1974 Norton John Player Short Stroke
Lot 413
2,185 miles from new,1974 Norton 749cc John Player Commando 'Short-Stroke' Frame no. 317783 Engine no. 317783
Sold for £8,625 (US$ 14,298) inc. premium
Lot Details
2,185 miles from new
1974 Norton 749cc John Player Commando 'Short-Stroke'
Frame no. 317783
Engine no. 317783
Reflecting the Norton race team's sponsorship by the John Player tobacco company, a new Commando model – the 'John Player Norton' or 'JPN' for short – had been announced for the 1974 season. Equipped with a streamlined half-fairing and matching tank/seat unit in John Player livery, the café racer-styled JPN came with a choice of engines: the standard 829cc motor or a short-stroke 749cc unit produced in limited numbers for homologation purposes and intended for production racing. Boasting bore/stroke dimensions of 77x80.4mm, the high-performance 749cc engine incorporated the 4S camshaft; larger inlet valves at modified angle; Hidural exhaust valve guides; improved valve springs; solid skirt 10.5:1 pistons; forged steel con-rods; and electronic ignition. A top-of-the-range limited edition model produced for only a couple of seasons, the 'JPN' is nowadays one of the most sought-after members of the Commando family and especially in short-stroke form.

Equipped with the rare, 749cc short-stroke engine, this original JPN Commando was purchased by the vendor's father in Australia in 1978. It was run on occasions in Australia but not used regularly before the family moved to the UK in 1979. Back in the UK, the Norton was started only rarely, the
last time being in 1986. From that time onward the Norton was kept first in the music room and then in the dining room. When the owner moved house in 1984 it was found that the Norton's glassfibre parts had crazed and a new set was obtained and fitted. The original parts are included with the machine together with a new complete exhaust system. Mileage from new, as recorded on the odometer, is 2,185. The exhaust system fitted to the machine is a 2-into-1-into-2, which reputedly was designed by renowned expert Professor Gordon Blair of Queens University Belfast to improve bottom-end power. This system can be seen in photographs on file taken of the machine in Australia in 1978.

Some years ago the vendor's family was visited by John Hudson, formerly of Norton VilIiers, who
confirmed this machine to be one of the 749cc short-stroke versions of the model. There are no documents with this motorcycle, which will need re-commissioning and the usual safety checks before further use following its lengthy period in storage. It is evident that, when the fibreglass parts were replaced, not all the wiring and instrument drive cables were reconnected and this will need to be done as part of the re-commissioning. The airbox is missing and it is hoped that the vendor will have located this by time of the sale.
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. James Stensel
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 8963 2818
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2801