While looking for information about the Norvin, I came across with numbers of hybrids based on the Norton Featherbed frame that I was even not aware of. This is a little bit off-topic but I think it is interesting to share…
The Norton Manx was certainly one of the best private racing bike between 1947 and 1962 and despite only three world championship in 1951 (350 and 500 cc) and 1952 (350 cc) thanks to Geoff Duke, the Manx was also one of the most accessible racing bike for the private pilots. Consequently the frame design was used on the road models such 88 and 99 Dominator, Manxman and Atlas.
In the 50s and 60s this excellent rolling frame was an opportunity to improve significantly the performance of motorcycles with heavy or floppy frame. Triumph was one of the favorite donors and also Vincent on some extent. However, I was far to think that there was so much variation based on this famous featherbed and as a matter of fact anything can be fitted in this frame. Beyond the famous Triton and Norvin, the NorBSA were also quite well known, but have you heard about hybrids with Ariel, Velocette, Harley Davidson, Indian and much more….
Some of these one off were contemporary with the donor bike but the growing interest for Café Racer has pushed the creativity even further and perhaps too far.