RacingNorton Newsletter No.35 : Autumn 2021
Hi everyone, we hope you are all well - and having the opportunity to get some rides in this year, as although Covid is still with us, at least we are starting to return to a more normal world, with many countries starting to lessen restrictions and many pre-Covid activities now starting again.
And before moving off the 'Covid' subject - I for one would like to thank all the Health authoriities and any of the public services that have kept running and providing help all though the dififcult last 18 months. We are lucky to live in the UK - with an excellent health service (NHS) . .. and all in our family have now had double Covid immunisation jabs, fo which we are grateful.
What Is In This Quarterly Newsletter?
Well - when I first started this newsletter back in September, there were only a few updates, but as always – I have got distracted with the other day to day manufacturing, and other newly manufactured parts, or big re-stocks have come in, so as with last time – I have decided to just stop adding to this newsletter and send it out as it is at the end of October.
There are a few nice trinkets – I particularly like the original style Norton Clutch Cable adjusters – which have recently come back from nickel plating (over brass) and look quite pretty. Also, I am pleased to have finally got the first batch of pre-war style rubber sheathed rev clock and speedo cables out – I had been working on the process for making these for some time.
However, as well as this Newsletter – I hope to quickly follow it up with updates on a number of other parts which are almost ready – i.e. a new batch of Omega forged pistons (including a small batch of higher comp ES2 pistons), throttle slides to fit Amal RN, TT and GP5 carbs and a few other trinkets close to completion.
It is also worth saying again, that we are continuing to add to our range of parts for the earlier Norton Single models - i.e for the 1920's and early '30's models - not just Walter Moore CS1, but earlier OHV and SV models as well. This will be a 'slow burn' process, so dont expect new parts every Newsletter - but if any engine parts you are particularly looking for, for these earlier models - then email as normal on our firstname.lastname@example.org email
And Now The Bad News - But I Guess You Already Know This . . .
I am sure it will be no surprise for anyone in this post Covid epidemic world to know that - as well as the terrible human impact (and I have friends who have still recently contracted Covid - so it has not gone away yet) - it is also having a far reaching economic impact as well.
Like all small businesses this is affecting us as well - we still have suppliers who cannot supply certain parts, and some that are just not able to invest in re-stocks at all at the moment.
But I think the biggest impact for us as manufacturers is that the cost of raw materials and engineering services has risen a great deal in the last 2 years.
We are still continuing to invest as much as we can - and currently we are only increasing prices when we are having to reflect the direct impact of those additional costs . . . but there will be some items going forward it may just not be economical to make again, sorry.
For the moment though - I hope you will understand, that although some of our prices are not as cheap as buying a pack of metric screws from your local B&Q - we have a very different business model to them - and I can only re-iterate, that although glad to still have a business - it has not been easy and although we are continually making new parts and re-stocking - I hope you will understand when you see some re-stocks are taking far longer than you would like - there is only so much money I can invest, or hours in the day!
1938 Racing Inter Gets A Clean Down
After almost 3 years since I last ran it - I decided to get the Racing Inter out from under its covers a few weeks ago. It was very dusty and Castrol R from its last meeting was beginning to turn to a hard varnish on its cycle parts - but after a week of being sprayed in fresh Duck Oil, then an afternoon cleaning it down - it looks a lot better.
I now need to get a new 12v battery for the Solo bike rollers - and get it started again (along wtih the 55 doubleknocker).. I will probably take the plugs out of both and just run them on the rollers wtih fresh oil for a few minutes first though - I will also report shortly on how starting the Douglas goes - as this is also now imminent
Courier and Postage Update
Approximately 3 years ago - after feedback from our customers, we updated our postage service to include a reliable courier, alongside our Royal Mail service, which some customers (particularly non-UK customers) thought was expensive. Therefore, we chose one of the best known and most reliable couriers in the UK, who we have been using since, alongside the existing Royal Mail service.
However, in recent times we have been seeing an increase in the number of packages that are being delayed – and in a few cases, non-UK parcels going missing, particularly outside the UK – which has caused both Steph and I to spend ever increasing amounts of time chasing the courier for updates (or in a couple of worst case scenarios – having to place claims) - as well as causing annoyance and worry to the customer.
We are not sure what the root cause of these issues are – but no doubt Covid and Brexxit have not helped matters – so please can we reassure our customers, we do everything we can ourselves to make sure parcels get to our customers as safely and cost effectively as possible – but in future we are erring towards putting more non-UK packages back on to the Royal Mail service – they may be slightly more expensive, but they have proven the more reliable in these difficult times.
