Laguna Seca GP

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Dec 30, 2003
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Just saw someone asking if Kenny Dreer and company will be at Laguna Seca in July for the GP races. Jeff from the "company" said yes at the Clubman's in San Jose this month.

I'm planning to go my '72 combat, now with red fastback bodywork. Any of the rest of you going?
I wish...

O'll be with you in spirit mate..

I figured 'Dreer" was there as matter of "show".. dummo about 'go' though eh!?
Laguna Seca

Everything at the Clubman's is show, it's called the "Clubman's Show". Kenny did show off one of the 952 Commando prototypes. Debby doesn't like the look, but I think they're great looking.

From the response, not, I guess not too many in our Norton community are into modern races. Too bad, Peter Williams took a 5th place at Laguna Seca in 1973 so it has Norton history. The same series and year Peter took the win at the Isle of Man with the John Player Norton team.

The modern AMA stuff is soooo advanced that its hard to get into. Telemetry, electronic damping, etc. is the stuff of geek dreams - but its unobtainable for all but the wealthiest enthusiasts and unridable for all but gutsiest/most skilled riders. Impressive, but in a way makes me feel inadequate. Plus, I'm not a huge fan of the high rpm whine that passes for engine noise these days.

For my part, I think the 952 is *damn* sexy. A little tall for my 5' 8" frame, but servicable nonetheless.

However - heresy that it might be on this board - I think I'd buy and hop-up a Thruxton before I went with a 952. Even if Kenny gets out from under his over-due payments to Falicon, etc - I think they'll be working out the bugs for a while.

Does the 952 Norton you are fond of have the splayed rear shocks? Or, is there another 952 out there that I'm missing? To me, the rear section of this bike looks bowl-legged. If the rear shocks could be tucked in a bit closer to the flanks I think I could like the 952, too.

I saw one of those Thruxtons on the road recently. Looked pretty nice. It had aftermarket peashooters that looked a lot like Norton ones. Bike was obnoxiously loud though.

On the Dreer bikes I think it is the rear end that is the ugliest part. If he'd redesign that it would make the bike look a lot better IMO. Still wouldn't look as nice as a "real" Norton though.

When you say Thruxton, I assume you mean Triumph Thruxton?

Triumph Thruxtons have exciting styling, for sure. However, I dislike the "plumbing" (tubes and wires to the carburetors and such) on the engine. If you could somehow scrape off all this clutter the bike would look even more exciting.

Laguna Seca and Dreer Norton


Wow, all of what you say is more than I want to know about motorcycles. Laguna Seca for me is the race, not so much the machines and technology. The infield with the calamari and all manufacturers exhibits are fun.

As far as Dreer Norton shocks, I guess I don't look at that part or it doesn't bother me. The twin Olins units are nice equipment.

Triumph Thruxton is very similar in look and half the price. I haven't ridden one, but have been on a demo ride on the Bonneville. There would need to be some engine work done as you say. The Bonneville was fine up to about 70mph, but ran out of steam beyond that. My impression is my '72 750 combat is quicker.

I think your approach is more grounded than mine, i.e.: calamari in the infield and perusing the manufacturers booths does sound like a nice way to spend a day. Some sun, some bikes, some vino and a beach chair... ahhhhh yessss.

I've ridden a "900" and its a whole different bike than the new Bonny. It puts out 69 crankshaft hp at 7250rpm and makes gobs of torque from idle to 5k... then it starts to feel flat. More sound than fury.

A friend has one and added the airbox eliminator kit/K&N filter, nice straight-through stainless peashooters and rejetted carbs. Made 71 rear-wheel hp on the dyno. Pretty quick for a 360 deg Brit twin, but it feels like too much umph for the stock suspension. Its under-damped, vague and *really* needs a steering damper.

Though I'm down on power, I still think my C-do will give his Thrux a run for its money. Long live the Triumph/Norton rivalry!
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