Old ratty P11 chopper for sale - ugly but ... parts?

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Sep 26, 2007
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Yesterday i went to look at a Norton that I saw listed locally for sale on craigslist. It was described as an "Old School Chopper, ready for restoration"

The seller told me on the phone that it was a '72 750, and was last running, maybe 10 years ago. From his photo on craigslist, it looked like it had been sitting outside for decades. But since it was only 15 minutes from my house, i decided to take a peek.

The bike was even worse that expected - broker frame, etc. Definitely not a Commando engine, with engine #: "P11/123989" I think that makes it a 67 or 68 P11?

Anyway, there is no way in the world anybody is going to pay this guy his advertised $975 selling price. However, if anybody is looking for a P11 engine....... ? The ad is gone from craigslist, but i have the guy's name and phone #.

Old ratty P11 chopper for sale - ugly but ... parts?
K Kelly, go buy it for 400.00 you can sell all the junk get your money back and have a fine little P-11 motor for free. Get a title if you can.
Norbsa -

$400 ? I wouldn't take this heap for $40. Or even for free for that matter.

Although a P11 motor that's been sitting outside for years (decades?) might be of interest to some, it has no appeal to me. But that's just me - somebody might have some interest in it.

I don't know that you could get $400 for the chopper stuff. $250 maybe.

The core engine is worth $250, MINIMUM.
I guess you and I live in different worlds. P-11s... I got 400.00 for an empty but fine set of cases on eBay last year. 400.00 for a good oil tank at the same time. No leaks. I think you would pull an easy 200 for the springer they are "Rare" you know. But I have never lost money on a chopper love em. Something for everybody. Now those twist Z bars well they are hot dude. Just look at eBay that might sell the whole front end for ya.
See how tastes are indeed different. I would give my eye teeth for something like that...a real 60's chopper to restore...as a chopper. Such machines just don't exist here and the people that have them don't let them go. A piece of biker history. I might be influenced by being a bit into the scene, and most of you aren't into that stuff...but I think restoring one and driving around on something like that would be more than cool. It would have been immediately bought... :wink:
hey there in Schnitzelland -

Given the low US dollar, why not go ahead and buy one of the many old choppers out there for sale.

There are lots of Triumphs and Harleys that were chopped in the 60s and 70s that can be picked up for reasonable prices. On www.cycletrader.com and of course on ebay.

There were definitely more Triumphs and Harleys turned into chopper dreams than there were Nortons.

Go ahead - live your dream.... and you don't even have to give your eyeteeth.

here's a chopped '66 Bonneville: http://www.cycletrader.com/find/listing ... E-91693565

and here's a '67
http://www.cycletrader.com/find/listing ... E-89558838

and a '68 with a 50 inch front end (wow!)
http://www.cycletrader.com/find/listing ... 0-92014763

Keith Kelly
I would buy this immediately for $1,000. If you can get it a bit cheaper even better. Have you seen how much P11s sell for these days? To restore it back to original would not be cheap but I have seen nice examples go for in excess of $10,000.
Thanks Kieth,
The fact of the low dollar...has it's points, but only if you get a lot of money together in Euros. My retirement pay for the time I did in uniform was worth twice what it is now worth, just five years ago. Figure that out. Every year the money buys less, and the prices go up here. Makes for a bit of "tight" if you get what I mean. Being untrained by German standards, old , long-haired and ugly to boot, makes for having constant worries about getting, or keeping a job. So I can't indulge. Of the links you were so kind as to send. Being money no issue, I'd still lean towards to original ugly duckling. The form pleases me better. I've never even tried to drive a chopper, and I'm sure we can discuss the pros and cons of something you can't even turn around in the space of a normal street, but being a bit of a dreamer, I'd just love to restore one and give it a go. You live only once.

Common sense, on the other hand, would tell me, I'd be smarter to finish the 400 Jammi, the 97 Suzi, the 93 Honda, the 72 Minimobi, the 82 Hercules, the 78 what ever it is, the 59 Simson, the 73 750, the 72 750, the 70 Volvo, the Dunstall 810, the gearbox on my 72 Commando, the seals on the 61 Vespa, the motor on the 67 Kreidler, the auto lift I started to rebuild... and...the 15 Kookoo clocks I have apart, the two rooms with no plaster on the walls, the stairwell that I stripped the paint off and never refinished, not to mention the cobblestoning of the 6 inch deep mud hole of a parking space which my wife has to wade through each morning to get into her car to go to work...finished before I start on a chopper. But that's only stupid old "common sense".

How is it that you are too lazy to log in, but YOU ARE LISTENING TO LOGIC WHEN IT CONCERNS MOTORCYCLES?????

Man, your brain is messed up. Are you a product of the 60s?

hee hee
So be it.

Due to the 60's...Can't think, can't hear, can't listen, can't sleep, some say, can't drive, and can't use common sense. But worst of all.... can't forget. :wink:
I'll betcha that hewho spent some vacation time in a sunny southeast asian country....... I was in the Yacht club off the coast.....

hats off to you! As for bikes, I'm glad I'm a teacher (broke most of the time) because my 'project list' would be as long as yours!

most of all.... have fun!
We had to do tests on the P11 after a lawsuit was filed in California. Main thin is, the P11 isn't a Norton, unless someone legitimized it after I left the company.

The importer/dealer in LA (I think. may have been back east), started buying Matchless 500 Scramblers without engines and an equal number of 750 Atlas engines. He and some desert rider friends cobbled up the P11 from these partsand sold them as Nortons.

Our test showed a nasty directional instability. At about 70 mph, you could feel a slight swerving motion, at 75 it started weaving side to side on about a 400 yards wavelength. By the time you got to 85, the weave had increased in amplitude to almost a full freeway lane width and the wavelength had shortened to about 200 yards.

I chickened out at 85, but another rider said that at 95, it settled down again.

Nothing we did solved the problem. My feeling was it was a frame flex issue, as the frame was being overloaded by the chain tension, and the chain was further outboard than the Matchless configuration.

I visited the factory on a trip back from Boeing just before they moved, and the test P11 was still there.
Dear 71 BC,

Not to mislead...I did not spend time in that vacation land. I will leave that claim to those who deserve it. Knew a lot who did, lost a couple, either there, or shortly after they returned and they couldn't come clear with it...but if you page the beginning of my blog you will see I had enough other problems to deal with. I didn't need to go to Nam to get screwed up. As for not forgetting...that time influenced all who lived through it. It didn't matter which side of the fence one sat on, you were left with everlasting damage, if not to the body, at least to the soul. It was a time of excesses. A time of just plain assuming you just wouldn't live long enough anyway...so why worry about or plan for, the future. What an awful outlook for a teenager just starting out in life. Destructive. Hendix stated it in one of his songs..."There ain't no life nowhere", and he seemed to be so right. Even today, it has it's claws in me, if not for what I did do, then for that which I didn't do, during those few years. The best, and the worst of life, all balled into one.

Unfortunately, life goes in cycles. There was a break of a generation, and now it has come back in spades. My hat goes off to the poor souls that have been pulled into that mess down south that is going on right now. Whether George and Co. were right, or not...no longer matters, the poor guys and gals down there are in a real mess and it will leave it's damage on them and their families too. How nice life would be without such things.

But...back to the ugly P11...enough about that crap! :wink:
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