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Motorcycle Details


Norton Cafe Racer

  • Norton Cafe Racer
  • Norton Cafe Racer
  • Norton Cafe Racer
  • Norton Cafe Racer


Price : USD8,999(Auction)
Date : May 9, 2019
Condition : Used
Year : 1961
Model : Norton
Bike Type : Café Racer
Mileage : 15
Engine Size : 850
VIN : 5143873630
Shipping to : United States
Location : Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1961 Featherbed framed Norton 850 Café Racer with Alton electric starter   NO reserve   I started to build this bike in 2007, first by collecting parts and making plans.  On a whim, I decided to change the final drive to a belt, this may have added some time to the build, but it changed the way the bike looked and made it different from all the other café bikes.  I wanted to be able to see through the bike, only important and eye pleasing components would be visible.  A complete photo log of the build can be seen here pbase.com/jeandr/cafe_racer  After building was completed, I realised it was not easy to start, first the big 35mm FCR carbs (now changed to something more manageable) did not make for easy starting and the lack of a center stand did not help and to make it even harder, clip on handlebars did not give enough leverage to hold the bike while kicking.  The bike was begging for an electric starter, but at the time nothing was available.  Different projects sidetracked me until I bought an Alton electric starter and proceeded to make the changes necessary to install it while keeping the belt final drive.  It is a tight fit, but it works.   Everything in the engine and the transmission has either been replaced or rebuilt, new bearings and new bushings, new valve guides, new valves,  new Sachse electronic ignition with crank mounted trigger.  New custom wiring harness, LED lights everywhere.  Ballistic EVO2 LiPO 8 cell battery.  Custom Voltage regulator with correct voltage for the EVO2 battery.  95% of fasteners are stainless steel.   The front brake is from a Suzuki GT750 and the rear brake is from a Ducati 860.  SUN rims, WM4 X 18 in the rear and WM3 X 18 in front, stainless steel spokes from Bucchanans.  The swing arm is custom made and incorporates an oil tank with a two litre capacity.  The engine has a crankcase reed valve breather feeding oil mist to the oil tank which is vented to the atmosphere.  Custom oil block to route the oil lines where they take the shortest path to the oil tank. Custom 2-1 exhaust.   Original Smiths chronometric tachometer paired with a Koso digital speedometer-odometer.   The asking price does not even come close to all the parts and labour to make something similar.   This is not a show bike, it was built to be ridden, unfortunately, at 70 with a new joint giving me pain every time I want to do something fun, I really can’t consider riding it for extended periods of time, I will leave that to younger riders, also I get more enjoyment out of building the bikes rather than riding them.  Here in Québec, the cost of running more than one motorcycle is prohibitive so while I could keep it and run it a few times a year, it would be sad to let it sit in a garage most of the time, it deserves to be ridden.  There are a few nicks on the paint, the paint on the hubs and the exhaust pipes is not real good but does not impair the look of the bike.  I have ridden it around the neighbourhood to make sure everything works OK and so far, things look good.  An internet search will show this bike featured  in hundreds of sites with positive comments on the looks.  This is a unique Norton, a café racer that stands out amongst the others.  The tank is fibreglass and I had to cut it open because the sealer did not do its job, now the tank has an extra layer of fibreglass with EPOXY resin immune from the harmful effects of ethanol.  While I can’t guarantee it will never fail again, I am confident it will not.  I had to repaint it with rattle cans and the color match is far from perfect, now closer to a John Deere tractor green than British racing green like the front mudguard and headlight shell.     JUST ADDED A VIDEO: To see a video of the bike starting, see    vid198.photobucket.com/albums/aa4/jeandr_photo/MVI_2417_zpsa753dyar.mp4   (just add the required header if your browser does not support the link)   The bike has a clear title and is currently road registered as a classic.  All papers will be included with the bike.  Starts easily and idles well.   I can ship anywhere in the world, the bike will be crated by me and the cost of the crate will be added to the winning bid.  Cost of the crate is $150 or less depending on how much it costs.   Shipping costs are the responsibility of the buyer, I can find a shipping company or the winning bidder can use whichever shipper they want.   Pick-up is possible, but will only be released once all funds have cleared.  I can also deliver within 500Km of Montreal for a very reasonable fee (contact me).   A $500  NON REFUNDABLE  payment is expected within 48 hours of auction close, this amount can be sent by PayPal   The full amount can be sent by bank transfer, fees are the responsibility of the winning bidder.  The bike will only be shipped when all funds (deposit, bike, crate, shipper) have been paid and cleared.   BIDS FROM LOW FEEDBACK USERS WILL BE CANCELLED   ZERO FEEDBACK USERS WILL BE CANCELLED    

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