Monday, 5 December 2016

New Models for 1928

-SG- Thanks again to Ian for the loan of this fold-out leaflet covering the introduction of the CS1 and ES2 models. The illustration of the latter (above) shows it with the wrong Best and Lloyd oil pump fitted - obviously a matter of little concern to the publicity chaps at Norton's as they went on using the same retouched photo for quite a while!  Worth noting too that the rear brake anchor set-up differs somewhat on production models to that is shown in this leaflet.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

1926-1933 Norton exhaust nuts - For sale

David in New Zealand has reproduced exhaust nuts for 1926 to 1933 Norton OHV and OHC engines. The parts books refer to these as "Exhaust Pipe Flange Locking Nuts". There are two sizes, both 14 threads per inch:

Exhaust Pipe 1 7/8"
Nominal Thread 2 5/32"

Exhaust Pipe 1 3/4"
Nominal Thread 2 1/16"

The exhaust nuts are fabricated to the original specification and are finished with black etch primer. The cost per nut is NZ $125​, plus postage. Contact David Warren

Friday, 2 December 2016

Those 8" front brakes

-SG- It is generally thought that works Nortons started using the 8" Enfield front brake with the machines used for the 1926 season. However, it seems, from a recent 1925 Ulster photo appearing in Classic Motorcycle (inconveniently spread over two pages - how annoying I find that and so easily remedied!) - that the late '25 Works bikes were also fitted with this brake. That it is not perhaps the best brake of its time is open to discussion but I guess it was a good deal better than the puny 6" affair used on the works bikes earlier in the '25 season.

By chance I was sent a photo (above) a few years back showing a pair of 1925 works bikes, with Bennett and Craig aboard. It was perhaps at an event in France although Bennett's bike has no registration number plate on it and I am told this was compulsory for road racing events in France held on public roads. Be that as it may, it shows very clearly that Craig's bike has the 8 inch brake while Bennett's has the special 6 inch version, with leading brake arm, not seen on production Nortons of the period.

PS; Thanks to Roger, who has been in touch about this posting.  He tells me the photo was taken at Montlhery (the outside of the banking is in the background.)  He goes on to advise that road number plates were not needed for events at Montlhery as the circuit was, of course, not a public road. 

Monday, 28 November 2016

Maudes Trophy

-SG- In September we had a posting about Norton's  mid-twenties successes in the Maudes Trophy. Ian has kindly loaned a photo of the outfit used in their 1924 attempt, showing Phil Pike on the bike (a Big Four), and Arthur Bourne in the chair as the official ACU Observer. Like a lot of Norton's own publicity photos, this one was taken by Birmingham photographer F R Logan. Wonder if his negatives have survived ... Arthur Bourne went on to become Editor of Motor Cycle and his memoirs should have been published earlier this month. West Country dealer Phil Pike sadly died as a result of an air raid during WW2.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

George's notes on the assembly of Cammy engines

Click this link for a manual
on how to rebuild this engine

-JdK- This text was sent to me by George Cohen in 2011, when discussing the reassembly of my 1931 CS1 engine. George asked me not to share these words as they would one day be part of a manual. Alas, George died in 2016 and – as far as I know – never completed the manual. I found these notes very useful and decided to clean up the text and share it after all, assuming George would not have minded given the circumstances. Be aware this manual is far from complete and missing text is indicated by (…).

Friday, 25 November 2016

The 1922 Norton brochure

-SG- Here's another brochure from Ian's collection - this time for 1922 - many thanks!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The 1924 Norton brochure

-SG- Herewith a copy of the 1924 Norton brochure, provided by Ian. Follow this link for the complete booklet

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Heavy Weight Webb Girder Forks - For sale

Click this link for all photo's

-SG- David Warren is now able to supply heavyweight Webbs as fitted to CS1, ES2 and Model 25s; please find David's word below. Click this link for a full set of photo's.

-David- H. C. Webb & Co Ltd produced Heavy Weight Girder Forks circa 1926 to 1932. In the 1930 advertising material the company stated “There are many spring Forks available, but the “Webb” Spring Fork is “Something Different” – “Something Superior.”"

Favoured by many motorcycle manufacturers the Webb Fork incorporated the Bentley and Draper Stabiliser as part of its construction, affording damper pressure in exact accordance with that applied to the adjusters, and these being independent of the “necessary sideways adjustment of the fork links.”


The project to reproduce authentic replica Heavy Weight Webb Forks started in 2014. Three factors gave rise to the impetus to recreate Webb Forks:

  1. The observation that there were many vintage motorcycle restoration projects that had stalled for the lack of the HW Webb Forks, or that had to use incorrect forks
  2. Seeing the difficulty many restorers had in bring back to safe operation badly damaged forks
  3. The engineering challenge…

Research and development of the necessary tooling, jigs, and castings followed extensive analysis of numerous sets of Webb forks. The result is authentic Heavy Weight Webb Forks that match or exceed the original manufacturer’s specifications. Click this link for the photo's.

Each set of Forks comprises some 11 castings, 58 individual parts, and requires over 200 fabrication operations. Of note are the correctly rotary swaged fork tubes. These are made from 1” OD, 1/16” wall tube. Two dies-sets taper the tubes from 1” in the centre to 5/8” at either end. The rotary swaging results in a doubling of the tube wall thickness at both ends of the tubes.

All castings are bright annealed and inspected for any foundry flaws. Following machining the castings are assembled with the fork tubes in a rigid welding jig, and brazed using high silver content filler rods. Sample inspection of the completed joints shows complete wetting of the sockets and tubes, confirming the correct welding temperature and excellent capillary flow of the filler material.

Norton CS1, ES2, and Model 25 forks were supplied as standard with a Webb central steering column damper, where the adjustment of the friction pressure was made by way of a knurled Bakelite knob on top of the column. The replica forks are supplied with the Webb damper.

Period racing photos of the CS1 mostly show an Andre steering damper. If an Andre was fitted it says so in the records and usually indicates it was non-standard. The forks can be supplied ready for fitting an Andre damper if required.

For further information and pricing contact:

David Warren Motorcycle Engineering,
Warkworth, New Zealand
+64 21 654 322

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Freddie Frith, 1937

-SG- Here's a good shot of Frith and his 1937 Junior TT mount - he finished second to Jimmy Guthrie. The detachable silencer insert in the megaphone was a nod to the authorities for legal riding on open roads! The DOHC engine and massive front brake are clearly to be seen.

... and here's the great man in action in the 1937 Junior TT at Quarter Bridge on - I assume -  the same machine!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Norton incident at Cadwell Park 1946

-JdK- Sent by Dennis. The comment on the back of this photo is: "Cadwell Park, 08.06.1946, trouble at the hairpin. Rickie Goodman 348 Norton gets into difficulties, while another rider has trouble avoiding him"