The Unapproachable Norton

Norton Commando Production Racer 1971

1971 Norton 750 GENUINE Production Racer. 1 OF 119 ONLY
ENG. 20M138145151

The Commando Production Racer exists as one of, if not the ultimate development of the motorcycle format the British were to stamp as their own after World War II. To be clear this Production Racer is a box-stock, a genuine factory-built device, and could well be considered the ultimate British vertical twin for the following reasons. 1. Only Norton, of all the British bike manufacturers, attempted to come to grips with the inherent vibration of a big OHV vertical twin, and thus only Nortonís Isolastic-framed Commando, designed by Bob Trigg and launched in 1968, can be said to have dragged the venerable old vertical twin into the post-war world.

2. The Norton Production Racer was the fastest, best-handling, lightest and quickest Commando you could buy.

3. When Tony Murphy took a ë72 Production Racer to Willow Springs, former Norton factory rep Brian Slark reports, he got the bike around in less than 1:40. Considering that the lap record at the time was around 1:36, the motorcycle had to be taken very seriously as a racing machine.

4. They were hand built by Peter Inchleyís famous ìLong Shopî race department team (home to a B-17 bomber wing of the Eighth Air Force, WWII).

5. To turn the street bike rolling-chassis that got delivered from the Andover factory to the Long Shop into a Production Racer, Inchley and development engineer factory racer Peter Williams used an old school run-it-and-see development program fine-tuning the original Wally Wyatt project racer of 1969 considerably.

6. The few bikes that emerged from the Long Shop (estimates vary from less than 100 to less than 120) proved the worth of the machine, because in 1971, ë72 and most of ë73, they virtually owned their class in England and Europe. Only the arrival of the Kawasaki Z-l and Honda CB750K (refer Lot 80) put them on their trailers...

Courtesy Webbs NZ

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