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Norton Featherbed frames and custom built copies

Discussion in 'Other Norton Motorcycles' started by Johnnymac, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Thanks Eddie!

    The bike does have an alternator. The bike is located in Florida and I am working with a middleman who really doesn't know much about the bike. It's really quite frustrating. I would much rather work directly with the seller but such is life. I haven't made an offer on it but told the seller I would buy it if it all checked out OK ...I am still waiting on videos of it running and lots of close up pics. I need to make damn sure the motor looks nice under that fairing too.

    From what I've been told (and I'm still waiting on confirmation) that this bike has only 100 miles on it from when it was built . ( I don't know if those were 100 miles of hard core racing or what. ) The builder of the bike has been building bikes for 40+ years and as part of the sale is going to completely go through the bike before it leaves his shop.

    As with any online vehicle sale, or even a local sale, you never know what you're getting into until you get it home and figure it out for yourself I guess. I will tell you this, for the price I'd pay for this, I wouldn't even be able to buy half the components on this bike much less a complete runner.

    I certainly appreciate your input and opinions.. that's why i posted it here. If anyone is in the Daytona Area and wants to check it out for me and take it for a spin, I'll gladly pay you for your time or buy you a round of pints. Since I'm in St. Louis and a new dad again, I can't get away. But I have checked out this builder and he is one of the best. Even one of the Senior member of this forum called me on my phone and personally vouched for this guys work...but didn't know anything about this particular bike.

    I'm not a racer and really only put a few hundred miles a year on my bikes. But I enjoy every minute of it.[/quote]

    I think it pretty much hinges on your faith in the builder. When these big triple motors are built well, they are bombproof and rapid. When they're not, they are a nightmare and a money pit!

    I would want to know what barrels are fitted, bored out stock barrels are too thin. Hyde barrels have a reputation for breaking the flanges. Try and find out what this has got.

    In my personal opinion though, a triple will always feel less exciting than a big brutish twin, That's why I sold my 988cc Harrier, brilliant as it was, it felt too modern, too normal.

    I do still say you'll have a lot of work to do to tidy things up if you remove the fairing and seat unit. Just look at the exhaust hanger as an example, it looks well engineered for strength, but with a Unity style seat on, it will all look a bit, well, bridge like!

    And racers have a habit of being untidy under the faring, that's not an insult, its jut cos there is no need to be tidy, functionality is all that matters.

    The gear change appears to be using the kick start shaft hole as a mounting point. This means the kick start parts are not there inside. And that the gear change mechanism will need re-making.

    On the plus side, I see it has a Newby belt and clutch, that is a big job on a triple and costs as much as many classic bikes !

    Final point from me is that on my 988 triple, when I changed from Boyer to Tri-Spark it started easier and gained 5bhp on the dyno! I think the Boyer struggles in that application (big cc, high CR, 3cyl with wasted sparks, etc).
     
  2. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Rohan I had a replica orginal seat and found it very uncomfortable and replaced it with a Norton innerstate seat, just had to reposition the mounting brackets, I have 2 innerstate seats 1 dual and the 1 with the hump for sole which is always on the bike and very comfortable.

    Johnny that looks to be a good looking bike, but will you be able to get it on the road, I hear you have to have a title for it to put it on the road over there, no title and you have lots of problems, here in Aust, its easy to get a bike registed as long as it past the safety inspection and away you go to get it registed.

    Ashley
     
  3. Johnnymac

    Johnnymac VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    The bike apparently has a title... but I may just paint it black and put my Commando plates on it when I go for a spin... Cops won't know the difference. :)
     
  4. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009

    You do know about all the different lengths "short Roadholders" came in?
     
  5. Bernhard

    Bernhard

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    I too purchased a wideline “original seat “ as it was advertised on Squid bay- it turned out to be a replica seat- the filling was expanded polystyrene which was hard on the backside- I obtained some coarse foam from a local market which should be how the “original seat “ was made in the first place.
     
  6. Johnnymac

    Johnnymac VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    So is there no one in the Daytona Florida area who can help a brother out?
     
