Norton P-11 ??

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Norton P-11 ??

Postby Hortons Norton » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:56 pm

Saw this photo and just wanted to share it. :D


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1975 Commando MKIII
1972 Combat
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1998 Buell S1W
2005 Triumph Thruxton
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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby J.A.W. » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:29 pm

Surely - its not a Matchbox?

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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby BillT » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:44 pm

N15/G15/33. I can't tell for sure which badge is on the tank, but it looks like the Norton badge.

The Atlas Scrambler had the kidney-shaped oil tank cover, roadholder forks, from about the middle of the first year, and Norton wheels

The P11 had a triangular-shaped oil tank (no cover), teledraulic forks and Matchless wheels
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'73 Norton 850 Commando - 3030xx
'69 Norton Ranger 750 - P11/1289xx
'67 Matchless G15CS - G15CS/1235xx
'61 Matchless G80CS - 61/G80CS/41xx
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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby Matt Spencer » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:29 pm

In the U.S., the production P11 quickly became the desert racer to have. In fact, a new Norton P11 was presented to racer Mike Patrick, who then proceeded to take the No. 1 plate in desert racing two years in a row with this machine. In all, it is thought some 2,500 P11s and its descendents, the P11A and Ranger 750, were produced before being dropped from the Norton range in 1969.

Read more: http://www.motorcycleclassics.com/class ... z26E6Pm1VC

Image

Norton P11 prototype replica (with a stock 1967 P11, far left) is a dead ringer for the original. It should be; it was built by Steve Zabaro, who helped conceive and build the 1966 prototype.
The Japanese response to ' styling ' , was to add more .
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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby Matt Spencer » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:33 pm

The P11 was a Norton-Villiers motorcycle made from 1967 and 1969. In 1968 the P11 was upgraded to the P11A and marketed as the Norton Ranger, a road legal version of the P11 with a more comfortable seat to make it suitable for normal road use.

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=+no ... &FORM=IGRE

YES . :D
Last edited by Matt Spencer on Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Japanese response to ' styling ' , was to add more .
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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby hobot » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:36 pm

Throw yourself at the ground and miss!
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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby Hortons Norton » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:36 pm

There's just something about these machines that I really like, Now I can see the differences thanks guys. Someday I would love to find one of these in decent shape to start another project. :wink:
1975 Commando MKIII
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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby BillT » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:26 am

A guy near me had one for sale on ebay - a P11A. I went to look at it, and he also had a P11 and a Trackmaster with a Ranger motor (P11/129135)! A neighbor of his had the Trackmaster in his shed for about 30 years and sold it to him for $1000. The P11A he got by trading an R100 project bike and a little cash. With 3 bikes, he felt he could unload one.

I got outbid and the bike went to Blighty.

The Ranger is a really good around town bike - lots of low-end grunt, jumps curbs easy, and has a front brake switch - something the earlier bikes did not have.
'73 Norton 850 Commando - 3030xx
'69 Norton Ranger 750 - P11/1289xx
'67 Matchless G15CS - G15CS/1235xx
'61 Matchless G80CS - 61/G80CS/41xx
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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby frankdamp » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:25 am

Another insider story! A brand new P-11 arrived at Marston Road while I was there. Nobody at Norton had ever heard of it, but there it was, with Norton badges on the tank and the instruments. The experimental guys were asked to evaluate it for directional stability, but nobody told us why.

We broke it in first, as it had no miles on it. I did the first thousand or so and kept it below 60 mph for the first 500. It had a slightly uneasy feeling, tending to wander a bit. As I got to speed up, the wandering became more insistent and at about 73 mph, it was weaving the full width of a motorway lane on about a quarter mile wavelength. There was no way you could beat it into running straight. BTW, the vibration was so bad that the rear light fell off after 125 freeway miles!

