Recently we wrote about a beautiful, though less often seen, British hybrid combining a Norton Featherbed frame with an Ariel Square Four engine, it was called a Noriel. Now, here’s another less often seen combination, a slimline Norton Featherbed frame with a Matchless 500cc single for power. I’m not sure if there’s an accepted name for this one, “Norless” perhaps, but, whatever you call it, I like it.
These big singles were designed to be seen, there was no bodywork to hide behind so the designers spent some time making them look right. Engines today are all about power and performance, but many are never seen unless you strip away the fairings so they don’t look particularly good on their own. Classic bikes focus your attention on the mechanical bits, one of the most appealing qualities of these older machines, so you get to see what makes them move. It’s also one of the qualities missing in the new electrics, batteries and electric motors aren’t very attractive.
This particular bike is a Framecrafters build, an outfit that builds a lot of frames for vintage racers and complete bikes, too, while the petrol and oil tanks come from Norton Race Parts in the UK. The owner lists quite an assortment of quality pieces in the bike’s description and if you’re in the market for a vintage machine, you might want to check this one out, it’s for sale on eBay.