Thursday, 20 September 2012

Norton Model 19 Restoration

Most blokes that have a collection of motorcycles will understand that the focus of interest can shift from one bike to another and back again over a period of time [ perhaps even years ] it seems to me that the reason for this could be attributed to a number of factors  .For instance the Cannonball Run in the US has had me thinking more about early flat tankers , when your resto has hit the wall and you need a grand of readies to tip into the project to move it up to the next  level , well the project will just have to slow down . Sometimes its parts that stop the progress and having to work for a living is a decided downer , with a date fixed for a weekend getaway to the classic races the focus needs to be on the rider bike to get it prepped up .Despite not completely finishing the Domi , my focus for the last six months has been a collection of parts I choose to call a 1938 model 19  Norton , I have been for some time now studying Roy Bacon's Norton singles book and have admired the classic lines of the pre war rigid framed girder forked Nortons and thought if the bits come my way I'll grab them and see where I end up . I started with a bottom end of a model 19  82x 113 and a tank which I think is off an es2 or a model 18 and started adding bits picked up a frame on e bay from Tassie [ thanks Steve ] a set of Indian made girders also from e bay , motor parts from Sydney, gearbox case from WA  various bits from mates locally and hours on the lathe making nuts and bolts in stainless steel .Being a list person I have a good idea of the bits I need to ensure that I get this bike running , and now I am actively looking for a back wheel and brake , front wheel and brake and the hardest thing of all to find a cylinder barrel  82 x 113 , as the chassis is virtually the same as the WD models there is a lot of repro Indian made parts available  tool boxes, guards, forks, speedos  and cables fuel tanks seats and so forth. I will post some pics below and get some commentary beside them when I get the time

 The Norton Dolls Head Gearbox, still in transition with positive stop mechanism on top and exposed clutch worm lever, a great place for oil and dirt to live .Early versions were grease lubricated, then changing over to gear oils the sleeve gear is supported by a row of rollers as well as a bush which was dispensed with in the AMC boxes, also early vervions used a caged roller to support the drive side of the layshaft changed to a ball bearing and then realizing the mistake advocated a roller again .What is basically a Sturmey Archer gearbox has become the gold standard of gearboxes .
The guts of the motor , I had quite a surprise to find the flywheels have been lightened by oxy cutting the centres out , they are steel not cast ! not sure what effect this will have on the motor 

Timing chest ..crank pinion engages exhaust cam and it engages the inlet cam so they run as a train of gears Norton said this reduced engine noise ???yet they reverted to the timing pinion engaging both cam wheels by the late 1940's ,this motor requires a clockwise drive magneto which I do not as yet have .Note early style finger followers riding on the cam lobes , cam timing became the net result of the follower shape interacting with the cam profile , this motor used flat followers note layer of hardface  stellite ??
 More bits, note the rear sprocket , also repro foot rest hangers cast in bronze I made the top gearbox bolt and nut 5/8 x 26 tpi slowly getting better at cutting threads on the lathe .
 The tank I wanted to use was badly dinted in lots of areas so I bit the bullet and cut the bottom out of the tank this made it easy to fix the dints but I will have to get a skilled welder to mig  it back together for me . These days my eyesight  would  prevent me from learning to weld to the standard I want for this job .I'll post some more pics of the tank resto as it progresses , I intend to paint it myself but it will need pinstriping and I will need to research that first .


  1. Hi Steve,
    It is nice webblog. Full with the passion of your lovely bike. Hopefully we'll have good communication in the same hobbies.


  2. Thanks for posting Andre,
    I have a few Nortons that I fiddle with ,when I get time ,the one I ride mostly is a 1970 Commando, but its this 596 cc model 19 thats got my interest right now .I will post some pics of the fuel tank when I get it welded up , might be of interest to someone . what are you working on ?
    Cheers Steve

  3. Steve, great pics and write up. Surely the job on the flywheels suggests a racing past?

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