The other test rider, who had some off-road experience (and bigger cojones than me!) followed me in the test program. He said the weaving got worse above 75 but then settled out at about 88 mph and the bike ran straight. We tried a number of changes to dampers, fork angles, fork offset, tire types, but none of them seemed to have any effect. The conclusion was that some structural instability in the Matchless frame was causing the problem, but we were told to drop the investigation before we could get into more detail.

We were finally told by management that the bike had been originally developed by the California Norton distributor without any consultation with the factory and with no permission to market it as a Norton. The instability we'd found had, we were told, resulted in a rider's fatal accident when he got into a "tank slapper" incident in a desert race and was thrown off at high speed. I got the impression that there was a lawsuit about it, but never confirmed it.

This may all be "barrack room" gossip, as I never saw any written material about the supposed incident, or the story about the bike's origination. Just before the Marston Road facility was closed down in the move to Andover, I understand that particular bike was still sitting in the experimental shop. I don't know if it was scrapped or if it went to Andover.
Frank Damp
ex-Norton Villiers - Marston Road
Develpment & Competition Department
1967-68

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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby worntorn » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:19 am

Thanks for another great story from the inside Frank. Do you know if this handling fault was corrected before the bikes became a production item?
Judging by tne numbers of various Norton/Matchless hybrids on display at various Vintage events, quite a number were produced. Ive seen a number of P11s and one unrestored P11A. The P11A had very bent Matchless forks. Those forks look like a gentle bump on a curb would bend them, not much to them!

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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby beng » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:56 am

Anthony Curzon of the Norton Owners Club in England, an avid collector of Norton street-scramblers, has stated that he took some time going through the factory records and found that over 7000 Matchless/Norton hybrids were produced during the 1960s.

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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby BillT » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:21 pm

For the N15/G15/33, about 5000 were built from late 1963-1967. Of those, most were Nortons, most of the rest Mathless, and maybe 50 AJS. After the collapse of AMC, N15s were supposedly shipped with both Matchless and Norton tank badges - the dealer installed what the customer wanted. The numbers would be hard to pin down exactly because of this, though technically it would be a Norton if the serial started N15CS/ or N15CSR/ and likewise G15CS/ for Matchless or 33CS/ for an Ajay. An original CS can be distinguished from a CSR by looking at the wheels. The CSR used thinner spokes on the rear wheel, same wheel as the 650SS.

The P11 series has been pretty heavily researched, and the numbers, according to several sources are as follows:

P11 - S/N 121007 (dispatched to ZDS in Glendale on 13 March 1967) to 123014. 4 batches, totaling about 700 machines, most were high pipe and off-road fork set-up.

P11A - S/N 124372 to 126123 (ending just before Commando start-up). 3 batches, totaling about 1300 machines, most with low pipes and road-going forks, though dealers or owners would mount either high P11 pipes or 'S' style pipes, like the Ranger seen in the movie, 'Easy Rider' Image. Perhaps 400 P11As were dispatched as Matchless machines. No P11s were sold as AJS.

P11A Ranger 750 - S/N 128646-129145 (dispatched to Berliner in 17 October, 1968) 1 batch, 496 machines. Should be 500, but according to Leo Goff, only 496 were built. This last batch was built from about 15 September to 17 October, after the 1968 run of Commandos, and were intended to be sold as 1969 models, though some were titled as 1968 models (like mine, dispatched on 15 October)

When the Ranger was built, Norton sent Ranger decals out to dealers to place on P11As still on the showroom floor. The Ranger is easily distinguished from the P11A by the following features:
1)Fenders are chrome, not alloy
2)Hubs have cooling ribs - on earlier machines the hubs were skimmed smooth
3)Oil tanks are all steel with folded/trimmed seams. last of at least four different designs in alloy and steel
4)Seat was longer than the P11A which was longer than the P11, and had a steel seat pan. earlier models had fiberglass pans, which formed part of the mudguard from the fender to the oil tank. On the Ranger, the fender bolts to a tab on a frame cross member at the back of the oil tank. On earlier P11s, the fender ends at the back of the seat or just forward of the rear of the seat, dependent on model.
5)Front brake switch in cable - no brake switch on P11A front brakes
All Rangers were Candy Red. About 1/3, give or take, of P11As and P11s were blue. Red doesn't prove it a Ranger, but Blue proves it not (if original paint)
'73 Norton 850 Commando - 3030xx
'69 Norton Ranger 750 - P11/1289xx
'67 Matchless G15CS - G15CS/1235xx
'61 Matchless G80CS - 61/G80CS/41xx
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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby beng » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:19 am

