Probably a '67 P11

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Joined up just to say I've had frame and engine numbers matching P11/122885 since 1974 when I bought it from my brother in pieces. (The transmission is also a P11 part.) It was a wrecked mile bike (he said) ridden in San Jose, California. All that remained was the frame, the P11 brakes on stock rims, and the engine. No forks, no tanks, no electrics, just a bunch of nuts bolts and spacers. Restoration was for the most part the last thing on my mind back then. Getting it on the road was. It's been through a few iterations, but never back to the original.

Youz guys with pristine restorations will not appreciate where I went with it, but I've had enough fun with it and held on to it longer than any motor vehicle I've owned, and I've owned a few. I think the only reason I've held onto it is it's like riding a bicycle with a 750cc engine in it. Feels faster than it is. Plus it's very hard to beat the sound of a Norton. The Norton sound is a serious head turner.

Last time I cleaned and rode it was in 1999. I decided to clean it up last week and see if I could start it. It's alive, but it needs to be torn down and gone through when the weather warms up.

Here is the abomination:




Yep the timing side and cases have been modified for an SS, 2X, or whatever they call it cam and Boyer ignition. The hole for the magneto is where the breather stuff is. It has a Betor front end on it, Bubb 2 into 1 exhaust I lengthened, Mikuni's with my upside down modified Commando intake manifolds, a Mity Max and epoxy filled dual coil. I use a little 12V battery to make the Boyer happy. I'd like to get the Norton logo filled and then polish up that timing side case so it didn't look so redarndiculous. Maybe some day.

I'll be tearing the motor down this summer and making some more changes. I have no intention of ever restoring it to P11 specs. I should have done that long ago.
 

Ron L

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It would only bother me if you had started with a nearly original machine. We have a couple rolling baskets that will probably be built the same way while we save the hard to find pieces for more restoration worthy ones.

Your bike is a nice clean rider. The frame looks like it is a P11A (long seat, keyswitch under the front of the sidecover) with an early P11 swingarm.
 
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I really like the stance it has... reminds me of an old Sporty. I guess we like your bike a bunch. I'm captivated by the new girl in class.
I wouldn't touch it unless it looked like there was a fog bank following me, and then I believe I'd just shut it down and look at it.
 

elefantrider

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Nice bike and nice early El Camino.

What changes do you want to make to the engine?
Looks good.... I'd just ride it as is.
 
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It would only bother me if you had started with a nearly original machine. We have a couple rolling baskets that will probably be built the same way while we save the hard to find pieces for more restoration worthy ones.

Your bike is a nice clean rider. The frame looks like it is a P11A (long seat, keyswitch under the front of the sidecover) with an early P11 swingarm.
If it had been an original, I definitely would have left the look alone.

The current long seat was all I found that was readily available in the US and could be bolted onto the frame in the 90's. I put the ignition switch in the fiberglass knock off side cover. Seemed like a good spot for it. The VIN on the frame is the same as the VIN on the motor. I don't think the swingarm was ever changed. I thought about changing it 30 years ago though.
 
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Nice bike and nice early El Camino.

What changes do you want to make to the engine?
Looks good.... I'd just ride it as is.
Looks are deceiving. It's starting to sound like a paint shaker with a gallon can of bent nails in it, and the rings never fully seated due to me replacing them when I didn't need to and trying to get away with a hand sanding emery cloth hone job. I figured I'd tear it down again if it didn't work. It didn't. It actually runs good though, but is stinky. I was working for a living back then and didn't have the excess energy to rebuild it. Besides I had 5 other bikes in the garage I was playing with. I took the P11 out a few times, but put it back in the corner for another day. That day has arrived 30 years later.

I'll lighten up the internals if anyone is still making Norton performance parts in the US. The crank is lightened and balanced, and I have an FSB ported head that works pretty good. Lighter rods and pistons might be a nice addition.

That is a 1965 El Camino. I haven't started it for 2 weeks. The P11 has been getting all my spare attention.
 
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Many points come with that last statement you know... Lot of guys here are gonna get giddy. They'll throw rocks at me though because of spending a beauty of a riding day fighting carbs off my old GL 1000.
Old bikes have character, and some have characters on them also.
 
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I'm comfortably numb, nitrate coated, and do whatever I do.

