The Dominator,... the Dommi
Designer : Bert Hopwood
Norton had responded to the success of the Triumph Speed Twin model in 1949 with the release of the Bert Hopwood designed Model 7 twin displacing 500cc. The new model was followed in 1952 by a new twin combining the Model 7's twin cylinder engine and the "featherbed" frame, the marriage offering sporting road riders the performance of the "cammy" models in the range with the ease of use afforded by the twin cylinder engine. Early examples, equipped with a deeply valanced, sprung mudguard, were initially only available for export, however, by 1953 it became available to domestic purchasers. The same year saw the replacement of the unsightly front mudguard with a neater unsprung item.
The Dominator model 7 is a rare model as it was introduced prior the Fetherbead framed Dominator and therefore over shadowed slightly. They also continued this model through to 1955 used as a side car machines as they could not be fitted to the latter fetherbed model.
The Dominator 77 is one of those motorcycles that seems to have been almost forgotten, probably because it is a comparatively rare bike, and also because they are easily confused with the 500cc model 7.
It is more or less a swinging arm, single downtube ES2 chassis with a 600cc Dominator 99 engine, and it was in production at the same time as the Dommi 99, with its acclaimed Featherbed frame.
The Manx was of course busy making the Featherbed frame into a household name on circuits around Europe at the time, so it is not difficult to see why the Model 77 seems to have been forgotten!
Norton had introduced their first parallel twin during 1949 with the introduction of the Model 7 Dominator 500cc. This was joined in 1952 by a "featherbed" framed version typed the Model 88 which utilised the same 500cc twin. Demands for increased performance saw the introduction of 650cc twins from both Triumph and BSA nesscitating a response from Norton which was announced during 1956. The new machine utilised the 88's cycle parts housing a new engine with dimensions of 62 x 82 mm resulting in a swept volume of 596cc.
thanks to the motorbike-search-engine
The Norton Dominator - often referred to by its owners as the Dommie - was Norton's first parallel twin. Conceived as an answer to Triumph's legendary Speed Twin, which had proved the popularity of the type, the Norton engine was designed by Bert Hopwood, who had previously worked on multi-cylinder engines for Triumph and Ariel.
The new bike made its debut late in 1948. What made it really stand out were interesting features such as widely splayed exhaust ports and a suitability for tuning that gave it great future development potential. Later, when equipped with the renowned, race-developed featherbed frame and featherbed telescopic forks, it became a sporting icon.
Thanks to Mick Walker