Monday, 26 September 2016

Vintage Norton parts For Sale

-JdK- Heiko has some vintage Norton parts for sale; a crankcase, timing case and front wheel from 1928/29, CS1 barrel from 1928, 16H frame from 1925, rearhub and barrel with head from 1924/25 and a petrol and oiltank from 1928. The parts are located is East Germany. Contact Heiko directly via

Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Lord Norton

Charles Bowyer Adderley, 1st Baron Norton
(2 August 1814 – 28 March 1905)

-SG- Re-reading part of the late Mick Woollett's Norton History the other day, my eye caught on the vague suggestion made by an elderly member of the family that, perhaps, J L Norton's forebears were connected in some way with a member of the English nobility - whose title was Lord Norton.

Without wishing to diminish in any way James Norton's many achievements in his relatively short life, this is in fact not feasible, as the family name of Lord Norton was Adderley. The first Baron, Charles Bowyer Adderley, was created in 1878 and he took his title from his property, Norton-on-Moors, Staffordshire.  He died in 1905, in his early nineties. And to be absolutely clear - he had nothing to do with our favourite brand of motorcycles.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

CS type Sturmey Archer layshaft

-SG- Richard's 1929 Model 18 appeared recently on the site following a cam spindle breakage, happily now resolved. More recently, he reports that it has been jumping out of second gear and while it appears the second gear pair in use were not that good, Richard felt that the situation would be greatly improved by building up the worn area of the layshaft where the sliding gear contacts, using hard chrome. He advises - and we repeat this on the basis that we can't take responsibility if it doesn't work for you -.

-Richard- I didn't do any preparation of the "to be plated" area. But what is important is to carefully measure the ID on the sliding gear on the layshaft and the layshaft OD to make sure that not too much chrome is added. I added 0.002" to the surface (0.004" on the diameter) and this, at least in my case, was the limit. If too much is put on then it would be difficult to remove except by grinding. I needed to do some hand fettling afterwards using a small oilstone with the layshaft in the lathe, to clean up the extremities of the hard chrome, but the surface is otherwise being used without finish grinding. It is a good sliding and rotating fit without the "slop" that I had before.

I also fitted a pair of NOS second gears but  I think the layshaft hard chroming would have solved the "falling-out-of-gear" problem without new gears - I  only fitted those as I had a broken tooth on one. Anyway, it is now reinstalled in the bike and is working perfectly.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

1935 Model 50 Norton

-SG- We don't have that many postings for the 350 OHV models on the site and a good reason for that is that they did not sell that well!  I was therefore pleased to see what seemed to be a very original example at the recent West Kent Run in UK and here are a few of my 'usual standard' photos of it. It was shipped out in October 1935 and went to a buyer in Cradley Heath. In view of the despatch date it may perhaps have been a 1936 model. The tank top panel is shown in the despatch book entry as an original fitting.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Vintage pistons ...

-SG- ... with 5/8" dia. gudgeon pins, are now quite hard to find. Partially as a result of this and partially because there seems to be a belief that the early con. rods were feeble things, many restorers of pre '31 machines fit the later con. rods with 7/8" dia. pins so that there is a larger choice of pistons to choose from.

The standard piston for 490cc OHV engines in the twenties and 1930 was equivalent to Hepolite's type 2797 - see photo of  a New Old Stock one above - but these are hard to find and I don't know of any company making replicas. This one is SOLD for sale; contact us when interested and we'll forward your request to the seller.

However,a piston equivalent to the Hepolite piston 3478 (with 5/8" pin) was the standard wear for Moore CS1s/ES2s but can equally be used in pre-31 490cc OHV engines, albeit with the possible down-side of a higher compression ratio. So what you may say - just put a plate under the barrel but ... then you may encounter minor problems such as the push rods being a bit too short etc etc.

Photos are attached of a very worn example I still have of one of the 3478 Hepolite products and I heard recently that JP Pistons in Australia are making a replica of this type under their reference 0875.  Contact them direct for details, prices etc.

Friday, 9 September 2016

1935 Issue of 'The Roadholder'

Click this link for the PDF

-JdK- Greg in Australia kindly provided this copy of the 1935 issue of 'The Roadholder' which is much appreciated.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Service Series Models 18 and ES2

Click this link for the full text

-SG- In the early fifties Motor Cycling ran a 'Service Series' and here's one covering the OHV engines of the period.  It's worth pointing out that the dimensions of the rocker box bushes and the upper push rod ends apply back to 1930.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Mario Cavedini, 1922 Model 16H Norton

-JdK- Tino in Italy sent this cover photo from the March 1922 issue of "Lo Sport Illustrato". The rider (on the left) is Mario Cavedini, the Norton is a model 16H. Note the position of the oiltank, on top of the fueltank.

-SG- Mike has been in touch re the oil tank on this 1922 racing 16H.  He writes: 'Some years ago, when visiting Eric Biddle at the Squirrel Hotel in Bolton (Eric was an avid Norton collector), there was an example of a seemingly identical tank on a shelf above the bar, with a note on it, asking if anyone knew what it was off. A long time waiting for an answer!'

