George Kraus in Andover Norton Newsletter

George Kraus in Andover Norton Newsletter

The ONE’s Vice President, George Kraus, recently had a write-up in the March edition of The Source (Andover Norton Newsletter). It is included below:

George Kraus wrote:

I worked for Kenny Dreer before he was developing the NEW (880) Norton (now known as the 961). I started in the mid ’90’s right after he purchased inventory from a local shop that closed and he started restoring Norton’s, Triumph’s, and BSA’s. I sub-contracted with him to build bikes out of my small shop/garage. I traded my services as a graphic designer and photographer, designing his VR&R brochure for a core Norton Commando motorcycle and parts at cost. The result is the Commando photos I sent you. I have done over 26,000 miles since I restored it and it still wins “Best of Show” awards at the National Norton Rally shows.

The following is a short piece I wrote a few years ago about my experience with my build and Kenny:

The Manx Commando concept that my Norton eventually developed into – black primary and brake drums, ace bars, drilled components, Manx number plate/windscreen, solo seat, etc. came about during an all night drive back from the San Jose BSA Clubman Show, about 1992 or ’93 with Kenny Dreer (Vintage Rebuilds and Restorations). Kenny and I were good friends back then. The sleep deprived drive developed a drug-like effect on us two vintage crazed individuals, all hopped up on the exposure of the show. In our hyperactive minds, we designed the perfect Manx Commando.

We had it built in our minds before the sun came up. I don’t claim to have any effect on the success of Kenny Dreer. He is an ambitious, work driven perfectionist, and a craftsman. He was a good teacher and I was eager to learn. I later spent about a year in the barrel working for Kenny, building many Norton’s, Triumphs, and BSA’s from my home shop. I designed Kenny’s original Vintage Rebuilds and Restorations brochure, as a trade for a core bike and all the parts and services at cost. I did all the upgrades Kenny had developed at that time.

I don’t claim my Norton as a Dreer bike and I wouldn’t truthfully call it the prototype, but you get the idea. It’s the likeness of an idea. Kenny had no true prototypes. It’s a process of evolution. I built my Norton myself in my shop with the tutelage and support of Kenny. I now have over 23,000 flawless miles on this bike.

I restore Norton’s and Triumph’s in my small shop: www.gekrestorations.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top