Custom Norton Atlas

1mattmachine2mattmachine3mattmachineNot well known yet in the US, but with a great notoriety and excellent image in his native Australia, Matt Darwon is an architect by formation who found happiness in making things with his hands. He was close to become a carpenter but eventually chose to rebuild and customize old motorcycles from a shed lost in South Wales deep country.

4mattmachine6mattmachineHe applies his skills almost exclusively to American and British bikes. And because custom Nortons are rare to be seen on the show tour, I picked this custom Norton Atlas, a 745 cc air cooled model produced between 1962 and 1968, mainly for exportation, later replaced by the famous Norton Commando.

5mattmachine5bismattmachine 7mattmachine9mattmachine8mattmachineFor design, Matt mixes influences from flat track and bobber racing in a very simple and pure body work.

Engine and 4-speed gearbox were rebuilt and polished. The factory Featherbed frame, whose original justification was to offer strength and maximum resistance to stresses while racing, has been replaced by a classic rigid frame.

Not to be mssed, a beautiful nostalgic springer front end. Nothing to criticize except maybe the beast skin covering the gas tank and the seat. But when you live and work on the middle of nowhere, you do with what you can find…or can catch.

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27 Responses to “Custom Norton Atlas”


  1. 1 Brutus Nov 2nd, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Something different and i like it.

  2. 2 Rodent Nov 2nd, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Seems to me the only thing Norton is the engine and transmission, the decal on the tank.

  3. 3 Patrick Nov 2nd, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Rodent. So? It would not be custom if everything would be stock Norton. Isn’t a custom Harley called custom if it has only an Harley engine & tranny? And so on with all brands. You signed another dumb remark.

  4. 4 pj98rider Nov 2nd, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Simple and clean and Norton…I like it.

  5. 5 Boomer Nov 2nd, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Looks like it would be fun to ride. Clean, fun, and nicely done.

  6. 6 Rodent Nov 2nd, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Patrick, get a life!

  7. 7 Rodent Nov 2nd, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Hey Cyril, Thanks for the opportunity to stir up some of your readers. It gives me a break from dealing with reality.

  8. 8 Kevin Pence Nov 2nd, 2015 at 10:15 am

    A cool “Norton”. More work on this one that it looks at 1st glance.

  9. 9 Dan Kessling Nov 2nd, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Remember the Norton Manx, International, Dominator and Commando. Some of the coolest bikes ever.

  10. 10 Bruno Kempf Nov 2nd, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Not sure about the exhaust. Would have done the pipes running horizontally.

  11. 11 Rodent Nov 2nd, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Dan Kessling,
    Yea! The Norton Manx 500 single is one of the greatest motorcycles ever made! yea!

  12. 12 SIGFREED Nov 2nd, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Everything looks uber cool – only the (rancid) full length foreskin is a bit of an “interesting” one…

  13. 13 Ed Youngblood Nov 2nd, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Gorgeous! Nothing unnecessary here.

  14. 14 Tom Ryan Nov 2nd, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Except for the big space under the seat and the skinned koala bear on both the tank and seat, the bike looks cool Matt Machine!

  15. 15 richards Nov 2nd, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Is that donald trumps hair on the gas tank?

  16. 16 Blackmax Nov 2nd, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Very Nice !!!!

  17. 17 Mrs. Behaves Nov 2nd, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Richards you beat me to it!! HAHAHA.

  18. 18 James just another crazy kiwi Nov 2nd, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Ha a Hairy Norton instead of a hairy lemon 🙂

  19. 19 Septic the Sceptic Nov 2nd, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Rest assured, the tank fuzz is there simply to amuse Americans.

  20. 20 Seymour Nov 2nd, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Everyone knows Rigid frame and girder forks make anything look nice.

  21. 21 Dave Blevins Nov 2nd, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Nice, just really, really nice.

  22. 22 nicker Nov 2nd, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Nice and clean and simple….
    What custom motorcycling was once all about.
    Build it like your going to ride the rubber off it… Because you can.

    -nicker-

  23. 23 Zenaldo Nov 2nd, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Don’t forget the twin Amal carbed Norton Combat either…another short production unit with Lucas electrics..

  24. 24 Jeff Duval Nov 3rd, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Neat scoot but, with such a powerful motor, some braking capability, would help 🙂

  25. 25 Augusto Nov 3rd, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Dont like the exhaust. Nice suspention.

  26. 26 zipper Nov 11th, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    If I owned this bike it would have suspension and brakes so I could ride it all the time. “But Anyway” it’s not. Nice ride . ..Z

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