Wildgoose Chase Moto Guzzi

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: chuck peterson on February 26, 2020, 07:04:11 AM

Title: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: chuck peterson on February 26, 2020, 07:04:11 AM
One of 50. Norton grew a hair and tried to make a Harley. Oops. :shocked:

https://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/mcy/d/vestal-norton-high-rider/7082117518.html


(https://i.ibb.co/3F8tVdQ/image.jpg) (https://ibb.co/3F8tVdQ)

(https://i.ibb.co/C5RdcPD/image.jpg) (https://ibb.co/C5RdcPD)
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: Lannis on February 26, 2020, 07:09:41 AM
The motorcycle industry equivalent of a Botox injection, bright red hair dye, and thick makeup ....

Desperation personified.

Lannis
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: chuck peterson on February 26, 2020, 08:34:11 AM
Ya know, I think if you really did just put longer forks on there, it might look pretty good as a real chopper..
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: PeteS on February 26, 2020, 08:39:20 AM
I remember them being 750s. Plus they came with the smaller headlight. I have been wrong before. I know our local dealer sold 4 of them.

Pete
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: Don G on February 26, 2020, 08:42:38 AM
Then there was also the X75 Hurricane to go along with the High Rider.......  DonG
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: JJ on February 26, 2020, 08:51:47 AM
The motorcycle industry equivalent of a Botox injection, bright red hair dye, and thick makeup ....

Desperation personified.

Lannis

You just can't imagine what the "Brain Trust" at Norton was thinking at the time when they said: "Yes, go ahead and build it..."

Meanwhile, and speaking of Craig Vetter, this lovely 1973 X75 Hurricane coming up for auction at MECUM in Glendale, AZ next month!!  At least this one had some style! :thumb: :cool: :smiley:


(https://i.ibb.co/Xks11Zd/Screen-Shot-2020-02-26-at-7-49-01-AM.png) (https://ibb.co/Xks11Zd)

(https://i.ibb.co/WGkk5QY/Screen-Shot-2020-02-26-at-7-48-00-AM.png) (https://ibb.co/WGkk5QY)
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: blackcat on February 26, 2020, 09:02:19 AM
You just can't imagine what the "Brain Trust" at Norton was thinking at the time when they said: "Yes, go ahead and build it..."


"The English Norton factory made its name building sport and sport touring bikes, but in 1971 Norton did the unexpected: the company introduced the Hi-rider, a factory custom inspired by the chopper craze and designed to appeal to the American cruiser rider.

According to British journalist and author Mick Duckworth, in the late Sixties Dennis Poore (the controversial owner of Norton, whose Manganese Bronze Holdings company purchased Norton in 1966) took a trip to the United States, where he observed the budding chopper scene. Returning to the Norton factory, he instructed engineer Bob Trigg and the design team to design a Norton that looked like a chopper. U.S. sales were very important to Norton, and Mr. Poore apparently thought that a Norton that looked like a chopped Harley-Davidson Sportster would help sales. Most observers thought that people who wanted a chopped Sportster were very unlikely to accept a substitute made in England, but they weren’t in charge. So the factory staff designed a chopper-style motorcycle around the Norton Commando. The marketing department named it the Hi-rider, and it appeared on salesroom floors in 1971."

The 74 High Rider was an 850.
https://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-british-motorcycles/classic-norton-motorcycles/1974-norton-commando-hi-rider-zmsz17sozhur
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: PeteS on February 26, 2020, 09:10:04 AM
The early ones were 750s though. From the link above.

(https://opimedia.azureedge.net/-/media/images/mcc/editorial/articles/magazine-articles/2017/09-01/riding-high-1974-norton-commando-hi-rider/norton-9-jpg.jpg)

Pete
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: larrys on February 26, 2020, 01:38:12 PM
I remember them being 750s. Plus they came with the smaller headlight. I have been wrong before. I know our local dealer sold 4 of them.
Pete

Bastard stepchild of a Commando. You are correct. They had a drum brake on the front, too while the Roadsters and Interstates had a disc in the front.
Larry
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: PeteS on February 26, 2020, 02:08:39 PM
The one on the magazine cover is actually a '71 which did come with drum brakes (which sucked BTW). My Fastback is a '71. You can tell by the breather hose coming out at camshaft position of the crankcase. The '72s had the breather at the rear of the motor.

Pete
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: tazio on February 26, 2020, 02:12:41 PM
The Hi Rider would look great next to a Mod Top 'Cuda
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: blackcat on February 26, 2020, 02:40:26 PM
The one on the magazine cover is actually a '71 which did come with drum brakes (which sucked BTW).
Pete

When I put my 68 back together, I installed new Ferodo brake pads and it stops a lot better. Yeah, it's not like disc brakes but it is better.
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: PeteS on February 26, 2020, 02:49:20 PM
A few months after I bought my '71 (new) a car pulled in front of me. I grabbed a handful of brakes but it didn't stop in time. At the time a Dunstall front end was about the same price as a stock set of forks and wheel so it got the Dunstall setup. Even those tiny disks was better than the stock drum though nothing like modern brakes today. Three laps at Mid Ohio and even the Dunstalls were faded into uselessness.

Pete
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: LesP on February 26, 2020, 03:17:56 PM
They made the Hi Rider 1971 (750), 1972 (750), 1973 (850), 1974(850) and 1975 (850 ES) so they were selling to the end and in a period where some of the sales competition came from CB and Z1.

