CHALLENGE P86

gortnipper

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
3,767
Country flag
With photos by Doug MacRae

1609052396415.png


 

Time Warp

.......back to the 70's.
VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
2,681
Unfortunately history tells us the inline four was embraced for over 50 years.

Norton could have made a more practical twin with a 270° crankshaft that might have appealed to the masses in the real world (which payed the bills)
The P86 was never going to be a realistic road bike or viable platform even as a loose base foundation. (The P86 engine weight was getting close (40 lbs) to that of the CBX/6 @ 234 lbs iirc. I know it was heavy to carry from the bench back in the day)

Even Ducati had to pull the plug on the expensive and time consuming to build bevel drive engines by 1986, change with the times or fade away.
 

Fast Eddie

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
14,084
Country flag
And I guess the paragraph about the ‘groundbreaking‘ idea to use the engine as a fully stressed member was just put in there to bait Vincent fans...!
 

DevonNorton

VIP MEMBER
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
194
Country flag
I think we've covered this before but the engine, much improved and producing a claimed 110+bhp at 10,500 rpm, featured in the Quantel Cosworth which raced at Daytona Battle of the Twins in the 1980s. Won in 1988 with Roger Marshall on board.

See further info here:
http://paralleltwins.e-monsite.com/...istiques-techniques/the-quanell-cosworth.html
https://riderfiles.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/the-quantel-cosworth/
https://www.cyclenews.com/2018/05/article/archives-when-cosworth-won-at-daytona/

It was the usual lack of investment in the British bike industry that killed it off. Norton tried to race it in an under-developed state. Why the much missed Peter Williams was sidelined in its development is a complete mystery. See his book Designed to Race for further details. Andover Norton have copies available.

Another sad 'what if'.

Andy
 

Dommie Nator

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Apr 2, 2013
Messages
633
Country flag
There's one in the National Motorcycle Museum, albeit a rebuild by Norman White after the "Fire".
 

Attachments

  • 20170501_111148.jpg
    20170501_111148.jpg
    216.4 KB · Views: 30
  • 20170501_111142.jpg
    20170501_111142.jpg
    258.2 KB · Views: 29

storm42

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
922
Country flag
I think we've covered this before but the engine, much improved and producing a claimed 110+bhp at 10,500 rpm, featured in the Quantel Cosworth which raced at Daytona Battle of the Twins in the 1980s. Won in 1988 with Roger Marshall on board.

See further info here:
http://paralleltwins.e-monsite.com/...istiques-techniques/the-quanell-cosworth.html
https://riderfiles.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/the-quantel-cosworth/
https://www.cyclenews.com/2018/05/article/archives-when-cosworth-won-at-daytona/

It was the usual lack of investment in the British bike industry that killed it off. Norton tried to race it in an under-developed state. Why the much missed Peter Williams was sidelined in its development is a complete mystery. See his book Designed to Race for further details. Andover Norton have copies available.

Another sad 'what if'.

Andy
Peter Williams said the Challenge was a product disaster, if he was to be involved I guess he would have required a complete new engine as the Cosworth was a piece of junk for racing purposes, I suppose his views on the engine would exclude him from a development team.
 

DevonNorton

VIP MEMBER
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
194
Country flag
Peter Williams said the Challenge was a product disaster, if he was to be involved I guess he would have required a complete new engine as the Cosworth was a piece of junk for racing purposes, I suppose his views on the engine would exclude him from a development team.
What I meant was why was Peter Williams not involved earlier working with Cosworth to prevent it being such a 'disaster'. He had proved himself with the 1973 monocoque JPN racer and earlier work on the 1972 JPN racer. I guess some of this is down to timing but I also sense from Peter's book that there was a technical hierarchy operating which was less than inclusive. How different from the approach taken by Doug Hele when he was at Triumph, who is quoted as saying, "There are no bosses in a technical discussion".
From the later Quantel work it turns out that the engine wasn't so bad, but after much further development.
Just my view.
Andy
 

grandpaul

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
11,634
Country flag
Sadly, Peter Wiliams will no longer be able to shed further light on this topic.

'Cest La Vie...
 

storm42

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
922
Country flag
Rob Graves put £100000 into the engine and punched it out to 823cc and took advantage of 10 years of chassis development to win a race, and in the mid 80's that was a lot of money.

Peter is without doubt a sad loss but fortunately he was interviewed a lot.

IMG_9321D.jpg
 

storm42

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
922
Country flag
I would say though, it was of its time in a way, I remember seeing it run at Donington and was full of hope for Norton.

20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing when you want to slag something off.
 

Fast Eddie

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
14,084
Country flag
Any engine can be made to go if you put enough dosh and time into it!

As Ralph said, £100k is an unimaginable amount in the 1980s. It would have bought you TEN houses near where I lived !
 

storm42

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
922
Country flag
Yes Nigel and with the might of United Engineering Industries behind the project.

Another article on the bike, isn't the internet brilliant?

 
Joined
Apr 20, 2011
Messages
5,323
Country flag
Look up on this forum; Quantal Cosworth Norton first posted by swooshdave Dec 14th 2013.
The Cosworth was never going to be a success in the F750 series, because that was dominated by the Yamaha TZ 750 and all its variations. . . . . . . . .
 
Top