They have been a long time coming, but I have finally managed to get the latest collection of new parts up for sale on the Online Catalog and get a Newsletter out showing what is available - Newsletter 16, if you have not already seen it then the link is here: Newsletter 16
I will not bother going through all the detail again, save to say that hopefully you can see there is a broad cross section of new stuff available, some of these items being very specific to Norton singles, and quite hard to find - a good example being the conical wheel covers. It is always being able to produce these special parts that pleases me most, to be able to reproduce the items we are all struggling to find and even at autojumbles just dont seem to be out there any more!
Some Long Term Parts Completed - At Last!
Quite a few customers have been asking me about Norton girder fork Parrallel Spring sets, as these have been in progress for a few months now, since I had a batch of the special springs manufactured last year, and was now waiting for the special clevis's and spring holders that go to make the complete set.
Parrallel Spring Sets:
These parallel springs were as fitted to some competition Norton Internationals (and early Manx's) pre-war. They are a very distinctive feature of Cammy Nortons - although I do not believe they were actually ever listed as standard fitment. Rather, I think they were employed originally by the Works Norton team, and then followed through to the customer racing bikes that employed the competition Norton Girders, that did not use the side friction damper. Therefore, they were not normally fitted to roadgoing (side dampered) forks - I don't think anyone would notice this though and I would not blame you for wanting to fit them!
The reason for the long delay is that I wanted them to be made as per original, which means they have to be 'handed' (left hand thread and right hand thread top and bottom) which allows them to adjust the height by just loosening the locknuts and revolving the spring, rather than having to take one end off the forks to adjust them, like other replica's I have seen in the past. This has meant us having to invest in special tooling to make them - but the finished results are better for doing it.
. . . And Still In Progress
1. Exhaust Valve Lifter Arms
In response to a lot of recent demand for SOHC Exhaust Valve Lifter mechanism's, I have now had the special eccentric pin made, and am now in progress of having the special cast 'arm' made. This arm was made in a few similar guises - but if I have got my original patterns right, I have replicated the correct one for SOHC cambox's which has the added bonus of also being similar to the one used to actuate the clutch worm on the Norton gearbox. Expect the arms to be available in the next 4 - 6 weeks
2. Primary Chain Oil Taps
I am making a batch of the distinctive 'oilers' fitted to competition Norton oil tanks. These will be almost identical to the originals - more complex to make than they look! Expect another six months
3. Oldham Couplings
These have been on the back burner for about 2 years now. I have had trial batch's made twice, but because of other more in demand items, they were pushed down the queue - however, they are now near the top again! Again, expect later this year
4. Bevel Gears
I am having quotes done for complete Bevel Gear sets (top and bottom bevels). They are going to be extremely expensive though, due to the cost and there being a minimum number I must commit to - maybe prohibitively expensive for me at the moment. Email me if you are interested in paying a deposit up front for a set - this might be the only way I can afford to commision a batch
PC and E-Mail Issues
The last few months have been a bit manic for me, and this was not helped any when a few weeks ago, right at my most busy period I managed to get my PC corrupted, resulting in not even being able to boot it up . . . bugger.
As all of my website development, engineering drawings, and everything related to the Norton parts production is done from this laptop, it was quite a serious issue! Luckily, I have everything regularly backed up and secure, but it eventually took me two weeks to get the PC rebuilt and all the main programs back working again . . . . bloody technology - it is only when it goes belly up, that you realise how dependent you are on it in this modern world!
Unfortunately, a knock on from this is that I lost my email for a couple of weeks, and when I got it back a number of my 'folders' had not restored properly. The upshot being that there is a period of about 6 weeks between June - July where I have not responded to all customer emails . . . mainly queries.
If you think you may be one of these people, please do not take offence - it was not intentional. If you still have not had your email answered, please just resend it to me.
I would also offer my normal disclaimer, that although I try to be as prompt as I can, I am now getting so many emails that I just cannot seem to answer them all - therefore, I hope you will understand that I always prioritise those customers who have orders in progress etc - my apologies if this means on occasion I might miss other emails, but working full time as well, I only have so many hours available for email.
