A Stripped Down and Refined Norton Model 50 – Bike Find of the Day
The Norton Model 50, manufactured from 1933 to 1939 and again after the war from 1956 through 1963, featured a modest 348cc, ohv single engine. Weighing in at a svelte 400 lbs dry weight and capable of a top speed of 75 mph, this little gem was also good for somewhere around 75 miles per gallon. In the tradition of other classic British singles, these machines were well-mannered if not exactly devastating when it came to performance.
After the 1959 model year, these classic machines featured the famous Norton “featherbed frame” and they looked really, really fine.
Not many of them managed to survive untouched as quite a few were converted into Tritons to take advantage of the additional horsepower to be had from the Triumphs of the day.
Designed by Edgar Franks, the Model 50 was popular for its simplicity and a rock-solid, over-engineered powerplant.
The guys at Heiwa Motorcycles in Hiroshima, Japan have, with their Norton Model 50 Gentleman, created a bike which is both historically significant and at the same time modern looking. Heiwa built a custom frame, fabricated a new swingarm, built a set of slick custom front forks, slimmed down the fuel tank, and fitted a small and lovely seat. A new oil tank, a hot-tuned engine and slick customized exhaust complete the look.
For all that, you get a classically-inspired machine in the tradition of its refined British forebears, and what’s not to like with all that?