Aw rats

Oct 5, 2008
I just found out that my first Norton was a limited production machine that would be very collectable. I always assumed it was just a G15 that had been cafed by some college kid. I abused it for years and sold it for next to nothing. It might still be in Maine somewhere, I sold it in Greenville. See below, love to have it now.

The 1965 production models had swept back exhaust pipes (the only stock motorcycle from any manufacturer to offer these as standard equipment) with the large Matchless silencers. Only the show prototype 'café-racer' had Norton silencers. A large 4 gallon chrome-sided petrol tank in Candy Apple Red was fitted which was possibly the most pleasing tank ever produced in the mid-sixties (from 1966 the G.15 Mk.11 also used this tank on export machines). The A.J.S. 33 C.S.R. was finished in chromatic blue but only about 50 of these were produced. The racing image continued with 12.9" rear suspension units (the C.S. used 13.4") with top covers chromed and bottom covers removed exposing the plated reverse-coil springs, rearset footrest, short rear-brake pedal, rear-facing gear change lever with reverse camplate inside the gear-box thus allowing normal selection, polished dural mudguards and the AMC sports seat all ensuring the machine looked capable of exceeding 'the ton'.

Fast it was, with one electronically timed highest one-way speed of 115 mph (on 7.6:1 pistons) in a contemporary road test of what now appears to be one of the most collectable sports machines to own. The C.S.R continued production through 1966 (when the 18" wheels were changed to 19"), thus slightly increasing the gearing as both sizes used 3.50 rear tyres until early 1967. The last 'café-racer' was 120511. After this the 33 C.S.R. was dropped and the Matchless lost its 'café-racer' status, (a sure indication that the Rocker period had passed) and coil/Concentric models with standard footrests and normal exhaust-pipes using Norton silencers converted the machine into a 'sports tourer' (approx. 50 produced). The 'café-racer' C.S.R. machines did not use Norton silencers because of clearance problems with the positioning of the rearset items.


"Sons of Arthritus"
Jan 14, 2004
Country flag
grandpaul said:
Hindsight (especially in old bikes) is always 20:20.

That's for sure.
Anyone who was around in the 70's has or has witnessed these stories.

The absolute worse one I know of is the guy who sold a Ford Thunderbolt (factory 427ci racer) when the gas crisis hit in the 70's.
He used it for daily transpostation to go to college. Got bad gas mileage.
Had no clue what he had till later.