Norton CS1

Norton CS1 1930s British classic motorcycle

Norton motorcycles - including the CS1 - are as iconic as classic bikes come. Company HQ was in Bracebridge Street - Birmingham, England. The fledgling firm went bust, in 1913. In true champion style, though, it came back out for another round! James Norton teamed up with Bob Shelley, and his brother-in-law - ace tuner Dan 'Wizard' O'Donovan. The chemistry was spot-on - most memorably, at the Isle of Man TT. Rex Judd was just one of the riders to pilot a Norton to victory in that most iconic of road races.

The Norton CS1 first hit the bike scene in '27. The 'CamShaft 1' sported a bevel-driven overhead cam engine. The 'production racer' model was a sensation from the moment Stanley Woods swung a leg over it. A year later, and the CS1 took to the road. That was in super-sport mode. Again, it left rivals reeling in its wake! Sadly, founder James 'Pa' Norton died a few years before the success came on stream.

Previous to the CS1, it fell to 'Wizard' O'Donovan to fabricate the 'Brooklands Special'. It was designed specifically to cater to the unique challenges of the Surrey oval track. Subsequently, though, it was detuned for road use. A certificate accompanied sales of the racer - confirming it had topped 75mph. The roadster's certificate guaranteed just 5mph less. The CS1, then, had a tough act to follow. It did so with aplomb. Styling-wise, it was engineering as art. That was set off to a tee by the silver-and-black colour scheme - Norton's trademark regalia. It was a shame 'Pa' Norton's heart could not hold out a little while longer. He was never really a businessman ... but he loved bikes to the core of his being. He would have loved the sight and sound of one of his company's master strokes. Certainly, the Norton CS1 has been exhilarating classic bike fans for many a year since.

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