Friday, 3 August 2018

Moore vs. Carroll

-SG- Alan has drawn my attention to Titch Allen's piece in the Vintage Road Test journal which compares a couple of the late John Griffith's OHC Nortons - a Moore CS1 (which we mentioned in our website in a posting of august 2017) and a Carroll International.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Spotted at VMCC Founder's Day event ...

-SG- ... was this largely original CS1, which looks as if it gets USED! Thanks to Alan for the pics!

Friday, 20 July 2018

DT Nortons - the fore-runners

-SG- On 27 July 2015 we had a posting about E O Blacknell (the Blacknell Sidecars chap) and his Dirt Track Norton  which, from the photograph, appeared to be 1929 Model 18 based, albeit with no brakes. Now, thanks to Alain, Alan, and Peter Thomson, all in NZ, we have some brief but relevant information about the DT Model 18s and ES2s which preceded the production DT machines produced in 1930.

Scans from the now comparatively rare magazine produced in the twenties and thirties entitled New Zealand Motor Journal have come to light and are attached (below). The photos only show the Model 18 based machine and it's worth repeating what E O Blacknell recalled - that the cams on his engine could be unscrewed from the cam wheels. As a result of this, it is my view that the power unit in the Model18DT was basically '28/29 ES2 (which used this type of cam wheel) but fitted with a timing cover very similar to the regular 1930 type. The gearbox shown in the photos in the article is not - from its appearance - an LS type, but the rather unusual racing three speed CS box which we have talked about before (see posting of 25 July 2015).

(right-mouse-click, open in new screen for a large version)

Sunday, 15 July 2018

The 1939 Roadholder brochure

-SGThis is the annual Roadholder booklet for 1939. This complete booklet, but with cream coloured cover and smaller in size also exists but the photo quality is not as good as the black cover one and it may, perhaps, be a period re-print.  Interesting to note that various shots of the racing machines with telescopic forks appear in this publication, as well as 'Racing Internationals' - not with telescopic forks! Thanks again to Ian for the loan.

Friday, 13 July 2018

The 1938 Roadholder and abridged price list

-SG- I see we have had rather a long gap from the last posting of literature kindly lent by Ian. No good reason so no excuses!

Here are the two 1938 copies from his collection -  the abridged price list (click this link)  and the 1938 Roadholder brochure (click this link).

1938 was a year of change Norton-wise, in that the cast alloy rocker box and exposed valves on the OHV machines - first used in 1930 - was abandoned in favour of a new design of rocker box with enclosed valve springs. This visible change to the OHV units was not the only one, however: internally the cam followers on both OHV and SV engines were changed to a type where the contact surface with the cam was entirely flat - a design which remained in use on standard production machines up to and including 1946, but was NOT used on the WD16H. Also shown in the 1938 literature is the so-called cow's udder silencer -  to my mind a rather strange design but who am I to query Norton's then marketing experts eighty years later?  Don't think I have ever seen one in the flesh, so to speak.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Norton Model 17C tank paintwork

-SG- A couple of years back I came across a replica Big Four tank at the VMCC Founder's Day event and eventually this was purchased by Juris for his ex-Russian Army 1927 Model 17C project.  He's now had it painted over here by Stuart and photos of it are attached. Looks pretty good to me! Anyone interested in getting such work done can contact Stuart direct on

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

1920s Norton 16H tank for sale

-JdK- Jon in the UK has a Norton tank for sale. In his own words: "This tank should be on a bike rather than sat in my garage. It has survived remarkably well & may even retain its original paint. Would suit an unmolested oily rag machine. Oil pump and both filler caps I assume are correct. I would consider sensible offers up until 20th July or possible exchange for a 1927 Model 18 Tank. I hope to attend Founders day on 22nd so could take & avoid any postage costs/concerns."

Please contact Jon at

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Norton parts for sale

-JdK- Edwin in the Netherlands has the following bits for sale. Please email him directly for further information on

Lot 1;
  • Model 19 engine, 1939 presumed to have bee rebuilt
  • Piece of cradle frame including engine plates

Lot 2;
  • 1946 Model 18 engine loosly assembled.
  • 1946 gearbox, with dolls head parts.
  • 1938 frame, not original, conversion to plungers.
  • Rear stand
  • Rear brake plate with rod
  • Magneto and carburator.
  • Engine plates
  • Set of rear footrests
  • Centre stand
  • Gear lever
  • Small bits and pieces as pictured
Study the pics carefully, what you see is what you get. Open to sensible offers. Located in the Netherlands. Edwin will be in the UK early August and will be able to transport to Netley Marsh in september.

Monday, 2 July 2018

1929 Model 18 Norton

-SG- Evan in Africa sent these very nice pics of his grandfather on his 1929 Model 18 Norton. In his own words: "Attached are 2 photos of my Grandfather PJ (Percy Jack) Wannerton on his Norton motorcycle. He imported this motorcylce into South Africa in the late 20’s early 30’s. The close up photo shows the bike at his home in Cape Town, with UK number plate, from my research it appears to be a tax free export registration number. The other photo is on Boyes Drive, above Kalk Bay in Cape Town, with it’s Cape Town number plate."

it is a 1929 Model 18 - one can see quite clearly the identifying features of the magneto out in front of the engine and the double barelled silencer.  Also - just visible in the upper photo - the exposed overhead valve push rods.  For some reason the tank is fitted with knee grip rubbers of the shape used on all the 1930 range but Nortons might have started using them late in '29. 

Monday, 25 June 2018

1931 Model CJ Norton

-SG- Ian has added to his already large collection of Nortons by purchasing a 1931 CJ. This was restored prior to Ian's acquisition of it by the Sammy Miller Museum workshop and, all in all, it looks like a reasonable effort. Ian has some doubts over the tank panels and we have steered him to what little literature is already on the site in an effort to provide some guidance. The bike was despatched in April 1931 to London dealers Taylor Matterson and appears to have matching frame/engine numbers.