72 Motorcycles, the team behind the brutish Norton MM – the Ron Wood tribute bike we featured a couple of years ago, turned up at Bike Shed London 2018 with this dark and purposeful Norton Dominator SS – the Phantom. Merry Michau and Jamie Ireson are good friends with Norton’s owner Stuart Garner and they’re a familiar face at the Donnington factory, telling us “during a social visit to the Norton HQ we discussed our ideas with Stuart on the shop floor while standing around a factory Dominator. He liked our ideas and gave us the green light to do something special with the bike.” Thankfully subtle custom mods have been made, rather than spoil an already gorgeous bike in the quest for proving fabrication prowess – not really Jamie’s style.
In a Supermarket Sweep (RIP Dale) style spree the best parts were plucked from the shelves and added to a one-off Dominator SS build sheet. Altering the original aluminium fuel tank would be doing so for change’s sake so that and the sweeping exhausts are as you’d find on a stock bike. Instead attention was turned to the near-naked front where a compact, one-piece aluminium mini-bikini fairing shrouds the original twin clocks and a dark tinted screen provides a modicum of wind deflection.
The carbon fibre tail and seat is gone, replaced by another example of exquisite hand shaping of aluminium sheet. The new unit bolts to the same fixings as the carbon version (in fact the frame and loom weren’t chopped or spliced) and hide the now mandatory ABS unit under the rear hump. Scoops echo those on the front fairing and add a flash of detail, rather than specific function.
Simple suede pads offer grip and a minimal race vibe, comfort is something best sought on a different motorcycle – Dominators are for spirited blasts, not cruising. And for those not in the know, the beautifully knurled cap is the oil filler for the dry-sumped 1200cc British made engine. Keyboard warriors hold your horses. Plums and lady gardens aren’t interfered with by this sticky-out part, the rear-sets and reach for the clipons force one’s behind into the rear pad and away from knurly danger.
Tight clearances meant the Brembo fluid reservoirs fouled the front fairing so were ditched in favour of Rizoma units. For continuity the rear is also from the Italian masters of component upgrades. Searingly bright Motogadget M-Blaze Pin indicators replace the VOSA friendly and bulbous originals at the rear, now mounted to a CAD machined bracket along with a micro LED taillight. Bar-end M-Blaze Disc indicators up front are a neat solution, as is the adaptive, hyper-bright LED headlight from J.W Speaker. As you lean an additional array illuminates the piece of road you’re about to ride over, and not the bush miles up ahead. An expensive bit of kit but the Phantom is a premium build aimed at discerning and well-heeled folk.
The airbox, carbon mudguards, clock surrounds and chain guard joined the tank and tail for a thorough coating of black paint, murdered-out as the hip and young call it – apparently. Breaking-up the lustrous gleam is a matt black strip that starts at the headlight and runs the full length of the bike, accented by a champagne gold pinstripe and logo’d knee scallops in the tank.
The Phantom might seem a departure from 72 Motorcycles’ series of bright red flat trackers but Jamie’s background in design engineering has put him in good stead. Everything on his bikes are carefully considered and fabricated or machined to the highest standard and it made sense to adapt the most focussed model in Norton’s range. Hopefully this is just the start of a racy series of builds from 72.
For now though the Phantom is for sale, contact Jamie or Merry for pricing and global shipping options.
Images by Merry Michau