1974 John Player Norton - no reserve

1974 Norton John Player

Price: US $8,000.00
Item location: Terrebonne, Oregon, United States
Make: Norton
Model: John Player
Year: 1974
Mileage: 11,845
VIN: 850111279
Engine size: 828
Vehicle Title: Clear

WHAT IS IT? Norton built some 200300 MkII Commandos as John Player Nortons to commemorate, elebrate, nd profit from their successful racing venture sponsored by the John Player Tobacco Co. Mechanically, he retail JPN bikes were stock but withtaller gearing and a larger output alternator and two zener diodes, ne for each Z-plate. Stylistically they resemble the pukka race bikes with a very effective fairing, lipons, nd rearsets. The fairing creates a calm riders experience and the bike is very stable at speed. Motorcycle Classics has a nice article. There were thought to be about 120 genuine factory JPNs imported to the USA.

THIS BIKES HISTORY: Manufacturer's plate on bike shows assembly date of July 1974. Ive owned the bike since 1978 and have a detailed history of the buying experience and early years on my website.

IS IT GENUINE? Yes. This is a factory bike and can be assessed as such because of many key features, ncluding but not limited to:

Butt-ugly welded gas tank in original ugly black. Only the factory JPNs had the special welded-on extra section at the back.

Avon fairing with original decal. Aftermarket kits were made by Sprint, hey were thinner and the headlight nacelles werent right. I know because I ran a Sprint fairing for years to preserve the factory Avon.

Fairing bracketry. The complex upper steel bracketry and the attractive tapered alloy lower brackets that attach to the Z-plates are original. Aftermarket kits in the day used flat steel.

Manufacturer's plate is on the main spine under the seat rather than the usual position at the steering head.

Clipons and rearsets are original.

Original black chrome mufflers included, mazingly they have no dents and have not been drilled, ut finish is spotty. Exhaust system on bike is chrome 2-into-2, eeding two genuine Dunstall Decibel Silencers in very good original condition. Personally, have never regretted this aspect of the bike!exhaust sounds great and looks terrific.

Carburetters originally were Amals but bike runs 2 X 32mm Mikunis. Unlike most dual Mikuni installations, his one has always had K&N air filters, ot easy to do, ee photos. Original plastic airbox included.

All numbers match: Manufacturer's plate, ngine, ranny all stamped 316961. Please note, anufacturer'splate has a factory-corrected stamping error: it reads 3169761 with the 7 crossed out. In other words, he factory guy stamped a 7 by mistake and crossed it out, hen continued with the correct 6. This is not an issue because (1) the corrected number matches the engine & tranny numbers (see photo) and (2) the title uses the Frame number, 50111279, hich is visible on the RH side of the steering head (see photo).

CONDITION:Mechanical. Top end refreshed at 9500 miles by T.T. Motors in Berkeley (have receipt): head was milled to achieve 9:1 CR; all valves faced and tipped; pushrods shortened; Norvil tappet adjusters installed; both exhaust ports were renewed by welding in inserts and tapping new threads (new exhaust nuts fitted at this time); barrels were honed and new rings fitted to original pistons. Result is a very strong Commando motor running a stock cam. Clutch and gearbox work fine. Tach and speedo both work fine, ach drive does not leak. Engine is a wet-sumper, hich means that there is significant white smoke on cold startup. The reason is that oil in the oil tank drains into the crankcase and this takes a while to clear. There are a variety of fixes with strong advocates for each, .g. oil pump mod, alve in oil feed, all valve, tc.

Frame & brakes. Swing arm tight, o play. Koni shocks (originals missing at purchase).Norvil head steady (original box section head steady included). Plating on fork tubes is getting thin near gaiters and seals weep. One fork drain was buggered upon purchase and is still buggered, ut does not leak. Christopher Chassis Products fork brace installed, seful with original fiberglass fender. Front brake master cylinder and caliper rebuilt, ystem is stone stock.

Electrical. Lucas RITA electronic ignition, ery reliable because not actually made by Lucas. Original cover and points plate included but welded-up AA unit was thrown over fence ca. 1978. Alternator fine, olid state regulator, igh/lowbeam, ail light, rake light works from pedal, diot lights, nstrument lights all work, o turn signals (missing at purchase), orn beeps. Stock horn still in place but wiring connects to louder Voxbell horn, an be easily returned to stock. New ignition switch and pedal brake light switch.

Bodywork. No cracks in any pieces. Main fairing is original Avon, epainted in 1978 and storeduntil installed last month. Some small scratches from storage and black paint on inside is peeling. NOS vinyl was applied last month with very good, ut not perfect results owing to bonding with the protective masking layer. Repro vinyl sets are available from RGM Motors if you want perfect. New windscreen included but I chose to mount the old one, hich has extra holes along the bottom covered with tape. Not ideal but you can mount the new screen. Original mirrors and stalks included but not mounted for safety in transport. Cowl is original paint, oth regions near Z-plates have small defects. Tailpiece was repainted in 1978 but vinyl is original (NOS set included). Gel coat has star in top center. Mounting holes were reinforced with fiberglass in 1978. Seat is perfect, oam has been replaced. LH sidecover was missing at purchase; replacement has hole punched for key switch.

NEW PARTS INSTALLED FOR SALE: Avon Roadrider 90/90 front and Avon 100/90 Super Venom rear with zero miles. Brake caliper rebuilt with new seals, tainless pistons and stainless plug. Brake hydraulic hose. Master cylinder rebuilt with new seals, rap valve and piston. Original switch does not seem to work. Rubber carb mounts, as cap seal, etcocks and fuel lines. Ignition switch (original lock & key retained). Brake light switch for pedal. Sealed battery. Fresh oil and filter.

WHY SELL? I never thought I would sell this bike. But the fact is, t this stage in my life I prefer riding motorcycles with more comfortable ergonomics.

PAYMENT: Bank wire preferred. Cash OK. No checks of any kind. Reason is that banks can get squirrely even with cashiers checks and money ordersit happened to me when I bought this bike years ago, nd never again. Thank you for understanding.

Also published at eBay.com