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No.25 October 2015 - Autumn (Interim) Update

This is just a brief update to give visibility of a couple of new parts (of which some customers have been waiting patiently) and changes that will soon be taking place.

RacingVincent Staff Changes In Process
Unfortunately, I have to report that Steve, who has managed the Mail Order and Fulfillment side of the business for the last 18 months will be leaving in the next few weeks. Steve also has another business of his own and as this business has just moved location, it is no longer possible for Steve to manage boths jobs. This is a really big blow to us, as I have become very reliant on Steve's help over the last 18 months and he has done a great job of organising the office and making the picking of orders more efficient - many thanks for this Steve.
Luckily, it looks like we may have a new member of staff starting soon, another old friend and experienced retail manager - Chris, who is currently working alongside Steve as time permits to get trained up. Like Steve, Chris is not a motorcycle enthusiast so please bear with him when he takes over - but as always will pass queries over to me. Again though, Chris also has some other work and family commitments, so we will see how this goes and hopefully be able to keep the business going without too much impact to our customers. E-Shop Upgrade - Now Complete
I am sure that if you have been to our online catalog recently, you will have noticed that it has had a bit of a facelift. Well, the background to this is that my webspace provider 1&1 (of whom I shall refrain from commenting on any further!) rather than upgrading the old E-shop functionality had moved to a new application provided by a different company that they had partnered with. Unfortunately - they did not bother putting a decent migration service in place for existing web shop customers like myself, the result of this being a nightmare last 6 months with me having to work out for myself why the new site in the background was not working and them constantly pulling the existing web site on me, causing myself, Steve and customers a lot of disruption - as they tried to force me over to the (non-working!) catalog
Anyway, to be fair they had employed a couple of good people to help out (as I am probably not the only business customer threatening to sue them!), and these were a great help in getting the new site's teething bugs sorted and I was able to publish it about 6 weeks ago. Overall, I actually think the E-Shop is much better than the old version and offers many benefits to customers over the old shop, both in how it looks and also how it works. I still have not quite got to grips with some of the new features yet, but please let me know what you think and if you spot any gremlins, as always I will try to resolve if I can

Best Wishes

Paul Norman

What’s New? – New Products and Updates - June 2015
Here is a summary of what is new since last Newsletter. Click on any photo to take you directly to that item on the Online Catalog:

Chain Oiler and link
A11/854M Norton Chain Oiler - Click on picture to take you to the Catalog listing for a 'Front Oiler'
Chain Oiler and link

R0570 A11/854M Norton 'Oilers' - Now Available
Anyway, to be fair they had employed a couple of good people to help out (as I am probably not the only business customer threatening to sue them!), and these wereell, they have been a long time in the making, but I am pleased to say that we have been able to compete the first batch of M30/Manx Norton primary/rear chain 'Oilers', as fitted to all racing 'wrapround' oil tanks on competition Norton's from the 1930's through to the last (DOHC) Gardengate Norton's.

As always, an original oil tap was used as the template to manufacture these from. Firstly, we had patterns made for casting the body (from bronze), and then the cast body and all other parts (mainly brass) were machined by my main UK CNC manufacturer, to their normal high standard. Although the original tap may have looked like the dial face and knurled dial/adjusting shaft was a single item, the face was actually a separate disc, sunk into an indented knurled dial/shaft which had very unusual (and difficult to replicate!) milled slots underneath, allowing a sprung loaded plunger to act upon those slots, creating an ‘indexable’ dial rotation.
For the main dial and shaft the original construction has been followed exactly (unlike the only other pattern type I have ever seen made of this oiler - where the dial/face was made in one piece) and the disc face was lasercut in stainless steel, then laser etched with the pattern scanned from the original. Finally there is a small stainless steel adjustable indicator needle that can be set to the ideal 'open' position of your choice - again a lasercut copy of the original. Once assembly was complete all parts were sent away for dull nickel plating, which was the original finish for these oil taps. 