  7. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Help you out in what respect ?
    We have all given our knowledge. !

    And Congratulations !,
    but you are going to be too occupied to NEED another project at this stage in your life !
     
  8. Johnnymac

    Johnnymac VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    Lol, thanks. I guess I should have clarified...

    Is there anyone in Daytona who'd be willing to pop by this sellers garage to verify that it's indeed an actual bike for sale... and that it is indeed as described. I'm sure he'd let you take it for a spin. Just gotta promise not to buy out from under me. :) I'd gladly pay someone for their time.
     
  9. Matt Spencer

    Matt Spencer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Is there a pommy motocycle store there thatd do a evaluation ? youd think $ 500 would cover it admirably . $ 200 if theyre
    next door .
    just a thought . Must be vehical pre buy inspection sevices available in that neck of the woods .
     
  10. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    The bike looks excellent to me. Being Japanese the Kawasaki engine probably has decent bearings each end of the crank, and might even have a centre bearing and a pressed-up crank. I suggest that the similar BSA engine probably has a white metalled bush on the timing side. It would probably be very reliable, likely to even have steel conrods inside it. If you are not looking for any sort of period authenticity, - just a nice ride - go for it. I wouldn't be ashamed to own it.
     
  11. Johnnymac

    Johnnymac VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    Thanks Matt. I may just do that.
     
  12. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    It probably depends on the year of manufacture - the tyres being used. Also I believe the lowboy domiracer had 18 inch wheels.
     
  13. Johnnymac

    Johnnymac VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    Thanks Acotrel. I decided not to go with the Kawasaki bike. Too many unknowns with just about every component on the bike. I'm negotiating with the builder/seller of this Triton in Florida now.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Perhaps Alan doesn't know that roadholders came in 4 or 5 different lengths ?
    More, if you count the versions that went into some Matchless variants....

    The very top of roadholder fork tubes are tapered, and fit into a tapered top yoke.
    "lowering them on the yokes" isn't easily achievable, without some serious machining...
     
  15. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I am aware of the taper in the top yoke. If the roadholders were fitted to a manx frame and 18 inch wheels are fitted, the forks would need to be a different length to get the trail right. If different shaped tyres are used e.g. triangulars, there would be a slightly different trail required to give optimum handling. I suggest with the manx, a bit might depend on the year of manufacture. As for the roadholders fitted to P11 or N15, I've never encountered them, however If I was fitting them to a featherbed, I'd find a late model manx, measure the fork staunchions, and adjust in the lathe accordingly. With steering geometry, it takes almost nothing to create a hazard.
    I do know this - the roadholder forks and yokes fitted to a garden gate Norton are very wrong for a featherbed frame. The yokes are radically different - far too much offset.
     
  16. Rohan

    Rohan

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Sounds like a formula for dragging your belly along the ground,
    manx forks are rather short ??

    Most folks just refer to the parts books, and fit what was supposed to be there...
     
  17. Matt Spencer

    Matt Spencer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Trails about 4in for KR76s , 3 1/2 maybe otherwise . Not a lot in it .
    Domi ran 19 in the I.o.M. in 61 , which is why the tyre rubbed and the motor nearly broke . They Say .
     
  18. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Yes, those are "long Roadholders." Featherbed Nortons have "short Roadholders."

    Swing arm framed Models 7 and 77 also had long Roadholders.
     
  19. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Depends on what you are trying to do. I don't believe it is possible to make any Triton handle as positively as a standard Manx. If I was trying to get more feel out of a Triton, I'd start with slightly longer staunchions, and start modifying them and testing the handling on a circuit. There is not much worse that a Triton with a harsh power band, which has that vague feeling to it at high speed in corners. I've only ever ridden one original 500cc Manx, it felt positive and slightly tightened it's line in corner. It was much better that the two Tritons I've ridden. If you got off line with the manx, it was usually safe to simply give it more to drive it harder - inspired confidence .
     
  20. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    S'appnin Johny, have you bought this Trident - Triton - racer yet ??
     

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