Colorado Norton Works Plans Limited Production Run

| 6/26/2008 11:23:27 AM


CNW's #038 Norton Cafe

Dolores, Colo.-based Colorado Norton Works (CNW) is planning a limited run of 12 “production” Norton café racers modeled on CNW’s critically acclaimed #038 Café project, which we featured in the March/April 2006 issue of Motorcycle Classics. Up to now, CNW has focused on crafting custom-built Norton Commandos to customer specifications in either 750 or 850 guise. For this project, however, CNW will draft its own specs, giving customers a handful of options but deviating little from its idea of what a “production” #038 Café should be.

“The café we built (#038) is timeless, we’re still getting comments on it and still have lots of new people finding us because of it,” Rambow says. That feedback prompted Rambow’s desire to craft a limited run of bikes based on #038. “We’re going to do this with caution,” Rambow says, “but the idea is based on #038. The big difference is we’re going to build these to CNW specs. We’ll have a build schedule, and I’ll send out information on how each machine will be built, with only a very few options.”

Highlights of the build include a custom frame, a hand-formed aluminum tank, seat, fenders and oil tank crafted by master fabricator Evan Wilcox, a balanced and blueprinted 828cc Commando engine punched out to 879cc, a brand new CNC machined cylinder head, dual disc front brakes, belt drive primary, CNW’s own billet triple trees and -- wait for it -- fuel injection!

“Carburetors are wonderful things, except in our neck of the woods. We’re at 7,500 feet, and I can climb another 2,500 feet right out my door, but then I need to deliver a bike to someone at sea level,” Rambow explains of the decision to go with fuel injection, a technology that frees engines from a host of potential running maladies, including elevation changes. The system was designed by Jim Comstock Engineering out of Pueblo, Colo., and Rambow says they’re in the final stages of fine-tuning the software, with the hardware tested and almost ready for prime time. “We’ve got 5,000 miles on a bike, and mechanically it’s perfect. All he’s doing is tweaking the programming right now.”

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