I hope you will agree, that the finished article does look rather nice and is pretty much as it would have looked when sold new in the 1930’s. In addition, each tap is sold complete with the lower oil pipe and ferrule already fitted, with the size and shape of the items listed in the 1948 Spare Parts Catalog  for that years Manx Norton with both front and rear oiler pipes beings offered (the rear oiler pipe was curved round while the front was vertical).  They come complete with vulcanised fibre washers and are ready to fit to your bike I will not bother to go through the fully process of manufacturing these items, save to say there were lots of operations and very labour intensive!, so apologies they are not cheap .  .. but hopefully they are as close as you are likely to get to this iconic and very difficult to find part

Price: £145.00 Each (with either straight or curved pipe fitted)


Chain Oiler
A11/854M This photo shows a rear oiler on the left and a front oiler on the right


Front Oiler
Front Oiler: Here you can see a front Oiler with straight pipe, fitted to a Gardengate Manx wrapround oil tank

Manx Tank
Another shot of both front and oiler fitted to Manx Wrapround tank

Castings Before plating
Picture of bronze castings after machining and with the hollow shaft for holding the spring plunger soldered in - a time consuming task, but the original was manufactured in the same way

Parts after plating
First batch of oilers back from the platers (dull nickel plating is difficult now in modern world of health and safety - I have to send them to a plater in the south of the UK) and awaiting final operations before assembly


This picture shows the individual parts before soldering and assembly. The plungers, springs, seal and fibre washer are not shown. The last two items can also be purchased seperately for those that need replacements for their original oilers (Petrol Tank section of catalog)
Bevel Castings
0001 A11M/768 and 0002 A11M/752 Bevel Castings in Magnesium and Aluminium are now back in stock

0001 A11M/768 and 0002 A11M/752 Bottom and Top Magnesium Bevel Castings - with bronze bearings fitted
(New Batch in Stock)
I am pleased to report that both magnesium and alloy top/bottom SOHC bevel castings are now back in stock.
If I say so myself they look really nice, machined by my original machinist (who had classic Aston Martin and Rolls Royce cylinder heads being machined on the mill next to mine while I was there) and they are to his normal very high standard. The castings come complete with the distinctive phospher bronze bearings already fitted and pinned and all oilways are machined as per the original.
Castings are available both in chromated magnesium (as shown here) or in polished aluminium. Click on photo on the left to take you to the catalog listing for these items

Magnesium Price: £310 each

Aluminium Price: £290 each
(Both types with plain bearing already fitted and honed)

Norton Kneepads
0394_HD Norton Kneepads with metal backing

0394HD: Norton Petrol Tank Kneepads - Metal Backing
These are high quality (moulded around metal backing) petrol tank kneepads, with the Norton logo embossed in them are of the type fitted to Norton International's through the 1930's and into the early 1950's. This was also the type fitted to most SV and OHV model petrol tanks through the 1930's and until approximately 1953. You have probably already looked at the earlier item listing for other version of these that we do - Item 0394 and seen that the price for that type are totally different to this item . . .well that is beause this type are of a totally different quality - the rubber is moulded around steel backings, just as the original Norton manufactured type were. Additionally, because of the steel backing they also hold a slight curve to their back face meaning they curve around the tank exactly as per the original (I would expect the cheaper type would as well, but may need some type of Copydex to keep them that way), Finally, the moulding looks very good - in short, they are the closest to the original kneepads I have ever seen, but I am afraid the price reflects these. Worth the investment for that final touch to your restoration

Price: £75.00 Pair

Back In Stock


Items Recently Back In Stock:

- Left Hand Camshaft Nuts
- Chromed Gearbox Pointers and Brake Arms
- Oil Pump Drive Pates
- Bevel Castings (see above)
- Petrol Pipe sets
- Rocker cork washers - Std size

Items Out of Stock but Progressing:
- Stainless gearbox end plate nuts (actually . . . came in today 16/10, but not checked them yet . . . expect them to be available in next week)
- Bevel Chamber filter bolts
- Pressed stainless steel serrated wheel bearing covers
- Lots of other bits . . .and bobs!

Items To Manufacture Next:
- Valves - now running very low of many sizes, however, this needs a large investment . . . so sorry, may need to wait a while
- Magnesium ribbed outer timing covers - these are probably the next castings to have a new batch made - but again, needs funding first
- New and restocked items being made constantly

Chinpad Straps
:Left Hand Thread Camshaft Nuts back in stock
  Other Updates      

RacingVincent M30 Crankcase Progress:

As you can see from the picture on the right, we are getting much closer to completion of the first set of 500cc M30 (early pre-featherbed Manx type) magnesium crankcases. In the accompanying 'mock-up' photograph the crankcases are approximately 90% complete, with bevel platform now fully machined, magneto platform skimmed but without slots but the oilways still to be added.
The reason for the 'loose' assembly was that at the time the photo was taken we had a stand at Stanford Hall Founders Day rally and we thought this would make a nice display item (which it did - and received a lot of favourable attention I am pleased to say). It has now been stripped again and Rob is back finishing off the remaining tasks as his time permits. I am expecting to have them ready to start engine assembly over the winter period - as always about 6 months behind our intended date, but at least still progressing!

