The average bike represents approximately 250 hours of work. “When we build the bikes, each and every nut and bolt is considered....literally. Not overlooking anything or taking any shortcuts.” One look around at the immaculate shop and you realize he’s not kidding. “Yeah, I’m one of those anal s.o.b’s that just can’t work unless the shop looks like that,” Matt confesses, in his soft-spoken, laid-back manner that plays juxtaposition to the intense focus of a man bent on creating perfection.
Not only do they use only the best possible parts, they’re inventing and developing their own modification and upgrade components. For instance, working with Brembo, they’ve created a bolt up kit that replaces the weak original Norton brake system for something that works better than anything else on the market.
For accuracy, reliability and performance they designed a complete electronics instrument package that replaces the original mechanical gauges. For safety, an oil tank modification was created that remedies the shortcomings of the original Norton tank that sometimes led to spillage of hot oil onto the rear tire at high speed.
Elaborating on his inventions, Matt says “Since the very beginning I have developed upgrades and mods for these bikes. That is part of what the rebuilds are all about. Taking what is there....getting rid of what doesn’t work, replacing it with what does without taking away from the great styling and feel of the original machine. It’s the best of both worlds. Vintage, timeless design, yet in a package that works.” The bikes are improved in every aspect to reduce the heavy maintenance weight the originals needed to stay on the road.
An integral part of the building process is the involvement of the customer in all steps along the way. “We want our customers to feel like this is truly ‘their’ bike, that it’s different and unique from any other.” From prominent design elements to the smallest detail, the goal is that the owner gets exactly what they want.
Cafe Racer Series
In 2004 CNW set out to build what Matt describes as “the most technically advanced cafe’ racer style Commando in the world.” The result was an astonishing piece of machinery that received rave reviews from enthusiasts around the globe. Realizing they were onto something, they decided to build a series of 13 bikes in exactly same fashion. The hefty price tag ($44,950.00 USD) was no deterrent as 12 of the bikes sold before the first one was completed. (Matt’s keeping lucky #13 for himself.)
The staggering success has Matt’s mind stirring with plans for a future series.
The summer of 2012 finds them moving from a 1600 sq. ft. shop into a spacious 8000 sq. ft. one, “We’ll be in heaven”, he says. The extra space will allow for more parts, an addition of powder coating equipment and a separate area for partial builds and service work.
Gaining notoriety through being featured on Cafe Racer TV, (the highlight Matt says was a day spent with the Bostrom brothers riding the twisties on a newly unveiled Cafe Series bike) won’t change their mission which has been and continues to be - rebuild the finest Norton Commando bikes on the planet, keep their customers happy and roll thunder through the mountain valleys.
Get to know more by visiting www.coloradonortonworks.com.
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