The 650 Norton thread

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If anyones got a pencil , a ruler , & a protractor , the steering head is visable here .

and before theres any whineing about it being on the stand , draw the ground datum 2 in. up from the underside of the tyres .
If theyre both 26 in. o/a parrallell lines top & bottom are a start . Anyway , itll be within One Degee , alowing for distortion .

Aces on W L .



Aces on S L .



Break out the Bryllcreme .

Though the U.S. Cowhorn Bars mean your less likely to get the instruments in the teeth , and the improved visability rideing vertical in the backbone ,
and easyer reach for the boot to the tarmac mean sub 60 the comforts improved and hustlings relaxed .
Course some flip the Aces L to R and get low rise thingos , swept back . Need a little more cable for this



Theres the ' Flats ' while were at it .
 

SteveA

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Tom Steele said:
thanks mate massive help :D got some new flats at weekend all fitted and looking goood

CAlled in some places Norton Bends or Vincent Straight......best road bike bar ever....had them on my Fastback, loved them....with standard footpegs...

I am a 6 footer with relatively long arms...
 
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hi lads and ladies got a few questions :) mechanical wise


whats everyone's preferred sealing method for the primary case that's still running a primary chain?

e
any new preferred oil for them ? over the original norton manual ? previous owner reckoned he was just oiling the chain before rides but want to get it right as itl be 300+ mile rides
anything to watch out for with cable routing of the clutch and the twin concentrics?


also got a leak of the kickstart going to take the gearbox outer cover of to replace the o - ring do you guys use any sort of sealing compound on the gaskets got a slight weep of the timing case as well


Mega thanks in advance,

Tom
 

texasSlick

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Tom Steele said:
hi lads and ladies got a few questions :) mechanical wise


whats everyone's preferred sealing method for the primary case that's still running a primary chain?

Bond the big rubber gasket to the inner cover with silicone. Place a generous bead of silicone around the lower half of the outer cover. Do not overtighten the big nut...one or two threads showing is sufficient. Allow 48 hours for silicone to cure before filling with oil.

e
any new preferred oil for them ? over the original norton manual ? previous owner reckoned he was just oiling the chain before rides but want to get it right as itl be 300+ mile rides Use Ford ATF, not oil....gives better friction on oil soaked clutch plates and does not deteriorate the rubber cushions in the clutch center.
anything to watch out for with cable routing of the clutch and the twin concentrics?


also got a leak of the kickstart going to take the gearbox outer cover of to replace the o - ring do you guys use any sort of sealing compound on the gaskets got a slight weep of the timing case as well
There is an improved "H" section seal available...requires no case mod to fit. Re: timing cover...do you have a reed type 1-way breather? Virtually nothing stopped my weeping on the TC until I installed one.
Mega thanks in advance,

Tom

Here is a link for more info:
650-primary-chaincase-t20707.html

Slick
 
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Hi Slick not sure on the one way breather Ill have to check on that :) and ill look into the improved seal sounds like a great idea

I'll do that on the cover going to be a great year flying about on her thats for sure

Thanks mate
 
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anyone know if the race style seats require you to modify the frame? or anyone that produces one that you don't :)

and has anyone got any pictures of one with the standard tank and race seat? saw the proddy pictures of Phil Reeds in one of the brochures sort of giving me a bit of an idea 8)


Cheers,

Tom


oh yep and anyone know a stockist in the uk for the original chrome front mudguards?
 
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Tom Steele said:
oh yep and anyone know a stockist in the uk for the original chrome front mudguards?

hahahahohohohehehe. Or variations thereof.
The good folks in India wouldn't be churning them out if there was a good supplier in the UK ?
Someone on the NOC has mentioned an (occasional) maker in the UK - Fred ?
 
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beng said:
The single carb Mercury was not on sale until the 650ss and Atlas road bikes were being phased out.

1963 and earlier Norton did have single-carb versions of the 650 for sale though, the DeLuxe with it's enclosing bodywork and the Standard, which was supposed to be painted all grey. Both super-rare bikes, let me know if you see any laying around.

