Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Vintage Nortons in the Southward Museum

-SG- This well appointed museum a few miles north of Wellington in New Zealand contains a good collection of cars of all ages and quite a number of bikes - some of which look a bit sad and are sitting on almost flat tyres. None the less in amongst them are a couple of Vintage Nortons - a CS1/ES2 machine now powered by a 1929 16H engine (Above: I wonder what happened to the original power unit) and a very tidy/older restoration 1926 Model 18. This - apart from a few minor details - seems quite correct and has matching frame/engine numbers. It was despatched in October 1926. Note the rear wheel is of the non detachable brake drum type rather than the detachable version which I would expect at this date.

Friday, 24 February 2012

1928 Model ES2 Norton

This 1928 ES2 featured before on these pages; it has been nicely restored in The Netherlands. A few extra gear levers were made (see below), contact us when you're interested in obtaining one.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pike's bike again.

-JdK- Last October we published an article about a Norton advertised as the 1926 Maudes Trophy winner ridden by Phil Pike. Tracing it's history revealed that the machine is a replica and the only 'Pike part' of the machine may be part of the frame. Which is fine, as it certainly is a nice machine but we think any prospective buyer should be aware about this part of the machine's history too.

The bike remained unsold at Bonhams and is now advertised on eBay. A carefully worded description is used and as with the Bonhams catalogue the suggestion remains that this machine is the genuine article. I contacted the vendor to ask for his opinion which is provided below.

"I have read the article and there are many items which could be disputed; however I cannot be bothered to argue. As far as I am concerned the bike is sound and good, how many restored bikes are original? Given the age and condition they are found in I expect it to be 10% original at best!! Certainly restored bikes usually have new wheels, rims, tank, forks, mudguards, toolboxes etc, etc., if this was not the case there would not be a thriving parts industry and there would be no need for Autojumbles! I have been as honest as I know in selling the bike, the article published does not know all of the facts and makes assumptions, if you have concerns then do not bid. Best regards, Dale"

Monday, 20 February 2012

1935 Model 40 Norton

This is Philippe's 1935 Model 40. Registration BOE 4 was issued in Birmingham; the photo above shows one of the previous owners with the bike. Philippe fitted the 10TT9 and replaced the Lucas magdyno for a BTH.

Friday, 17 February 2012

1935 Model 30 Norton

 Steve in New Zealand sent the following story and photos of his Norton.

This Norton was registered as BVW 67 on the 1st of January 1935. I believe it may have been registered in Colchester, Essex. I know nothing of its early history but it was acquired by Charlie Hawtin after the war from what I can gather in pieces as it had been dismantled and hidden away to avoid it being requisitioned for war service. I don't know if there was actually conscription set up for motorcycles at the time, but I could see some members the Home Guard taking great delight in roaring around the countryside on such a machine. I think the bike was rebuilt and running by 1950, the only modification I know about is that a new ex-WD Mag-Dyno was fitted complete with voltage regulator in place of the 3 brush set up, but the original switch is still in the headlamp. I can remember my father mentioning to me that Charlie had great difficultly in getting fork links to give the necessary trail to suit use with a sidecar.

Above: outside Wells Cathedral June 1953 - Charlie Hawtin, the owner of the International is on the right with me in the driving seat.

I can remember going on a trip about 1952 where my Father took Charlie to see Francis Beart who had his workshop just off the Guildford bypass, where he purchased a single Knocker Manx electron cambox which had been worked on by - and is stamped - F.L. Beart, because I suspect the original cambox was not very oil tight. I can remember that when they stripped it the cams were were blue, it was an obvious ''Did Not Finish".

The Norton with sidecar attached was in regular use until 1959 when it was laid up due to his wife could no longer passenger in the open sidecar due to an ear problem. The sidecar was removed and later sold. The Inter was stored even after Charlie passed away in 1965. In 1969 the widow sold up and moved to be nearer her family in North Yorkshire and I became guardian of the machine. It was used for a couple of summer seasons for Vintage events, then I ended up going to sea, so the bike was once more in storage.

I later moved to New Zealand and brought the Norton with me, again it was used for a couple of seasons for Vintage events.  Unfortunately because it still had sidecar links fitted to the forks, the road holding could get a little interesting unless the Andre damper was well screwed down. One day I ended up having a mother of all tank slappers and relegated the bike to the back of the shed, and after several moves, and now I have retired I thought I would have a go at getting the machine up and running again, this time hopefully I can locate the necessary bits to so that I too can experience the legendary Norton roadholding. The photos are of the bike as it is today, it certainly has not changed in any significant way since it was put together after the war. I fitted a new rear tyre in 1977 but the front tyre must be around 55 years old!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

1932 Model 40 Norton

This is Göran's Model 40 Norton. According to the works records it was despatched to Nyströms in Sweden on the 25th of February 1932. The records further read "Built by Joe Craig for 50% petrol, 25% Benzole and 25% alcohol". It participated in the Swedish GP in 1933. It was then sold to several non racing persons but after WWII when the racing started again the old pre war machines were the only bikes available and the old Norton did a very good job on races like hill climbs, dirt track, ice races and the TT.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

1931 Model 30 Norton

Philippe in France sent this photo of his Model 30 Norton. It was deliver to Mr Andre Breslau (Belgium) at the end of 1931.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Parts to swap - GONE

Göran from Sweden has these parts that he would like to swap. He needs a set of 1928 cams and a primary cover as depicted below, but for a model with the oilpump driven from the inlet cam. The cylinder is from a Model 19, number 57482 and will fit 1933 to 1936 engines. Contact us for Göran's email address.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

c1925 Model 25 Norton

Sent by Martin in the UK.

Enclosed old photo taken in 1963 of me on my 1925 Model 18 with registration RU1853. My Norton had a dry sump engine with some racing history and was sold in 1970. Still road taxed according to DVLA, has anyone seen her?

JdK: "Looking at the engine and what appears to be the distinctive wrap-around magneto bracket this could be a Model 25. It also has the correct Model 25 horizontally-split timing cover. Who knows more about this machine?"

Roger: "The registration dates to autumn 1925 so the dating is probably correct.  I think that the "magneto" is a magdyno because of the later addition of the electric lighting set.  Both the headlamp and rear lamp/number plate look out of place. The oil tank is too rounded for 1925 where the squarer type found on LPD1 was the normal shape for the dry sump engines used in the TT that year. Not sure about the engine, the barrel does look like the 1925 TT versions and is more the shape of the 588 version although the front engine mounting is for the 490."

Simon: "Although hardly worth mentioning  forks and front wheel are thirties."

Sunday, 5 February 2012

1921 Model 16H TT Nortons

-JdK- Several pics form the Keig Collection taken at the 1921 TT races, all of them featuring Model 16H Nortons. The first shows mr J.L. Mitchell who finished sixth in the Senior. The second photo shows D.M. "Douggie" Brown. The last pic shows mr W.H. Hadfield. Both Brown and Hadfield retired during the race, as did 12 other Nortons; not their best year.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Alpha big-end bearings for Norton

Contributed by Dennis; a few very useful pages from an Alpha Bearings catalogue on Norton big-end and small-end bearings.