Norton Motorcycles have more than a hundred years of history of motorcycle development. The company has had a success and some difficult times throughout the 20th century, but one thing is certain – their contribution in the motorcycle building industry and culture is hard to overstate. Often times, you can come across a custom build with a design or color scheme partially or fully copying the old Norton bikes, as for example Norton Commander or a racing legend – Norton Manx.
Norton Manx was produced from 1947 to 1962. First, the bike came out as a racing adapted version of the previous Norton International motorcycle, but within a decade it experienced some critical changes in order to stay in shape.
That is not a surprise that Norton motorcycles were the inalienable part of popular worldwide Isle of Man Race since its foundation, but Manx managed to gain the unusual amount of riders attention and took racing to the next level.
The bike was fitted with a new telescopic fork, twin leading shoe drum brakes and was build (since 1950) around the lightweight featherbed frame which had been constructed to provide a low center of gravity and a short wheelbase. The frame significantly improved high speed steering and maneuverability. But Norton engineers didn’t stop just there. They also made some great changes to the engine. In 1953 the engine was redesigned and came out with a shorter stroke and increased rmp. Furthermore, its position on the frame was lowered and in this manner, even lower center of gravity was achieved. Production of Norton Manx was stopped in 1962. It’s amazing how much such bike can cost now: on October 19, 1966, Norton Manx with a 350cc engine, has been sold for $100,481 on Bonhams annual sale which set a new world record for the Manx motorcycles auction price.