BMW Motorrad Spezial

Norton ‘Dresda-Davidson’

'Dresda-Davidson' Norton motorcycle
Some motorcycles just look exactly ‘right’, with every component in aesthetic harmony. To my eyes, Shane Venn’s ‘Dresda-Davidson’ is one of those bikes. It’s using a 1970 Harley XLCH Sportster motor in a Norton wideline featherbed frame, and it was built by Dave ‘Mr Triton’ Degens of Dresda. To accommodate the Harley’s right side chain drive, Degens fitted a box-section swinging arm and a reversed Norton rear hub. The Oldani-style twin-leading-shoe front drum brake is drilled and ventilated to disperse heat, which is probably a good idea given the torque output of the 54 ci (883 cc) ironhead motor. The aluminum rims are Morad, the shocks are Hagon, and the front forks are Triumph/BSA telescopic units with the springs exposed. This bike appears in the latest issue of Greasy Kulture magazine; owner Shane Venn is quoted as saying, “I’ll keep this long term now, and I already use it for weekend blasts and occasionally to go to work on. It feels like a modern bike, or a modern classic at least, and looks fantastic. It can still be sometimes a bit difficult to start, usually in front of other people, but it does everything I ask of it—though I would love a Norvin!” I don’t know about you, but I reckon this machine is one of the best Norton-related café racers around. [Thanks to GK editor Guy Bolton; the images are by James Adam Bolton. Order your copy of Greasy Kulture magazine here.]

'Dresda-Davidson' Norton motorcycle

  • pushrodmofo

    Harley motor in a Norton frame? Blasphemy! I love it. Beautiful job.

  • YES! More like it. No need for tiger “teeth” on this baby.

  • Joelsephstalin

    Beautiful, but those pipes aren’t doing it for me!

  • Pushrod

    The proper nomenclature for a Norton/Sportster love child is “Snortstron”. They are all beautiful in their own special way.

  • monkeyfumi

    Funny, but my first impression was that it looks slightly awkward.

  • Rt5Maxi

    HD engine is too tall to imitate a HRD and just looks wrong. Why not a Yamaha XV1000? More go, shorter barrels and it would start every time too.

  • Carbon-arc

    Joelsephstalin said:

    Beautiful, but those pipes aren’t doing it for me!

    I am in total agreement – those pipes belong on a bobber

  • Pedro Fuerte

    I think the engine looks perfect cradled in that frame — it helps to shrink the visual size of the Ironhead. But I agree, gotta come up with a more creative exhaust than white trash drag pipes.

  • Benjamin

    Beautiful work! But…. needs 2-1 routing forward and sweeping into a reverse cone megaphone. Or take a leaf out of Vincent exhaust routing if possible.

  • My first thought was SACRILEGE! But after my eyes readjusted I have to admit it looks good. I bet it sounds brilliant and goes like the clappers but when it comes to Norton’s I’m a purist.

  • ironace

    Nice bike with indeed very wrong exhausts . Found a better ” Harton ” on youtube, ironhead engine with 2 carbs, open belt primary and a awesome front brake !!


  • richM

    I’m not really in a position to comment as i have never built anything let alone something like this.

    However, my amateur eye would prefere a ’rounder’ type motor in that frame/tank set up. I think the rounder cases of brit engines suits cafe’s better.

    just my two penneth.

  • Jefferson

    I love it and I think the pipes are good in the “simplifiacte” sense. Still, I bet with an ironhead and unbaffled straights that thing is loud enough to shake the teeth out of your head.

  • Def seen one in person, quite a bike.
    A guy that goes to my dad’ shop, built one
    …and rides it!

  • Rex Havoc

    If I see another silver tank with black and red pin striping and Norton (or any mish mash of names), I’m going to stick a fork in my eyes…..come on people, original paint schemes are cool.

    otherwise, I agree that the lines are good on this bike, a lot of time must have gone into it.

  • Harton? Sporton? Ironton? what to name it.

    Bag the pipes for some Storz high pipes.

  • joe momma

    …i agree with that udder guy…..needs to try round bend wr/kr/xr pipes….years ago a fellow from down under -pete- was in montana and built a Snortster……a lot like this one and it was beautimous……

  • obviously…

    A Harley/Norton? How does that tank not say Horton?