Scott Somers’ John Player Norton and 850 Roadster
A reader shares the stories of how he acquired his 1974 Norton 850 Roadster and John Player Norton.
I bought my first bike, a Honda CL160, at age 15 and a half. This was 49 years ago. I have owned many bikes including two Ducati 750 Sports, a Laverda 750 SF, a Moto Morini 350 and many Japanese bikes, but never a British twin. I had mentioned to my friend Scott Dunlavey that maybe I was looking for one. Scott and I go back 48 years. He is a racing champion (Baja, Pikes Peak and AMA Dirt Track) and an amazingly talented mechanic. Soon after, he calls. “You need to come look at this Norton!” OK when and where? A short test ride and I am an owner of a 1974 Yellow 850 Roadster which has been converted to an S (high pipe) model. I love high pipes.
Fast forward four years. Phone rings, “Hey it is Scott. Check your email, I sent pictures of a bike you need! It’s a two-owner John Player Norton with under 4,900 original miles and every document including the original sales receipt.” How much I ask? “It doesn’t matter. You can’t buy the miles off of them.” A meeting is arranged. A short 370-mile drive and I am looking at the JPN. When did I know that I had to have it? The minute I looked at the photos and Scott called with the details. So two Nortons now. I am a subscriber and read your magazine cover to cover. Thanks for all of the great info and fine photos. Scott is a Triumph guy so it always amazes me that he keeps finding me Nortons.
Scott Somers/Walnut Creek, California MC
Peter Tremulis’ 1975 Yamaha DT250
A reader shares a neglected Yamaha DT250 that had spent most of its life in an RV park.
Steve Sullivan’s 1975 Triumph Trident
A reader shares his winter project, a nicely restored Triumph Trident, which he bought several years ago.
Pat Halstead’s 1983 Yamaha XJ900 Seca
A reader shares his 1983 Yamaha XJ900 Seca and reflects on the other motorcycles of his past, including a Honda CA95 Benly.