Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Trade Mark ...


... (-SG-) shown in the photo above appears on numerous Norton components during the late twenties and thirties, ranging from engine plates and steering damper parts to cam followers. But it's not a Norton (or Shelley) trade mark, as far as I can ascertain. So which company was it? Whoever, they were probably based in the general Birmingham area and operated as suppliers of miscellaneous machined and stamped parts to the industry. If anyone has the answer to this small but not very important query, please let us know!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

1929 Model CS1 Norton - For sale


-JdK- Nick in the UK is selling this 1929 Model CS1 Norton for an old friend. Nick: "Here are some pictures of a 1929 CS1, engine number 410XX and frame number 344XX. The date in the brown log book is 25/5/29. It currently has a later Inter gearbox and forks but it comes with the correct Sturmey Archer gearbox and most of a brass carburettor is there. It has not moved for the last 20-plus years but it runs. There's a nicely fitted extra front down tube (which can easily be removed if you must), braced brake cam and so on. It has a V5C"


Simon had a look in the records and the frame and engine number match up and it was indeed despatched in May 1929 to Yorkshire dealer Dan Bradbury. Seems to have been a standard bike with a dynamo.

Nick is looking for  £17.500; please contact us for Nick's email address when you are interested.

Monday, 20 October 2014

How to remove an Inter oilpump

1936 Model CJ cases;
note the big hole where the pump used to sit
The pump

-JdK- I have been struggling for a few nights trying to remove the oilpump from the engine of my 1936 Model CJ Norton. Like in all Carroll OHC engines, the pump is shrunk into the crankcases. Every manual and expert will tell you to heat the cases and pull the pump out using two studs screwed into the holes of the pump and a sturdy piece of steel across the bevel chamber. I managed to get it out but it took a lot of WD40, sweat and considerable force and you don't want to break the pump or cases. I discussed all this with Ian Bennett who contacted me last night with the answer:

"Yesterday I was talking to a clever old guy, Julian Harvey, who has worked on Manx engines all his life and he happened to comment on new oil pumps being made of brass. He told me the original  oil pumps made of Mazac (a zinc-like metal) have a large "coefficient of expansion" so that when the engine gets hot the oil pump gets tighter in the crankcase. I have just checked and have listed the coefficient of linear expansion of several metals below:

steel and iron: 12x10-6 m/moK
aluminium: 23x10-6 m/moK
magnesium: 26x10-6 m/moK
brass: 19x10-6 m/moK
zinc: 34x10-6 m/moK

So if you, like me, have always heated the crankcase up to remove the oil pump, you were wrong. When you heat the crankcase up with an original oil pump it gets tighter in the cases because the Mazac (zinc) expands more than the aluminium crankcases. So put the cases in the freezer to remove the Mazac pump and heat the cases up to fit it! Be aware that the new brass ones will get looser when heated! We keep learning ... "

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Bert Greeves and Nortons!

Bert Greeves and his CS1:
he obviously liked to see where he was going!

-SG- Bert Greeves is of course associated with the range of Villiers powered lightweights produced at the Thundersley factory from around 1953 to 1978. He was in his late forties at the time production began but was certainly no newcomer to motorcycles – he got his first driving licence in 1919 – and needless to say (otherwise why mention him on this site!) his motor cycling activities in the late twenties and early thirties were centred on a Norton - a CS1 to be exact. This machine appears to have been used for quite a few competitive events as well as everyday transport and some photos of him with it are attached. It suffered a front down tube breakage early in the thirties, which was repaired, and then a major engine blow-up in 1936 apparently resulted in it being scrapped.


But the CS1 was not his only association with Nortons. In the thirties, he built and ran a garage in Surbiton, Surrey and during the war years acquired from one of his employees a non-running 1930 Model 18. This long suffering machine was used post-war as a test bed for the innovative Greeves forks – the initial version being trailing, rather than leading, link. It was again employed, still with the trailing link forks in place, in the early fifties, to test Greeves’ sidecar chassis design – also with rubber suspension.

Bert Greeves and his chaps testing the sidecar chassis in '52

Various action photos exist of it in this state with Bert at the helm and a couple of his employees in the box on the sidecar chassis – taken on the Greeves test track at Thundersley. They all look as if they are thoroughly enjoying themselves! In the event, Greeves decided not to market the chair chassis but retained the Model 18 in his collection.

