I am a new Norton owner located on Saltspring Island in British Columbia. A friend recently offered me a 1946 Model 18, with about 7,500 miles on the clock; I couldn't resist and for the last couple of weeks I have been cleaning and getting to know my new bike.
It was registered in 1946 and ridden to 1952 when the first owner fell off and decided that motorcycling wasn't for him and parked the bike for 55 years... My friend bought it and rarely rode it, finally deciding that it had to go to a home that would recommission it and put it to some proper road use.
I have straightened out a bent foot rest (the crash damage I presume...), cleaned out the oil and gas tanks, tidied up some wiring, changed the oils, stripped and cleaned the carb, replaced the washers in the fuel taps, lubricated as much as I could on the girder front end. My friend had fitted new tires a while back. It had a healthy spark and so, with a fire extinguished at hand, I gave it a couple of kicks and it burst into life.
The last few days have been fun as I am getting to know the bike a bit better and I learn a bit more each time I go for a ride.
I need a set of bulbs and, if possible, would like to go with an LED equivalent. Can anyone who has done this give me a part number or a source for these bulbs?
Are there any other Model 18 owners in BC? It would be great to be able to ask some more questions to someone local!
Just make it run right and you're off. Are you sure on the year?
south of the border near SF
Oh you lucky man ! Congratulations on a wonderful find and welcome to the forum .
Richard - way south & east of you a few hundred yards from the Atlantic Ocean
Lucky chap! It looks great.
Did you get grease through all the girder fork grease nipples? With my old 16H I took some of the plain nipples out one at a time to fit modern ball types to take a modern trigger type grease gun. Then after I'd pumped grease through, I put the old ones back. They now work fine but a bit of cloth cut from a t-shirt over the nipple reduces leakage when using an old type push-up grease gun.
You could do a lot worse than get some LED lights and a halogen headlamp bulb from Norbsa02's website
Thanks for the welcome, guys. I consider myself very lucky and am having a lot of fun navigating my way around a bike of this vintage.
I have had to remove a couple of grease fittings and clean out the 70+ year old grease, in order to be able to shoot some new lube into the girders. I find that I am cleaning up the bike with an oily rag, almost all the time with as I am working on it. It looks so much better now than when it first arrived at my place.
I will check out the Norbsa02 website. Thanks for the lead.
With LED bulbs - remember the headlamp will not be designed for pre-focused bulbs, so you can push and pull the lamp back and fore relative to the reflector to adjust the beam. Beam pattern is not as good in my LED headlamp (bought from 'http://www.dynamoregulatorconversions.com/')
Incidentally - judging from Google Streetview, Saltspring Island probably has the ideal roads for such a bike!
Welcome Andy, lovely looking bike, I’ve been to your part of the world a few times and never seen another Norton! I have a good friend on Texada who I visit from time to time and think I have flown over Saltspring in his 1950s Cessna 170, it sure is beautiful part of the world.
Thanks for the advice regarding the LED bulbs. I am assembling a bit of list of small parts I need and will add bulbs.
To make ordering a bit easier I am trying to find a Norton parts list that has the original Norton part numbers on it. Does anyone know where I can find a downloadable PDF?
Saltspring is a bit of a hidden gem, with curvy, tree-lined roads and lots of interesting stops along the way. You do have to make sure your are home by dusk, because the island has a huge deer population... "Zombie Motorcycling"
I seemed to have finally solved the leaking fuel tap problem and have resealed the primary case gasket. It now drips a lot less, however I am not expecting to achieve oil tight.
The speedo doesn't work so I am going to be taking it to a repair shop in Medicine Hat, Alberta for a check.
How good is it to find something this nice, Enjoy!!
Mike R what do you see that questions the year? I'm curious and like to learn.
..........that Model 18 of that year had girders.
It did seem odd post war with girders, but as its a colonial export I guess they would send various spec machines out. Wonder what the frame number is?
I bought a '35 ('36 model) CS1 from Australia with the original dolls head gearbox, foot change, 4 speed; but the "dolls head" was bolted to the main casing not integral to it.
The 'Roadholders' were launched in 1946 for 1947 model year - weren't they? Did Norton ever sent the inferior products abroad? The export models had all the chrome that we didn't get. So some Brits can be sniffy about over-restored North American bikes, but theirs were shinier than ours to begin with.
Too true on the chrome front. The CS1 was a picture with instruments in full chrome tank. Maybe not inferior parts but "end of bin" parts sure...
The advertising of model changes didn't hit worldwide as early as home markets so consuming outdated stock for export was common.