The Norton Nemesis is a bike you've never heard of, and that's OK. Now's your chance to get learned, as it was a machine that was supposedly destined for big things. However, Norton ever only made one pre-production unit, complete with a 1,500cc V8 engine, making it a unicorn of a machine in the motorcycle world.

Lucky for us, we’re given a glimpse of what it’s like to service this machine thanks to none other than British engineer and bike builder Allen Millyard, as he was commissioned by the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham to do some restoration work on the Norton Nemesis V8.

Having been made in the '90s, the nearly three-decade-old bike needed some work, especially as it had been displayed as a non-running exhibit for years.

Talk about a complex yet gorgeous design.

Talk about a complex yet gorgeous design.

With the intention of getting the Nemesis V8 back up and running like new, Allen has his work cut out for him, and in his latest video, he worked on the front end of the bike, hoping to service the suspension and brakes, while at the same time fitting a new front tire.

Seems easy enough, right?

Well, as it would turn out, the Nemesis’ design is extremely complex, and simply removing the front wheel takes ten times as much work as it would on a regular bike. First off, the brakes need to be disconnected, and the entire front end assembly taken apart. This is because the front fender, axle housing, and brake calipers are all cast in a two-piece assembly that splits in the middle.

If that’s not complex enough for you, you’ll also notice that the brakes are very unique, with the rotor mounts on the outside rather than the inside. This means that the caliper bites onto the inner part of the rotor rather than the outer part like other bikes. Because of this quirky design feature, the rotor has to be removed from the wheel before the wheel itself can come out.

In order to remove the front wheel, the entire front end has to come off.

In order to remove the front wheel, the entire front end has to come off.

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As Allen got to work taking everything apart, one thing became really clear to me: you have to be super careful when working on this bike, as there’s very little room for error. Just one stripped bolt could result in hours of extra work and a massive headache. Imagine if this thing was a production bike—an issue with your brake caliper would mean that you’d have to replace pretty much the entire front end. Yikes.

With the entire front end taken apart, each piece was cleaned and polished, bringing back the shine and luster of the aluminum components as if they were brand new.

Putting everything back together was pretty much the reverse process of taking it apart, but it’s clear that doing so required quite a lot of finesse—something that Allen demonstrates masterfully thanks to his years of experience working on unique machines like this.

After all was said and done, Allen’s work on the Nemesis hasd only just begun. The 17-minute video covered just the bike’s front end. Imagine all the work he’ll have to go through to sort out the bike’s prototype 1,500cc V8 engine and its '90s British electronics.

Allen says that he’ll be working on this bike over the next few months, so we’ll be sure to stay tuned to see his progress.

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