It occurred to me, that I had not written any new articles in a while (those that used to appear on our RacingVincent site) - so over the coming 3 months I am hoping to do at least two or 3 of those - and even if they are not available by the time I publish this article - I will try to get them ouit before Xmas.
Particularly, I will try and do a few more detailing the inner gubbins and variances of different Norton Single models, with some photos from my own parts stock - as those seem to be the ones that people ask for most - but if you have any particular requests - let me know
So thats about it from me for now, I hope you find something of interest to you in the parts shown below, and thanks as always for your custom and interest,
Paul (and Steph) Norman
1920's - Early 1930's Norton Singles Valve Gear Update
Walter Moore CS1 (and 1920's OHV engines) Valve Spring Cups and Valve Springs (as well as valve and cotters)
In the last Newsletter, I gave a preview of these 'conical type' valve spring cups, which werre of the distinctive type fitted to 1920's Walter Moore CS1 engines and 1920's OHV models. We now have both top and bottom cups complete and available as a pair (click on photo above). We also have two types of springs for the CS1/Model 18 and 1920s Model 19, as well as guides, valves (G&S), and collets - (which although they as listed for the later ES2 engine - are actually similar dimensions to earlier CS1/Mod18 type - email for further details.
More 1920's Engine Parts: See the seperate update further down the Newsletter - in Work in Progess section
0966 and o967: 1920's Type Valve Springs
. . . And just a reminder that to go with these late 1920's Conical valve cups - we can now offer two types of Valve springs - both of which were copied from original Norton patterns. Item 0966 are for 350cc/500cc CS1 and Model engines with coinical valve caps, while 0967 are copied from original 596cc OHV models using the same valve caps. The picture abvoe shows the different Norton Single Valve Springs we now offer
Early Type Valve Update
Although I gather many people with 1920's CS1 or OHV engines fit the later OHV/ES2 valves in their engines (which we already supply - Item 0678), it seems that original 1920's valve often had slightly different head diameters and stem lengths.
We are currently talking to some owners of 1920's engines, as well as our valve manufacturers - to try and identify the most common sises that were fitted. See the photo below - which shows a later ES2 valve on the left (from our manufacturer - G&S), with two early original Norton single valves on the right (note head stamped KE) - both showing signs of the early Tulip head design, with similar type drawings below
If you think you can help - because you have original dimensions or patterns for these 1920's - early 30's valves - I would be happy to hear from you at email@example.com
New Wheel and Gardengate Plunger Parts (all Norton models)
1038: Norton Wheel Bearing Retainer Ring (non-brake side)
This ring is fitted to most Norton wheels (both front and rear) on the non-brake side, they are threaded and screw up against the outer race of the wheel bearing (with a felt washer held captive on the inner face.
Because a special spanner is required to fit the round holes, they are normally badly chewed and difficult to remove and re-fit.
0388 - Norton Rear Brake Arm Spring - Chromed
This is a pretty chromed version of the spring that was fitted to most rear brake arms on Norton pressed steel brake plates, as shown in the photo.
This is ot actually a new item - but we have just had a new batch made
Note: original items are often rusty, and hevy polishing them when rechroming can 'thin' the spring where it coils. As these springs are manufacutred new for us - chroming does not have this issue
1055 - Stainless Steel Abutted Spokes for Conical (DOHC) type Hub to 19" Alloy Rim - Spoke Sets
We already sell most spoke sets for Norton single models, but we can now also supply spoke sets for the Conical type rear hub (i.e. as fitted to 1950 Gardengate Manx models and later Featherbed Manx models), going to an alloy 19" rim - which is the normal rim sie for later Manx models.
Note - these spokes are the correct angled/abutted type for the original Norton conical hubs, and only available in Stainless Steel (so a bit more expensive than our other spoke sets)
1052: 19" Black Rim WM2 on 7" or 8" Norton front wheel
We have expanded our range of black coated stee rims to include a 19" WM2 rim with spoke offset for single sided hubs.
We already sell a similar 21" front rim (as well as a 19" WM2 to take the pre-war Cotton Reel rear/front type hub) - but this will allow those with single sided hubs wanting to use a 19" tyre to also choose a black rim
0170 - Girder Fork Front Mudgard Bracket
Not a new item, but one that had been out of stock for some time - we recently made a new batch of these distinctive girder fork mudguard brackets (not my favourite thing to make!)
Gardengate Rear Plunger and Earlier Tele Fork Parts (New Since Last Newsletter)
We are continuing to add to our list of Norton chassis parts by adding to the parts available for the rear plunger assemblies on Norton (Gardengate) Plunger frames.
