What Is A Norley?

Building a motorcycle by putting a Vincent engine into a Norton wideline frame has been done by the Brits since a long time. It’s called a NORVIN. And now, coming again from England, putting an American Sportster engine in a Norton looking frame will create a NORLEY motorcycle.

The idea comes from British frame manufacturer JW Motorcycles. This special frame, including swingarm with bearings and spindle, plus rear engine mount, weighs only 14.75 kg (about 32 pounds.) Headstock is set with a 26-degree rake and machined to accept \Ssportster yokes using taper bearings. The standard belt drive can be used, or there are sprocket conversions available. The frame will be available with a choice of 3 different gas tank and an aluminum oil tank/battery box combo. Santiago Chopper is importing the frame kit in the USA and is right now building one NORLEY. How is it going to look? You will see it first in my Blog, but I bet in the style of a Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer. To follow….

13 Responses to “What Is A Norley?”

  1. 1 Graeme Sep 16th, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Whats a Norley? A waste of a good Norton Featherbed frame I’d say …

  2. 2 krugger Sep 16th, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Very nice idéa! It will be a big succes!

  3. 3 Doc Robinson Sep 16th, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Santiago Chopper rocks! Way to go Alan!! Send pics, we’d likely want to run it in HEAVY DUTY.

  4. 4 Darin Maltsberger- Instructor@MTI Sep 16th, 2010 at 7:59 am

    I look forward to seeing it………..even though I’m not sure it is the best use of either product. The Norton bikes are awesome, and I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the Vincent conversions, and they are cool. But I struggle with that type of artistic vision…….hope it all works out nice. Good Luck.The students and I will be waiting.

  5. 5 South Side Kustoms Sep 16th, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Anything different and thought outside the box – I love. do it why not – it could be worse.

  6. 6 nicker Sep 16th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I like the braze-welding.
    What’s the tube wall thickness (weight?).


  7. 7 Captain Bob Sep 16th, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Been there, done that. Except I call mine a Narley. It was in Barbett’s a couple of months back.
    They’re pretty common actually. A guy in Australia has been making them for years.
    Lot’s of one off’s on the Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum in the Cafe Racer photo section.

  8. 8 Englishman Sep 20th, 2010 at 7:54 am

    It would be a decent use of all the relatively cheap Buells available out there.

    Like to have a crack at one 🙂

  9. 9 jack1340 Sep 20th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    bienvenue a ce nouveau cadre qui va surement nous donner des idees! bonne chance a alan.

  10. 10 lcfabrications Sep 21st, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Check out the “Harton” by Eric Kerkhoff in issue 317 of BSH (september)

  11. 11 jw motorcycles Sep 21st, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    hi all.
    i would just like to clarify a few points based on the above comments.

    we make manx frames using bt45 tubing and gas bronze welding, we have over the last 45 years made over 300 of them.
    the Norley is based on Manx geometry not featherbed.
    we use t45 tubing in 17 guage (16 guage for the norley)
    the engine cradle is made slightly longer and lower .
    off the shelf Manx tanks and seat units will fit straight on.
    Alan of santiago choppers in the usa is familiar with both bt45 tubing and gas bronze welding.
    and our frames will be available from him.

    regards all…

  12. 12 brian Slark Oct 1st, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    The Barber museum has a featherbed /sportster, the Goodman, built in 1994 by the Goodmans that owned Velocette.

  13. 13 rupert boone Jan 9th, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    How about a Hodster (Hodaka engine in a Sportser frame)?

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Cyril Huze