The Manxman could do double duty as it was supplied new. I put a 23-tooth gearbox sprocket on mine and it would pull it in high gear at 70mph down the limited access highways very well. Vibration did not come in until over that speed. With a smaller gearbox sprocket on the bike then you had your racing machine. The SS cam would pull on the top end as high as you wanted to rev the engine. When Cycle World put a Manxman they tested on the cover of their magazine in 1962, they said they used 8000 as a shift point during testing! I would not want to have bought that from Berliner after they were done with it.....

John Gregory and T.C. Christenson of "Hogslayer" fame started their drag-racing careers with the 650 Manxman and developed a list of performance modifications for it including swapping in Model 99 pistons, porting the intake bowl under the valve etc.. Their 650 Manxman was good for 110mph+ in the 1/4 mile drags. They also had an over-bored Atlas in street-trim that ran 92mph at the end of a 1/8 mile dirt strip.

Stretching the Norton and Matchless 650cc bikes to a 750 was not done for any good reason, my guess is pressure from the Berliner brothers in the USA so they could have something to crow about in magazine ads and tests. The Berliners sold the bulk of Norton production and put up the cash and big orders that influenced production. I have one old news article in a Magazine that tells how they had just finished up in a meeting in England sealing the deal for thousands of the Hybrid Matchless/Norton Scramblers.

But the Atlas was developed at the Bracebridge Street works. I have 750 Atlas engine #2 sitting here and it has a lower serial # than one of my 62' 88ss bikes 101xxx. But Bracebridge Street did supply the Atlas as a touring model with a single carb, the twin carb road and scrambles jobs were not sold until after AMC shut Norton down and took over.

So I agree with Acotrel that the 650 Norton was the high-point as far as a pure Norton twin roadster goes, after that everything AMC put out was sort of a compromise or trade-off made for the sake of USA dollars.

The Manxman has a special place in Norton history as the first 650 and introducing the engine for sale that all Nortons would more or less have from then on. But my favorite 650 is the 62' 650ss as supplied to the home market in the U.K., which is pretty much identical to the Manxman except it has the larger tank and the black/silver paint scheme. Though the Manxman was very good on fuel consumption with it's small 1 1/16" Amal monoblocs, I still like having the security of a larger fuel tank on highway trips.


Hello Unearthed the First Norton Manxman number 18-93601 shop number 7 build date 7th of November 1960 along with 29 machines of the same model all was in a rush to get them to the USA market buy the 21st of january 1961 new model launch in New York Motorcycle show but the own of this first motorcycle is not talking and I woudering why !!!
 
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I think my company-provided, commuter 650SS was a '62 model. It had never been street registered and carried what we called "Trade Plates", intended to be switched between bikes during testing after being built. They were red instead of black and were "numbers first" long before regular UK plates were. Mine were "001 JW", as JW was a Wolverhampton code.
 
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beng said:
acotrel said:
I don't know what barrels fit the 650 Norton bottom end, I don't think any other early Norton had twin carbs ?

The 650cc Norton would accept the parts of any earlier Norton Dominator engine, 750 cylinders/heads will not fit though as to accommodate the larger bore the four rear cylinder studs were moved back and the oil drain-back from the head was relocated, the four main head bolts of the 750 were made smaller in diameter and moved outwards too.

The first regular production Norton twin with twin carburettors would be the Model 99 Nomad Scrambler which was built from 1958-1960, twin carbs were also an option on very late 50s wideline Dominators though.
The 650 Manxman was the first model with the 89mm stroke crank and 1 3/4" crankpins though and the down-draught head. The Atlas and 750/850 Commando were the same as the 650 except for the changes necessary to increase the bore from 68mm to 73/77mm.

The 650 Norton got it's legendary reputation for a few reasons. It was first only available to the USA, which gave it a bit of mystery in it's home market, then when it appeared for sale in the U.K. labeled as the 650ss it tested in magazines at a higher performance all around than the Triumph Bonneville. When the Atlas initially came out in the USA, then in the U.K. a year or so later, it not only had a much lower compression ratio, but was initially supplied with a single carb, so it was not aimed at the performance crowd, plus it's heavier pistons made it shake a bit more too.

