Sunday, 23 November 2014

1931 Model 20 Norton

-JdK- Not sure about the bike on the right; the one on the left is a 1931 Model 20 Norton.

Friday, 21 November 2014

1929 Model CS1 Norton

Jan Filipovič and his 1929 Model CS1
The CS1 in c1929-1930

-JdK- Mirek in the Czech Republic found this very nice and original 1929 Model CS1 Norton; the story in his own words can be found below.

"This Norton Model CS1 - engine number 418XX, frame number 349XX and gearbox number HW148390B - was dispatched on the 1st of March 1929 to Jan Weigel, the Norton representative in Czechoslovakia. The bike cleared customs in Prostějov (in Central Moravia) on April 24th of the same year. The machine's specification included larger wheels, an additional hand-operated oil pump and a fuel tank with a built-in speedometer. The Lucas Racing Magneto number 3199A dates from December 1928.

 Jan Filipovič (and his team) on an earlier CS1 Norton
The motorcycle's first owner was Jan Filipovič, a miller in Čejč near Hodonín (in South Moravia). Jan had raced another CS1 (dating from 1928, above) which he had also obtained via Weigel. Filipovič used his CS1 for two seasons and then sold it to his brother František.

Three other Norton motorcycles owned by Jan Filipovič
(Jan is sitting on the machine at the far right).
This photo was probably made in 1934

Josef Kučera, an accountant from Břeclav (a city in South Moravia near the Austrian border) bought the motorcycle from František on February the 1st, 1932 and it stayed in his family's possession until August 2014 when it was offered for sale at less than 80 kms from where I live; I went to collect it the very same day.

This motorcycle is in a very original condition. Note the wheels and tyres - the front wheel still wears the original 21" Dunlop (27 x 2.75). The rear wheel has a 1930s Belgian Engelebert (26 x 3.50).

Note the cable-operated baffle at
the end of the exhaust pipe

Many old photographs of the motorcycle have been preserved, as well as the customs and purchase documents from Jan Weigel's archive. In the oldest pictures the CS1 bears the Czechoslovak registration PV 325; later (in Hodonín, on August 22 1930)  it received registration P-IX 590 and later still number P-III-723 (on February 1st 1932, in Břeclav). Although the motorcycle was hardly used after WWII the registration continued and in the early 1950s it received yet another license number: MX-97-04. It got another registration in 1965, however, this license number has never been used on the machine.

The CS1 will be restored to running condition, however without changing the old paint, patina and general appearance."

Original decal on rear mudguard

Monday, 17 November 2014

1935 Model ES2 Norton - For sale

-JdK- Simon in the UK (not Simon Grigson) would like to sell his Norton. His description of the bike can be found below. Contact us for Simon's telephone number.

-Simon- "I would like to advertise the following bike which I have owned since June 1995. The machine was restored by a friend about 19 years ago, is in fine fettle and close to original. It runs well with the added bonus of a buff log book and it's original registration number. I would like offers in the region of £9.750.

The details are: Norton ES2, Frame no. 558XX, Engine no. 606XX, Agent or Dealer Frodsham Warrington, Retail Purchaser. J Miller 49 Waverley st. Warrington 29 December 1934, Registered 31 December 1934 in Lancashire"

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Tim Hunt, 1931 Model CJ Norton

-JdK- Tim Hunt after winning the 1931 Junior TT; the lady in white is his wife.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

1924 and 1926 Special Model 18 Nortons

-JdK- These pictures were sent to us by the present owner of these machines; we've seen quite a few Model 18s but these are very special and amongst the most desirable Nortons that we've ever seen.

-SG- Both of these bikes look essentially unrestored. Frame xxxxx, above was a special Model 18, one of three, all sent on 22/4/24 to Xxxxx. The absence of an engine number probably means the original crank cases - or the drive side half - have been replaced as a result of damage. The original engine number was xxxxx. The three machines all had Webb forks, 26 x 3 tyres, and special gearboxes, the one on this bike having serial number xxxxx. The carburetter was a Brown and Barlow. Xxxxx ordered quite a lot of machines to a very sporting specification and these three are typical. The column with the 'extras' in it in the works records shows: "Narrow mudguards, no carrier, long exhaust pipe, security bolts to both wheels, foot-oiler, extra large TT petrol and oil tanks with clips brazed to frame, large filler caps, tell-tale on mechanical pump, chain oiler." The rear sprocket has been replaced but otherwise it's very original - straight type rockers as used in '24 and even the oil pump tell-tale is still in place.

