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What is the difference between a Manxman engine and 650SS engine?

ok i know i am opening up a can of worms here but i am only familiar with the norton atlas /750 and 850 commando engines and i would like to know if there is anything special in a manxman engine?,its just the engine i want to know about regards nick

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John, please, I'd like to know the difference, as does Nicholas. I have a sick650SS engine and it just happens that AJD probably knows as much as anyone about these motors, like it or not!

I wasn't impressed at you getting the important thread about paint, including lots of Safety advice, closed down.

You can disagree with what is said, your prerogativebut don't stifle the debate. Like the paint thread, this is a valid question and nobody is forcing you to read it.

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I doubt there was any significant spec changes between a Manxman and the SS.The Manxman made a big impact because it was a really good package ,Power,handling ,gear box,braking. All well blended together.Being built at Bracebridge St by staff well used to the old Machinery against an SS built at AMC where they they sruggled a bit and worked to cut costs my have some significance.I do sence a difference in Quality between my Norton 99 and AMC Atlas.

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I would be most surprised if there were any difference in mechanical spec between a 650SS and Manxman engines. It wouldn't make any sense for Norton to introduce any significant difference once the engine production was underway. Oddly enough, I much prefer my AMC Atlas engine to my Bracebridge Street 99 one, unlike Robert's experience.After the third rod through the crankcase I rather went off 99 engines. The Atlas has put up with my use and abuse for 15 years with nothing more than a cracked piston.Not relevant to Manxmen I know. Tsk tsk.

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Hello there,

I wouldn't normally pass comment on a machine that I don't own but it would be nice to know detailed technical specs on the Manxman engine - valve timing and carbutettor specs especially. These items could potentially make a significant difference although personally I believe that the advertised 52HP was seriously exaggerated for the American market as the Bonneville was already a legend by 1961.

. A racer from a few years ago (well maybe 20 years} told me that the 650 engine was hard pushed to get more than a true 40HP when properly tested but maybe he was telling us lies as we were racing a Gold Star.

Patrick

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Hi Gordon, I would certainly agree that the Atlas is a tougher( but rougher!) more reliable Motor than the 99 . I was comparing the general build quality Bracebridge St to Woolwich and the possible effect that it might have played re Manxman to 650SS. There was a lot of ruined crank cases at Woolwich till they got it right. I have also heard that crank balancing at woolwich was very haphazard,What they did at Bracebridge St ,who knows?, would be interesting to find out.

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Neil,

Re the paint thread.: Mark Appleby asked for recommendations for a good painter, he did NOT ask how to do it himself, or about health & safety issues. Most of the replies were totally irrelevant.

If you have a sick 650 engine, why not ask how to fix it? The Manxman engine was probably an advanced prototype, exported to the US for evaluation. Having learned it's good, and bad, plants, Norton then went into full scale production of later models. If the Manxman had been an overwhelming success, it would have been introduced to the UK & European market (but with sensible handlebars!).

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Previously John Shorter wrote:

Neil,

Re the paint thread.: Mark Appleby asked for recommendations for a good painter, he did NOT ask how to do it himself, or about health & safety issues. Most of the replies were totally irrelevant.

If you have a sick 650 engine, why not ask how to fix it? The Manxman engine was probably an advanced prototype, exported to the US for evaluation. Having learned it's good, and bad, plants, Norton then went into full scale production of later models. If the Manxman had been an overwhelming success, it would have been introduced to the UK & European market (but with sensible handlebars!).

Well my repose to this John is the Norton Did fit Sensible Handle bars that was designed for Comfort and fast riding you should try out a pair before making unfounded remarks Yours Anna J

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Now to educate you members that have no knowledge of the early twins

we can go back as far as 1958 for the first talks on the 650 the first Experimental engines all six motors built in 1959/60 was the Unified twin

a Doug Hele short stroke experiment along with some 500cc twins that where also short stroke race engine some of these where taken up by the late Heinz Kragler in the USA one still survives in the USA But there alot in the 650 Manxman motor than meet the eye, we start with the crankcase these where all new design and there bigger on the inside and they have the distinctive hump at the back there a stronger crankcase and the same case also went into the Atlas the first atlas was Built at Bracebridge Street well before it ended up at Plumstead workshops they where exported from April 20 1962 and had the Manxman look but not there silencer now the 650 manxman VS 650SS now for start the manxman has more power with 52bhp this is not a marketing gimmick its was bench tested and speed tested at pebble beach by US top riders The Norton Manxman as its own part manual the 650ss its a shared parts manual the part are NOT the same dispite the outward appearances the piston part numbers are different the cylinder head part number are not the same so are the barrels and the crankshafts and the Manxman was the first twin to have racing High fit camshaft as a standard production machine the same profile went on into the Commando now the camshaft design work was done by Leo Kuzmikie way back in the 50s for the MANX DOHC engine that where the Manxman profile comes from it went into the 650ss as well as the Atlas and Commando , the Development of the Manxman Engine went on into other engines right up to the very last one, That why I am so enthusiastic about these early 650s the beings of a Iconic Motorcycle you see my bike in August Old Bike mart in Top Bikes there are Norton Manxman,s out there still to be unearthed . there is one in the Falkland isles is it still there , we need to preserve or past machine and like them or Not the Norton Manxman was a fast Glamour machines and was a made lots of money for Norton . but only to be snatched away by the AMC board to prop up AJS and Matchless witch end up being the down fall of Norton Motors . And I writing a new Book on rare twins all being of Norton origins so any Help will be noted in this book , this will be for the NOC members Yours Anna J

