Who owned two nice Norton cafe racers near Fullerton, Ca

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I'm wondering if anyone knows who owned two amazing Norton cafe bikes in the 1980's and worked or went to school at Cal State Fullerton, ca. around 1983 or 84? I had a 750 commando with all the dunstal stuff & would check out the bike parking for cool stuff. Some lucky person would ride either a very nice Atlas cafe racer or a Commando cafe racer and as if that's not enough I think the same guy had a red Laverda RGS 1000 too because if one of the Nortons weren't there the Laverda was! Smart guy with good taste, must have been a professor. I never got to meet the guy but did take some pictures of my bike next to his. Found them and it made me think someone on the forum might be or know who the owner was. Also, where are these bikes today? They were both VERY clean, looked pro built. There was a Norton "race" guy named George ? in Garden Grove ca. I got some parts from, I think the shop was called HPI (High performance international ?) and these bikes looked like his work. I sure would like to know where these bikes are today just for fun and maybe get to know the owner. In my memory they were two of the cleanest Norton cafe bikes I had ever seen. Does any of this ring a bell for anyone? Thanks Glenn.
 
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So far I have only found a few poloroids of my Norton next to his/hers Laverda. I could try to take a picture and post that but I will keep looking & try to find the pictures of the Nortons and see what I can do with them.
 

lcrken

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The shop in Garden Grove was indeed HPI, and George was George Gjonovich. He built all sorts of Nortons, street and race. He was one of the first builders of 920 cc kits for Commandos, and was installing nitrous kits on Commandos back in the '70s. He drag raced Nortons, and was really into extreme engine performance. He also did re-angled big valve conversions, and had cams made to his own specs. Quite a fascinating guy. He designed a V-4 using two Commando top ends on custom cases. I don't think he ever got one running, but somebody later put one together from his parts and put it in a Harley style frame. I think he was one of the pattern makers or foundry guys who worked on the project. I corresponded with him for a while (the guy with the V-4) but lost track of him. He was a little short of cash at the time, and I'd hoped to buy the bike from him. Didn't work out. I visited George at his shop a lot back in those days, and got my first 920 kit from him. Last time I saw him, the shop was sold, and he was in poor health, but he was still working on his design for a rotary valve cylinder head. Don't know what ever happened to him after that.

Ken
 
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Unfortunately Ken, from what I understand George passed away, Bill Bibianni from the SoCal Norton owners club knew him & told me that sad news. As a teen & into my 20's I used to ride by his shop & drool. Never had the $ for his 920 big bore kits but my 750 Dunstal was plenty for me anyway. George was a real nice guy. When he closed his shop he invited me to his home a gave me a few parts for my bike. I had one of his machined oil presure sending units for years. When I bought my current 73 850 it had one on it made by him. Same old S&W oil presure gage! I had a steel braided hose made to replace the 30 year old plastic line & now I'm trying to come up with a clean mounting bracket. Something like the old production racers had. I don't know where to get one or how they were made but I'll find out. I wonder if any one knows the whereabouts of any bikes from HPI ?
 

lcrken

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gtsun said:
Unfortunately Ken, from what I understand George passed away, Bill Bibianni from the SoCal Norton owners club knew him & told me that sad news. As a teen & into my 20's I used to ride by his shop & drool. Never had the $ for his 920 big bore kits but my 750 Dunstal was plenty for me anyway. George was a real nice guy. When he closed his shop he invited me to his home a gave me a few parts for my bike. I had one of his machined oil presure sending units for years. When I bought my current 73 850 it had one on it made by him. Same old S&W oil presure gage! I had a steel braided hose made to replace the 30 year old plastic line & now I'm trying to come up with a clean mounting bracket. Something like the old production racers had. I don't know where to get one or how they were made but I'll find out. I wonder if any one knows the whereabouts of any bikes from HPI ?

Yeah, he was pretty sick the last time I visited him, so I'm not real surprised he's gone. He was definitely a nice guy. As for HPI bikes, the only one I know about is one I sold him. When Norton folded, and closed the NV facility here in Duarte, California, they gave John Hately the flat track bike he'd been racing for them. I bought it from John, and pulled the short stroke 750 engine out of it for my production racer. I sold the rolling chassis to George, and he put another engine in it. It was later picked up by a guy in Texas who is slowly restoring it back to the orginal factory configuration. He was one of the factory racers back in the day, and is restoring several original Norton flat track bikes.

Ken
 
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