This leads me to the view that these were perhaps special tanks made for the works and the Italian Norton agents were able to obtain one. I don't recall what happened to Eric's collection - perhaps someone will tell us - but the Squirrel Hotel was demolished around 2010 and new houses built on the site.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Nortons in the 1920 TT

-SG- Here's a rather fuzzy shot which seems to be taken at the 1920 TT in Norton's island garage. There were quite a few Norton riders in the event and the works entries did quite well.  Here's a table of the details I have been able to gather so far - any extra information or corrections welcome! The man with the tyre is Norton's work manager Bill Hassall.

14 entries as stated in Norton's 1921 literature:

Works entries / position / riding no.
N H Brown / 8th / 58
J W Shaw / 7th / 57
G W Walker / 13th / 59
D M Brown / 2nd / 56
F C North / 10th / 63

Private owners / position / riding no.
N. Black / 11th / 79
V E Horsman / Retd / 62
A J C Lindsay / Retd / 75
V Olsson / Retd / 55
H Petty / Retd / 61
N C Sclater / 4th / 67
T Simister / Retd / 68
J Thomas / 14th / 76
A J Moffat / non-starter / 73

Postscript: Tim - who has already provided useful input re the first Best and Lloyd mechanical oil pumps - has given us more helpful  information re the 1920 TT. First, it was the first year when the full Mountain course was used.  Then he provided the missing numbers for Norton riders, now included above. He also advises that there was a further Norton rider - A J Moffat, as the 1921 Norton literature states - making fourteen in all in the list above. In my records Moffat is only shown as riding in the 1914 event and further delving shows that he damaged his bike in practice in 1920 and did not start as a result.  

Tim goes on to add: My interest in the 1920 TT is as follows: I own a 1919/20 Duzmo to TT spec. Bert le Vack entered a works Duzmo for the 1920 Senior no. 69 as did N C Sclater no. 67. I know both bikes were shipped to the Island. Le Vack has trouble in practice with his Duzmo and reported that he could not get the parts to keep it running. My guess is that they used parts from Sclater's bike or even the whole bike, so Le Vack could ride a Duzmo. Sclater switched to a 490 Norton, a far better move as Le Vack was reported to have been knocked off on the 5th lap by an unknown rider.  More likely he blew it up on the 5th lap! After the TT Le Vack severed all his ties with John Wallace, the maker of Duzmo. A pity, as Le Vack had won many speed events in 1920, before the TT, Duzmo mounted,  Kop Hill-climb being among them. Le Vack went on to greater things as we all know, with JAP, New Hudson and Motosacoche.

Friday, 2 September 2016

More on Len Stewart and the 1927 TT ...

-SG- I am very grateful to Roger who has provided some useful input on this subject, discussed in our posting of 5th June 2016. He has done valuable research into the run-up to the event and has sent me excerpts from 'Motor Cycle' of 27/6/27, which are attached above.  One of these states clearly that Stewart and Ernie Searle would be riding bikes with the new type of frame but fitted with the previous year's engine. So, as far as Stewart is concerned, not one of the OHC machines atall!  As Roger somewhat drily commented, had he been the first to ride an OHC Norton in the TT he would also have been the first to fall off one!

However, from the technical standpoint, it does not seem quite as 'cut and dried' as Motor Cycle's report implies. The 1926 engines, fitted to flat tank frames, had the magneto out the front, driven from the exhaust cam spindle, and the engine fitted to Stewart's bike has it in the 'behind the engine' position,  driven from the supplementary sprocket threaded on to the engine mainshaft,  behind the primary drive sprocket. This alone means the drive side mainshaft would have had to be of the 1927 TT type and rather than  changing the mainshaft (a tiresome job as I discovered for myself some years back). I would think it far more likely that the entire flywheel assembly would have been of the 1927 TT type. Then there's the timing cover - this is not of the '26 type but in appearance is the same as that fitted to the other 1927 works OHV TT bike  (Shaw's) of which I have a photo. In view of these points I suggest the 'bottom half' of the engine in Stewart's machine was more likely to have been the same as that used in Shaw's bike. What is of course indeterminate is whether these engines were fitted with the regular long dwell racing cams used in 1926 or the small base circle ones used on production ES2s when they came along in the Autumn of '27. These cams and followers are not interchangeable and will only fit timing chests designed to take them. Perhaps Shaw's engine had the later type and Stewart's/Searle's the earlier variety.  Who knows!

I specifically referred to the 'bottom half' of Stewart's engine above but what of the 'top half?' From what I can make out from the one and only photo I have come across, normal conical push-rod return springs are fitted and, going just by reflected light on the exhaust pipe, the head has a straight exhaust port - all as 1926.  The engine in Shaw's bike however has enclosed push rod return springs as fitted to production ES2s while the head/exhaust set-up is not shown in my photo so I do not know if the port was angled to the left (like the CS1s and production ES2s) or not.