Norton is famed for its featherbed frames, which carried the Manx single to spectacular racing victories in the 1950s. But in the 1960s, Norton wanted to establish its Dominator twin as a race machine. The newer bike was outclassed by the Manx, so engineer Doug Hele created a new frame for the “Domiracer” project. This “lowboy” frame was even lighter than the featherbed, and helped the Domiracer tip the scales at 35 lb (16 kg) less than a Manx. But the project died when the Bracebridge Street race shop closed in 1962. Doug Hele left Norton for Triumph, and it was left to tuner Paul Dunstall to continue development.
This beautiful machine, photographed by Benoit Guerry in France, has just been profiled on the (highly recommended) Southsiders site. It’s a Triton-style hybrid, built in the 1970s from recovered parts and spares—including a Lowboy frame, shortened Norton Roadholder forks, a Seeley front brake, and a Triumph five-speed transmission. The engine is a rare 1957 pre-unit T100/RS with a splayed-port Delta head.
All up, this vintage beauty weighs just 300 lb (135 kg), which explains how a similar bike was able to lap the Isle of Man TT circuit at over 100 mph in 1961. Head over to the Southsiders for more eye candy of the highest pedigree.
With thanks to Vincent Prat.