Ken Davies- 1967 Atlas
More than 30 years ago I bought a featherbed Norton, which had many problems and ran sporadically. It
did get me to Calgary once but not back again. My dream has always been to have this motorcycle
perform the way its designers might have hoped; reliable, fast, and easy to start. Consultations with Tony
clarified that these goals were attainable. Tony's knowledge of the correct components, and his
remarkable skill in the reconstruction of the motor and transmission have fulfilled my dream. The first
trip this bike went on was to Buffalo, Wyoming. With the new motor it proved itself more than capable of
running both mountain passes and dessert flats. Further refinements to the motorcycle prepared it for the
second run to Ashland, Oregon. This bike really works, and is a pleasure to ride and own.
Dave Cochrane- 1972 Norton Commando Combat
Sometimes you would like to know the person who works on your bike. If you are
like me and your Norton is more than just transportation let me introduce you to
the owner and mechanic of Union Jack Motorcycles.
I had just bought a 1972 Norton Commando Combat. I had a Norton Commando
back when I was 18 and lost it through misadventure. I had the jargon about
commandos but I can say I knew enough to be dangerous. I am in my 60`s now and
it had taken me over 40 years to replace that bike. I had to humbly admit I was
over my head about the real understanding of this beautiful machine.
This is when I found a small British motorcycle shop in Chilliwack BC. The place did
not even have a sign to let you know it was there. The only giveaway was an old
Triumph frame outside a nondescript shed. I stopped in, and out of the adjacent
house stepped a huge man over 6 foot 4inch with a smile on his face asking how he
could help me. He said you can call me Tony as he introduced himself followed with
a “Watcha got?’ I told him I had a Norton and I needed to get some work done on
it. I told Tony about my bike and had to say I really did not know what I wanted
or needed to get done. Tony smiled and said not many people do know what they
From that day on with my new found friend I sat amazed at what knowledge he had
about motorcycles and everything connected to them. I soon learned the
difference between brain baffling bullshit about motorcycles, and what true
knowledge about them was. Tony is a walking, talking, master motorcycle technician
with a “Do it right the first time attitude”. I never saw a short cut taken as he
meticulously worked on the machines in the shop. Tony said to me one day "I never
try to remember the specifications of any bike I work on, I always refer to the
manufacturer`s data and research.” I questioned him on this. In my view, having
memorized the information on a piece of equipment showed your understanding of
it. Tony replied that relying on memory is a poor practice and not one to be relied
upon. “The book is the book” he said with a smile.
I guess I have written this as a tribute to Tony. I know that this kind of thing
would not be something he would want to hear. Tough it out Anthony!
In closing, if you have a British motorcycle and want to know the mechanics behind
it find the little hole in the wall shop in Chilliwack. If you want to discover the
philosophy of the mechanic stay quiet as Tony works.
Thank you Tony,
Brian Thalken- 1952 Series C Rapide