Some customers may remember that last year we introduced replacement rear plunger sprng sets and stainless steel cover sets for the plunger units, and we are continuing to manufacture the different fittings used on the plunger assemblies
1034: Rear Plunger Washers in Stainless Steel (Pair)
Looking similar to the dished washers fitted to Norton petrol tanks - the rear plunger dished washer is actually bigger and of thicker gauge - to take the force of pulling back the rear wheel. These are CNC manufactured in stainless steel - so do not rust and much improve the appearance in this area (the adjuster plate/bolt shown below are original NOS Norton items)
1014: Plunger Bottom Bolts and Extra Thick Washers( Set)
Like most of the parts on the Norton plunger suspension - the bottom bolt assemblies look similar to other engine bolts - but in fact are specific to this area. The photo above shows an original Norton plunger bolt and washer in the top right - and our CNC manufacuterd versions next to them, and a pair fitted to an original Norton plunger chassis below.
Both washer/spacer and the bolt were of extra heavy design, to allow the plunger shaft to be pulled down into the taper on the bottom plunger lug.
Ours follow the original Norton design exactly - but are in stainless steel
1042: Rear Plunger Adjuster Assemblies - Complete Sets
In the last Newsletter we showed a first batch of the distinctively shaped rear chain adjustement plates fitted to Norton Gardengate models, - which were just going off for dull nickel plating.
These are now back from the platers (looking very pretty), and to go with them we have manufactured the correct 'square head' adjuster bolts - so designed by Norton's so they would not rotate when the adjuster nuts were turned - but also had very shallow heads, so as to allow the most possible spindle movement in the cast plunger slot.
We have even made the correct 'dual diameter hex' nuts originally fitted - with the lock nut being of a lesser spanner sise than the bigger adjuster nut. With our plunger dished washers (also sold seperately above), these are now available here as a full assembly kit, or all parts also sold seperately
1039: Plunger Spindle Top Plugs (Pair)
And finally for the Gardengate Plunger fittings - we have also made a batch of the unusual alloy plugs that were fitted into the top of the plunger spindles. I have seen a couple of different types of these plugs - but the most normal type seems to be an alloy plug, with a radiused head - although in many cases these have been badly beaten about (or broken off), by previous owners attempts to remove or re-fit seized spindles.
FYI - the picture below shows what original Norton spindles look like with no plugs fitted - although the spindle on the left seems to have the remains of an original plug left in it. As far as I can tell - these were not threaded, and the plugs look to have been made with a slight taper shaft so they could be tapped in with a soft headed malllet.
1043: Rear Plunger Chain Aduster Bolt/Nut Set
Appreciating that for many Gardengate plunger owners - the fabricated press steel wheel holder and dished washer may still be in good condition - we can also offer just the original square headed bolts - and special nuts as a set on their own.
As with the complete sets above - the bolts are machined from solid 0.750" stainless bar - and then the square head is milled seperately (as this is now a discontinued imperial size), and the pattern is copied exactly from a 'New Old Stock original Norton pattern, as are the stainless nuts - with the locknut being a smaller diameter hex than the adjuster nuts
1044: Rear Plunger Wheel Adjuster - Nut Set
And finally for the Gardengate Plunger fittings - for those plunger owners where the adjuster mechanisms are still in good condition - but the nuts are second hand or rounded - we can provide the stainless steel nut set on its own - where the main adjuster nuts are specific to this fitting (deeper than standard nuts and double chamfered), and the locknuts are the same thread, but on a smaller hex spanner size - as per originals
1040: Tele Fork - Manx type Front Brake Plate Pin
I recently had to make a Manx type brake pin for one of my Gardengate Manx projects - and as I also had a friend that needed one, I decided to make a small batch on the CNC. They are in stainless steel and come with the final 'peg milling' still to do (as that can only be done once the peg is mounted and locked on the alloy slider) - but otherwise are as per originals. Click on the photo above to take you to the listing where you can find more information - but only purchase if you have a workshop and are comfortable to fit one of these yourself
New Norton Gearbox Parts (since our last Newsletter)
0998 - Upright Norton Gearbox Filler Plugs (3 types)
In the last Newsletter we showed various new fastenings we had introduced for Norton upright and laydown gearboxs - but have added to this since then, by also introducting these stainless steel (CNC manufactured) filler plugs, as fitted to all Norton upright gearbox types from approx approximately 1933 - 1951.
They are offered in 3 variations - standard road going type (top left in upper photo), the type normally fitted to Racing Inters and Manx Nortons - drilled for lockwire, and finally a lightened version below - if you want to add a bit of bling to your competition bike (and actually - these were a heavy nut, so drilling of these on Manx Nortons was originally common ). Each comes as per original in dimensions, but with polished stainless heads
0902 and 0903 - Conical Type Norton Clutch Cable Adjuster
Bolt and Locknuts - Normal and 'Racing' Type
These are a very pretty and useful reproduction of the original 'conical' type clutch cable adjuster and locknut, as were fitted to most 'Upright' and 'Laydown' type Norton gearbox clutch cables - and they much improve the ability to quickly adjust the clutch lever tension.
