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The first slimline

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Looking in Roy Bacons early book I see a factory photo of an 88 or 99 DL which has been well used on the road but is fitted with  non standard side panels and  tank badges  ,it would appear to be a pre production prototype .  I know that plenty were assembled during 1959  for the 60 season.  I am curious  if this was the First slimline?.  It could make sense because the DL WAS  the reason for the birth of the slimline , despite press releases to the contrary!. Those ugly sisters 88/99 DL are the reason we all have to suffer those uncomfortable beaded top slimline seats ! . Despite the splayed legs the wideline seat is so much more comfy. What was the first slimline??.

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Norton twins  by Roy Bacon  Osprey published 1981. Page 43   Tank badge very different to production item in shape and fixings position . Pressed steel side panel missing the pressed slot for the tickler lever that they must have forgot to ask for !!.Footrest taken from stock without going thro painting process. More likely an 88  as its colour depth looks like red ,although they were not standardised colours in the first year,  most 88s were red dove .  My 60 99  with orriginal paint is red dove which the club officer said was wrong,should be blue, (  but he was wrong!)  bless him.

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Being quite short, I definitely prefer the slimline seat. Can't get my feet to the ground on the red traffic lights on a wideline.Dominator. Never felt uncomfortable on 400+ mile trips on the 1960 slimline. The wideline is a race frame then fitted with whatever seat they could figure out.

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Hi Mikael,  objection noted,  but  its not the widelines fault if shortarses  make a wrong purchase !! ha ha.  I think I must have lost muscle from the  back end as a couple of hours in the saddle of my slimline leave me painfully numb.  My post is a bit of a flyer ,in the hope of stirring up a lively debate ,   someone has to  do it.

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Taste is like bottom divided. So no problem that we prefer different seats as we are built different. The ergonomics on bikes is designed for average people. On some bikes you can make them more comfortable, changing handlebars, fitting another seat and rearsets. But some bikes can't be made comfortable. I sometimes have had to ride my sons modern sportsbikes the 6 miles.to MOT. Really painful for the old body.

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Back in the days of Taylor Matterson, I was told that my 99DL was one of the first slimlines. It was registerered in Dcember 1959 and the frame has 10/59 on the top lug. Frame number is 85787.

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Hi Gordon , my 99  is about 65  bikes later built on the 6th of November.  I expect Phil will  have a bit more info.on  the first slimline. 

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The Factory Drawings show Slimline Frame production getting under way in June 1959.  We also know that Slimline framed bikes were being sold from September 1959 onwards.

The redesign of the Featherbed Frame began in 1957 and probably accounts for the Year Identifier letter 'M' being stamped on the headstock. Many people think it means Manxman but I don't think so.

Gordon's frame number of 10/59 suggests an October 1959 build, which would fit in with above. Does it have the 'M' nearby? Whether the narrowed top frames were a comfort or tinware adjustment is open to discussion.  As is whether the frame consequently lost longitudinal rigidity and the handling deteorated as a result.

 

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