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now for other machine that shared part From the Norton Manxman , Was the 88SS and (99SS) both these machine shared engine parts from the Norton Manxman's engine the 88ss and 99ss had the high lift cam shaft and push rod and modified barrels with larger push rod tunnels and they had the crankcase too with the hump at the back you cannot use the 99 barrels on a 650 but you can the other way round. and you can use the piston from the 650 in the 99 motor but not the 99 pistons in a 650 motor . You can up size a 650 to a 750 by using a top end from a Atlas or early commando , but you will have to modify the breath with extra breath , so there some information on the 650s yours anna J

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Previously John Shorter wrote:

Neil,

Re the paint thread.: Mark Appleby asked for recommendations for a good painter, he did NOT ask how to do it himself, or about health & safety issues. Most of the replies were totally irrelevant.

If you have a sick 650 engine, why not ask how to fix it? The Manxman engine was probably an advanced prototype, exported to the US for evaluation. Having learned it's good, and bad, plants, Norton then went into full scale production of later models. If the Manxman had been an overwhelming success, it would have been introduced to the UK & European market (but with sensible handlebars!).

John,

What are you saying? If someone adds some important additional information such as health and safety risks after a member offers to paint anothers tank then the thread should be closed down? Good grief, lets have the debate. Who's forum is it anyway?

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so is the compression higher? are the inlet ports bigger?are the valves bigger?are the combustion chambers the same?i take it the cam timing is the same as a 650ss as the cam is the same, i just want to know how it made more power cheers Nick

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Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

so is the compression higher? are the inlet ports bigger?are the valves bigger?are the combustion chambers the same?i take it the cam timing is the same as a 650ss as the cam is the same, i just want to know how it made more power cheers Nick

well the compression ratio is 8.9:1 and the exhaust valves where bigger and so where the inlet valves where 1.4 inches but it was the inlet side that had Sleeve fitted these sleeves made the incoming charge move faster and have a finer charge and the Lucas Competition Magneto give a high voltage spark the Camshaft profile where the same the cam timing where the same the piston where very different the Manxman engine used the Best pistons money could by at the time the same make of piston where fitted into the Rolls Royce motorcar like the Sliver Ghost or the Sliver Shadow and they where BHB piston Number 23268 LH and 23269 RH or 23270LH and 23271RH later engines where fitted with Hepolite pistons Number 24022LH and 24023RH or 25387LH and 25388RH Compression ratio .8 9:1 But the 650ss engine sprocket was a 21 teeth where has the Manxman is a 22 teeth engine sprocket and the gear ratio are different too the compensate that the Manxman had a 18 inch rear wheel but the 650SS has a 19 inch rear wheel but a narrow tyre 3.50 x19 the Manxman tyre 400x18 as was the Atlas the Cylinder head have Different Number so its something to do with the Cylinder Head as this is where you get the biggest part of you power output from But I must say that On a motorway the Manxman is just rolling off the pilot jet at 80 mph plus and at this speed you another half throttle to go be for you fully open throttle the Manxman in third gear can hit 103 mph and the Motor was tested on the track and bench tested to hold 9000 rpm for 24 hours Doug Hele found he could hold the engine revs to 9000 for well over 48 hours with out any engine failures , these engine where retested to destruction But it never came under bench testing . even the Jubilee was Bench tested but found nothing but the British public managed to break a Crankshaft , even when these Jubilees where tested in the Welsh Mountain On some of the most horrible road they could find The tester found not wrong with the engines , the 650 engine was given the same coarse as the Jubilee they came home with no troubles, then in the USA the first win at Pebble Beach up against racing Harley Davidsons and the like but they came home with there first win for a 650 twin the 650twin as now won many races from club racing to international racing to world racing there man in Australia that races a Manxman 650 in Yellow and Blue and its a winning Motorcycle as won many cup . the 650 Engine that Paul Dunstall got from the Experiment department at Bracebridge street in 1961 he stripped it and rebuilt it to his specification was raced at Brands Hatch in late 61 and then April 62 it won a race then in may 62 25 year old Dave Downer raced it up against the great Derrick Minter on DOHC Manx but Dower was winning until he had a misfire on one cylinder but the next lap it cleared its self , then he was catching up to Minter on the Manx and Manx had a small oil leak and minter hit his own oil leak on the track on the next lap in Ding dell corner he lost control of his machine and slid sideways down the track Dower was right behide Hind Minter and now Downer had no where to go but over the Manx and Minter an horrific incident was happing right in front of the worlds press and the motorcycling public too later that day Downer past away from his internal injuries in the Ambulance on the way to Hospital its as never been forgotten since , and there one thing more about the Manxman that the 650 did not have that was the Famous Manxman silencer thay are tuned to the engine with double baffle plate inside and they do look abit like a pair of rocket on the bike . Yours Anna J

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Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

ok i know i am opening up a can of worms here but i am only familiar with the norton atlas /750 and 850 commando engines and i would like to know if there is anything special in a manxman engine?,its just the engine i want to know about regards nick

nick.

are you anne,s publisist by any chance ???.in asking the question

what is the differance between a 650ss and a manxman.?

you and all of us on this thread will know the differance when anne,s

finnished replying.....