I always thought the fuss over these bastard bikes was strange. I would much rather have a regular Featherbed Atlas/650ss, a nice 1963 or earlier G12CS, or a G85 scrambler instead of one of these parts-bin specials.

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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby BillT » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:09 am

The downside of the G85 is they only built 100, and were obsolete at release, as the CZ360 was the dominant bike in 500cc motocross by then. Almost all were sold in the US, where 2-strokes were not in large enough numbers to dominate yet.

The G12 and G15/45 had a tendency to break cranks, not really solved until AMC was on its deathbed. Engineers thought a 3rd main bearing would make the engine stronger, but proved to be its undoing.

The Atlas frame isn't robust enough for scrambles. While a great road frame, the headstock didn't survive too many jumps in the desert.

The story goes that the first N15 was built at ZDS Motors by mounting an Atlas motor frame a broken featherbed frame into a G15/45 chassis with a blown AMC motor. The result was the Atlas Scrambler, marketed by AMC as the Atlas Scrambler, Matchless G15 and AJS 33. At first the bike used Norton wheels and AMC forks, but quickly changed to Roadholders.

When the first G85 reached ZDS in 1966, it became the guinea pig for the P11. The Atlas motor in that light frame transformed the machine. About 40 pounds lighter than an N15, it helped the 4-strokes hold off the 2-strokes for another couple of years in the open class of desert racing. So even though the P11 is based in the G85, Norton-Matchless built about 2500 P11s compared to 100 G85s, and only the first batch of 700 P11s were set up for scrambles at the factory. Unlike the Atlas Scrambler, the only Norton part on a P11 is the motor. Everything else is Matchless. Turns out the bike was - and is - a great street scrambler, like a great-grandfather to the modern motards.
'73 Norton 850 Commando - 3030xx
'69 Norton Ranger 750 - P11/1289xx
'67 Matchless G15CS - G15CS/1235xx
'61 Matchless G80CS - 61/G80CS/41xx
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Re: Norton P-11 ??

Postby beng » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:36 am

BillT wrote: like a great-grandfather to the modern motards.
That is streching things a bit, that a heavy twin was a grandfather to a lightweight single isn't it? Especially as there were plenty of British singles, G80s and Goldstars running in the same races with the twins back then.

For the men who rode and raced during the golden years of Britsh motorcycling, the changes the factories made in their products after 1962 were clear signs that things were heading into the toilet. The pre-unit Matchless, Norton, Triumph and BSA bikes had very strong allegiance from their particular riders/racers. When the unit-bikes and hybrids came out with all their teething problems and lower quality those old riders were not happy at all. My father who was a Matchless dealer/racer on dirt, would surely not cross the street to piss on a G15 hybrid nor would I. My uncle who raced Goldstars and A10 scramblers in national TTs and road races, later tried out a T120TT and Hornet and besides having trouble with reliability did not like the handling and said he could do better on the old bikes.

My point in the end is if someone wants a British bike that has something to with the golden era of those machines, if someone wants a real Matchless or Norton, then they will have to get one of those that the original factories would have produced and been proud of, and not a patchwork corporate ploy spit out for ignoble reasons.

The AMC hybrids are more popular now than ever, but not to the men that are contemporary to them so much as johnny-come-lately collectors outside the USA who want to play cowboys and indians, or those inside it's borders that are simply ignorant.

If it is all you have then make due and enjoy it, I will not hold that against anyone, but I will never respect a neophyte collector who is sucked in by others rose-tinted propaganda and turns into a fan-boy for the AMC hybrids.

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