BMW Motorrad Spezial

A classy French Norton Wasp racer

Norton Wasp racing motorcycle
I love this Norton Wasp because it has an understated, almost monochromatic beauty. It belongs to a member of the Coyote Racing Team in France, who built it four years ago to run in classic race events. It’s a very classy ‘bitsa’, marrying Norton parts with Italian and Japanese components.

The owner wishes to remain anonymous, but he’s happy to run us through the spec-sheet: “The engine comes from a 1972 Norton Commando 750. Mark II Amal carbs are fitted, with high-level pipes from a Commando S.” Norton Wasps are most closely associated with mid-70s sidecar motocross racing—there’s a niche for you—but this frame is custom-made, using powdercoated Reynolds 531 tubing.

Topping it off are a fiberglass Rickman tank, and a production racer seat. Italy supplies the Marzocchi front forks and the lovely 18-inch Borrani wheels. From Japan comes the front hub—via a Yamaha TZ350—and the Brembo front brake, stolen from a Suzuki RG500. The rear hub is a genuine Grimeca item: it’s from a Benelli Tornado 650S, a bike we don’t hear much about these days.

Elsewhere, hand-made alloy parts abound, and the renowned Toulouse-based builder Daniel Delfour helped set the bike up. The build took a whole year, but it was obviously worth it—and not just from an aesthetic point of view. “It’s always a pleasure to ride a different chassis with a Commando engine and good Italian parts,” says the owner.

[Image by and thanks to Vincent Prat.]

  • Josh

    It is quite sexy in its own simplistic manner.

  • Paul

    This has become the new inspiration for my bike build. Beautiful bike. Well done.

  • This is a fabulous bike, I ride it sometimes on French circuits. The rolling chassis is quite a Rickman frame. It’s really different than my own Norton
    Cheers Laurent

  • wow!!! i love this bike!!! so very clean and a great color scheme.

  • Black Jack

    If anyonbe wanted as similar frame, they could try asking Robbie…