Every manufacturer has a skeleton in its closet, and in Norton’s case, it’s the Hi-Rider. Arguably the first factory-produced custom, it looked like powered version of children’s bicycles such as the Schwinn Sting-Ray and Raleigh Chopper. Which themselves were parodies of choppers with banana seats and ape-hanger bars.
History has now come full circle, and the ungainly Norton is teetering on the verge of coolness. This heavily customized 1974 Commando 850 Hi-Rider, built by Frenchman Julien Azé, tweaks the Hi-Rider’s gawky lines and is one of the most original builds we’ve seen in a long time. As with most interesting bikes, there’s an equally interesting story behind it.
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