Then over to frame xxxxx, engine xxxxx, below; again this was to a special specification - the 'extras' column just says 'TT Spec.' (but see later comments) The carburetter is shown as Brown and Barlow and the tyres as 26 x 3. Forks as Webb (of the latest type). Gearbox is shown as 'special' but no number is given. It was also shipped to Xxxxx, on 6/2/26.

Comments: It is difficult to be specific about 'TT Specification' in February 1926. The tank is very unusual and appears to be the fore-runner of the pannier type tanks used by the works in the 1926 TT.  I would have expected it to have a dry sump engine as these were used in the 1925 TT but it does not. The usual TT extras such as the foot oiler are present and the gearbox appears to be an LS type - again, as used on the TT bikes. A few things have been changed over the years - the rear wheel sprocket looks to have been  re-made. I think the carburetter may also have been changed and the steering damper is incorrect.  None the less it is very original in many respects.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

1924 Model 16H - For sale

At Yesterdays; a 1924 Model 16H and it looks pretty good. Model 16H with engine 10784 and frame 13108 was shipped out in July 1924 to a dealer called Greenwood. It had 26 x3 tyres and a Brown and Barlow carb. G/Box number was 81839.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Tucker exhaust fitting

-SG- George Tucker needs little introduction to those interested in twenties Norton racing activities. A personal friend of J. L. Norton, Tucker had a motorcycle business in Bristol and competed successfully in the sidecar TTs of 1923 (3rd) and 1924 (1st) although he retired in the 1925 event. His two solo outings to the IOM were altogether less remarkable. He was also a Brooklands regular, both solo and sidecar, and the photo above has been re-produced many times over the years. The dry-sump flat tanker on which he is mounted had just been used to win a three lap handicap event at Brooklands in April 1928. The race report states that it is of 490cc but as the barrel is clearly of '588' size, he may have been using one of the special 8 1/2" con rods used by the Norton team at the track at the time, in the 490cc engines.

It will be noted that the bike has a twin exhaust system coming from an adaptor on the cylinder head. Without going into the merits or otherwise of this arrangement from the performance point of view, the adaptor was Tucker's own idea and it was publicised in the Motor Cycle on 10th March 1927.  Roger has kindly provided the scan giving details.

How many of these kits were sold I don't know but I would think not that many. One of the adaptors was in Murray's Motorcycle Museum in the IOM but following the dispersal of much of the contents, I am not sure where it is now. But another, a bit battered, has turned up in New Zealand of all places and Artie has provided photos of it for the site.  It will of course only fit twenties heads with the straight ahead exhaust ports.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

1925 Model 16H Norton

-JdK- Janet sent us these pictures: "The photo above shows my father, Arthur "Cecil" Wright. He was born in 1904 and lived in Ashford, Kent. He won two motorbike trials in the area on his Norton. I have two cups that he won; one inscribed "F & D.M.C & L.C.C 4.11.1928 Wakefield Trial C.Wright" and the second "Iggles Trophy Replica C.Wright 1929". That's him competing in the photo below.

The last photo shows his brother, Douglas, on the Norton with my grandmother on the back. They were living at the Prince of Orange pub in Ashford at the time."

-SG- This is a Model 16H dating from about 1925, and, unusually, it is fitted with Webb front forks - considered more sporting than the Druid forks usually fitted to these models. MO4914 is a Berkshire number, issued issued between May '22 and May '27.

As regards the awards, the first one almost certainly relates to an event organised by the Farnborough and District Motorcycle and Light Car Club - Farnborough Kent being quite close to AshfordI don't know anything about the second one, but again, it was probably related to a local trial.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Norton CS1 Moore Engine Bevel Setup

-SG- David in New Zealand has sent us the below which may help those pondering on the best way to set up a Moore CS1, bearing in mind the not very explicit information in the instruction books of the time.

