1966 Norton P11 Prototype Replica

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Norton P11 prototype replica (with a stock 1967 P11, far left) is a dead ringer for the original. It should be; it was built by Steve Zabaro, who helped conceive and build the 1966 prototype.
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Mechanic Steve Zabaro put together the original P11 prototype back in 1966. Forty-four years later, he helped build the replica, crafting as faithful a reproduction as possible.
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The prototype used solid foot pegs.
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The production P11 has Amal Concentrics.
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The engines are almost identical, but prototype replica has Amal Monobloc carbs as originally used.
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Replica has proper conical magnesium rear hub.
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The production P11 had folding unit pegs.
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Owner Steve Blair’s happy to ride his production P11; the replica is off limits.
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Bob Blair samples the prototype Ducati Apollo at ZDS Motors, December 1964.
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Prototype replica or production standard, the P11 is a handsome, aggressive-looking machine — with power to match its brute looks. The stock P11 was one of the great “desert sleds” of the 1960s.

1966 Norton P11 Prototype Replica
Engine: 745cc air-cooled OHV vertical twin, 73mm x 89mm bore and stroke, 7.5:1 compression ratio, 52hp @ 6,200rpm
Top speed: 113mph (period test)
Carburetion: Two 1-1/8-inch Amal Monoblocs
Transmission: AMC 4-speed, chain final drive
Electrics: Lucas K2F magneto
Frame/Wheelbase: Dual-downtube steel cradle fabricated of Reynolds 531 tubing/57in (1,448mm)
Suspension: Teledraulic forks front, dual Girling shocks with adjustable preload rear
Brakes: 7in (178mm) SLS drum (fins removed from hub) Akront WM2-19 rim front, 8in (203mm) SLS G50 magnesium hub with WM3-18in chrome steel rim rear
Tires: 3.5 x 9in front, 4 x 18in rear
Weight (dry): 345lb (157kg)
Seat height: 32.75in (825.5mm)
Fuel capacity: 2.7gal (10.2ltr)

History is a subjective experience. Stories of the past are told and passed along, but details get lost with the passage of time. It’s not often that the record can be set straight by talking to the people directly involved — the history makers themselves. But this is exactly one of those cases.

It was 1966 when Bob Blair and his mechanic/parts manager Steve Zabaro worked together to blend components from two motorcycles to create the prototype of what would become one of the most legendary classic Norton motorcycles – the 1967 Norton P11.

New Jersey-based Mike Berliner, sales manager for Berliner Motor Corp., acted as an intermediary between the creators of the American prototype and the engineers at Norton. While Blair died in 1996, both Zabaro and Berliner are alive and well, and they remember the story of the Norton P11.

In the beginning

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