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Two Norton F1’s-1990 and 1992 John Player Specials

Two Norton F1’s-1990 and 1992 John Player Specials

Well I guess these fall under the category of rare: he says sarcastically. We’ve got two versions of Nortons’ F1 on Ebay and Ebay UK.  Lets start with the one in the here in the States.  Don’t buy this bike expecting to join a  F1 owners club as the seller states this is 1 of 2 known Norton F1’s in the country.  I make no claim to be an expert on Norton motorcycles, all I knew was they seemed to go in and out of business frequently and that the 2010  incarnation are  sharp looking.  After a little research I came up with a few tidbits about the F1.  After several incarnations of the company,  Norton was relaunched in the late 80’s and soon experienced racing success using the Wankle rotary valve engine in the RCW588 works bike.  The F1 was built as a detuned replica of that bike.    It appears there were several versions of the F1.  I believe this is the F1 Commander, which I believe is a little less sporty than the F1 Sport you will see below.  It looks like some, if not all, F1’s sport Spondon frames.  I would assume the John Player version was a special color scheme for the F1’s.  I saw one figure claiming less than 55 of these world wide.

From the Ebay auction:

One of only two known to be in the U. S. is this John Player Special (JPS) Twin Rotor Norton F1. The other known example in the U. S. is in the fabulous Barber Museum.

This example is one of the last series of Norton F1 built. Incredible handling and brutal speed, it is simply a wonderful machine. In superb condition, with only minor scrapes on the cowl that have been properly touched up. She runs perfectly and in just fast!         



I’m  taking a pass on discussing the price on this thing.  The bidding was already up to $14,000.   If it really is one of two bikes in the U.S. and you’ve wanted one and money is not an object,  is price really a concern?  Want to wait for the next one to pop up for sale? I didn’t think so.  Check out the bidding on .


Now, across the Atlantic another F1 has appeared for sale.  This one is a 1992 F1 Sport in John Player colors.  I’m starting to assume all Norton F1’s were in John Player colors.  The Sport appears to be: well, Sportier. 

From the seller:

You are looking at a 1992 Norton F1 Sport (P55B) chassis number 050358. This is 1 of only 66 F1 Sports made by Norton Motorcycles in the early 90’s. It is in Norton JPS Racing colours and totally standard. The only additional work that has been done to the bike apart from routine maintenance and servicing is to Moly Inlay the inlet faces which was done by Norton Motorcycles Limited in 1999. It was first registered on the 23rd of October 1992 and purchased by me from the original owner in March 1999. It has only covered 1307 miles in total and is still fitted with it’s original Michelin tyres.  I also have the original owners handbook, F1 Sport Supplement, spare key and wallet. This bike is in excellent original conidtion with no accident damage.

The final form of evolution of the original F1 the F1 Sport (P55B) utilized the front fairing of the F1 but for that was a carbon copy of the factory race bikes, the petrol tank and seat unit both lifted straight off the Trevor Nation/Steve Spray machines. Most connoisseurs of Norton Rotaries, and certainly everybody who has had the chance to sample them all, will agree the F1 Sport was the best Norton Rotary ever produced. 


Being a little more racey, I’d assume this one will fetch even more than one for sale in the U.S.  .  I’d love to see some comments on these bikes from guys that are really up on the Nortons. 




  • Je possède une Norton F1 de 1991 n° 93 , c’est une moto extraordinaire , dont la souplesse du moteur contribue au plaisir de la conduire . De plus elle est très fiable avec une finition sans reproche !
    La consommation se situe toujours entre 7 et 8 l aux 100kms .

  • Dear Sir
    Before you do a write up on any bike why dont you just google the name and get it right Norton made the water cooled commander as a tourer a seat up riding style which the police used and other services in the UK this had the frame made out of a lot of steel plates welded together with twin shock suspension.about £6000 from new

    The F1 came out later and was a spondon ally frame with a single mono shock suspension it looked very sporty it still had the twin rotar engine but the layout was different the spark plugs are next to the gearbox and are a pain to change! The F1 was a very hand built bike the was nothing like the JPS race bikes Norton just wanted to cash in on racing wins of that time. The frame tank,seat and exhaust all different with a price tag of £15000. about 128 made

    The last days of Norton at Shenstone the liquidator wanted to sell anything that could generate money for the bank so exsisting stocks of F1 parts made a final stab making the Norton F1 when the flat sided carbs were gone the SU carbs from the touring motorcycle called the commander were fitted this made the engine better in traffic but not so fast on tack up even the expensive white power suspension was used The covered fiiberglass shell was replaced with more like of a look alike of the JPS race bike of the early 90’s with a fuel and a large seat hump This bike was called the F1 SPORT about 55 were made and was probably a better bike it was made with the same parts of the expensive F1 at £15000 but this bike had a price tag of £8000 it was a bargain I own a F1 for the past 16 years and a F1 SPORT 18 years
    Ride safe Andy

  • Andy,
    We will look into this “Google” you speak of. The writer has been punished with the termination of parking privileges at RSBFS HQ.

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