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Previously Gordon Johnston wrote:

So would 650 valves fit a Manxman head?

yes if there standard valves . But my one are not standard valves there racing valves and Bronze valve guides S&W racing valve springs I rebalanced the crank and honed the cylinders so they got a nice cross hatch in them 650 piston tolerances are too tight now at 2.5 thou clearance , Fred Swift but his 650 with 5 thou clearances .

now she runs nice . Your Anna J

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Previously anthony_williams wrote:

Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

ok i know i am opening up a can of worms here but i am only familiar with the norton atlas /750 and 850 commando engines and i would like to know if there is anything special in a manxman engine?,its just the engine i want to know about regards nick

nick.

are you anne,s publisist by any chance ???.in asking the question

what is the differance between a 650ss and a manxman.?

you and all of us on this thread will know the differance when anne,s

finnished replying.....

yes sorry about that but it interests me what was done to the engine,and the question was (whats the difference between the manxman and the 650ss engine) i never asked about anything else !! i know back then bhp figures were optimistic! even today you can take a bike to one dyno and then to another and the bhp can be 5 bhp different ,so i wanted to know where the extra bhp came from that was all cheers nick

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Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

Previously anthony_williams wrote:

Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

ok i know i am opening up a can of worms here but i am only familiar with the norton atlas /750 and 850 commando engines and i would like to know if there is anything special in a manxman engine?,its just the engine i want to know about regards nick

nick.

are you anne,s publisist by any chance ???.in asking the question

what is the differance between a 650ss and a manxman.?

you and all of us on this thread will know the differance when anne,s

finnished replying.....yes sorry about that but it interests me what was done to the engine,and the question was (whats the difference between the manxman and the 650ss engine) i never asked about anything else !! i know back then bhp figures were optimistic! even today you can take a bike to one dyno and then to another and the bhp can be 5 bhp different ,so i wanted to know where the extra bhp came from that was all cheers nick

Well if you can take the time out to read my treads I all ready told you all , its all in the Cylinder head and Exhaust system and the inlet side . the Manxman had Special Sleeve fitted and and Special exhaust silencers the Sleeves pre heated and busted the speed of the incoming charge of fuel much like injection dose now , the Exhaust is tuned too the engine and has Double Baffle plates inside a double chamber exhaust silencer that why they where more expensive as they had 3 bhp more than the 650SS and there different gearing too . do read my threads rigth yours ANNA J Not anne!!!

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And the Norton manxman has a Breather pipe from the inlet cover via a special made domed nut and banjo fitting this was to give the engine the bellows effect to the breathing , the 650ss dose not have this fitting

that something else you did not know about these bikes

yours anna j

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Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

Previously anthony_williams wrote:

Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

ok i know i am opening up a can of worms here but i am only familiar with the norton atlas /750 and 850 commando engines and i would like to know if there is anything special in a manxman engine?,its just the engine i want to know about regards nick

nick.

are you anne,s publisist by any chance ???.in asking the question

what is the differance between a 650ss and a manxman.?

you and all of us on this thread will know the differance when anne,s

finnished replying.....yes sorry about that but it interests me what was done to the engine,and the question was (whats the difference between the manxman and the 650ss engine) i never asked about anything else !! i know back then bhp figures were optimistic! even today you can take a bike to one dyno and then to another and the bhp can be 5 bhp different ,so i wanted to know where the extra bhp came from that was all cheers nick

Well if you can take the time out to read my treads I all ready told you all , its all in the Cylinder head and Exhaust system and the inlet side . the Manxman had Special Sleeve fitted and and Special exhaust silencers the Sleeves pre heated and busted the speed of the incoming charge of fuel much like injection dose now , the Exhaust is tuned too the engine and has Double Baffle plates inside a double chamber exhaust silencer that why they where more expensive as they had 3 bhp more than the 650SS and there different gearing too . do read my threads rigth yours ANNA J Not anne!!!

sorry ANNA J you have lost me this time! i did read your thread! i never asked you the same question again! i was replying to Anthony not you ! please read my thread properly regards Nick

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Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

Previously anthony_williams wrote:

Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

ok i know i am opening up a can of worms here but i am only familiar with the norton atlas /750 and 850 commando engines and i would like to know if there is anything special in a manxman engine?,its just the engine i want to know about regards nick

nick.

are you anne,s publisist by any chance ???.in asking the question

what is the differance between a 650ss and a manxman.?

you and all of us on this thread will know the differance when anne,s

finnished replying.....yes sorry about that but it interests me what was done to the engine,and the question was (whats the difference between the manxman and the 650ss engine) i never asked about anything else !! i know back then bhp figures were optimistic! even today you can take a bike to one dyno and then to another and the bhp can be 5 bhp different ,so i wanted to know where the extra bhp came from that was all cheers nick