By the way, I hope you like the engine itself - it is intended as a 'test bed engine' to go into my 1938 Racing International, which will allow me to give the crankcases a really good thrash before we commence on a production run. It has been built to pre-war (approximate 36-37) 'semi-Works' specification - in so much that it is SOHC, but all main castings are M30 magnesium (as were used on most Works engines I believe). Alloy barrel, bi-metal head and magnesium cambox shell, backplate and rockers are all original, but most other parts of the engine are RacingVincent, including the crank assembly, which is still being manufactured, using Carillo conrod and new flywheels. It is seen here fitted with correct long neck Amal RN carb and will also be fitted with a spare BTH KD1 I have.
It is a big bore engine, employing 82mm high compression forged piston and will run on methanol.

Apart from looking rather nice (and effectively brand new!), I am hoping it will prove to be a potent piece of kit, and should provide a good baptism of fire for the crankcases. I will keep you informed of progress

New Pre-War Manx Engine
Pre-War M30 (Manx) engine: Loose assembly of newly built engine, using our RacingVincent M30 magnesium crankcases
New Pre-War Manx Engine
Royal Enfield Sunday Ride: Ideallic photo of Constellation at rest, with beautful Leicestershire countryside in background. I have had a few pleasent rides on the old Oilfield this year, but with lots of maintenance imbetween.
  Progress On My Own Bikes and Lack of Racing:
I started out this year intending to do at least a couple of VMCC BHR races, but as always, apathy and too many other things going on stopped me from actually doing it, hey ho. At least I did get round to dusting off the SOHC 38 race bike and getting it ready to race, so it should be ready to use next year - although I have will have to get rid of the even fatter gut I have developed in the last 12 months first!
Likewise, I did not get round to doing any other meetings - other than having a stand at Founders day - a very nice day showing the Vincent twin and making noise with the 38 bike (although I am embaressed to say I dropped it coming out of the arena on damp grass - what a prat!).

Progress on my own bike builds has also been pitifully slow, but the Vincent 500 Comet restoration is coming along nicely, albeit at a snails pace . . . now on its wheels again and about 85% complete. It would be nice to get it running for next Summer.

What has been nice is to get the occasional Sunday ride out on the Royal Enfield Constellation, a few of these being with my younger daughter who is an excellent passenger and seems to enjoy the odd trip out with her geriatric dad. The engine is much sweeter since fitting Interceptor head studs (article in progress) . . . but it has developed a nasty oil leak from the base of the right barrel - I suspect when retapping for bigger barrel studs, I might have bored into the inner crankcase . . . so as always, another stripdown imminent or I just keep re-distributing the oil wealth of the world around Leicesterhire!

Finally, I am still considering purchase of a 2-axis CNC lathe with live tooling, so we can start making more parts in-house, I have been out to look at a couple of really nice new machines, but space is a big issue, however looking to make a decision around Xmas. Although I advertised sale of the Ducati in the last newsletter, I am only now getting round to sorting it out, fitting new battery and MOT'ing tax'ing it, before putting it up for sale on a specialist Italian bike site . . . so if you might be interested, nows the time to call me!

Anyway, thats about it for now, speak again soon,
Two Vincent's together
Vincent Progress: First time outside since restoration started last year for the Vincent 500 Comet. This photograph taken a couple of weeks ago on my driveway but Vincent twin next to it. Starting to look like a proper Vincent again now and I am really looking forward to getting it on the road.

Collection of bikes on driveway
Other Bikes: Nice group photo taken on the same afternoon, as I had to move some of the other bikes out to get at the Vincent. It was an opportunity to dust down the Ducati, which I still have not got round to Mot'ing and taxing yet . . as I need to put it up for sale. Let me know if you are interested - if I say so myself, one of the nicest 916 examples going

Please Note: Because I am not VAT Registered, I do not show the VAT seperately. However, rest assured that I still have to pay VAT on all costs and pay tax on all sales! (currently UK VAT is at 20%), the Retail Price you see quoted above takes this into account. Therefore, please bear this in mind - and that many suppliers of parts quote Tax Exclusive, meaning their quoted prices still have 20% to add, while our price is the price you pay.

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