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THE British motorcycle industry’s broad expanse of flesh has long been pock-marked by the scars of many a cosmetic disaster. Who would want to remember, yet who can possibly forget the Norton Hi-rider or BSA Beagle?

The not-very-pretty-at-all Wankel-engined Norton Comedian was first developed by the cops. It looked like it was wearing the worst items from the Yamaha XJ900 wardrobe – dreadful three-spoke wheels rejected by Blake’s Seven set-designers and snapped up by Norton Motors to match a fairing that looked like an MFI home-assembled wardrobe.

Albeit with an Austin Allegro headlight grafted on the front. In 1989, the so-called civilian model emerged with its integral panniers, stolid disposition and appalling fuel consumption. It chose the wrong time to get back into a market where the sports bike was set to rule for the next 10 years.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff