Oddball "88ss" on ebay for sale.....

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Jan 21, 2011
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Here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Norton-6 ... 519b4bc2ed

Yea, I saw the thread about it being an "Atlas" etc.. I thought a thread about the bike with a more accurate title would catch the attention of someone who was interested in model 88 Nortons though.

The odd things I see about the bike are:

1. If the bike has a serial number 106xxx, then it is a 1964 model, and I did not think they came with chronometric instruments that year...

2. Never saw or heard of a frame stamped "88ss". The code for model 88s was "122". If the bike has 88ss stamped on the frame instead of 122 I would be interested about it, and wary at the same time. Just as 650ss bikes had frames stamped with the code "18", not 650ss.....

Since the engine has obviously been apart and back together a bit to do that drilling of the fins, I would love to take it apart and see if anything else was ever done to it as far as hot-rod modifications.

Front brake is the original, just drilled full of holes like the cylinder.

Price is not high for the USA market. Someone just got over $1400 just for one of these frames on ebay. Add up the parts and you are right at about $3500 bucks.

If the bike does have good frame and engine numbers, then this is a very, very rare Norton. Atlases in this shape come up for sale fairly often. Maybe once every year or so a restorable 650ss will come up on ebay usa, but you will probably not see another 88ss this complete on ebay usa again for years.

I have been looking at and for these bikes (SS Nortons) seriously for the last twenty years and have never seen another 64' 88ss in the USA. I bought the 62' 88ss I found for sale, and I saw a 66' 88ss for sale in Marlyland once. Ian Kennedy told me he has a 62' in a basket that he brought here from England. There is one in California that is restored and I think is an import, and for some reason a guy in Ohio has one in use with a sidecar. There were the four Daytona 88ss racers in 1964 that were built up by Dunstall from stock 88ss bikes of which at least two are still around. Other than that all I have seen is a set of crankcases and other odd parts.

In the U.K. Mick Hemmings said in Classic Bike that he used to have an 88ss, the only genuine one he ever saw, which is something to say when you are up to your armpits in Nortons every day.

My two cents....
 
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Just like Tom Phillis's . Though the English Country Lane bits definately in evidance .Definately not a coffe racer .
 
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The 1963 88ss that Rohan linked to looks good. Notice it has the fuel cap on the left and a manual advance magneto, and it was the last year that the 88ss was offered in colors. This probably attributable to the fact that AMC was using up Bracebridge Street stocks this first year they took over production. The USA bike is the silver and black that the 88ss adopted from the 650ss for it's last three years, and the fuel cap has moved to the right as it should have for a 64' bike.

The 88ss was produced for six years, and I would bet that there was less than a thousand made in that time and maybe only a hundred made in some years. I am not a big fan of Roy Bacon, but in one of his books on Norton he talked about the production for 1962-63 being a total of 175. No one in the USA wanted them once bigger engine's were available in the same chassis except for those who needed them for 500cc racing classes. This makes them more rare than a short-stroke Manx, especially since they were used more, not revered as much, and junked, parted out and converted to specials for years after the Manx was already being collected and restored.

These bikes were killers in production racing. I have the original specs and dyno sheets for the 88ss bikes that Paul Dunstall prepared to race at Daytona. The engines put out over fifty horsepower and were stock except for skimming the cylinder to increase compression and adding GP carbs, a racing magneto and open exhaust, that was it.

I think the bike looks every bit a "coffee racer", as when they came out in the early sixties the Manx look-a-like bits from Dunstall etc. were not in production, you had to find real manx parts, which most rocker boys did not have the money for even if they could find them. If you take off the part of the center stand that loops around the exhaust you can heel these things over like a racer, notice how high the footpegs are and the exhaust is tucked in well. Every "cafe racer" now is made to look like a Manx, but if you look at photos of rockers from the fifties and early sixties, there is hardly any of that fashion at all, they are running basically standard machines with low bars or clip-ons and maybe rear-sets and/or some parts swapping.

The 62' 88ss I have was brought over to the USA by an American serviceman in the early sixties and still has it's pressed number plates, it is original except the last owner sprayed it over in Navy blue, so it is being stripped and returned to green and dove grey as it was when new....
 
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500's have 8 fins.
Otherwise don't understand the question, or what you are referring to.
 
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Were stories in the magazines decades ago about 500 SSes pepared for Daytona .Maybe hard tail /sprung chassis the 47 one.

The Domiracer is said to have run the larger 99 crank journals , think this may have applied to the U.S. race machines too .
the financial aspects of the U.S. market meant the could afford to get a bit particular about the specification without going
broke .

Wondering what % improvement of the unsprung Wt that alloy front guard provides .Were std. in the race acessory cattledogs in that era . The 8.000 taco is a Oh Ah type issue too .

see he says he has the tytal , should provide some evidance if it dates right back .Now he thinks its a 650 SS . :shock: :?
 
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Anything racing at Daytona in 1947, if thats what your cryptic jottings are leading to, would have been a Manx. Or more strictly, an Inter to race spec, since competition bikes were excluded.

Getting a bit off subject here...
 
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Mayve been 50 / 51 , they built a batch of TWIN 500s for ' Daytona Beach ' Race , presumably 500 SS / race development related . Im thinking the ran the pre featherded running gear .doug Hele involved .
 
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Rohan said:
500's have 8 fins.
Otherwise don't understand the question, or what you are referring to.

If it is an Atlas 750, it will have a breather pipe on the left hand side at front of crankcase.
This looks to have only 8 fins on barrel from larger image, so it may be a 500 barrel.
Looks a bit of an oddball.
 
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It has been nailed down as an 88SS.
Have a look at the updated auction details.
 
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Those numbers make it a 1960s 650SS motor stuffed into a 1954 wideline frame for an early dommie 88 - so it has nothing to do with an 88SS, and demonstrates what a real mix old race bikes can be.

Since it looks to have an 8 fin cylinder on it, could well be a 500cc, with a 500cc crank in it. Voila, an 88SS... ?

And depending on how much of the 650 it uses, could even be a short stroke 500.
Unlikely, but not impossible.

Cheers.
 

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