1973 Norton 750 Monocoque
With Phil Aynsley
The 1973 750 Monocoque was the first design that replaced the Commando framed bikes that Norton had been using up until that point in time.
Norton engineer and rider Peter Williams won the 1973 IOM Formula 750 race on this bike. It was Williams who conceived and designed the Monocoque with the goal of reducing the frontal area, and lowering the centre of gravity by carrying the oil and fuel as low as possible.
This was reminiscent of the Norton 350 Low Boy prototype of 1960, with both designs aiming to make the most of the limited engine output available (compared to the opposition).
The current owner bought the bike directly from Williams after it had been rebuilt (years later), following his crash at Imola two weeks after the IOM.
The dent in the left hand side of the monocoque can still be seen! Only three bikes were constructed (plus a prototype chassis), all in 1973.
The bike recorded a top speed of 257 km/h at Daytona in ’73 before Williams won the Anglo-American Match series a few months later, then the IOM. Output was 76 hp at 7,200rpm while the bike has a dry weight of 150 kg.
For 1974 the Monocoque was replaced by the 750 Space Frame.