An original Norton adjuster and locknut were used as the pattern - and as per the original items, they are manufactured in brass - then nickel plated.
At the same time as making the original pattern - I also decided to make a batch of 'reduced weight' versions (below) with 6 radial holes - not listed originally, but just the kind of thing messrs Beart and co would have done - and they add extra bling to an Inter or Manx!
Click on photos to see listings and more info for both
1051 - Norton Selector Plate And Quadrant Bronze Bushes
For some time customers have been asking me if we offer the bronze Selector Plate/Quadrant bushes that are fitted in the side of both Upright and later Laydown Norton gearbox's - as they are a well known wear point, and affect the gearchanging adversely when worn
So I am pleased to report we have now made a batch of these in Phoshper Bronze, and I took some extra time when doing the CNC setup for them - to ensure that the tolerances as supplied, means that when pressed into the gearbox shell (whch should always be done witht the shell hot) - they should not require any additional honing or reaming.
And as part of that setup process - I also took plenty of photos of actually removing an old bearing from an original Upright gearbox, and fitting new bearings - which I have included to help customers, in the listing (as per the photograph of simple bearing removal mandrel below)
Item 1052 - Earlier Gearbox Bushes: As a footnote - at the same time as fitting these bearings into the standard 'upright' type Norton gearbox shell, I also pulled out an earlier gearbox shell that I have that was the forerunner of this type (either Sturmey Archer 4 speed, or the very first Norton type) - identifiable by having a plain layshaft bearing fitted in the shell and smaller 0.250" OD studs.
On first glance, the bush's for this earlier shell type look the same - but are actually slightly different . . . so a small batch of those have been made as well - see Item 1052 (or click on photo below to take you to that listing)
Coming Soon - Sturmey Archer Kickstart Springs/Covers
We are constantly looking to expand our range for the earlier Norton Single models, and that includes offering more of the 'consumable' parts that often wear or break for the mid 20's-early 30's models.
As part of that - with the help of customers who already own earlier models, and going through my own stock - I think we have been able to identify the 3 most commonly fitted Sturmey Archer kickstart springs fitted to Norton models from the mide 1920's - through to the early 1930's.
If you look at the photo above, you will see 3 different Sturmey Archer springs on the left - and then a fourth spring on the right (which is the standard spring from the Norton type box that followed (@1934- and we already offer). I am hoping the three springs on the left should be available some time around Xmas. In addition - we are also having some of the three types of kickstart spring covers shown made - but these are having to be machined from solid (not a pressing), so are not likely to be cheap.
For reference - below is a picture of a late 1920's CS1 (from a recent Bonhams auction that offered a large CS1 collection for sale - like many, I bid unsucessfully on some of these parts!) - which shows a gearbox of the type that the second spring on the left would have been fitted with
1053 - Late Sturmey Archer Gearbox Parts - Selector Fork Bushes and Future parts
At the same time as making selector camplate bushes for the 'standard' type Norton gearbox's, I also made a smaller batch of similar bushes for the earlier 4 speed Sturmey Archer gearbox shell - but please click on the photo of Item 1053 if intested in these, as they are not as straightforward a fit as the later bushes - at least, not if you have a similar gearbox shell to the one shown in the photos.
However, I was also asked by a customer recently - will I making the gearbox cover nuts for the earlier type gearbox's? - i.e. those identifiable by having fitted 0.250" diameter studs - well, yes I do have both the studs and nuts as fitted to the earlier Sturmey Archer type Norton gearbox's on my 'To Do' list of CNC parts - but although I have an original stud pattern (as shown in photo on the right) - I am still looking for a definitve original End Nut - to do a drawing from . . . if you think you have original nuts fitted to your gearbox - passing me photos and dimesnions will get you a good discount on the first set in stainless steel we make!
And by the way . . . as part of listing these, I thought it also making up the comparison photo below - to show gearbox shell differences between the 'standard' Norton gearbox shell, and what I believe is a later example of the Sturmey Archer 4 speed shell, fitted in approx 1932-34:
Rev Clock and Speedometer Cables - Original Pre-War Type 'Rubber Sheathed' Variety
If like me - you are one of those people that like to look at original period photos, and spot some of the original and rarer parts that you can never find on modern restored bikes - then you may have spotted that pre WWII, there were far less bikes fitted with rev clocks and speedometers as standard (I think the speedo only became a legal requirement on the road in 1935) - but those that did have them fitted often had cables that were rubber sheathed to protect them from the elements. Obviously - finding these original cables now is next to impossible - and those I have seen are normally perished and floppy (the old 'natural' rubber), so I decided to look at what would be needed to re-produce that original pre-war look.
