The Vintage Motorcycle Road Test Library

A Classic Motorcycle Blog

Category Archives: Norton

Dunstall Norton 810 road test from Cycle World 1971

Original hard copy in the store

1971 Allison – Norton 750 track road test

From Cycle World, 1971.  Original hard copy in the store.

Coming soon: Clip ons designed, manufactured, and assembled in USA

Because I’m selfish, the first prototype will be 33mm to fit my GS450, but then we’ll do a run of whichever size gets the most votes in the poll by the end of March 2014.  With fast & free shipping of course.

33mm clipons

FAQ: Does Ye Olde Cycle Shoppe sell gift cards?

It’s hard to know exactly what someone wants for a birthday or holiday.  Fortunately, even though we don’t have our own gift cards for sale, since we use multiple vendor channels for our products and road tests, there are a lot of options for gift cards which will likely fit your needs.  Here’s how it works:

T-shirts are sold mainly through our Spreadshirt store, here:   A Spreadshirt gift card can be purchased here:

Spreadshirt gift certificate

T-shirts are also available in our Zazzle store, which seems to have better shipping & currency options for non- U.S. customers, here:   A Zazzle gift card can be purchased here:

zazzle gift

We use our CafePress store for other items, like mugs, posters, mouse pads, garage wall peels, etc.  There are also a few t-shirts there:    You can find CafePress gift cards here:

cafe press gift

Road Tests and magazine articles are in our Ebay store, here:   This is also where I hock any motorcycle parts when I’m working on a project bike.  Ebay gift cards can be purchased here:

ebay gift

Hopefully this helps everyone get what they want this year!

New product added in time for the holidays – 1968 British Motorcycle Ads wall peel

Perfect for the garage or shop.  Others to be added soon.  They’ll make a great collection

1968 Norton Commando 750 road test

As printed in Cycle World, 1968.  Original in the store

Barber Vintage Festival, 2013: Photos from The Swap Meet

The Swap Meet rivals the Museum as far as quantity of unique and rare motorcycles, minus the museum quality of course.

Barber Vintage Festival 2013, photos from THE BARBER MUSEUM

If this isn’t on your bucket list, it needs to be.  Pics are cool, but even walking through with a video camera wouldn’t give you the experience of being there.  You have to go in person so you can be one of the “first timers” like I was, whose mouth gapes open as soon as you walk in the door, and whose eyes double or triple in size.  Your hand reaches for your camera by instinct while your eyes are glued on all the machines and you just start clicking at everything, hoping to take some of it home with you.  Then you realize taking pictures is slowing you down so you only take pictures of “your favorites” but there are so many significant bikes here that they all become your favorite.  So now you don’t bother to make sure anything is in focus, you just throw your camera in different directions thinking that might be cool, in some artsy fartsy way.  It is absolutely amazing.

Even the restoration shop is drool worthy.  I wish you could read the white board I tried to get a picture of.  It was a to-do chart that read something like this:

Machine                        |                           Status

1919 Excelsior                        Research, disassemble

1974 Ducati SS                       Final Assembly, done

1924 Ace Four                        Research, engine reassembly

There were 4 slots, but I don’t remember what the fourth was.  By luck of the draw, and being in the right place at the right time, St. Brucie and I happened to meet Mr George Barber downstairs in the shop.  He’s the genius behind all this.  You can tell he gets as fired up about motorcycles as anyone does, and he’ll only hire people who harbor that same passion.  Thank you for what you’ve created, Mr. Barber!

I’ll shut up and post pictures now.

Barber Vintage Festival 2013, photos from the Grounds

This collection of photos is from what I call “The Grounds”.  Different corners of the event that weren’t as large as say the Swap Meet or the Museum.  But still must see.  They included the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club (VJMC) area; the Antique Motorcycle Club (AMCC) area; the Fan Zone (where the Motorcycle Classics Magazine show was held); the vintage motocross track; the motorcycle toss area; The Auction preview; and the general “easement” along the side of the road all the way around the park that was just lined with motorcycles from dawn till dusk everyday.

Barber Vintage Festival 2013, photos from Ace Corner

While I’m not sold on Ace Corner being an “event within an event” that’s worth paying extra for, there were some pretty clean bikes that I would have missed otherwise.  Including what ended up being my favorite bike of the whole festival.

See you at the Barber Vintage Festival! October 11th thru 13th

Ye Olde Cycle Shoppe is a vendor at Barber Vintage Festival this year, and I’m super excited to be there!  We’re in vendor space K19 (wherever that is).  When you’re cruising the swap meet, please drop in and introduce yourself.  Our table will be weighed down with old road tests and ads ranging from 1948 to 1985.  Along with a whole stack of vintage motorcycle ads that aren’t posted on this site.

Also, I have an extra ticket to the event.  There’s only about a week before I leave for the event.  It would be fun to drum up some kind of contest for dibs on this extra ticket.  Any ideas?

1975 Comparison Road Test Eight for the Open Road – Norton, Guzzi, Honda, Harley, Suzuki, BMW, Kawasaki

23 page test, as printed in Cycle, 1975.   Original copy available here

Bikes tested: Harley Davidson FLH 1200, Moto Guzzi 850-T Interceptor, Suzuki RE-5 & GT-750M, Honda GL-1000 Gold Wing, Norton 850 Interstate, Kawasaki Z1B, and BMW R90/6

1975 technical article: Dyno Testing the Muscle Bikes (750cc) – BSA, Eagle, Harley, Honda, Kawasaki, Norton, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph

As printed in Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide, 1975.   Original copy available here

Bikes tested were:

  • Triumph Trident
  • BSA Rocket 3
  • Honda 4 (CB750)
  • Kawasaki Mach III
  • Harley-Davidson Sportster
  • Norton Commando
  • American Eagle
  • Royal Enfield Interceptor
  • Suzuki Titan T500

Whatever Happened to England? 1975 Triumph Trident T-160 vs Norton Commando MKIII 850

As printed in Motorcyclist, 1975.   (Found the missing last page, thanks to Kerrin!)

Norton Manx Scrambler classic road test

As published in Cycle magazine, 1969.  This is a look-back article at the Norton-Manx Scrambler of the 1950’s.  A hard copy is available in the store

1969 Norton Commando Production Racer road test

As published in Cycle magazine, 1969.

1952 Norton Dominator & ES2 frame technical article

As published in “The Motor Cycle” October 1952

1953 Nortons finish 1-2-3 at Circuit de Floreffe

As published in “The Motor Cycle” April 1953

1953 Norton Dominator no. 7 road test 497cc

As published in “The Motor Cycle” June 1953

1949 Norton vertical twin tech article “Modern Engines”

As published in “The Motor Cycle” in November 1949

1949 Norton Dominator ads

1936 Norton 490 technical article

As published in “The Motor Cycle” magazine, December 1960