Custom 1966 Norton Atlas

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Photos by: Alexandra Lee

October's window bike comes from one of our customers Luke. This great looking, custom 1966 Norton Atlas can be seen in our window until the end of October so please stop by and take a closer look. Luke sent me a great write up on his build so I'll use his words to let you know his history with this bike.

From Luke:

I bought it about 6 years ago as a running, interesting but neglected rat if you will. Enjoyed it that way for about a year but managed to blow it up real good chasing bikes I should not have been chasing. Then it sat for a couple of years while i was deciding what to do with it. Finally jumped into it about 2 1/2 years ago and did a full nut and bolt rebuild with the intention of making it look like its has not been rebuilt at all. I loved how tarnished it looked but did not like how dirty and oily it was.

  • Full teardown
  • Frame modified to suit the build and powder coated
  • Full engine rebuild with a port and polish, a real norton works cam from their racing program
  • Super blend bearings, black diamond valves
  • Steve Manny 2 into 1 race exhaust
  • Belt drive primary with a custom stand off for the high output stator
  • Mikuni single carb for ease of tuning
  • Sprint aluminum fuel tank
  • GT750 4ls front drum mated to Norton road holder forks
  • Trailtech digital-dash for rpm and speedo
  • Full custom fused wiring harness wired negative ground 12V with dry cell battery
  • Electronic ignition
  • LED tail light
  • Akront alloy rims
  • Custom seat pan
  • Spin on oil filter
  • Custom oil tank
  • Clip-ons
  • Seely upper triple (period piece)
  • New bolts and fasteners everywhere
  • And all the little crap that need to be done to make it easy to work on and live with

I wanted a reliable British bike somewhere between a rat (without the shitty build quality) and a cafe bike (without the typical predictable cues) I avoided polished "new" looking stuff where ever possible. Raw metal, unpolished surfaces, natural oxidization ... these were all the things I loved on this boat anchor when i found it so i figured this would be the look I would try to preserve more than create.

I paid a lot of attention to the lines of the bike and the routing of all hoses and cables. This of course equates to a lot of custom work, cutting, chopping and welding to get things just right. I think I have succeeded. The bike spent a little bit of time on a dyno to get it jetted just right.

So far, its been dead reliable with only a few simple things that need to be improved to make it just right. Front springs will be replaced with proper race techs rated for a 200lbs rider. Final drive is a bit low, bike needs more legs, a couple more teeth on the front sprocket should do it. Save for the machine work done on the motor, everything was done in my little garage by me.

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