New Website Design!
If you are reading this, then I think it is fair to assume that you are seeing our new websdesign format - in which case I hope you like it!
I have chosen a relatively simplistic format to start with, but the really important thing is - behind the scenes it is written in an entirely different way - using the latest web design standards - HTML5 and CSS3 and also employing JQuery (which gives access to many clever utilities) . . . although only in small quantities at the moment.
However, if you have a search around the website you will find links to the older parts of the website - and my apologies in advance if it does not totally hold together, but as always, I have only had limited time to work on it - and I have decided it is more important to get something up and running, so I at least have a platform for communicating out new products and progress, rather than spending huge amounts of time ensuring something as robust and professional as one of the big commercial sites - I hope (in the true spirit of an enthuasiast's forum) that you would agree with this philosophy.
10th Anniversary of RacingVincent
It seems hard to believe, but this summer marks the 10th Anniversary of RacingVincent being on the internet. I only realised it myself when I was writing a new article around the Vincent and came to check the original Homepage last week.
To mark this 10th anniversary I have written a short article on the history of the site and a little bit about my own (as an enthusiastic amateur) observations on how website development and technology is now going.
To read the article take this link:
I have quite a few ideas for new articles and webpages lined up, but one I am thinking about is a webpage to show off customer Nortons. If you are interested, send me your Norton photo and a few details and I will see what I can do. And by the way - for all those of you who have already sent me photos over the years - let me know if you would like them published - I will never show any photos without your permission first.
Magnesium Crankcases - Further Update
I feel I have been giving out updates on how these are progressing for the last 12 months, without actually having anything new to say!
The reason for the slow progress is that for a long period I was finding it very difficult to find an engineering company that I know and trust that wanted to take the job on - the main reason being that many of them are already very busy and the unknown setup time on this kind of job can be extremely risky for any small company (and myself for that matter!). Having taken it to 4 different companies, they all either declined or the quote was just not tenable - I could have bought a good complete Inter engine for cost of jigs and first machining for one of the quotes!
However, the good news is that we are now progressing again, and in a way that I am very pleased about - as it ihas given me the opportunity to work with my very first childhood mate - Bob Norton (yes I kid you not - Norton!). Bob and I lived on the same road as children, we first met when I was just 3 years of age(!) and pretty much grew up together. Later when we were teenagers we also went motorcycling together, Rob on Triumph's and later a Norton Commando and myself on a BSA Starfire and later a Norton ES2 and Ducati 900ss.
Rob has been an engineer all his working life and has worked in the aircraft industry, for much of this, machining exotic parts for helicopters, Eurofighter etc. Like me, he has also a view to maybe running his own business one day, and with this in mind is just in the process of setting up his own CNC machine at weekends for taking on part time work, with myself being his first customer. We are taking this quite slowly at first, both doing it when we have time, but I am hoping this will turn out to be a mutually beneficial and rewarding relationship for the both of us.
Taken a couple of weeks ago, this photo shows Rob with his Bridgeport CNC vertical miller making trial cuts on the timing side SOHC magnesium crankcase. You can just make out the first of many alloy jigs sat underneath the crankcase
. . . and finally
Web SiteI am sure you already know this, but just a reminder that this website is put together by me in my spare time. If you find a recent link that is not working, it might mean I have not finished writing it yet . . . in which case my apologies and just email me if you want to check: firstname.lastname@example.org
Norton Parts - Mail Order SalesJust a note to all our customers, to remind you that if you need to query an order in progress, or just to query new parts, it is normally safer to email Martin at : email@example.com
Query EmailsAnd finally just to re-iterate, in the last year I have been struggling to answer all the query emails I get sent (please ber in mind that as well as running this website and the Norton SOHC parts business, I also work full time, meaning for much of the week I am working away). Therefore, please do not be offended if occasionally you do not get a reply - it probably just means I have not had enough time. If you need to, please just email again.
Paul Norman. August 2012