(https://opimedia.azureedge.net/-/media/images/mcc/editorial/articles/magazine-articles/2008/01-01/the-oddball-norton-750-commando/hirider.jpg)

It would not surprise me if the to big master cylinder piston diameter (for a single disc) was due to concern about locking the wheel up...
Sleeve ing the M/C bore down to 1/2" has been common for decades for improved braking and feedback and there are vastly superior friction compounds for the drum brake along with arcing to size.
 
The engine from 1972 is quite different to the previous 20M3S and 20M3 (tachometer drive off the timing cover)
The 72 engine case not only had a breather at the rear but no filtered scavenge and oil pick up location was debatable at best (Hello Combat blow ups)
The previous set up was used on the new 850 for good reason.

Norton Commando, fantastic bike.

Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: JJ on February 26, 2020, 06:52:28 PM
"The English Norton factory made its name building sport and sport touring bikes, but in 1971 Norton did the unexpected: the company introduced the Hi-rider, a factory custom inspired by the chopper craze and designed to appeal to the American cruiser rider.

According to British journalist and author Mick Duckworth, in the late Sixties Dennis Poore (the controversial owner of Norton, whose Manganese Bronze Holdings company purchased Norton in 1966) took a trip to the United States, where he observed the budding chopper scene. Returning to the Norton factory, he instructed engineer Bob Trigg and the design team to design a Norton that looked like a chopper. U.S. sales were very important to Norton, and Mr. Poore apparently thought that a Norton that looked like a chopped Harley-Davidson Sportster would help sales. Most observers thought that people who wanted a chopped Sportster were very unlikely to accept a substitute made in England, but they weren’t in charge. So the factory staff designed a chopper-style motorcycle around the Norton Commando. The marketing department named it the Hi-rider, and it appeared on salesroom floors in 1971."

The 74 High Rider was an 850.
https://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-british-motorcycles/classic-norton-motorcycles/1974-norton-commando-hi-rider-zmsz17sozhur

No words.... :laugh: :grin: :wink: :rolleyes: :shocked: :huh:


(https://i.ibb.co/XtywDq7/Screen-Shot-2020-02-26-at-5-51-15-PM.png) (https://ibb.co/XtywDq7)
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: rschrum on February 26, 2020, 08:05:24 PM
I bought a 74 high rider back in the mid 90's. The guy bought a Harley and the Norton was collecting dust in the back of his garage. Gave him 1500 dollars for it and immediately changed it into a roadster. Tank, seat, bars, headlight.
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: drdwb on February 27, 2020, 08:21:27 AM
Ok so just a question, given the choice would you take the bike or the babe in this add.

The early ones were 750s though. From the link above.

(https://opimedia.azureedge.net/-/media/images/mcc/editorial/articles/magazine-articles/2017/09-01/riding-high-1974-norton-commando-hi-rider/norton-9-jpg.jpg)

Pete
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: PeteS on February 27, 2020, 08:33:43 AM
The idea was if you bought the bike the babes would be all over you.  :azn: Not sure it worked but it sold a lot of bikes.....and magazines.

Pete
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: Lannis on February 27, 2020, 08:57:25 AM
Ok so just a question, given the choice would you take the bike or the babe in this add.

The bike would be less expensive by a factor of 100 ....
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: Don G on February 27, 2020, 10:30:21 AM
The bike or the babe? Well as the old saying goes: If its got tits, tires or wires its bound to give you trouble! :thumb: DonG
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: nc43bsa on February 27, 2020, 10:55:23 AM
This caught my eye:

"Reason for selling this bike is I need to thin out my collection as it is getting harder to mate in them all the way they should be , which includes riding them "

 :laugh:
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: BrianK on February 27, 2020, 11:28:55 AM
Buy it, replace the bars and seat, and you've got a lovely Roadster or Interstate, as you prefer.  eBay the takeoffs to recover some of the costs of replacement.   :thumb:

Show me a bike manufacturer who's never put a bad idea into production.... 
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: tazio on February 27, 2020, 06:28:16 PM
I think the value in bikes like this are in keeping them as what they were presented like when new.
A snap shot in time of a manufacturers take on what they thought would rock our motorcycling world. Sometime the shot was so wide as to make potential customers cringe and reach for the hacksaw.
The passing of time and limited quantities give these "freaks" a second shot at fame or just maybe another chance to crawl up out of infamy. Boat-Tail Harleys, split window Corvettes and bathtub Triumphs to name a few...
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: rschrum on February 27, 2020, 06:41:39 PM
Ok so just a question, given the choice would you take the bike or the babe in this add.

Lower maintenance on the Norton I think.
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: cliffrod on February 27, 2020, 07:44:34 PM
I think the value in bikes like this are in keeping them as what they were presented like when new.
A snap shot in time of a manufacturers take on what they thought would rock our motorcycling world. Sometime the shot was so wide as to make potential customers cringe and reach for the hacksaw.
The passing of time and limited quantities give these "freaks" a second shot at fame or just maybe another chance to crawl up out of infamy. Boat-Tail Harleys, split window Corvettes and bathtub Triumphs to name a few...

Good words.  To me, it's cool as it is and way more interesting than just another "plain" Norton.   Park it with a dozen other Nortons and be the one and only one.

It makes no sense how desirable old bikes have to 100% correct to be worth anything to some people but less desirable niche bikes need to be deliberately made incorrect to be more like the desirable bikes. 
Title: Re: Norton Hi Rider chopper, ny, CL, 10k
Post by: Scout63 on February 27, 2020, 09:52:39 PM
Ok so just a question, given the choice would you take the bike or the babe in this add.

Now I’d take the bike. As funky as the hi rider looks, it still starts and sounds like the Commando that it is.  I only have about 100 miles on a full combat restoration. It is so addictive even just kick starting it.