A Streetfighter For The World

As featured on the #1 custom bike website www.bikeexif.com/nyc-norton/ In early 2014 we got a call from an overseas number on the shop phone.  On the other end of the call was a pleasant voice with an unidentifiable accent who introduced himself as "Joe".  He was calling from his home in a small country nestled in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.  He had just purchased a pristine Norton Commando in the States and asked if we could add some performance and reliability mods to it before ultimately shipping it across the seas to him.  Sounded easy enough.  This was the humble beginning of a relationship that has circled the Earth many times.  Having already in his stable a bone-stock Commando, as well as other vintage bikes of various marques, Joe wanted this Commando to have a bit more "oomph".  This is our specialty and we were very happy to [...]

2015-11-16T22:45:32+00:00October 7th, 2015|builds, commando, nycNorton, street|

Naked Speed

One day in the spring of 2014 the shop phone rang.  On the other end of the line was Dave Austin, a British car collector from upstate New York.  He told a crazy story about finding a stash of cars deep in the back woods of someone's property, and after making a deal to purchase the lot was told the sale included a "rusty old motorcycle".  Turns out the bike was a 100% complete '71 Norton Commando.  Dave wanted NYC Norton to do the "resurrection" on this one.  The Cafe Racer TV folks got wind of this and asked if we could wait to do up the bike to coincide with their film schedule for their upcoming new season.  Sure thing.  We were busy anyway, so this would dovetail nicely into the shop schedule later in the summer. Now, as I write this, the show has already aired (February 4, [...]

2015-02-13T22:26:26+00:00February 8th, 2015|nycNorton|

Racing 2014

Barber Motorsports Park in October is the pinnacle of any classic motorcyclist's schedule and the highlight of the US vintage racing calendar, but in turn feels a little bittersweet, simply because it punctuates the end of each racing season.  The event itself is huge, with 65,000 spectators visiting over the weekend, each year growing more and more.  And just when you think it can't get bigger, it does.  NYC Norton's representation has also expanded over the years and this year we had 11 bikes under the NYC Norton canopy.  And with all that's going on, we rarely get a chance to leave our compound and see all the sights.  It's a black hole of laughing, swearing, and sweating.  This year was no different.  And the intensity that Barber brings started in the shop right after we got home from Miller. Three NYC Norton G50s up on the lifts getting [...]

2015-02-09T09:10:56+00:00January 17th, 2015|nycNorton|

Racing 2014

For years our closest race on the AHRMA calendar was Grattan, MI, clocking in at 750 miles from NYC.  So when the announcement came in last year that we would be racing in New Jersey we couldn't believe what we heard.  The notion of being able to load up and get to a track in 2 hours (125 miles), spend a weekend chasing the racing jones, and make it home to our own beds by Sunday evening was such an alien concept.  Because the track is centrally located to NYC, Philly, Baltimore, DC, the organizers have worked hard to target the eastern seaboard motorcycle world (not just racers) and make it a cornerstone event smack-dab in the middle of our racing season, picking up where Mid Ohio left off.  There are vendors, a swap meet, bike shows, bands, etc. and each year it grows in stature.  Plus, the Thunderbolt track [...]

2015-01-05T08:34:48+00:00December 31st, 2014|commando, G50, nycNorton, racing|

Racing 2014

Charging down Thunder Alley at Road America at top speed has to be one of the greatest experiences one can ever have on a motorcycle.  Doing it on a revving British Single or Twin is even better.  This 4.05 mile long course has everything for the bikes the NYC Norton team races – very fast sections, some wavy twisties, and tight little moments. It is without question a top-3 favorite track for all of us.  We loaded up the Sprinter and began the drive to the land of cheese curds and brats - Wisconsin! Road America, Elkart Lake, WI, June 06, 2014: This year we brought 4 bikes – Helmut’s G50, Kenny’s G50, Jon’s Atlas, and Magyar’s NRE (again, Kenny riding the NRE on loan while new pistons were being manufactured for his Seeley Norton).  Kenny was to run the NRE in Formula 750 and his G50 in 500 Premier.  [...]

2015-01-07T12:51:44+00:00December 30th, 2014|commando, G50, nycNorton, racing|

Racing Update

For many years, we've been carrying our racing bikes to the track in a small but very efficient 1999 T4 Volkswagen Eurovan.  It served us well and was absorbed into the NYC Norton business as a lithe big-city bike hauler.  But the transmissions in these vans are notoriously fragile, and the need to carry more bikes and sometimes tow a trailer was upon us.  After much laboring, bean-counting, talking to car dealers, accountants, and shrinks, the business took the plunge and we bought a new Sprinter to carry bikes  - race bikes and customer bikes - with reliability.  Our maiden voyage would be the beloved Midwest excursion to Road America in Wisconsin, with the week off spent up in Northern Michigan with friends at the wonderful cottage in belonging to John and Jan Ellis, then off to Grattan the following weekend. There had been many test fittings of bikes in [...]

2013-12-09T23:36:26+00:00June 5th, 2013|nycNorton, racing|