I actuallly started experimenting with these about 2 years ago - but Covid and issues with supply made me put them on hold - but I am pleased to say that having 'bit the bullet' again 3 months ago - we are now able to offer the first small batch of cables - in two varieties: 1045 is the correct type (and length) of cable to fit those SOHC competition Norton's fitted with rev clocks on their timing cover. While 1046 is the type and length of cable that would have been fitted to most roadgoing models with their speedometer drive fitted to the front brake plate - wether it be on the left side or the right (i.e. Inter).
In both cases - we have taken as a starting point a good quality proprietary cable (from the same manufacturer as the post war type we already offer), we then take the fitting off one end to allow us to fit an oil resistent (modern) rubber sheathing. We then fit our own stainless steel ferrules on each end of the sheathing (CNC machined by us from solid stainless bar), before fitting a new CNC machined alloy endpiece back in place - so that under the sheathing is effectively a new moden type speedo/rev clock cable, while the sheathing is cosmetic only. It is a lot of effort to make these up - but i hope you will like the finished effect - and add to the originality of your pre-war bike . . . it is certainly the kind of thing to get commented on in the pub car park!
1045: Pre-War Rubber Sheathed Rev Clock Cable
This rubber sheathed cable is similar to those seen fitted to those pre-war (Manx Grand Prix spe'd) competition bikes (i.e. M30/ M40 and a few roadgoing Inters - if requested, as an optional extra)
Never common - but the listing does show a couple of genuine 1930's race bikes with this type of cable fitted. The length of these are an inch or so longer than the normal length of cable used on postwar Manx/Inter models, to account for the rubber sheathing, with more gradual curves
1046: Pre-War (Front wheel) Rubbers sheathed Speedometer Cable
Similar to the Rev Clock Cables on the left - this cable has the rubber sheathing often fitted to pre-WWII models, wiht the speedometer fitted to the front wheel, as per the accompanying photos. As well as fitting most Norton left brake sided or right brake sided (i.e. Inter/M30/M40), these speedo cables might fit other pre-war marques with girder forks and front mounted speedo drives.
We may also be able other lengths of speedo/rev clock cables to order
1049 - Pre-Featherbed Rear Wheel Drive Speedo Cable
At the same time as making the above - we have also expanded our range of cables to include the normally covered speedometer cables of the correct dimensions to fit pre-Featherbed Norton models with the speedo drive on the rear wheel - i.e. postwar Rigid/Plunger/Swinging Arm singles
1050 - Featherbed Rear Wheel Drive Speedo Cable
And on a similar theme . . . the similar post war type speedometer cable to fit the Featherbed Norton single models (and possibly most twins - pre 1960's)
Norton Parts - Other New or Restocked Parts
As with other Newsletters - we use this section just to show some of the items back in stock since the last Newsletter, as well as some of the smaller or less significent Norton parts we may have added since the last Newsletter. For any out of parts you had put your name down for - Steph should be contacting you, but if you have not received an email from us - then please drop us a reminder on email below - as you know we do occasionally miss one!
Also - if you have a particular part you are looking for - for any Norton single model - email us on our normal email - you never know, we may already have it on our list of parts to manufacturer shortly in the future: firstname.lastname@example.org
0060 : SOHC 3-Part Rocker Adjuster Sets
One of our most popular items - the 3-part rocker adjusters fitted to all (Arthur Moore type) SOHC rockers. We only went out of stock for a short while - but a new batch is now in.
FYI - see below, but I am also in the process of having a batch of the earlier Walter Moore CS1 adjusters made - email for details
0284: Norton SOHC Hairpin Valve Spring Top Cup Plates
Another item that we sell a lot of! - these top cup plates are much more durable than the original Norton pressed steel items (that always wore very badly) - as they are fully CNC milled from solid high tensile steel billet.
Again, a new batch of these have just come in, alongside the 3-part adjusters
0059F: SOHC Cambox - Original (Imperial/obsolete) Roller And Cage Sets
For many years we hae offered complete SOHC Cambox bearing sets and rocker spindles/castellated nuts - but for these complete roller sets, we have had to have the cages and outer races made specially - for metric rollers, as the original Imperial Norton type rollers have been obsolete for many years.
Well - we have now had a batch of the original Imperial Norton size rollers specially made - as well as a matching set of the imperial bronze cages, and hardened side washers.
