’74 Dunstall Norton
When you think of Norton performance, the first name you think of is Dunstall. The body work, the exhaust system, frame mods, engine bits, the tuning expertise. Norton and Paul Dunstall are inseparable. The sound of a well tuned Norton fitted with a Dunstall exhaust is pure heaven. you don’t just hear it, you feel it. The long stroke Norton motor taking big breaths in and then out through that beautifully designed and tuned exhaust system, well…if that doesn’t stir your soul you should be driving a Prius.
A quick history of Paul Dunstall. His motorcycling life actually started in the family scooter and moped business when he was a teenager, his first ‘motorcycle’ was a Velocette 350 which within a year was sold off to buy a Norton 600 Dominator.
In 1957 Paul started racing the Dominator but found that parts to make it competitive with the more popular Manx Norton’s weren’t available, so he took it upon himself change things. Paul started making parts like cams, exhausts and carb intakes to make the Dominator (which really wasn’t then) a capable racer. He stuck the modified motor into a Manx frame and went racing with some success. Others took notice and wanted his parts.
In 1959 Paul Dunstall decided that he liked developing parts and bikes more than racing and retired from racing himself. He continued to support other racers with his parts and services.
He first started with the exhaust system. He made a couple of sets, hung them up in the family scooter shop and sold them almost immediately. So…he made more, and more and Dunstall Power was born.
Dunstall Power started by buying up all the Norton factory ‘Domiracer’ bits and adding them into his own bikes. The first Dunstall catalog came out in 1961. With the early successes the business grew to chassis mods, body parts and, to Japanese motorcycles…but that is an entirely different story. Really, there is so much out there about Paul Dunstall and Dunstall racing that it has taken me forever to write this and not just keep digging deeper into the history of Dunstall Power. If you have a Norton and want to improve it, there really is only one place to go…Dunstall.
Now, to the point of all this and why I find it so interesting. If you are a regular visitor to the Vintage Motorcycle blog, you know that I have been part of a Norton Motorcycle Racing team for years and I love reading about, writing about and riding Norton’s. There is something so special about the feel of a Norton. It is so completely different from a Triumph or BSA, a feeling that you can only know when you ride one…it is an experience that anyone who loves British motorcycles has to have.
I found a nice 1974 Dunstall Norton 850 on ebay today that at this moment looks like a good value. The bike is in really good condition has all the right stuff including receipts dating back to 1986. It has been modified with a Mikuni carburetor, and has the Dunstall cam in place. The owner states that it runs great and has a video showing the bike running…it sounds wonderful. The bike has 15k miles on the clock and from what the owner says regarding maintenance, no worries. This Norton looks to be a good bike at a reasonable price . Click on the pics below for more info, the video link and more pics. Could well be worth a trip to New Hampshire.