Sunday, 10 December 2017
-SG- Thanks to Ian here's the 1929 fold-out leaflet. Another rare item! It covers the basic range, and while prices only are given for the Four Speed Models, the CJ and JE do not get a mention.
Tuesday, 5 December 2017
-SG- My good friend Juris in Latvia has recently arranged production of replica castings of the 1929/30 ML CMAK cast aluminium magneto shield - based on my original. The number available is limited so anyone who needs one should contact Juris - we will forward emails to him. Due to possible small variations in the fixing stud hole position, this is deliberately left undrilled. Price by the way is £90 plus carriage.
Sunday, 3 December 2017
-JdK- The nuts at the ends of an OHC camshaft are a constant challenge within the vintage Norton scene. I like this method. Mike in California came up with this improvement. Mike: "I like this jig but just wasn't happy with the slot engagement for the square end of the camshaft. It wasn't easy but I found a half inch drive socket with a 7/16" square driver and made my own jig with what I believe is an improvement"
Monday, 27 November 2017
Tuesday, 21 November 2017
-Richard- This Norton International belongs to engineer and enthusiast Don. It is to 1939 specification having the then new version pre-war plunger rear suspension, but the bike is far from standard specification. The forks are to racing specification as is the front wheel which is the type used by the works machines of the early/mid '30s and has an aluminium brake plate and magnesium alloy brake shoes of 7 inch diameter. Don has concentrated his engineering skills on the engine, enlarging it from 500cc to a full 600cc which involved many hours in the workshop, not least of which was making the cylinder barrel from a solid aluminium billet !!
These pictures were taken at the Brooklands Museum motorcycle day last July where Don showed many newer bikes how to blast up the Test Hill. And if you think he is lucky enough already, he also owns a very desirable MK 8 Velocette.
Monday, 20 November 2017
Saturday, 11 November 2017
-SG- The recent 'Norton cufflinks' posting has prompted Juris to get in touch regarding his own Norton Lapel badge. This is likely to be from late 1934 and would seem to have been issued to stress that Nortons won the 1931/2/3/4 Senior TTs. But Juris' badge has had other benefits for him - as detailed in his message below:
"The badge was made by H.W. Miller ltd Branston St. B’ham 18 as written on the reverse and is in the same dark blue enamel as the cufflinks. The badge has a safety device in the form of two bendable strips that do not allow it to be pulled easily off the lapel.
Thanks to wearing this badge at the right moment at work in the 1980s I was approached by a local sheet metal worker who enquired what was my connection with Norton. I told him that I collected mostly Norton machines. He invited me to pick up an old Norton from his parents' farm 100km from Riga. I went there the next weekend and found an almost complete Model 18 from 1930. Later in his attic I found many travel booklets from around europe where the chap had been traveling on his motorcycles. Among the paperwork I found a Jaeger speedometer - mountable on the Norton front fork. This bike and the speedo were free gifts. At the time we had the iron curtain, the borders were closed and people did not look at these bikes as investment or way of earning quick money … those were the days!
I attach a photo of the bike taken at the time - the original engine I got a week later. The exhaust pipe and silencer are original and still in reasonably good shape. Petrol and oil tanks are welded and the petrol tank still has its correct knee grips."
Thursday, 9 November 2017
-SG- A recent posting (August 2017) discussed the surprisingly large number of large capacity OHC machines from the late twenties and thirties, based on research by the late Peter Roydhouse. The vast majority of these were the Carroll version but Peter missed one important 588cc CS1 from early April 1928, which I came across by chance last week when checking the despatch records for something else. This machine is shown as being despatched to Nigel Spring, Norton's Brooklands supremo at the time, and the additional information shown against it is as follows:
Brooklands frame, 588 barrel, 8 inch rod, bronzed c/case, specially tuned.
It is virtually certain that this is the machine with which Bert Denly achieved various class world records at Montlhery in July 1928 and a rather indistinct newsprint photo of the team - with George Pearce, Nigel Spring and Pat Driscoll all wearing berets - was discovered by Roger a while back. His more recent contacts with Nigel Spring's grandsons has resulted in a much clearer image and this is attached. Thanks are due to Jonathan and Tim Spring for this interesting and additional part of the Brooklands Norton jigsaw.
As can be seen, the machine has had the usual Brooklands Norton treatment of the day with dummy belt rim rear brake and of course no front brake. Actually, the rear wheel set-up looks vaguely incongruous to me but that's a personal viewpoint. The 'taller than usual' power unit is more than apparent while the frame also clearly has longer down tubes. What is not visible is the fact that the engine presumably has bronze crankcases - if one takes the last letter of 'bronzed' as being a clerical error! Roger has previously established to his satisfaction that a few Brooklands Norton power units with bronze c/cases were produced (usually disguised with silver paint!) but I think this may be the first confirmatory reference we have come across in the works records.
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
-SG- Thanks again to Ian, here's the 1937 'Unapproachable' brochure covering 1936 successes and the 1937 range. This was the final year for the parallel pushrod tube OHV engines - a concept dating back to 1930 - while the '37 16H was very close in most respects to the later WD 16H.