One of the most collectible Commandos was the John Player, a distinctive endurance-inspired Norton with unique bodywork surrounding a completely stock Mark 2A Commando. The distinctive front fairing with dual headlights caught they eyes of many fans worldwide who were obsessed with the hottest motorcycle racing competitions of the time – endurance races.
John Player refers to a tobacco company that sponsored Norton’s 750cc racers with distinctive black/gold and white/red/blue liveries. The replica you see in front of you was based on the 850cc bike, and features the large race fairing protecting low clipons, the lovely single-seat, and a black chrome exhaust. The initial plan was to produce 1,000 of these replica bikes, but only approximately 200 were made between ’74 and ’75. Very few were imported to the US, and because endurance bikes had not caught on in the States yet, even the small number of imports struggled to sell at a MSRP of $2,995. Weighing 475 pounds, the JPN was capable of 115 miles per hour. Want to learn more? Check out a great feature by Motorcycle Classics here.
This example is said to be in mint condition with the exception of two blemishes on the front fairing. It was recently restored by SoloMoto in Greenwich, Connecticut and has two “break-in” miles since. I’m surprised that there aren’t more break-in miles and I’m also confused about the wheels – can you identify what they are?
The seller provides a video of the bike after the restoration:
He also says “this is the same JPS featured on Jay Leno‘s Garage” (before restoration) which is pretty interesting, if true:
Find this JPS for sale in Greenwich, Connecticut with a BIN of $29,950 or best offer here on eBay.