Well if you can take the time out to read my treads I all ready told you all , its all in the Cylinder head and Exhaust system and the inlet side . the Manxman had Special Sleeve fitted and and Special exhaust silencers the Sleeves pre heated and busted the speed of the incoming charge of fuel much like injection dose now , the Exhaust is tuned too the engine and has Double Baffle plates inside a double chamber exhaust silencer that why they where more expensive as they had 3 bhp more than the 650SS and there different gearing too . do read my threads rigth yours ANNA J Not anne!!! sorry ANNA J you have lost me this time! i did read your thread! i never asked you the same question again! i was replying to Anthony not you ! please read my thread properly regards Nick

Sorry Nick I did not know you called Anthony Anne !! yours Anna J

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Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

Previously anthony_williams wrote:

Previously nicholas_marshall wrote:

ok i know i am opening up a can of worms here but i am only familiar with the norton atlas /750 and 850 commando engines and i would like to know if there is anything special in a manxman engine?,its just the engine i want to know about regards nick

nick.

are you anne,s publisist by any chance ???.in asking the question

what is the differance between a 650ss and a manxman.?

you and all of us on this thread will know the differance when anne,s

finnished replying.....yes sorry about that but it interests me what was done to the engine,and the question was (whats the difference between the manxman and the 650ss engine) i never asked about anything else !! i know back then bhp figures were optimistic! even today you can take a bike to one dyno and then to another and the bhp can be 5 bhp different ,so i wanted to know where the extra bhp came from that was all cheers nick

Well if you can take the time out to read my treads I all ready told you all , its all in the Cylinder head and Exhaust system and the inlet side . the Manxman had Special Sleeve fitted and and Special exhaust silencers the Sleeves pre heated and busted the speed of the incoming charge of fuel much like injection dose now , the Exhaust is tuned too the engine and has Double Baffle plates inside a double chamber exhaust silencer that why they where more expensive as they had 3 bhp more than the 650SS and there different gearing too . do read my threads rigth yours ANNA J Not anne!!! sorry ANNA J you have lost me this time! i did read your thread! i never asked you the same question again! i was replying to Anthony not you ! please read my thread properly regards Nick

Sorry Nick I did not know you called Anthony Anne !! yours Anna J

thats because i didnt????? regards nick

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Let's get back on track before the thought police shut this thread down. Nicholas, since you knew this was a can of worms, I wonder if you were trying to wind up AJD? Either way, you got your answer and a few bonuses.

I think the engine differences have been noted and it seems to me that most if not all of the differences are interchangeable.

I was interested in the 48 Hrs of testing at 9,000 RPM. It begs the question as to why the big end on my 1964 650ssengine appears to be shot? Yet it is on the std bore without so much as a hint of a ridge at the top of the stroke. I wonder if Plunsteadis a factor?

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Previously neil_wyatt wrote:

Let's get back on track before the thought police shut this thread down. Nicholas, since you knew this was a can of worms, I wonder if you were trying to wind up AJD? Either way, you got your answer and a few bonuses.

I think the engine differences have been noted and it seems to me that most if not all of the differences are interchangeable.

I was interested in the 48 Hrs of testing at 9,000 RPM. It begs the question as to why the big end on my 1964 650ssengine appears to be shot? Yet it is on the std bore without so much as a hint of a ridge at the top of the stroke. I wonder if Plunsteadis a factor?

no i have a genuine interest in the engine differences i knew it was asking for trouble thats why i kept the question simple but it still didnt work so in future i wont bother regards nick

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From sifting through the above, I think we can conclude that there is precious little difference between a standard Manxman engine and a 650SS engine, which I think is what we suspected all along.

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Previously Gordon Johnston wrote:

From sifting through the above, I think we can conclude that there is precious little difference between a standard Manxman engine and a 650SS engine, which I think is what we suspected all along.

in other words you still no idea !! what your looking at !!

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Given the current spares situation, perhaps a relevant question might be the measures necessary to retain the special qualities of a Manxman when rebuilding or indeed, how a 650SS could be brought up to the same specification.

If pistons have become unobtainable then it would seem that fairly conservative modifications to the induction system and the cylinder head, along with a suitable exhaust system ought to be able to make a Manxman and a 650SS near to identical.

The choice would then come down to aesthetics.....

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So in short.... After trying to decipher this thread I've come to the conclusion that if I really wanted to know the differences between the 650SS and the Manxman I'd consult the specifications of both and I imagine find little difference of note apart from one being fitted with ape hangers and an appalling seat cover to appeal to the hard of taste. Oh and did I forget to mention, would give an R1 a run for it's money if one were to believe certain people's rantings!

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Indeed Sophie. I am however particularly grateful for Anna's careful consideration of my conclusion that there is precious little difference between a Manxman and 650SS engine. "in other words you still no idea !! what your looking at !!" Helpful as always.

What would be interesting, and what was asked for,would be a concise comparison of the two engines, the sort of report that an engineer would produce.

Are there any engineers out there with the relevant skills?