Therefore, if you have original rocker pins and outer cages still in reasonable condition - and dont fancy replacing the full bearing set - we can now offer just the roller set to fit original Norton rocker sets seperately
- Pre-Order Now
Do you have an early SOHC cambox similar to the one in the photo and requiring new Rocker Spindles - if so, I am just about to have a few made (while also having a new batch of the later post 33 type done- i.e. as per the photo on the left) - so if you want a pair - it would be good to pre-order now so I have a rough idea how many to have made . . . I suspect I will only be doing this early type once!
FYI - the early rocker spindle looks very similar to the later type on the left - but when compared side by side, most dimensions are slightly smaller
- i.e. the outer diameter of the early rocker spindles is 0.375". Also, the rocker arms on these earlier cambox's (as per the photo above) have a smaller centre boss than the later rocker arms on the left and are normally stamped - E4062, and look slightly longer. Email on email@example.com if you want to reserve a pair
1037: Norton OHV/SV MagDyno Platform Securing Washer
This unusual shaped washer is often missing or mauled on road going machines - we have made a batch which are supplied dull nickel plated.
This washer spreads the load over a wide as surface as possible - as there is a slot in the engine plate for movement - and a common fault on these models is the magneto platform moving forward slightly under load - which this in some small way - helps prevent
Norton Crankcase One Way Valves and Breather Unions
Just in case you went into our online catalog recently and found any of our Norton type unions or one way valves (used on most single crankcases - above the drive side main bearing housing) - we have made new batch's of each type the last two months- all types should be in stock again.
0630/0681 and other SOHC/OHV/SV Engine Breather Pipes
- Back in Stock
In the last two months we have completed a new batch of all our SOHC (and some OHV/SV) breather pipes. This includes the long breather pipe above, fitted to the front crankcase breather of many magnesium engined bikes, and the unusual shaped crankcase breather pipe below (that had a double bend to fit between reaar engine plates and oilbath chaincase.- which had both previously gone out of stock.
Norton Magneto Chains and Soft 'Rivetable' Links
One of the supplier areas seemingly most impacted by Covid had been our supplier of magneto and primary chains - Renolds.
Luckily we already had good stocks of chain at the start - but you may have seen some magneto chains going out of stock recently - but all types (currently 3 lengths offered - covering most SOHC/OHV/SV variants, and we can also cut to length) are now available again.
However - we were recently told that going forward - Renolds will no longer stock the special 'soft/rivetable' link that should really be fitted to magneto chains - instead, they will only be supplied by special order (in larger batch's).
Now like most people - I dont like fitting these fiddly soft links (as opposed to a split link) - but it is considered bad practice for magneto chain's to fit anything other than an endless chain - so worth persevering.
Anyway - the good news is, we have had a good sise batch of these soft links on order with Renolds for some months now - and they have finally come in, so we can now continue to supply them (one comes as standard with every chain, but we also sell them individually - as below)
0217: Lucas Regulator Mount - Inter Rigid/Plunger Type - Back in Stock
Another Item that had been out of stock for a while - these unusual Regulator Brakckets that were fitted to Inter models with rigid or plunger frames, where the regulator sat under the saddle.
The OHV/SV models used a slightly different design (which we may fabricate in the near future - as I have an original) - but I think this type could be used at a push on those models as well.
Another item I do not enjoy making - as they require heating to Cherry Red before going onto our bench press - because of the thick gauge of steel they are made from
0277 - Aluminium Competition Number Plates
These heavy gauge aluminium number plates are spot on for type used on most historic competition bikes from the 1930's onwards. Sorry they are not cheap - but we have just had a new stock - having been one of our long term out of stocks . . . as with so many post Covid items - price has risen a great deal since we last ordered them
Parts to fit Original Amal TT, RN and GP Carburettors - Restock Update
We have had a major re-stock of many of our carburettor parts in the last two months - and some additional carb parts still in progress - see below:
0147 Throttle Needle to Fit Amal TT Carbs
We have recently re-stocked many of our catalog of parts to fit original Amal competition carburettor parts - including these nice quality needles to Amal TT carbs. We can also offer needlest to fit RN and GP5 carbs
0295 : Brass Choke Tube to Fit Original Amal TT Carbs
This unusual part is the brass tube that is fitted into the centre of the Choke Block on original Amal TT Carbs. If you are ever intending to bore out a TT carb to a bigger bore size, then this tube must be removed first - and doing so often ends in the original item getting damaged. The listing also shows a picture of the special jig I use to help remove this item
0150 - Jet Holder Block To Fit Original Amal RN and TT Carbs
These are really nice quality brass jet holder blocks - nickel plated, just as per the original items (which are often mauled - as not unusual for riders to have used a badly fitting adjustable on them in previous race sessions! . . . We also sell the correctly fitting red firbre washers to fit these block and banjos - Item 0165
From the same batch as the Jet Holder Blocks are a new batch of these Jet holder nuts, which have the same nice finish. This type also have the all important nipple to take lockwire - essential on any competition bike.
