Price on bike

Nov 14, 2005
I have a chance to purchase a 1965 Norton 500cc Twin exhaust motorcycle. It has not run for the past 6 or 7 years. I was told it is in nice shape but I have not seen it yet, perhaps tomorrow.
I have no idea what this motorcycle is worth. My life has been Honda. I have a Goldwing and would like this as an around town bike. In order to be fair I need an idea what it is worth. Can anyone help he with this?? Bob
Does it have clear title and what condition is it in? Photos would help, and a once over for general mechanical faults.....Figure on all new, tubes, peg rubbers, gaiters, etc. New battery, oil, cables, rubber mounts.
As I understand things,the owner is the original owner from 1965. I do figure on replacing lots of these type of items but where do you start for a price? I understand condition has a lot to do with value. How about a range? $200. to $700.???
Sheet metal in good shape, anything got big dents in it? Compression seem good? Swingarm doing the hula in the frame? Pretty original....minus paint? Being able to start it is a big can tell a lot about the bike if you can make it run.
'65 Norton price


The only 500cc Norton produced in 1965 was the Dominator 88. If that's what you're talking about a fairly complete basket case is worth a couple thousand or more. Give us an update after you look at it. The frame and engine number should match if original and if a Domi 88 will have the model code 122. The engine & frame serial number for 1965 should be after 111650.
I saw the bike today. Its a 65 Electra, 400 cc. The Number I fould was EL7495. The man has all the paperwork and manual saying its a 400 cc but he thinks its a 500 cc. (he is about 85) Bike was parked in 1970 with one bad coil. He tried to fix it lost his job and never fooled with it again except to turn the engin over every once in a whilel. The bike rolled outside very well once I dug it out of the pile. I pushed on the kick start the engin turned and you could hear it had compression. All the parts are there. He even has the helmet. If I spend time and money to restore what could it be worth? I really think I want it to ride but again have no idea of its worth. It will need tires and a battery etc but does look very good. At this point it is covered in dirt, I took pictures, but it still looks good. Any Idea what to offer???? Thanks
Hi Bob,The Norton Electra has / should have an electric starter,not a very popular bike in the UK at the time, weak bottom end, seemed to be an overgrown Jubilee / Navigator,an offer around $1800 /2000 US seems fair to the old guy if the bike is as good as you seem to think, it does have a certain appeal to it being a limited production bike with an attempt at electric start. Ride safely, good luck. James.
The lightweight twins from the Norton lineup were the least loved of all they comprised the 250 Jubilee and jubilee de luxe, 350 Navigator and navigator de luxe and the 383 Electra (your model we presume). The larger one at least had the advantage of full size Roadholder forks and full width hub but none of them 'could pull the skin off a rice pudding' and an imaculate one in the UK will be around 1500 pounds Sterling. Given that the bike in question is complete and hopefully relatively easy to resurrect - how often has the bike that was allegedly parked due to some small electrical fault turn out to have a broken crank or some other disaster - I would reckon that a price of US$1,000 would be quite generous. Although I don't live in the US I do follow prices there and note that a mid-60s triumph 500 twin can probably be had for around $3000 and this is quite frankly twice the bike that a Norton lightweight is, so assuming you can find someone to take it off your hands it would have to be quite a bit cheaper. If you have a couple of thousand as a budget I'd recommend a Dominator or Commando project-bike or basket case for the real Norton experience.
If I remember correctly, the "small" Nortons have a pressed steel, welded frame rather than the traditional brazed tubular configuration. They were structurally OK, but definitely not in the Featherbed's class for handling.

The "electrically assisted" starting was a big laugh. The Lucas starter was very weak and had a tough time turning over an engine that had decent compression. On top of that, one start attempt would usually drain the tiny little battery so there was not enough juice to get a decent spark.

As a restoration, it would carry a definite "cachet", as there are probably no more than a handful of Electras still around. Unfortunately, parts availability could be a major hernia.

If you're into rescuing "orphaned step-children", it could be an interesting project, but I'd be tempted to low-ball the price. When it was new, it probably retailed for less than $1500. I bought one of the first Honda 600 cars in 1971 (?) for $1250.