Saturday, 23 July 2011

Two Nortons & a Suzi

Will the novelty of a new motorcycle to ride wear off? I guess so, but not enough yet to stop me riding in some cold winter weather!
I took a run from Geelong to Colac, then Ballarat then home to Geelong. Temps ranged from 4C when I left to 9.9C when I got home. The connecting theme for today was old mates and their restoration projects.
First project was Steve's Norton Dominator (his road ride is a black Commando).

Hours of work on the lathe goes into fabricating lots of new parts on a job like this.

Next project saw me take a quick trip on deserted winter roads from Steve's to Andy's place in Ballarat (a place not known for warmth!) to see Andy's recently purchased T250R Suzuki Hustler and the beginning of what he calls a 'birthday' for his Commando Fastback - new isolastics, a belt primary drive, lots of stainless nuts & bolts and a whole lot more.

Lots of happy memories from our teenage years when Andy had one just like this.
 Andy bought a Hustler as his first legal road bike not long after I first met him around 40 years ago. It did everything from get him to work in Melbourne everyday to riding the GOR on the weekends. You wouldn't think that you could carry a box with a dozen long neck bottles of  beer on a tank that small would you?

 Less happy are places like this. A once bustling center of motor vehicle and British motor cycle repairs and service, in a town that barely exists now.


  1. Man I wish I had the skill to do bikes up like that. You have my ondolences on the weather, not much fun here either of late. Mind you not as cold as you though, but shit has rained a lot.

  2. Hi Jules,
    Great to see you out and about in the cold. If you have any tips about sopping a runny nose in those conditions, I'd love some advice!

    Lovely to see older bikes being restored - good for the soul. Still hoping to get my old Suzuki X7 back one day - I know where it is... unridden for 7 or 8 years!

  3. G'day Roger

    Both of these guys are pretty handy on a lathe and make their own stainless steel nuts and bolts. Some of the work is painstaking - for example Steve told me the rear mudguard stay had to be fabricated down to the Norton size, which is no longer available, from larger diameter tubing, which means plenty of lathe work. Also the front mudguard stays are copies and the work involved to flatten the ends correctly without flaring the metal is incredible. It required a home made jig to hold the end of the piece correctly whilst flattening it. The engine runs perfectly.

    There's not much that Andy can't fabricate, though obviously there are many more replicate parts available for the Commando.He's also adding a Mikuni carburetor for more reliability as well as the belt drive primary I mentioned.

    Geoff, Marty always says his nose drips at a temp of 10C and less - when it stops he knows the ambient temp is getting better!

    Cheers Jules.