  1. Fit the crank bevel to the crankshaft using a fresh woodruff key.
  2. Fit the oil pump worm drive.
  3. There is a notch on the crankshaft. Line this up vertically with the dot on the lower bevel and the dot on the lower bevel bearing housing. The piston will be at TDC.
  4. Insert the bevel shaft with the upper bevel dot to the rear in line with the cam shaft.
  5. The cam bevel has 3 keyways. One is directly opposite a tooth, one to the left of a tooth and one to the right.
  6. Choose the keyway on the cam bevel that provides for the cam lobes to be at the bottom of the shaft i.e. inlet and exhaust rockers closed.
  7. Align the dot on the upper bevel with the dot on the cam bevel.
  8. The above set up will time as TDC.
  9. Set up and measure the valve openings / closings as per below to confirm timing.
  10. NB – if the timings are out you may have to move the cam bevel to a different keyway, thereby advancing or retarding the valve timing. This system of 3 keyways is the precursor to the vernier timing seen in Carroll OHC models from 1930 on.
  11. Once you have timed your engine you need to check the bevel mesh and backlash.
  12. Each pair of bevels should mesh together perfectly i.e. the outer edges of the bevels should align.
  13. The bevels should have between 1 to 2 thou backlash – just a perceptible click – not a clunk!
  14. Adjust by shimming both bevel gears to retain the perfect mesh.
  15. Start at the crank and work upwards ... a long and tedious process but essential to trouble free and relatively quiet running.

The numbers:

Crank bevel: 24 t, Lower bevel: 36 t, Lower ratio: 0.66:1  
Upper bevel: 27 t, Cam bevel: 36 t, Upper ratio: 1.33:1
Overall ratio: 2:1

Valve Timing Specifications of a 1929 Norton CS1:
Cam details: E2531 Race Cam, re-mastered                    
Tappets - Inlet: 0.006", Exhaust: 0.010"                                      

The following are measured at the top of the valve stem at the above tappet clearances

Opens BTDC 32°                                            
Closes ABDC 56°                                            
Duration 268°                                          
Lobe Centre* 102°                                          
Lift 0.376"                                      

Opens BBDC 62°                                            
Closes ATDC 30°                                            
Duration 272°                                          
Lobe Centre* 106°                                          
Lift 0.37"
* Lobe Centre target is between 100° and 105°                                                                  

Monday, 3 November 2014

1923 Model 16H Norton - Erratum‏

-SG- A few weeks back we posted some photos and comments about this well restored 1923 Model 16H which was for sale on the Vintage and Veteran stand at the VMCC's Banbury run. I suggested that, contrary to the 'for sale' particulars, the engine and frame numbers did not match. There was a good reason for this: it transpires I was reading the frame number upside down and what I took down as 6028 is actually 8309 (the upside down '3' covered in black paint being a bit indistinct to my elderly eyes and being taken for a '2'). As I said in my comments, 8309 is the correct frame number for the bike with engine number 6056. The owner has just been in touch to point this out - quite understandably, not atall happy about it - and I offer him my sincere apologies. We really do like to get it right and will certainly learn from this 'clanger.'

The details in the despatch books are rather sparse at this period and all the extra interesting stuff like who the end-user was, and variations from standard spec., are not filled in as they are later in the decade. Anyway here's what it says about this 16H:

Engine number 6056
Frame number 8309
Model 16H
Magneto 19377
B and B carb.
26 x 3 tyres
Despatched 14/5/23 to O'Donovan

On the same page another two bikes are shown as going to O'Donovan in mid May - he was in business at the time in Great Portland Street London W1 with Hubert Beach, as well as masterminding Norton's Brooklands activities. Bearing in mind his racing connections, it is highly likely he would have ordered up a special spec. bike at the request of one of his London area customers. It may well have started life with the oil tank and foot oiler although these are not mentioned in the records against the existing engine. What else could I find to criticize? Just the clutch lever!