In the late 50’s and early 60’s, Norton produced a couple of smaller displacement bikes in the hopes of appealing to starting riders. They had the 250cc Jubilee and the 350cc Navigator, both of which were 4 stroke vertical twins. In 1963, at the request of the US importer Joe Berliner, they bumped the size of the Jubilee up to 383 and added electric start, creating the Norton 400 Electra (known as the ES 400 in Europe).
This was Norton’s first electric start bike. The Lucas starter was tucked in under the Amal carb, and connected via a chain drive to the left end of the crankshaft. An extra 6-volt battery was added under the right sidecover to supply the needed amperage to get it turned over. The styling and looks were reminiscent of the Atlas. Brakes were 8″ and it had the famous Norton Roadholder forks, but not the Featherbed frame. Unfortunately, it came to market just about the same time as the much more reliable Japanese bikes were beginning to flood the market. It was discontinued after 1965.
This particular Norton Electra is a 1963 model and has been partially restored. Handlebars and mufflers look to be aftermarket, but most of the important bits and pieces seem to be there. The owner claims it runs strong. The odometer only shows 6,150 miles. It needs lots of cosmetic work, but when cleaned up, you would most likely be the only one of these at your local Britbike rally!
You can find this Norton Electra for sale in Atlanta, Georgia for $2,000 here on Craigslist.