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Previously richard_payne wrote:

Given the current spares situation, perhaps a relevant question might be the measures necessary to retain the special qualities of a Manxman when rebuilding or indeed, how a 650SS could be brought up to the same specification.

If pistons have become unobtainable then it would seem that fairly conservative modifications to the induction system and the cylinder head, along with a suitable exhaust system ought to be able to make a Manxman and a 650SS near to identical.

The choice would then come down to aesthetics.....

well now the 650SS exhausts are very different to the Manxman . as the 650ss uses and reduced exhaust pipes and the Manxman its full bore pipes , and they have to have the correct bends or it will not fit to the silencers the engine are basically the same but with different part number, but manxman as extra goodie's that was never fitted to the british models the manxman being a export motorcycle was more refined machine and it had more care to the manufacture of it parts so they where of the highest quality . where as later on .AMC too over and then is was all about sale than quality but even thoe the 650ss was a very fine motorcycle but in the end game they are two very different machines and as for unobtainable part this is all down to how you look at it I know there are parts out there its just looking to find them just like most Nortons there all obsolete machines yours anna j

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Previously Sophie Hawthorne wrote:

So in short.... After trying to decipher this thread I've come to the conclusion that if I really wanted to know the differences between the 650SS and the Manxman I'd consult the specifications of both and I imagine find little difference of note apart from one being fitted with ape hangers and an appalling seat cover to appeal to the hard of taste. Oh and did I forget to mention, would give an R1 a run for it's money if one were to believe certain people's rantings!

well what I like to know what wrong with the seat and there also nothing wrong with having a comfortable ride

. and I have not made any remarks about your Scooter now have I yours anna J

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And still nothing specific about the difference (if any) between a Manxman and a 650SS engine as was originally requested. If there were, I am sure we would have been told by now.

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A few crumbs of info for those who are still interested in the differences between the Manxman 650 and the 650 SS.

The production drawings for both bikes were finalised in June 1959. The idea being a BIG 1960 debut for the 650 engine, Slimline frame and variations on the theme. ie. de luxe models, twin carb or single carb plus Clubman options etc. Very obviously testing had gone on, prior to this date with pre-production bits and pieces.

The grand launch plan immediately fell apart. The main issue being the Norton Factory trying to utilise lots of existing model 88, 99 and Nomad parts to save development cash. The problem that hit Norton was that the engine exceeded the projected power output and began to demolish pistons, barrels and crankshafts. The smaller engine pistons and barrels just could not handle the 60% power increase. After nearly a year of very expensive problem solving the Manxman 650 was finally released to everyone around the world except in the UK. Politics dictating that the Brits would have to wait a bit longer until the Manxman Mark 2 or 650SS (in the UK) arrived. Unless you fancied a single carb or de luxe version instead.

As Anna has already pointed out the first Manxman 650 came with a selection of parts only found on that model. ..... Well not quite as the export 750 Atlas Mark 1 had a similar set of handle bars, tank, silencers etc. But again.....only on non-UK models.

Getting back to the big question that lots of people have asked...ie 'why is there a power output difference?' Well Anna has also mostly answered that in her own way.....exhaust pipes, silencers and so on. I can not prove it but I would suggest that the first batch of cylinder heads were probably worked on to smooth out and balance the porting. This was an option at the time for the 88 and 99 engines and already done on any production Nomads. Alongside this you probably also got carefully selected conrods and pistons of minimal weight difference and a crankshaft that was polished and balanced. Perhaps somebody could confirm this.

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Well Gordon, If they were so meticulous, in building this machine, why was the tachometer drive in the wrong place, requiring an oddball exhaust system? The whole bike seems to have been "Test bed", shipped to the US, to make a quick buck. OK, they are now a rarity, but only because comparitvely few were made, of which most have been modified, or scrapped.

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Previously John Shorter wrote:

Well Gordon, If they were so meticulous, in building this machine, why was the tachometer drive in the wrong place, requiring an oddball exhaust system? The whole bike seems to have been "Test bed", shipped to the US, to make a quick buck. OK, they are now a rarity, but only because competitively few were made, of which most have been modified, or scrapped.

Do you not mean the Rev-counter drive is at a wrong angle , and Not in the wrong place are are else could you have put it, the Angle of the Rev counter is down to keep the run of the cable at the slightest so there very little bends in the drive cable its keep the friction down to a level and the right-hand pipe was made so it kept down the heat transfer , just common sense in my venue and If it was a Test bed What a Test its was, and now Extremely Rare and the owners of these motorcycle that I know are all very proud owner of there machines and they like the styling and the ride of the machine even Jay Leno loves his machine and so dose Anders Larrson and Sam Whiteside and many more owner of these very Rare Norton Motorcycles that was Built In Bracebridge Street workshops

So enjoy your Norton what ever styling they are

. Yours Anna J

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Previously phil_hannam wrote:

A few crumbs of info for those who are still interested in the differences between the Manxman 650 and the 650 SS.

The production drawings for both bikes were finalised in June 1959. The idea being a BIG 1960 debut for the 650 engine, Slimline frame and variations on the theme. ie. de luxe models, twin carb or single carb plus Clubman options etc. Very obviously testing had gone on, prior to this date with pre-production bits and pieces.

