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Norton F1

P55 F1

The F1 was the baby of Philippe Le Roux, though himself not a motorcyclists, saw the potential a John Player replica had, and who, first-hand experience as the one-time MD of Motors Ltd, knew the had a very small fan club. His I’ve got to shift some relating to the Commander, in a phone in 1989 still rings in the ears today!

So Seymour-Powell entrusted with the task of a fairing round the raw bones of a racer with the new P55 engine/gearbox in it. This unit took the to an integrally-cast gearbox that a Yamaha FZR1000 5-speed and a hydraulic clutch, so was actually of what the race team of the used.

The design they came up must rate as one of the all-time in motorcycle design. Apart the square FZ250 front unit it would not look out of on a newly-unveilled bike even with its timeless elegance and integrated rider. But, as there were problems.

Fred Swift, chief builder at Nortons, complained the task of having to shoehorn the under the fairing- the fairing was so there was little room for the inside it! The main problem was the generated by a rotary engine, could not get out under the fully-enclosing

Norton F1
Norton F1

Therefore, the radiator heated up the chamber (air box to the uninitiated), the hot air up the carbs, the engine was heating up from underneath, and the petrol in the tank was also heating up, did not help the cooling of the carburettors in any This made for exciting in built-up areas, the author one who will never forget a ride on a howling, hopping through central Munich in a jam, or the night he was blown off by a uphill at 100mph, the Classic up power

in the cool night air whilst the F1 was power through heating up and more.

Another problem, not aparent to living on the British Isles, was the the P55 was never developed from an friendly point of view. the Commander passed German tests with flying on its SU carbs, the F1 had emissions of virtually proportions with the Mikuni and the inherent overheating problems.

a market that had the potential and the to relieve Norton of virtually F1 they were able to was closed to this model- then the wealthiest and biggest for high-price, high-performance motorcycles in After building and selling 130 F1s, many of which the high-flying, non-riding London scene, sales came to a standstill and it was time for the P55B.

The P55 prototype- a picture published in every Norton book but a styling mockup, not the eventual bike. Apart from the usual trick of leaving off legal requirements like and mirrors, the exhaust system is fiction, as are footrests and rear caliper.

Norton F1
Norton F1

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