1961 Norton Dominator 650SS
Registration no. YNT 258
Frame no. to be advised
Engine no. 100848 18
'Extremely high maximum speed. Abundant stamina. Pleasant manners. Traditional Norton handling. Full road equipment. Real comfort. That sums up Bracebridge Street's new-for-1962 sporting Dominator 650SS.' Motor Cycling.
Norton launched its first 650cc twin, the US-market Manxman, in 1960. Available in Europe the following year, the Dominator 650 was built in standard, De Luxe and SS variants, all of which, plus the 500SS, featured a new cylinder head with down-draught inlet ports. With 49bhp on tap, plentiful low-down torque and exemplary handling courtesy of its race-proven Featherbed frame, the 650SS was one of the outstanding sports motorcycles of the 1960s, being more than a match for Triumph's Bonneville in terms of all-round performance. Indeed, in February 1962 Motor Cycling achieved a best one-way speed of 119.5mph at MIRA with a 650SS, more than 10mph up on that of the Bonneville tested the previous summer.
Towards the end of its test, Motor Cycling took the opportunity to sample the 650SS's stamina. 'Running on KLG FE100 plugs, a speedometer 90 and tachometer 5,000 were held from the north to the south ends of the M1 with only three short baulks which in each case forced the speed down to 35mph second-cog crawl.' (Ah, those were the days!) Fuel consumption averaged 42mpg and the engine unit remained completely oil tight.
This example comes with numerous invoices issued by Classic Motorcycle Services of Winterbourne Down, Bristol relating to extensive restoration carried out in 1997. The only other document on file is an old MoT (issued May 1997) recording the mileage at that time as 00004. The current odometer reading is 336 miles.