We are dedicated enthusiasts of British Motorcycles and have been riding since the late ‘60s and racing since the ‘70s. My first British motorcycle was a 1970 Dunstall Norton 810 Commando which I still race in it’s current configuration as a 750. Last year we ended up in 3rd place in Formula 750 in AHRMA’s Pacific Crown Series and are going into the 9th year as organizers of the Bonneville Vintage GP at Miller Motorsports Park.
There are several personal project bikes in my shop including the “Stealth Canyon Racer” a 1973 Norton Commando with an “880” kit from my good friend Kenny Dreer. Check the Access Norton Website for some photos and text. It has some very cool upgrades and was the inspiration for originally seeking the new electronic “Smiths Gauges” so I could use the rear axle space from the original speedo drive to hang the Brembo caliper for the new rear disc brake. I contacted Smiths in the UK and they had questions about the US market. After almost a year of doing a bit of consulting they sent me the first two sets of “Green Globe Commando Gauges” in existence which I showed around at the INOA “Save a Horse” rally. The response I got from this die hard Norton group was all positive. Everyone seemed to like them and they all seemed to think that for those that actually rode their Norton’s, it would be great to have gauges that were consistently accurate and reliable and selling for a price competitive with a rebuild. I sold one of the sets (keeping one set for myself) to Jim Comstock of Comstock Engineering fame whose work with developing a Commando fuel injection system, bench flowing for the new Fullauto Norton heads, crankcase breathing systems and all kinds of Norton trick stuff is known worldwide. He rode his Commando from Pueblo, Colorado to Barber and back this past year with the new gauges mounted and told me they worked just like they should with excellent fit and finish. About that time Smiths contacted me that they wanted me to become their distributer for the US, Canada, Mexico and South America. They wanted a true “enthusiast” with a strong background to carry their product. With the feedback I got from Jim putting some really good road miles on them, I accepted and here we are! They warned me that initially production would be slow with a limited workforce in their factory in Wales, UK and other new distributers worldwide looking for products so we are doing our best to keep them in stock. If I am out of stock of the gauge you are looking for, I’ll put your name on the list (we don’t charge until they ship) and contact you as soon as they come in. Currently, I am buying all the gauges they will send me so all models will be on the shelf available to ship.
Another project is the new race bike which unfortunately has taken many years to acquire the parts. It is a Rickman frame into which is going an Steve Maney 850 Norton Commando short stroke motor and TT Industries 5 speed transmission. This will become the primary BEARS/ Formula 750 race bike giving the original 44x a bit of retirement time as a back up bike. Steve came by the shop last year after going to the Bonneville Salt Flats and to the Bonneville Vintage GP for a tour of Park City and we went over the components of the new race engine and of course I ended buying more stuff from him! I hope to have the new Rickman/Norton on the track this summer. Other personal projects in my shop include a 1973 and 1976 Triumph Bonneville T140. The everyday classic canyon carver is a 1978 Moto Guzzi Lemans 1 along with several “modern” bikes-2002 Ducati 996, 2005 BMW R1200GS, and even a Cannondale 440E dirt bike. So yeah, we have it bad….