And in addition to fiting original Amal TT and RN carbs - they were also fitted to a number of other Amal carbs, i.e. 276/Monobloc/Concentric etc
Again, these are very nice quality banjo nuts manufactured in brass with nice quality nickel plating and the all important lockwire nipple -
And for those customers asking about the Banjo's themselves - which have been out of stock for some time - I am considering having a batch of the correct Norton type 180 degree type in the near future - email if interested . . . I might be taking pre-orders on those
And finally from the same re-stocking batch's we have also have the Remote Floatchamber type of banjo nut - which were often used on 1940's-60s competition bikes where the float chamber was remotely mounted to the frame - as were most Featherbed DOHC Norton's
0293: Pilot Adjuster Needle to fit original Amal GP Carbs
A new batch of these are now in stock - being slightly longer than the siimilar Amal TT/RN version, and having the words 'GP' etched into the face of the knurled knob, as per the originals.
These are particularly nice quality - and worth replacing your original with if there are signs of wear on the taper. Worth noting we also offer the brass back holder and both outer and inners springs.for the pilot needle assembly
We also have the (shorter needle length) type for Amal TT/RN still in stock - with a new batch WIP, as they are also now running short
0167 : Prayer Book Sp;ring and Needle Pug for Amal RN Carbs
In the Newsletter I showed a one-off cone filter bellmouth I had made, when making the last batch of bellmouths to fit Amal TT/RN carbs. I did have some interest and therefore have made a small batch of these (in 2 bore sizes).
Useful if you have an Inter (or Manx) on the road and are concernd about dirt and ingress beng ingested into the engine
We also sell the coil spring that fits inside this insert and the special leaf spring that fits behind it and presses against the knurl of the pilot adjuster needle, stopping it from working loose - Items 0156 and 0157
- Throttle Slides - Amal 10TT Type - Both (normal) LH and RH Types
- Throttle Slides - Amal 10RN Type - Complete with Needle Holder
- Throttle Slides - Amal GP5 Type - As fitted to DOHC Shortstroke models
All above in variety of slide cutaways
- Knurled Top Rings - New batch for both Amal TT and RN carbs
- Floatchamber Needles for early and late TT type floatchambers
Facsimile Tax Disc Update, Norton Catalogs
and Framed Photograph Printing Service
We have continued to add to our range of historic facsimile tax discs - by adding our first tax disc year of the 1920's - that being the 1925 and 1926 Tax Disc. As with all our discs - we did quite a bit of prep work before hand, and have ensured this year has all of the little detail features that were specific to the 1920's - see the item update below.
As we are now continuously adding to the range of years we are able to offer - I decided that it was time for us to invest in the latest professional quality photographic printer, specifically for the printing of these discs, as although our current printer was also a professional quality device - this new model has additional features and allows beautifully clear high resolutioin production on a full range of media's.
Final update on the subject of historic tax discs - although only a sideline task I have been looking into when I get time - I am still looking into the manufacturer of period motorcycle (and car) tax disc holders from different periods. For motorcycles - I now have 3 nixw 'definitive' type tax discs holders I am looking at re- manufacturing - a 1920's brass screw together type, a 1930's heavy brass rimmed screw on type, and a 1940's//50's type (in a style which may have originally been manufactured by Millers - and was originally fitted to my fathers Vincent Comet. I am currently getting quotes for material and would like to look at manufacturing at least one of these in the next 3 months
Photographic Printing and Framing of Your Favourite Bike!: Finally - Over the next few weeks I am going to experiment with printing some motorcycle prints (from my own bikes collection initially, with a view to framing them for display and hanging them either in the workshop or your home (depending how understanding your family are!) If you are interested in this - or would like a quote for enlarging, printing and framing a photograph of your own vehicle then email us on our normal email - firstname.lastname@example.org
1926 Facsimile Tax Disc Available (with others to follow)
I am pleased that we are now able to offer our first two tax discs from the 1920's era - this being the 1925 year - which is a pretty turquoise blue and had information boxes from the era of HP rather than CC, and a vehicle taxed by weight. As always - this is correct format for the year, including waternark wording that is differnt to later years
1926 Facsimile Tax Disc Available (with others to follow)
And to go witt the 1925 year is this 1926 disc, which was orange for this year. Significantly for this year - I had an original tax disc for this year that came from my grandfather - who unbeknown to me (until I found the disc in among old family photographs) - he was riding a Triumph motorcycle around Norwich area in 1926!