The grand launch plan immediately fell apart. The main issue being the Norton Factory trying to utilise lots of existing model 88, 99 and Nomad parts to save development cash. The problem that hit Norton was that the engine exceeded the projected power output and began to demolish pistons, barrels and crankshafts. The smaller engine pistons and barrels just could not handle the 60% power increase. After nearly a year of very expensive problem solving the Manxman 650 was finally released to everyone around the world except in the UK. Politics dictating that the Brits would have to wait a bit longer until the Manxman Mark 2 or 650SS (in the UK) arrived. Unless you fancied a single carb or de luxe version instead.

As Anna has already pointed out the first Manxman 650 came with a selection of parts only found on that model. ..... Well not quite as the export 750 Atlas Mark 1 had a similar set of handle bars, tank, silencers etc. But again.....only on non-UK models.

Getting back to the big question that lots of people have asked...ie 'why is there a power output difference?' Well Anna has also mostly answered that in her own way.....exhaust pipes, silencers and so on. I can not prove it but I would suggest that the first batch of cylinder heads were probably worked on to smooth out and balance the porting. This was an option at the time for the 88 and 99 engines and already done on any production Nomads. Alongside this you probably also got carefully selected conrods and pistons of minimal weight difference and a crankshaft that was polished and balanced. Perhaps somebody could confirm this.

Many thanks Phil for your support on this issue . Yours Anna J

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All I can say is thank you Phil Hannan for injecting some much needed intelligible information into this thread. I believe you're right about the Manxman being somewhat of a cheap test bed for the technology used in the 650SS. One thing I do know is that the steel inserts, much vaunted by Anna as a performance mod, pressed into the inlet tracts were actually to simply sleeve down said tracts in order that smaller venturi carburettors could be fitted.As Phil says, I imagine there's very little difference in the spec of the 650SS and Manxman bar quality control due to the tiny number of Manxmen actually produced and sold.

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Some very interesting comments from Phil and Sophie about the tuning of the Manxman engine. It seems to me (but I am not an engineer) that the Manxman engine was specifically tuned to give best mid range power by restricting the size of the inlet ports/carbs. The exhaust also appears to suit mid range power. This makes a certain amount of sense as the Manxman was sold on the US market as a tourer .

But surely this actually lowered the max power at the top end of the rev range?. Maybe thhe 650SS actually produced more power - not less. The US adverts for the Manxman claim 52HP @ 6000 rpm and quotes a compression ratio of 8.5. What figures were claimed for the 650SS when it was released on the UK market as a Sports Special.?

As Gordon has already asked - has anyone any hard facts such as dyno sheets for the standard 650 engine?

Patrick

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Previously Sophie Hawthorne wrote:

All I can say is thank you Phil Hannan for injecting some much needed intelligible information into this thread. I believe you're right about the Manxman being somewhat of a cheap test bed for the technology used in the 650SS. One thing I do know is that the steel inserts, much vaunted by Anna as a performance mod, pressed into the inlet tracts were actually to simply sleeve down said tracts in order that smaller venturi carburettors could be fitted.As Phil says, I imagine there's very little difference in the spec of the 650SS and Manxman bar quality control due to the tiny number of Manxmen actually produced and sold.

Well for one that been in the motorcycle industry you seen to know very little to my mind as I owned and and raced motorcycle and side-cars and built them from ground up and I have been riding now for well over 40 years and I have a family with history in the pioneering of the motorcycle design and car design , But this criticism is Not about motorcycles at all , its all to do with criticising me and trying to belittle me by getting at my wording and spelling, but Cannot see you doing the same to other members anyway, But carry on I can take the jibes and and bad comments this just shows your lack of knowledge on this subject.

and as for the Norton Manxman you can say what you like , but it will be not correct, not all Norton where built for racing and I cannot see anyone having a go at the Triumph models with same high bars or the Royal Enfield Indians 700 that was exported at the same time . Or the BSA A10 with high bars or the High bars and Chopper style seat of the Norton Commandos in the early 1970s , O no you have to knock the Crap out of the Norton Manxman ,just because I happen to own one ! So rubbish the bike and you'll rubbish Anna ! Well history is one thing you cannot change no matter what you say . its fixed in time ! so have fun on your caferacer and the Ace cafe, Yours Anna J Dixon

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Previously patrick_mullen wrote:

Some very interesting comments from Phil and Sophie about the tuning of the Manxman engine. It seems to me (but I am not an engineer) that the Manxman engine was specifically tuned to give best mid range power by restricting the size of the inlet ports/carbs. The exhaust also appears to suit mid range power. This makes a certain amount of sense as the Manxman was sold on the US market as a tourer .

But surely this actually lowered the max power at the top end of the rev range?. Maybe thhe 650SS actually produced more power - not less. The US adverts for the Manxman claim 52HP @ 6000 rpm and quotes a compression ratio of 8.5. What figures were claimed for the 650SS when it was released on the UK market as a Sports Special.?

As Gordon has already asked - has anyone any hard facts such as dyno sheets for the standard 650 engine?