GL1000 is a lot of motorcycle. I doubt I could pick one up if it fell over. I have a '96 GS1100R still in the garage, and if it falls over it only falls a little bit if the bags are on it. It's too big for me though. I'm at that shrinking stage in life. Pushing the P11 around I can still handle easily.

I wonder if I could have the P11 cremated in the same box with me. That would be special and probably get some giddy.

Thanks for the comments gents.
 
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I think the fact that it’s up and running and giving you the pleasure of riding it will always beat it being in bits in a garage. Mine was a job and a half to get going and not all original but I feel any extra P11 that’s running is a good thing!
It also looks really well, enjoy! ;)
 

grandpaul

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In NO WAY is that "an abomination"; rather it is a VERY nicely done RIDEABLE special.
 
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I think the fact that it’s up and running and giving you the pleasure of riding it will always beat it being in bits in a garage. Mine was a job and a half to get going and not all original but I feel any extra P11 that’s running is a good thing!
It also looks really well, enjoy! ;)
I've got little else better to do, so it won't be in pieces that long relatively speaking. I won't start the project until all the new parts are sitting in boxes in the garage. I figure about a month of down time going at my pace. All depends on the parts I can get though. If I can't get the stuff I want to use, I'm not sure if I'll do anything major.

I was checking the valve adjustment yesterday, and noticed some things. I put huge push rods in it. They probably act like subwoofers for tappet sound. Also forgot to install the valve stem seals on the intake side. Might be why it smokes a little on deceleration. Could be my rings actually did seat, and all I need is ear plugs and valve stem seals.
 
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The only guy whose opinion matters has his name on the title...and while keeping things historically original has its charm, history also included a lot of people rightfully doing whatever they wanted with their bikes.

I like it and wish you luck getting the internal issues sorted as quickly as possible. Gotta admit I'm a sucker for the high pipes, but those look the part for a street scrambler, too. Almost a flat-tracker look brought to the original desert racer aesthetic. Wonder how different it sounds than the open headers on the P11/G15-CS...?
 
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That's not smoke anyway... rather it's conveniently automatically manufactured mosquito repellant. Look at the bright side...enough doom and despair lately.
 
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Were there valve stem seals on the pre-commando 750's?
Nope, and never having seen any in there would be the logic I might have used for not doing it. The head was updated with bronze guides around the time I had it ported. However, chances are very high that the intake guides are not cut for seals even though they are bronze. Adding swap out guides to the list.

I just went out in the garage and dug out a NOS 750 head I have boxed up, and it has the iron guides, no seals.
 
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The only guy whose opinion matters has his name on the title...and while keeping things historically original has its charm, history also included a lot of people rightfully doing whatever they wanted with their bikes.

I like it and wish you luck getting the internal issues sorted as quickly as possible. Gotta admit I'm a sucker for the high pipes, but those look the part for a street scrambler, too. Almost a flat-tracker look brought to the original desert racer aesthetic. Wonder how different it sounds than the open headers on the P11/G15-CS...?
I agree. It is all about what I feel like doing. I didn't want to get on here and discount the effort it takes to restore old motor vehicles. I know it is a lot of meticulous and sometimes painstaking work. What I did was actually relatively easy in comparison.

According to the Smith speedo I put on my P11 SSS (that's what I call it) when I last tore it down, I put about 6500 hard miles on it 30 years ago rattling like it does, so the motor is probably OK. I'm a big fan of reduced reciprocating mass weight, and want to see how well JS Motorsport's parts work inside a old set of cases. I'm not trying to fix anything that doesn't work. I'm a tinkerer with a itch that needs to be scratched.

As far as sound with the Bubb pipe and Supertrapp disc setup I put in there goes, it makes some noise. Not as much as open pipes would, but it sounds healthy and always turns heads. Not too many thumbs up around here though. I've tried running the 2 into 1 pipe open, but it is a bit too much with the megaphone tip. Besides, running with a fully open 2 into 1 exhaust requires farting around with the carburetion, and it's really so darn loud I never took the time to dial it in open.

Thanks for the comments
 
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I put a full faced helmet on, and it fixed the rattling. I've also listened to a few other Norton videos since I posted this, and mine isn't all that noisy after changing the oil filter, pouring in some better oil, and putting on the full faced helmet. I'm going to take the advice given, and just ride it for a while. Thanks for the reality check.
 

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