The massive rear sprocket
came from a concrete mixer!
The Norton as acquired
by Andrew King in 1996

After his retirement, this collection was sold in the late seventies to Don Hitchcock, in Folkestone. And the Model 18? That was sold on by Hitchcock in 1996 to leading horologist and Greeves enthusiast Andrew King – still in ‘as last used’ condition, with the prototype forks on the front end. Andrew, in turn, exchanged it a few years back for another Greeves belonging to Ken, a friend of mine who lives about 20 miles away. Although he is retaining the original and rather weighty Greeves forks, Ken plans to fit correct Webb forks and gearbox which have been obtained. A rebuild will follow of this humble machine, which nevertheless played an important role in the Greeves story and the development of the forks which became a symbol of the make.


All the photos used have been provided from Ken’s file for which for which many thanks are due!

Friday, 17 October 2014

ON7170 again


-JdK- Now on YouTube; a British Pathé movie covering the 1926 TT with a few great shots of Stanley Woods and his 1926 mount; this machine featured on this site before.

Below two screenshots from the movie. The first one shows Stanley at the start. At 0:27 there is another Norton in view; a flat tank dry sump machine with racing number 5; is this Joe Craig?


Thursday, 16 October 2014

OHV oil line parts


-JdK- Leon (in Fremantle, West Australia) had some of these distinctive 1920s OHV oil line Y pieces and end flanges cast up as he couldn’t find any. He had a few extra made and sells them as a machined set or as a set of raw castings. Contact us for Leon's email address.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

1927 OHV Norton


-JdK- Several persons have enquired about the Norton in these photographs, which has been offered for sale at several German jumbles in the last few weeks. It has been described as a Model 25 and as a "production racer" and the vendor is asking serious money. Simon had a look in the records.


-SG- According to the records the engine is from a Model 21- the original frame number to this engine (333xx) was 264xx and gearbox 93340 (a CS number). This Model 21 was supplied originally to Demont Freres in Switzerland in March '27 and was fitted with standard Webbs (which it still has) and 26 x 325 tyres which look to have been changed for 300 x 21. There is no mention in the records of the 8 inch Enfield front brake which was not a standard fitting for Model 21s nor the large oil tank and chain oil tank. Note that we do not have a frame number and cannot be sure what the frame is; though the typical Model 25 wrap around magneto support lug and the lugs for the oiltank on the rear down tube seem to be absent.

All in all, my view is that it may be a well constructed Model 25 look-alike - though whoever made the fuel tank like that could have been better informed. The correct height of the filler neck is as shown in Juris' Model 25 on which the tank is original. Engine-wise I understand the Model 21 flywheels are cast iron like Model 18s, while Model 25s have steel flywheels like CS1s/ES2s.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Renovated ?


-JdK- Above a photo copied from an article in the September/October issue of "The Antique Motorcycle" (reproduced below). Headlamp and gearbox come from a later model and CS1s did not usually come in red but it certainly is a very nice bike in this condition.


The author discusses the tank decal that reads "Renovated" and suggests that this CS1 was returned to the factory at some stage for a complete rebuild "they would fix and update parts and then add the Norton Renovated logo". Racing machines were sometimes returned for updating and we have several instances of that (like this one) but we know nothing about this service as applied to regular machines; and we have seen a decal like this only once before on a freshly painted tank.

We would like to hear from anyone who knows more about this or has an image of this decal in an old/period photograph.

(Copies by Olav)

Friday, 10 October 2014

1924 Model 16H - For Sale


In the catalogue of Bonham's 2014 Autumn Stafford sale; a 1924 Model 16H Norton. "In single family ownership for 50 years. Registration no. NN 7279. Frame no. 12160. Engine no. 9623"

-SG- This looks vastly better than most of the stuff usually on offer. The only things I could see to pick up on are the magneto - a Vintage BTH is fitted instead of the usual ML - the carburetter - a '30's Amal is fitted in place of the usual B and B or Amac - and the saddle, which nice though it is, is a bit later than '24. Particularly worthy of mention - the handlebar controls all look, if not original, then certainly 'period.' Engine and frame number match according to the records and it was shipped out 12/4/24 to a dealer called J. Reid. Don't know where he was located. No customer details are shown - such information does not appear in the records at this period.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

1929 Model 18 Norton


-JdK- A nice photo of a 1929 Model 18 Norton.