Skip to main content
000000 000003 000006 000009 000012 000015 000018 000021 000024 000027 000030 000033 000036 000039 000042 000045 000048 000051 000054 000057 000060 000063 000066 000069 000072 000075 000078 000081 000084 000087 000090 000093 000096 000099 000102 000105 000108 000111 000114 000117 000120 000123 000126 000129 000132 000135 000138 000141 000144 000147 000150 000153 000156 000159 000162 000165 000168 000171 000174 000177 000180 000183 000186 000189 000192 000195 000198 000201 000204 000207 000210 000213 000216 000219 000222 000225 000228 000231 000234 000237 000240 000243 000246 000249 000252 000255 000258 000261 000264 000267 000270 000273 000276 000279 000282 000285 000288 000291 000294 000297 000300 000303 000306 000309 000312 000318 000321 000324 000327 000330 000333 000336 000339 000342 000345 000348 000351 000354 000357 000360 000363 000366 000369 000372 000375 000378 000381 000384 000387 000390 000393 000396 000399 000402 000405 000408 000411 000414 000417 000420 000423 000426 000429 000432 000435 000438 000441 000444 000447 000450 000453 000456 000459 000462 000465 000468 000471 000474 000477 000480 000483 000486 000489 000492 000495 000498 000501 000504 000507 000510 000513 000516 000519 000522 000525 000528 000531 000534 000537 000540 000543 000546 000549 000552 000555 000558 000561 000564 000567 000570 000573 000576 000579 000582 000585 000588 000591 000594 000597 000600 000603 000606 000609 000612 000615 000618 000621 000624 000627 000630 000633 000636 000639 000642 000645 000648 000651 000654 000657 000660 000663 000666 000669 000672 000675 000678 000681 000684 000687 000690 000693 000696 000699 000702 000705 000708 000711 000714 000717 000720 000723 000726 000729 000732 000735 000738 000741 000744 000747 000750 000753 000756 000759 000762 000765 000768 000771 000774 000777 000780 000783 000786 000789 000792 000795 000798 000801 000804 000807 000810 000813 000816 000819 000822 000825 000828 000831 000834 000837 000840 000843 000846 000849 000852 000855 000858 000861 000864 000867 000870 000873 000876 000879 000882
English French German Italian Spanish

1st Batch Manxman 650 and early Commando

I felt that it was time for me to sign up to your club.  My name is Pete Chase, I have been restoring British bikes and customizing Japanese bikes full time for the last 11 years.  I specialize in hand formed metal work and general fabrication, but I do just about everything exept machining.  Lately,  Ive come across some pretty special projects. 

I am just finishing up a restoration on an early 1968 Commando Fastback.  This bike was ridden hard, it appears the bike threw a timing side rod and shredded the motor.  I hadn't noticed when the bike first came in, because it showed matching numbers to frame and transmission.  someone had spliced a newer engine half with points driven off the camshaft.  This motor had two different con rods and pistons.  Over the course of 2 years I have put this bike back together as correctly as I could.  Including adding a neck brace to the frame and sorting out every other little bug (hopefully)  The tank and covers were hand painted back in the 70's and my customer and I decided to leave it because it looked to cool with its 45 yo patina  everything else was touched. 

My other Current Norton project is a first day production Norton Manxman 650 an older lady was selling due to her husbands passing.  She said that it was a Norton Manx.  When I went to see the bike I saw a black featherbed frame with wheels, off to the side what appeared to be a 650ss twin mono block engine  and a tote of misc parts.  I hold her that it was likely a 650ss or an atlas from the mid to late 60's.  we made a deal based on an average cost of a mid 60's 650 basket case and I was off.  When I got home I started clicking in some numbers and found that the VIN number puts the bike at a 1960 production and that the 650SS didn't come out until 61. My bike was a 650 based on the #18 stamped on it. so long story shorter, I learned about the Manxman that was produced on nov. 7 1960 for less than one year.  I knew my bike had to be early production because is was a 1960 model.  I then started to see some of the original polychromatic blue popping out from behind the black paint on the frame.  I started scraping with my fingernail and revealed nearly all of the blue paint on the front end.  I also got curious about the seat and sure enough, under the black seat was the original red seat with white piping.  I have disassembled this bike down to every nut and bolt.  I haven't sanded, painted or polished anything, Just cleaned it up as good as I can.  I have rebuilt the transmission only needing all bearings seals and gaskets.  Every gear and shift folk was in perfect condition.  I am currently going through the engine. I split the crank, all new hardware and bearings in the bottom end, I am using as many original parts as possible and many engine components are making the cut, but I am not compromising anything mechanically.  This is the good stuff.  The bad part is everything that was in the tote of misc parts.  oil tank was stripped and painted, gas tank was stripped and pointed, both are original as they have blue paint still in the filler neck.  Also I have no exhaust parts or airbox.

Permalink

Hi Peter,

If you haven't seen it yet there is an on-going article in HEAVY TWINS section relating to the rebuild, in America, of what is thought to be the first Manxman along with Facebook videos etc.

The latest video shows his engine, frame and gearbox no's.

Anna, a member of the club, owns and rides one, and is an authority on the model.

Best wishes

Dick

Permalink

Hi Peter.....if your Norton is showing Blue paint under the black that is covering the frame then this suggests that it may actually be an early Mk1 Manxman 650. After the first 440 were built these bikes tended to be exported with Black frames. The very first batch headed off to the USA with single carbs and then these were followed by batches of mixed  twin and single carb. 

By September 1961 the twin carb 650SS with larger fuel tank was being produced. However, just to confuse everybody outside of the UK. these were called the Manxman Mk 1 in Europe and the Manxman Mk 2 in the USA. The choice of colours were all blue, blue and black frame, silver and black and red and black. Plus a choice of small or large tank was possible.

Peter....if you use the internal mailing system to send me all of you bikes engine numbers I can probably give you the details of production and shipping of this model.

 

Norton Owners Club Website by White-Hot Design

Privacy Policy