Monday, 19 February 2018

Cannonball Nortons


-JdK- We have been contacted by Keith in the USA who participated in the Cannonball run before and is planning to do so again in 2018 with a team of 3 flat tank 16Hs ... and a backup truck, spare bike and mechanics. Which to us is a bit odd as part of the fun of long journeys on an old bike is to prepare it in such a way that it won't break down, and if it does, fix it yourself with whatever you brought along. Still, we applaud these efforts; great that these bikes are being used and trashed like the maker intended! See the YouTube movie for more info.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Bristol Classic Show ...


-SG- ... has just taken place and Alan has sent in sundry photos plus the message below:

"It was a wet miserable day with muddy slippery roads. Nevertheless one brave soul showed his mettle and was out on his flat tanker yesterday. We applaud him! (whoever he or she may be)."

The 16H looks to be a slight amalgum of late twenties bits from '27/8 but is very tidy and looks eminently usable.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

1938 Norton Works gearbox


-Richard- For anyone who has an interest in Norton racing, this gearbox is a major part of the Bracebridge race shop history and it is known to have come from Joe Craig's extended family. This type of gearbox was first used for the new 1938 works race bikes which were a complete re-design with a new frame, telescopic forks, this gearbox and a revised engine.


When fitted in the complete machine it looks like a fairly ordinary racing "doll's head" gearbox, but there any similarity ends. Although the gear ratios are the same as the production racing gearbox, every major component differs from the production parts and the bottom fixing to the frame is completely different. Charlie Edwards, a post-war race mechanic, once told me that Joe Craig made sure all the important works racing components would not fit the production racing bikes.


The design of the standard "Doll's head" gearbox fixing does not secure it completely and they can move under heavy acceleration even with the adjuster tightened to counteract it. With the new frame design the bottom fixing was changed to a 4 bolt fixing through slotted plates brazed to the bottom frame rails, although strangely the top fixing remained the same.

The 1938 works racers were used for selected 1939 races as the Norton factory was too busy with military orders with an expected war on the horizon, and did not officially enter a works team. Post-war these bikes were used from 1947 to 1949 with modifications each year, but were largely the same as the 1938 machines. The gearboxes for these machines would have been virtually unchanged from 1938.


The factory had planned to use a production version of this gearbox for the 1940 range along with the un-damped telescopic forks, but due to the out-break of WW2 these modifications were cancelled and after the war Norton had the "Roadholder" forks and decided to re-design the gearbox for the 1950 range. The gearbox pictured is now owned by Norton enthusiast Jim in the U.K. and he has built it in to a very good replica of a 1938 works racer. Thanks to Barry for the pics of the gearbox!

Friday, 2 February 2018

Yet another 1907 TT Norton ...


-SG- In December 2016 and July 2017 we had postings about a collection of parts purporting to be the remains of a 1907 Norton, reportedly purchased by Sammy Miller for a substantial sum from someone in South America ... Yes, South America!

I can't say I am wholly surprised at the fact that this bike has now been recreated and for those who are interested in this period of Norton history, there is a short YouTube movie offering about it in which said Mr Miller states that it is a 1907 TT Norton.

So now we have two contenders for this title, and neither is genuine, in my view or the opinions of others who know much more about this period than I do.

That aside, all credit to Sammy's workshop chaps for getting it together and up and running!

Mike has sent in the following additional comments: "Bob and his team have done wonders with what they had to start with, front part of a veteran Rover frame and forks and a Peugeot engine. Sammy has earned his membership to the magic circle, hey presto, another Rem Fowler "Veteran Norton!""

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The 1936 Norton pricelist


-SG- Thanks to Ian, here's the 1936 pricelist - another awkward document to copy to the best advantage.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

1934 Model 55 log book


-JdK- Kevin contacted us; he has an old card log book for a 1934 Model 55. It's the original log book, engine no 2781 and frame no 52145, it has not been cancelled although its reg no JT727 does not show up on the DVLA website. It is for sale for anyone interested; please contact us when you wish to discuss with Kevin.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

1929 Model ES2 Norton


-JdK- Phil contributed this photo he got from his late great grandad. It's a lucky chap on an apparently brand new 1929 Model ES2 Norton.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

c1927 Model 16H Norton


-SG- Alastair - owner of a 1930 Model 18 which he is getting back on the road - has been in contact about a rather remarkable discovery ... here's what he says: "I have just returned from a holiday in Sri Lanka and discovered this old 16H (looks like '27/'28 - SG) tucked away under the stairs of a Buddhist temple in the centre of Colombo. It was almost completely dark hence the poor photo and I couldn’t get any closer to have a look for numbers etc. Next to it was a mid 50’s BSA of some sort. The temple was also full of old Rolls Royces, Austins, Armstrong Siddeleys and masses of bric-a-brac, stuffed elephants etc as well as the usual religious iconography! I believe all this stuff to be past offerings ... clearly Motorcycles (even Nortons) are not worthy of display! It is not for sale or ever would be, besides anything of 25 years old is considered an antique and very difficult to export without a license.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

The 1936 leaflet


-SG- Thanks to Ian, here's the 1936 leaflet - another awkward document to copy to the best advantage.  This is side one, with two overall views of each half and then each of them split into three for better legibility.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

The 1934 brochure


-SGAnother Roadholder brochure, courtesy of Ian. This one covers 1934 - all models still fitted with Sturmey Archer gearboxes but now with Norton's own three spring clutch. In addition, the Models 30 and 40 were fitted with the narrow forks and front wheels.