Additional photos of this Norton Dominator SS are available here for your perusal.
The Norton Motorcycle Company was founded in 1898 as a manufacturer of “fittings and parts for the two-wheel trade”. By 1902, the company had begun manufacturing motorcycles with bought-in engines. In 1908, a Norton-built engine was added to the range. This began a long series of production of single and eventually twin-cylinder motorcycles, and a long history of racing involvement. Although motorcycle sales went through a recession in the 1950s, and Norton Motors Ltd was only a small manufacturer, their sales flourished. A series of Norton Dominator twins of 500cc, 600cc, 650cc, and then the 750cc Norton Atlas kept sales buoyant, especially in the US market.
The Dominator originally was a twin cylinder motorcycle developed to compete against the Triumph Speed Twin. The Dominator was designed in 1947 by Bert Hopwood, who had been on the Speed Twin design team at Triumph – it set the design pattern for British twins for the next 30 years. Norton was recently reborn in 2008 thanks to Stuart Garner, who commenced production of a new series of bikes based on a 961cc parallel twin. They started with a Commando revival that was equipped with USD Ohlins forks and Brembo brakes – and after selling over 1,000 units they created a limited-production variant called the Domiracer. Just 50 Domiracers were built, all for the UK market. Demand was so great that they decided to create a street-legal version…meet the Dominator.
Michael Neeves at MCN loved the Dominator, noting that “this is a bike more about soul, character and the way it looks than what it’s like to ride.”
Sold alongside the Dominator was the limited edition Dominator SS. The initial plan was for 50 to be sold in England, with another 150 making their way worldwide. We go back to Michael Neeves and MCN for this quote in a Thurxton R vs. Dominator SS comparison:
“The more you look at the Norton the more you want it. That handmade polished ali tank is exquisite, then there’s the beautiful carbon fibre seat unit, mudguards and airbox cover, the Black-line Ohlins forks and TTX36 shocks, spoked wheels, Brembos, polished yokes, fabricated ali oil-cooler and nice details touches like the swoopy gear linkage. You could stand there and slurp in the detail all day until you’re punch drunk with lust.”
The owner placed a deposit for this bike (VIN: SAYDNR012GY100180) in January of 2016 from South Bay Norton (now closed). It is still on the Certificate of Origin, dated August 2016. It has never been ridden, the Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier tires still have the nipples, and the gauges still have the protective plastic on them.
As always, our White Glove service would be glad to make this a runner if you’d like to treat yourself to a basically-new Dominator. Otherwise, it’s ready to go as is as a stunning example of British craftsmanship.