Skip to main content
000000 000003 000006 000009 000012 000015 000018 000021 000024 000027 000030 000033 000036 000039 000042 000045 000048 000051 000054 000057 000060 000063 000066 000069 000072 000075 000078 000081 000084 000087 000090 000093 000096 000099 000102 000105 000108 000111 000114 000117 000120 000123 000126 000129 000132 000135 000138 000141 000144 000147 000150 000153 000156 000159 000162 000165 000168 000171 000174 000177 000180 000183 000186 000189 000192 000195 000198 000201 000204 000207 000210 000213 000216 000219 000222 000225 000228 000231 000234 000237 000240 000243 000246 000249 000252 000255 000258 000261 000264 000267 000270 000273 000276 000279 000282 000285 000288 000291 000294 000297 000300 000303 000306 000309 000312 000318 000321 000324 000327 000330 000333 000336 000339 000342 000345 000348 000351 000354 000357 000360 000363 000366 000369 000372 000375 000378 000381 000384 000387 000390 000393 000396 000399 000402 000405 000408 000411 000414 000417 000420 000423 000426 000429 000432 000435 000438 000441 000444 000447 000450 000453 000456 000459 000462 000465 000468 000471 000474 000477 000480 000483 000486 000489 000492 000495 000498 000501 000504 000507 000510 000513 000516 000519 000522 000525 000528 000531 000534 000537 000540 000543 000546 000549 000552 000555 000558 000561 000564 000567 000570 000573 000576 000579 000582 000585 000588 000591 000594 000597 000600 000603 000606 000609 000612 000615 000618 000621 000624 000627 000630 000633 000636 000639 000642 000645 000648 000651 000654 000657 000660 000663 000666 000669 000672 000675 000678 000681 000684 000687 000690 000693 000696 000699 000702 000705 000708 000711 000714 000717 000720 000723 000726 000729 000732 000735 000738 000741 000744 000747 000750 000753 000756 000759 000762 000765 000768 000771 000774 000777 000780 000783 000786 000789 000792 000795 000798 000801 000804 000807 000810 000813 000816 000819 000822 000825 000828 000831 000834 000837 000840 000843 000846 000849 000852 000855 000858 000861 000864 000867 000870 000873 000876 000879 000882
English French German Italian Spanish

Bike Identification - Help!

Forums

I would appreciate any Norton experts giving me help identifying the year and type of the bike in this picture. It is a picture of my father on his bike and Dad's Norton.jpg so that's why I am interested. My observations are:- It appears by looking at other photos to be a Model 18 of about 1936 to 1938. I don't think its an ES2 because it doesn't have a cradle frame. It looks to be a solid rear end, not plunger. The front brake is on the left hand side of the wheel which I think puts it pre1940 ? The exhaust is on the right so its post 1934 ? I can't make out whether or not the push rod tubes are parallel and so not sure if its open or enclosed valve gear, so pre or post 1938 when they enclosed the valve springs ? It looks like a large 8" headlight. I think that I can just make out a raised black on the top of the tank and so therefore in tank instrument panel, speedo, ammeter, switch etc ? Rego appears to be EVA 252 but no info on DVLA site for this number. Thanks for any help

Permalink

Sorry I cannot help you with the details of the bike but the car behind looks extremely like a 1936 Singer Bantam Deluxe which helps to date the picture.

Regards

Dick

Permalink

I think the black paint on the panel was pre 1936. My 1937 panel was plated. So that narrows it down further. But...those pushrod tubes look angled in so that's 1938 or later.

Permalink

Hi David,

   I'm pretty sure this a 1938 model as the magneto chain cover is the smooth type which was new for the 1938 season along with enclosed valves and inclined pushrod tubes and, as you say, the front brake is on the nearside because this was changed to the offside for 1939. From the picture you can't really tell if it's a Model 18 500 or a Model 50 350.

   Looking at your father's riding gear, it looks like he is wearing a WW2 flying helmet and I would guess this picture dates from the late 1940s, so any parts could have been replaced or painted.

Permalink

Check out the attached Picture which shows a 1935 ES2.  The features match most of those shown in David's photograph. There are just minor differences such as the seat and tank finish. My money would also go on a post 1936 model.