Patrick

Well Patrick I have done all this research on these Machines for past 4 years now , I am writing a Book with all the fact and Figures and Date

and I am NOT going too put any more on this web site , You will all have to wait until I have finished the Book and Had it Published , So then you can buy a copy part of the proceeds will go to the club , Ps and the 52Bhp @6500Rpm Was Fact as that where Bench tested by a independent Motorcycle engineers in the USA and also tested in 1962 by Cycle world . on a 1961stock model Yours Anna J Dixon

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...the High bars and Chopper style seat of the Norton Commandos in the early 1970s , O no you have to knock the Crap out of the Norton Manxman ,just because I happen to own one !

Everyone takes the p*ss out of Commando Hi-Riders, Anna, even the most die-hard Commando owners (and I count myself amongst that number).

I have a Hi-Rider tank on the shelf but I'd never fit it to any motorcycle that I respected...

Perhaps the difference with Hi-Riders is that no-one has ever owned up to purchasing one and liking it.

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Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously Sophie Hawthorne wrote:

So in short.... After trying to decipher this thread I've come to the conclusion that if I really wanted to know the differences between the 650SS and the Manxman I'd consult the specifications of both and I imagine find little difference of note apart from one being fitted with ape hangers and an appalling seat cover to appeal to the hard of taste. Oh and did I forget to mention, would give an R1 a run for it's money if one were to believe certain people's rantings!

well what I like to know what wrong with the seat and there also nothing wrong with having a comfortable ride

. and I have not made any remarks about your Scooter now have I yours anna J

Well the seat is red, enough said I think and the ape hangers remind me of pushing a wheelbarrow.

You have a short memory Anna as you have made numerous silly and irritating off topic comments on threads discussing my motorcycle. But I digress, this is not about insults simply that I don't like the Manxman's US oriented styling and find the 650SS a far more attractive model.

Your comments have added nothing to answering the OP's original question and are in general spurious and down right misleading. You make rash comments which you back up with nothing more than anecdotes and your own guesses.

I have spent a reasonable amount of time trying to find relevant information such as comparisons regarding compression ratios, engine architecture and carburetion without success but consensus of opinion is that there is no significant difference beyond superficial styling.

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Previously Sophie Hawthorne wrote:

Previously Anna Jeanette Dixon wrote:

Previously Sophie Hawthorne wrote:

So in short.... After trying to decipher this thread I've come to the conclusion that if I really wanted to know the differences between the 650SS and the Manxman I'd consult the specifications of both and I imagine find little difference of note apart from one being fitted with ape hangers and an appalling seat cover to appeal to the hard of taste. Oh and did I forget to mention, would give an R1 a run for it's money if one were to believe certain people's rantings!

well what I like to know what wrong with the seat and there also nothing wrong with having a comfortable ride

. and I have not made any remarks about your Scooter now have I yours anna J

Well the seat is red, enough said I think and the ape hangers remind me of pushing a wheelbarrow.

You have a short memory Anna as you have made numerous silly and irritating off topic comments on threads discussing my motorcycle. But I digress, this is not about insults simply that I don't like the Manxman's US oriented styling and find the 650SS a far more attractive model.

Your comments have added nothing to answering the OP's original question and are in general spurious and down right misleading. You make rash comments which you back up with nothing more than anecdotes and your own guesses.

I have spent a reasonable amount of time trying to find relevant information such as comparisons regarding compression ratios, engine architecture and carburetion without success but consensus of opinion is that there is no significant difference beyond superficial styling. well carburation as its spelt and compression ratio's , and What is engine Architecture!! , this word Architecture is for buildings, Not engines Designs and as for no difference beyond superficial styling parts, well you can say this about the commando!!, But as for you cannot see the difference with the Norton Manxman 650 . until you own one, and then you find that part for the 650SS do not fit right, And try saying that manxman part are Superficial too the craftsmen that made these machines and if they were alive now they tell you, And I not miss lead anyone I may wined them up abit,! But I have done 4 years of research on these machines when I started there was not much in the way of information to start with, apart from Notes left by deceased member. And I not going to write any more on this you will have do what did and spend hours doing the research its not all on line , and then the books written so far not all are reliable information I have the Factory records and factory data the best book written so far was written by Mick Walker and has alot of correct and reliable information in there, I knew Mick Walker very well and he was a credible motorcycle writer who put all lot of work into writing and subject on an motorcycle or and number of motorcycles of the same brand mark . And final remark we all have our differences that's what makes the world go round as if we where all the same it would be very boring so Sophie if you got any more anger bring it on! and get off your Chest !! it will do you good!

you need to under stand yorkshire humour we mean no harm really

we do like a wined-up now and then so keep smiling and chill out and have fun in the sun yours anna j

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Previously Sophie Hawthorne wrote:

All I can say is thank you Phil Hannan for injecting some much needed intelligible information into this thread. I believe you're right about the Manxman being somewhat of a cheap test bed for the technology used in the 650SS. One thing I do know is that the steel inserts, much vaunted by Anna as a performance mod, pressed into the inlet tracts were actually to simply sleeve down said tracts in order that smaller venturi carburettors could be fitted.As Phil says, I imagine there's very little difference in the spec of the 650SS and Manxman bar quality control due to the tiny number of Manxmen actually produced and sold.

