My brother Joe has a 1967 Norton 750 Atlas that i think was the predecessor to the 650 SS. Wow, to own one of these would be a sheer privilege.. Enjoy and RideOn... Razin...A 1962 Norton 650ss. Upgrades include a two-leading-shoe backing plate in the front to help braking, a larger rear tail light to help safety, and a conversion to 12V electric system also for safety to make the lights brighter at night. All the numbers on this bike match the factory records, it has it's original Lucas magneto with a 1962 date-code, also the carbs are original with their 1962 date code stamped in. A later 60s oil pump was installed that greatly increases oil flow and pressure for reliability. Also for reliability a later set of connecting rods was put in that might have lower mileage on them, also polished the connecting rod bolts and ground them on the top and bottom to give more clearance between them and the crankcase. Crank was balanced on knife-edges and the bike runs very smoothly. Gearbox had a new layshaft bearing put in also for reliability and safety.
The Norton 650ss was the best handling and fastest of the British 650 twins this year, and was successful in production racing over in England. At the end of 1962 the original Norton factory was shut down and most of the workers were laid off, the company had been bought out by a large conglomerate, Associated Motorcycles C, AMC for short, and production was moved to their large factory in another city. The bikes were cheapened up and this was right when the British motorcycle industry began going in the toilet.
1962 was the high-point for Norton 650cc motorcycle production, with about 1400 made. The previous year about 550 were made, and after 1962 production was very low. Norton was always a low-production company in the 1950s and early 1960s. So production of Norton's regular, everyday 650cc bike was the same or less than Triumph or BSA's "special" low production competition models. The "SS" stood for Sports Special, and the only difference between it and the standard 650cc bike was the addition of twin carburetors and the Lucas Competition magneto ignition instead of a battery/points ignition. Actually the standard 650cc bikes are far, far more rare than the sports model, with only a few dozen made. In fact I have never seen one for sale or on display anywhere, and I have been looking at these bikes for decades.
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This bike was someone's old hot-rod, notice the drilled for lightness rear-brake pedal, also they had beat on the bike so hard they had blown the engine, but luckily I was able to repair the original engine and keep the original crankcase with the factory serial numbers stamped in it to keep the bike all original. This is the most original 1962 650ss bike I know of in the USA, most of these bikes have been turned into "cafe racers" by people who's egos need to participate in shallow fashion trends is more important than the history of the bikes, or people with little knowledge do poor "restorations" that include lots of parts from the wrong years, but since there were so few of these bikes to begin with, there are hardly any people who really know the details of their history, especially differences between years of production.