Ed’s Burton: a most unorthodox Norton cafe racer

A most unorthodox Norton cafe racer—with a Buell X1 engine.
We’ve showcased a fair number of Tritons before—and even a Norley—but this is the first time we’ve laid eyes on a ‘Burton.’ And it’s magnificent.

‘Ed’s Burton’ belongs to London-based Edward Jonkler, and it’s the most unorthodox Norton cafe racer we’ve seen yet. It’s not powered by a Triumph or even a Harley Sportster engine—but one from a Buell X1.

A most unorthodox Norton cafe racer—with a Buell X1 engine.
And a sorted X1 at that—the donor Buell had already been tuned, and kitted with a number of performance parts. “It was a complete riot to ride,” says Ed. “I was literally laughing every time I was on it!”

First up on Ed’s list was to prep the engine further, so it went off to Steve Piper Motorcycles in Hampshire, England. Steve took it apart, had it bead blasted, stove enameled the barrels, polished various bits and reshaped the cam cover. He also converted it from EFI to carb, installing a Mikuni HSR42.

A most unorthodox Norton cafe racer—with a Buell X1 engine.
Once that was done, the engine was carted off to Redmax Speed Shop in Devon. Redmax are best known for their flat trackers, but they’ve got a knack for building classically styled café racers too. They wedged the Buell powerplant into a Norton featherbed wideline frame, then grafted on an R6 front-end and installed a pair of adjustable Hagon shocks at the rear.

With a little hunting, a supplier was found to lace up a set of 18” spoked wheels that could handle the torque from the X1’s motor. Redmax fitted them with a set of Avon Roadriders, and installed twin 320mm discs and Brembo calipers.

A most unorthodox Norton cafe racer—with a Buell X1 engine.
Moving to the electrics, the bike was wired up around a Motogadget m-Unit control module with a super-light Shido LTZ battery. Everything’s stashed in a neat tray under the seat, and there’s also a Motogadget speedo and RFID keyless ignition (the latter is hidden in the top yolk). Ed’s even added a Road Angel tracker for good measure—since the Burton will reside in central London.

The fuel tank was made by TAB II Classics. “It’s a 3.5 gallon,” says Ed, “rather than the usual 5 gallon sprint tanks, which I think may have been done to death.” The tank—and under-seat oil reservoir—have been painted in a traditional choice: British Racing Green.

A most unorthodox Norton cafe racer—with a Buell X1 engine.
The bike’s been finished with a host of bespoke parts—including the front fender, seat (with integrated tail light), and Manx-style exhaust. There are also removable passenger pegs, rear-set foot controls, and clip-on bars equipped with vintage Triumph replica switches from Sparx.

As Norton cafe racers go, ‘Ed’s Burton’ won’t appeal to the purists. But we’re strangely tempted by the beast lurking within…

Photos: Greg Moss

A most unorthodox Norton cafe racer—with a Buell X1 engine.