc engine and it became an instant success. It was a powerful bike that was hailed as one o the most innovative suspension designs. The bike was one of the more technologically advanced motorcycles ever built by the brand up to that time. It remained in production through 1975 and is now a classic collectible if you're fortunate enough to be able to get your hands on one.
4. 1975 Norton Commando
The 1975 Norton Commando was also well reived with plenty of power thanks to the 850cc engine. This is the year that Norton installed an electric starter in the bike. This was a pivotal year in the history of the company as Norton had experienced a series of ups and downs throughout the years. The business finally succumbed to financial difficulties and went into receivership that year. Control of the factory went back and forth from one party to another.
3. 1978 Norton Commando
The 1978 Norton Commando was also a significant bike in the history of the legendary company. Production of the bike continued at a low trickle. The 1978 edition was the last Norton Commando sold with just a few left in the inventory and marketed as a 1978 model. The troubled financial past of Norton had finally caught up with it and production of the beloved Commando was done.
2. 1976 Norton Commando Interpol
In 1970, Norton began its production of the model that the named the Commando Interpol. This was a popular bike with law enforcement. In fact, it was built specifically for police use. The production of this bike enjoyed a healthy six years with the final model produced in 1976. The Norton Interpol was built in Norton's Superbike era, along with the other popular versions in the Commando line including the Fastback and the Roadster.
1. 1970 Norton Commando Roadster
The 1970 Norton Commando Roadster is a memorable classic motorcycle that was built with the American market in mind. The bike was made in a 750cc version from 1970 through 1973. From 1973 through 1975, it was available in a more powerful 850 cc engine. This bike was no doubt an effort to break into the American market to help improve the financial standing of the company. It gave Americans a good sample of British ingenuity and innovation. The Commando Roadster that was set to become an export to the United States enjoyed a decent run from 1970 through 1975, but even though it was an outstanding motorcycle, the struggling company was in so much turmoil that production of the popular bike was discontinued.
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Written by Benjamin Smith
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