Sophie what all this about Anna's performance mods, simply sleeve down tracts so the carburettors could be fitted!! Mm ! these are not my mods and you can fit the carburettors without them in but your bike will not run very well , as allot of owners found out, in the USA, No there are not just steel sleeve as you may think they are, Norton obviously fitted them for a reason , or they would not of bothered now would they!! and as for Cheap test bed . Well I would not call them Cheap by any means as in there day the Sales price was well over a $1000 dollars And I can back this up too as the price list is in cycle world from 1962

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When are you going to add the relevant comparative information regarding the specifications if the 650SS and Manxman to the thread then? I for one can't wait to benefit from the encyclopedic knowledge you claim to have.

We're waiting with baited breath. It's that Pepsi challenge time Anna.

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Some real data would be useful. I was one of the 3 judges at the INOA Rally in the Cascades last week and we had a problem with deciding whether a very worthy Norton entered into the Concours as a Manxman was indeed true to type or a 650SS hybridised with a Manxman.Unfortunately, my US contact who knows a great deal about these things was unable to be there so we are still partially in the dark other than having established several items that were not correct and having to strike the machine off the short list for an award.These machines may be rare, but there are times when all the relevant information is required.

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Makes me glad that after nearly 50 years of riding, breaking and building Norton twins I have never worried a jot about the origins of the bits I have bolted together. As long as the finished bike went well!

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Unfortunately, my US contact who knows a great deal about these things was unable to be there so we are still partially in the dark other than having established several items that were not correct and having to strike the machine off the short list for an award.

Are we perhaps talking of a certain Mr Gradler? Of course you could have contacted Anna, as an alternative.

Just adding a touch more info before this thread is closed. The Factory records inform us that the first 650SS was e/n 100099 and appeared in October 1961. Just a few weeks prior to this the last official Manxman, e/n 99549 had been produced. Note the big jump in the numbers. It is this kind of anomaly that makes the actual numbers of 650 bikes manufactured difficult to count. Adding to the confusion is a number of earlier machines that were released on the UK (and other) market(s) including standard 650 machines or the de luxe model. All of these bikes had e/n 97931 onwards.

Even more madness is added to a 'mix & match' game when a number of post October 1961, export 650SS bikes were badged as the Manxman Mark 2. This being a sales ploy to sell a different model. See the attachment and then play spot the difference.These went mostly to the USA but a good number to other parts of the world. These machines are a real headache to restorers because, in essence, each is a 650SS and asking for replacement Manxman parts would be incorrect.

Attachments 650-manxman-mark-2-jpg
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Previously phil_hannam wrote:

Unfortunately, my US contact who knows a great deal about these things was unable to be there so we are still partially in the dark other than having established several items that were not correct and having to strike the machine off the short list for an award.

Are we perhaps talking of a certain Mr Gradler? Of course you could have contacted Anna, as an alternative.

Just adding a touch more info before this thread is closed. The Factory records inform us that the first 650SS was e/n 100099 and appeared in October 1961. Just a few weeks prior to this the last official Manxman, e/n 99549 had been produced. Note the big jump in the numbers. It is this kind of anomaly that makes the actual numbers of 650 bikes manufactured difficult to count. Adding to the confusion is a number of earlier machines that were released on the UK (and other) market(s) including standard 650 machines or the de luxe model. All of these bikes had e/n 97931 onwards.

Even more madness is added to a 'mix & match' game when a number of post October 1961, export 650SS bikes were badged as the Manxman Mark 2. This being a sales ploy to sell a different model. See the attachment and then play spot the difference.These went mostly to the USA but a good number to other parts of the world. These machines are a real headache to restorers because, in essence, each is a 650SS and asking for replacement Manxman parts would be incorrect.

Well thanks for all this Phil some more is coming out of the wood work these Mk2 models are more like the Atlas look than the First Manxman models Witch I am more Interested in as these had the Special parts on them I do know at the end on march 61 there was 7 machines went to the Metro police in London , Painted in all black and have a 12 volt electrics the radio set was behind the rider on a Craven rack and Had leg shields and half fairing small tank in situe with its chrome tank badges and had a two in to one exhaust system as the Triumphs did for police specification of the day , But As for more information On the Manxman Model I not going to debate this issue on this web site , you all have to wait until I have the Book on Norton Rare Twins Out on sale, and We still need more information , We do know that the work shop numbers do not run in numerical order , as machines where on and Off the production line , and we do know about the sole Machine in the Falkland isles But we have No idea if its still On theses isles but it would be nice to know if its still there or weather is was stripped down and rebuilt as a off road bike to attend the Sheep Baaa !! Yours Anna J

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It seems as if AJD is just trying to find the holy grail in what is so special about a Manxman. She states that she is going to write a book about them? All of one page I suspect? and I hopeshe has it proof read first.

We have been requesting a book on the Norton Hycam motorcycles(P11's, N15's etc)from Anthony Curzon for some time as he has a wealth of knowledge and information' and this I am sure will be well worth waiting for as they can be classed as special build and built for a purpose.

Just wait for the same old reply of utter jibberish.

ATB, Paul.

 

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