Monday, 12 August 2019

1923 Sidecar TT

-SG- I recently came across this posed and very grainy photo of  Graham Walker and his passenger Tommy Mahon on their 1923 Sidecar TT Norton.  Walker and Co. finished second, a couple of minutes behind Freddy Dixon, mounted on the 'banking sidecar' Douglas outfit. Walker himself devised the Hughes TT sidecar, which was widely and successfully used throughout the rest of the decade.  Third place-man was George Tucker, with another 588cc outfit very like Walker's.

Fast forward to 1954 and Graham wrote an amusing recollection of the event, which I have scanned and (courtesy The Classic Motorcycle) attach. Although the photos are still grainy, the sideways view of Graham's outfit with the auxiliary fuel tank is interesting.

Sunday, 11 August 2019


-JdK- A picture of Beatrice Shilling and two other ladies that I had not seen before.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Binks jets

-SG- Those seeking jets for their Binks carbs. will be pleased to know that they are readily available - as are the keys for screwing them in/out - from a company in New Zealand  called Demo Manufacturing. These chaps also make replica Mousetrap carburettors in case anyone wants one!

Their web site with contact details etc is at Incidentally, the two jet Binks as fitted to CS1s and ES2s in the late twenties used left and right hand types shown in the photo.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Flat tank Model 18 Norton

-JdK- Stephen has been out and about in Yorkshire on his Model 18 special.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Carburettors ...

-SG- The scans attached cover pages from a 1931 publication and are of general interest to those with period Amal or Binks carburettors.  Worth noting that the Binks illustrations etc. relate to the Amal Binks and not to the earlier Binks produced by the original Binks company up to about 1928.

Thursday, 11 July 2019


-Roger- LPD1 was invited to the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 4-7th July to accompany the Napier Railton and we were ably supported by the Brooklands motorcycle team. Three racing sidecar outfits were in the lineup: the 2019 TT winning LCR outfit of the Burchall brothers, Maria Costello's LCR and LPD1. Maria Costello also rode a Paton in the Lightweight Race becoming the first woman to ride in both a sidecar and a solo race in the TT. With Julie Canipa they became the first female crew in the history of the TT and the finished at an overall speed of over 101 mph.

I rode on all three motorcycle days and we had two runs a day. On Saturday Paul Denly, Bert Denly's grandson, was the passenger. I wanted to experience being a passenger on Sunday so Karen Anderson, one of the Brooklands team, agreed to drive although she didn't need much persuasion! She was one of a number of the Brooklands Motorcycle team to support LPD1 over the four days for which I am most grateful as the event was exhausting enough even with such fantastic support. The first picture was taken on Saturday with Maria on her LCR ahead of LPD1. Seated on LPD1 is one of the Burchall brothers being instructed by Paul Denly on the role of the numerous handlebar levers.

The second picture was taken at the top of the hill on Sunday with Maria on the left and Karen on the right. Maria was the first woman sidecar driver up the Hill and Karen was the second although she was slightly slower out of respect the LPD1's age. The winner of the 1925 Sidecar race averaged 55 mph so there perhaps we should have been more respectful.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Maudes Trophy

-SG- Back in November 2016 we posted a photo of Phil Pike/Arthur Bourne and the late 1924 Big Four outfit used for the factory's successful Maudes Trophy attempt. The photo was provided by Ian and he has now loaned a small commemorative booklet published by the factory along with a copy of the relevant ACU certificate of performance.  Scans are attached and many thanks to Ian, yet again!
The award was gained following a 4088 mile  ride around the country with a standard Big Four outfit assembled from stock parts, under ACU supervision. West Country dealer Phil Pike was at the helm and the sidecar passenger was ACU observer (and later Editor of Motor Cycle magazine) Arthur Bourne. The whole project nearly came to grief when the outfit and a charabanc collided.  This necessitated a new frame, forks etc for the outfit - apparently provided by the nearest Norton dealer and fitted by their mechanics under ACU supervision.

Monday, 24 June 2019

One lump ... or two?

-SG- ... is a subject we have had postings on before and here's another (click this link for the PDF)!  It comes from a 1975 newsprint cutting neatly folded in a secondhand copy of 'Past Masters of Speed,' which I bought in a second-hand bookshop over the weekend. It probably comes from MotorCycle News and makes interesting reading.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Spare parts list

-SG- During the thirties, spare parts lists were not issued every year but supplementary lists (no illustrations) seem to have been issued for those years where a full list was not produced. The only supplementary list we have on the site thus far is that for 1939 but thanks to Reece, we now have copies of the remaining four supplementary lists. These cover:

Parts for 1933 variations excluding cradle frame models and 350s. 
Parts for 1933 variations for CS1 and ES2 models.
Parts for 1935 variations - all models.
Parts for 1936 variations - all models.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Vic Horsman at Brooklands

-SG- I recently came across this uncaptioned photo of Vic Horsman mounted on a track Norton with a considerably lengthened frame.  I sent it to Roger for further comment which I give below.  Thanks!

"Vic Horsman rode a Norton until the end of the 1922 season when both he and Rex Judd left the O'Donovan team - he went to Triumph and Rex to Douglas and this paved the way for Bert Denly to join the team. 

The picture was probably taken after the Championship Race event on 21 October 1922 at which he won Classes C and F and was second in Class D. The engine looks tall for the 490 version so it would be the 596 version that he rode in Class F and the sidecar for Class F can be seen on the right of the picture.  The picture was taken in the paddock by the Fork with the 1921 grandstand in the background. There are three Nortons behind Vic (his birth name was Vincent) and Don is working on one of them. There would have been a 490 for Rex, the second Norton for Vic and one for Don in Class F.

The Norton on the left is probably George Tucker's outfit as his race number was 5 in Class F. The V-twin at the back is probably George Brough's Brough Superior on which he competed in Class E for solos up to 1000cc. I don't know who the reporter is!

Vic liked the very long wheelbase machines for Brooklands as they gave extra stability in a straight line which was the purpose of the banking although the Fork was a sharp kink. He continued with the same type of frame when he switched to Triumph. From experience I can say that even the slightly extended frame on LPD1 is great for a straight line but truly awful on the Mercedes Benz track (the short present track at Brooklands) where I was overtaken by a 50cc racer on the bends! The Model 18 used for Mountain Races is so much easier to handle."