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purchasing a ES2 1951490cc

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i am in the process of buying a E S 2 1951 any tips to look out for all numbers match its been stored a number of years but with fresh petrol fired up on the 3rd kick looks very good condition its going to be my retirement present have not owned a bike since my early 20 s a triumph 650 bonneville  the norton was produced 2weeks after my birthday 06/03 1951 any thoughts would be much appreciated thanks Chris

 

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If the engine is running you half way there! The engines run remarkably quietly, there should be no untoward noises and should tick over slowly with the mag retarded. Check the tin ware is all there and not to rusty, that’s the hardest to find, and that the tank isn’t leaking. if you can have a good look in the gearbox, the boxes seem to attract water and can rust the gears. Wheel rims true? Factor in new fork stanchions if the originals are rusty, new tyres, and a good service!  Also look at things like sprockets, gives an idea if it’s been looked after.  Just my first thoughts! 

Dan 

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Crikey...are there still places that will do a 'full service' on a seventy year old motorcycle and know how to do it properly ?

Personally, on a bike that had been standing for an unknown period, I'd change the fluids from forks to gearbox and replace tyres and tubes then see how it went. In the meantime I'd be taking advice on local reliable magneto rebuilders...Old mags and condensers are the Achilles heel of bikes of this era. Have a good look too at the inside of the fuel tank. If it has a sealant then there is a good chance that the first fill-up will soften it. You're likely to then have blocking carburetter problems.

A working knowledge of the 276 Amal  is a distinct advantage.

In the long term, half the fun with these is in doing it oneself. Is there anyone local who can run through it while you're there ?

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.. let us know approximately where you are in the world maybe one of the members here could help you look over it - observing social distancing of course!

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I’m in Devon so can’t help there! Value is a tricky thing, some want their bikes immaculately restored, other want it as near original as possible. My opinion is the market is weird at the moment, some people asking stupid amounts for bikes and others being more realistic. My guess is a nicely sorted bike with matching numbers is worth circa 6k if you agree work your way back from there, it’s easy to lose £1-2k in bits and repairs.  Factor in new tyres, battery, chain, possible tank repairs, mag rebuild, wiring issues, fork stanchions, plunger refurb. Or you could be lucky and everything is fine !  If you post a few pics I’m sure people here will comment on originality (if that’s important to you) I’m no expert on plunger models.

dan

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Will give a clue as to the state of the machine. The 1950 ES2 I am helping with at present looks rough but it has been well cared for mechanically and runs like a Swiss watch. That’s in Castle Greasley near Burton on Trent so not far away. Maybe next weekend would be good to visit?  cheers

jon

In reply to by jonathan_newton

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Hi Jon thanks for the reply i am on holiday untill 7September  i hope to fetch the bike soon after i come home a visit would be grate when i am back i will post some pics on to give you some idea of the condition thanks Chris

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As already mentioned, half the fun is exploring these old beasts. In my own experience its always the things that you haven't personally checked that will be the things that let you down.

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.. pretty standard and complete. No doubt there will be horrors encountered somewhere! I'm a bit far from you in Redditch but see Jonathan is closer.

Best of luck.

Its in pretty nice fettle now runs and ticks over like a static steam engine....  its very complete  and  original it a little tatty in places.   The wiring was a bit amiss and no regulator in circuit. Pretty much sorted now.  The owner wants to do a long run on it to the south coast...  Be warned,  Redditch may well be on route ....

 

Best regards

Jon

In reply to by jonathan_newton

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good evening Jon what would you advise on the petrol for her is there any garages close to here that sells leaded petrol not keen on putting in additives your views would be much appreciated regards Chris

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Chris; I can only say what I have done to manage my bikes, all are different  in some way or  another but the general drill for your ES2 would be...

When this bike was built the fuel octane level was fairly grim and the compression ratio was chosen to compensate.  Now we have somewhat better octane levels, cleaner fuel and selected added chemicals to help with the burn the choice is wide open to you. 

For the limited amount the machine will consume it is always worth buying the better brands (Esso, BP etc.) but regular octane (95) will not be an issue for this machine.

I drive around 50K a year in a 4 pot diesel due to the points situation and the ever changing method of speed detection I rarely see speed figures over 80; The  car will return 65/Gallon on ASDA std fuel, 68 on premium Jet, and 73 on Esso standard diesel.  I cannot say what the   consumption figures are on the bikes, but the throttle response, tick over and power delivery progression is noticeably better with the  better  brands  

Ethanol is not a huge problem if you are running the motor weekly, but for machines that stand around for extended periods its worth managing your fuel in a better way.  Run your carburettor dry as you approach home, keep the tank topped up to reduce the surface area exposed to 

air/oxygen.  Keep the machine in a warm dry place.

Stir the tank every now and a gain when stored.  I'm not in favour of drained tanks as the taps  tend to suffer, especially if they are cork seals.  Stored fuel still needs managing and the innards of your tank is exposed to drying out or corroding.  

I add a cup of Diesel to my tanks to coat the insides with a little light oil protection, before going to fill up.  Not every time but when the chance arrives

 

That should keep you right,  and I'm sure members will have more to add.

 

 Trust  you are up and running ok now.

 

Best regards

 

Jon

 

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The lead was to improve the octane and had the added benefit of protecting the valve seats, but an alloy headed ES2 had hardened valve seats as standard so no issues running unleaded. So just run the highest octane at the pump but more important to try to avoid ethanol but even than it will run well. Easiest way to avoid ethanol is by going branded high octane as these are less likely to have ethanol other than in Scotland and the SW of England where everything has ethanol as the local refineries have no competitors.

Hi Jon Thanks For Your Comments All Taken On Board  Your Welcome To Come Over And Have A Look At Her Any Time Thats Convenient For You I Am A Novice on This Type Of Bike Any Tips Would Be Welcome Best Regards Chris

 

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