Attachments
Permalink

hello Well I believe this Norton is a model 18 and these where very fine bikes  do look after it,  yours anna j

Permalink

Richard seems to have it - the smooth magneto chain cover clinches it.  Although my 'theoretically' 1932 bike also has a smooth cover!  Mine has the excuse that someone added a rev counter, and very few of those were fitted to the earlier cover.  (The 'oxometer' as Stanley Woods was alleged to call them before he left Norton in the early 30's - "they measured the Bullshit...")

Permalink

Many thanks to all for your help on this. 

Very much appreciated.

I have today been very fortunate to have found a matching 1938 Norton Model 18 for sale which I have purchased.

Some preparation of the bike will now be required because it's not been used for 30 years. Plan is to be ready in time for the Moto Club Indianos Colombres Rally in Spain this October 3rd to 11th

Cheers

Dave1938 Norton Model 18

Permalink

Hi David,

   Blimey, that was quick work ! Nice bike and looks all original. The most important thing to check is the big-end bearing, especially if you intend to do a big mileage.

Permalink

'EWA' was a Sheffield series issued from September 1937 which pretty much confirms that it was a 1938 model-year machine.

Although the Model 50 had some smaller dimensions, I'm not sure that it's possible to tell from the timing side (drive side crankcase half was quite distinctive).

It seems that Sheffield are one of the few authorities to have retained records. It may be that they have details of the first registration.

http://www.calmview.eu/SheffieldArchives/CalmView/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=SY140%2fL2%2f10

 

Yes thanks for the tip Richard Cornish. I understand that it's a crowded roller big end bearing.

Are there caged bearings available ?

Also do you know if there are any maintenance / overhaul / manuals etc still available ?

Permalink

Hi Richard Payne thanks for that info.

The middle letter is somewhat blurred. It could well be a "W".

Following your tip I have sent an email to archives@sheffield.gov.au to see what info they may have for EWA 252 to see if this matches

Elsewise maybe a "Y" ? That would be Somerset, EYA being from December 1938 onwards

Cheers

Dave

In reply to by david_woodiwiss

Permalink

Sheffield archives have emailed back and confirmed that EWA 252 was a Norton motorcycle registered on the 4th October 1937

Registered on that date to Dan Bradbury, of Dan Bradbury Motorcycles, London Road, in Scarborough

Thanks Richard Payne for your help

Cheers

Dave

Permalink

Hi Dave,

   The Norton year used to run from October to September so your father's bike would have been one of the first 1938 spec models, and Dan Bradbury was a Norton racer from the early days and a main Norton agent.

   The big-end bearing might be O.K. but you will have to remove the head and barrel to check. You can't really fit a caged bearing due to the vintage design oil feed, the only way to improve it is to replace the whole crank assembly. I submitted an article entitled " Achilles' Heel" in Rh 376-April 2019 describing the shortcomings of the whole crank assembly. The bearing will give adequate service at normal cruising speeds and liberal use of the gearbox, rather than let it slog.

   Original maintenance manuals are around on ebay etc., and club DVDs are available from the NOC shop, but replacing a big-end was always classified as return to manufacturer, so unless you have the equipment and experience it's a job you will have to put out.

Permalink

Not having ever had a bike that old, and being a former pupil of the school of "If it isnt broken, don't fix it" what is the problem of running it, and if it is quiet carry on running it until it becomes noisy? Does it take out something irreplaceale when it goes?

No criticism, just knowledge gathering for future reference.

Thanks,

George

Permalink

Hi George,

   The reason I high-lighted the big-end was David's bike hadn't been used for 30 years and he was planning to use it abroad. He didn't say if he was going to ride it to Spain, I guess not as that could be up to 2,000 miles round trip, but even so it's not a bad idea to check a bike new to you  so your holiday isn't spoilt.

   I can understand your thoughts as I am currently running a pre WW2 Norton that hasn't had the engine stripped for over 55 years, but only on short journeys.

   The OHV/SV crank is a poor set-up and it's not unknown for the crankpin to shear straight through, and if a worn big-end is run slack it will most likely crack the flywheels as in the attached photo, and they will then be scrap.

  

Attachments
Permalink

Thanks Richard, makes more sense knowing that the crank can break rather than just get noisy. 

 

Norton Owners Club Website by White-Hot Design

Privacy Policy