It was interesting for us to work on this early example - as there were many
New (Professional Photographic Quality) Printer For Tax Disc
Our latest bit of new equipment is a rather nice professional quality photographic printer - which gives even better resolution and colour quality than our previous printer - particularly when matched to high quality Canon paper, which is of the same thickness and type as original tax disc paper
This particular printer has eight seperate ink colour cartridges and is capable of printing professional quality photographic prints up to A3 width and approximately 5 feet in length . . . although I wont be trying that!
The items on top of the printer are Pantone colour slides which allow us to match original tax disc colours to a Pantone (and CMYK) equivelant on the printer. Test 1926 tax discs are on the right
Future Product Line - Printing and Framing Service
The other reason for investing in such a nice printer - I was thinking of offering a printing ad framing service for those customers wanting a framed picture of their 2 wheeled pride and joy.
I have not got the Douglas on the road and to a suitable photogrenic venue yet, but I did recently do a test print from a recent photo I took of the Douggie while fettling on the driveway (early evening - hence flash). This was printed on a premium Canon glossy A4 photo paper and then fitted to a frame - the quality of the printing was outstanding
Email if interested on email@example.com, in the coming weeks I will be looking at some suitable frame options and pricing
Progress On My Own Projects and Coming Soon
1950 DOHC Gardengate Manx Project - Head and cambox
I recently acquired this lovely original condition Manx square head from a very good friend of mine - which I am now wondering if could be a good option for the engine of my 1950 DOHC Gardengate project.
You may have seen an article on our RacingVincent site a couple of years ago, where I had acquired and stripped two DOHC Shortstroke cambox's - which supposedly are not easy to fit an earlier Longstroke type head (which was what I wanted to fit one of them for - to fit to my 1950 DOHC Manx).
Well although I do already have a square 500cc Manx head in mind for the engine going in this project - it occurred to me, this may be a better alternative - if I do have to do some surgery on the head to amend valve angles. It looks like this head - which was originally a Longstroke 350 head, has already had its inlet tract re-modelled (to make it more downdraught, similar to a shortstroke), but strangely - with seemingly smaller valves also fitted - maybe it was done fora a period sleeved down 250 engine - as a few people did in the '50's and '60's.
Anyway, too early to say - but I know it is possible to open up the barrel spigot to make it fit a 500, and this combined with work on valve angles and valve head diameters, might make this a more viable head proposition, than having to change a perfectly good 500 Longstroke square head, which I was originally faced with doing.
All that apart, it is an interesting head in its own right - and other than the surgery it has already had . . . is in almost perfect original condition - a very unusual thing to see on one of these big brutish square Manx heads - which often get fins damaged and bent. Another intteresting project piece to report on in a future article
It has been a 'slow drip' build project - but I am pleased to say that the Douglas is now almost ready for the road . . . . and by the time you read this Newsletter, I am hoping to have given it its first 'test firing' in many years.
There are still a few things outstanding before I can get the bike fully ready for the road - but once I have done so (and if all goes well) - then I will publish a couple of build articles and a more detailed picture gallery of what it looks like now. As it is - in the photos shown here, a few bits are still to fit, and at this stage I have an original road going Douglas 2 3/4hp exhaust sytem fitted - not the seperate 'TT Rep' system I am still hoping to fabicate for it, but am hoping you will agree, it is not looking too bad!.
Next Newsletter and Other Parts To Follow In Near Future
I hope to be starting on the next Newletter almost immediately - as I will shortly have other new and restocked parts ready to update on - notably the following are currently in progress:
- Omega Forged SOHC Inter Pistons - New Stock Avail in next 4 weeks
- Omega Forged ES2 (High Comp) Pistons - Again 4 weeks away
- Throttle Slides to fit original Amal 10TT, RN and GP5 carbs
- Model 18/Model 19/ES2 Cylinder studs in Stainless Steel
- Competition Brake/Clutch Lever Sets - New batch 70% done
Lots of other smaller parts being restocked or new parts WIP
And finally - the eagle ayed amongst you may have identified the large lump of alloy in the photo above is actually a Walter Moore CS1 cambox turned upside down.
This is actually a friends cambox, photographed while I was in his worskhop taking dimensions from many original CS1 parts - from which I am producing engineering drawings. We already have the material in for making a batch of the 1920's type CS1 and Model 18 tappet adjusters , as are visible in this picture - which will be made in early 2022
Best Wishes, Paul and Steph.