Number '051', 1,500 miles from new
1988 Norton 588cc Classic
Registration no. F407 AEA
Frame no. LE051
Engine no. LE051
After a lengthy development programme commenced in the 1970s by Norton-Villiers-Triumph, Norton's rotary-engined roadster debuted in 1982 as the police-specification Interpol, though it would be 1987 before the motorcycling public got to sample the rotary's excellent handling and smooth, almost vibration-free engine in the form of the un-faired civilian Classic. The Classic used Norton's twin-rotor 588cc engine in its original, air-cooled form (the later Commander was water-cooled), coupled to a five-speed gearbox with left-side 'change. This compact unit was slung beneath a tubular spine frame suspended by Marzocchi at the front and Koni at the rear. Triple disc braking was courtesy of Italian Brembos. With 79bhp on tap, the Classic's performance was on a par with that of contemporary Japanese 600s: a top speed of 125mph and a standing quarter-mile time of 12-and-a-bit seconds being easily achievable. Comparing it with the Honda CBR and Kawasaki GPZ 600s, Bike magazine found that 'the Norton stomps both Japanese bikes on top-gear acceleration from 5,000rpm, where it's a second ahead and moving 7mph faster (at 96mph) than both after a quarter of a mile.' Conceived as a limited edition model - only 100 examples were made - the Classic is today one of the most collectible of modern Nortons.
Number '051' of the 100 built, this Classic was sold new to stockbroker Mr Ian Pritchard and was purchased by the current (third) owner in June 2009 with only 12 miles recorded. When the updated rotor side plates became available, the engine was returned to Norton Motors in July 2007 to have this work carried out (invoice on file) while new tyres were fitted recently as the originals were showing signs of deterioration from age. 'F407 AEA' has covered only 1,500 miles to date and is described as in generally excellent condition. The machine is offered with its original factory certificate, correspondence and purchase invoice; second owner purchase receipt; an original sales brochure; a quantity of expired MoT certificates; current road fund licence; Swansea V5C document; MoT to 18th July 2013; and an owner's manual.