Once the Atlas came out in late 62' the 650 was not marketed in the USA too much and sales were very small in comparison. Since the Atlas was not available in the U.K. until 64' the 650ss stayed at the top of the Norton range there and did really well in racing.

Dunstall and others eventually got the bugs out of the 750 and made it fly, but when the Commando came out for 1968 with improvements in it's engine for durability and a lot of marketing hype, the 650ss and 750 featherbed bikes were pushed out of the limelight and faded away.

The motorcycling enthusiasts of the early 60s never heard anything but praise for the 650ss, while the 750 Atlas had a reputation of being slower, vibrating more and having a few bugs like blowing head gaskets and weak cylinders.

So the 650 Norton was a unique package of power and handling just long enough for enthusiasts to notice it's successor's were not so well rounded in comparison. It was the high-point and flag-ship of the original Norton works which was dissolved after 1962.

Presently any 650 Norton is a rare bike. They were made in low numbers to begin with, used hard and blown up then used as raw material for the making of various specials. Any that are left intact are much harder to find top-end parts for than the later 750/850 bikes. Aside from the small bore, most any Commando upgrades/parts will fit giving similar performance and power/reliability.

Some year-by-year 650 Norton facts:

1961 - First official model year. Almost all of 1961 production sent to the USA with the bikes painted almost all blue with red seat covers, small capacity fuel tank, seat moved forwards to suit. Introduced as the "Manxman".

1962 - initial production still sent to USA in the form of all blue/red seat Manxman bikes. 99 of the first 100 650ss bikes were sent to the USA, About half of them looked identical to a Manxman except for having black seats and engines stamped 650ss above the crankcase breather, the other half were still blue but had black frames and seats. Some later 650ss bikes shipped to the usa had the small Manxman tank but the black/silver paint. First year for 650ss and ONLY year it was produced at the original Norton works, a special bike....

About 560 650 Nortons were made before 650ss production kicked in for the 1962 model year, these were the original usa Manxman bikes, by the end of 1962 a bit over 2000 650 Nortons were made at the original Norton works before they were shut down, rare bikes....

1963 - Production small due to parent company AMC abandoning the original Norton works and laying off all workers, moving production to the Matchless works. Specification very similar to 1962 models while AMC used up old Norton stocks of parts. I am not sure at this point if any of the bikes made at the original Norton works late in 1962 were manufactured as 1963 bikes, it may have happened, the Norton records hold the answers.

1964 - 650ss as previous except for many small detail changes to cut production costs. Previous satin-chromed/show chromed hardware largely eliminated for zinc/cad plating. Steering-stop welded on instead of bolt-on. fuel tank filler moved to right side of fuel tank. Smiths Chronometric instruments replaced with magnetic grey-face. Parts detail, material changes from use of new machinery, tooling and jigs too many to list. The later AMC Dominators were not any less functional than before, they were just not to as high a finish and looked a bit more like consumer goods than works of art.

1966 - Continued changes. Upper rear engine plate mounting welded in instead of through-bolted. Oiling system improved with double-speed oil pump gears, larger oilways and pressure-fed rocker arm spindles. Spigot sealing cylinder to head eliminated.

1967- onwards. Amal Concentric carbs phased into production. Head castings same yearly as Atlas and Commando just machined differently for smaller bore etc.. Last hurrah is the single-carb Mercury touring bike sold through 1970, oddly outlasting all other pre-Commando Norton models.



First 650 Norton Manxman was built from November 7th 1960 first batch of 330 motorcycles was shipped to the US on January 13th 1961
and landed in the New Jersey harbour by the 21th on January of 1961 this is from Norton Factory records from the Norton 650s witch i now have a copy
 
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acotrel said:
I must be old fashioned, but to my mind the Manxman was the ultimate version of the featherbed twin, and I'd much rather own one than any commando. The crankshaft in my 850 commando had a hole bored in it opposite the journals to give the silly balance factor. If you plug it with steel, it just happens to give the perfect balance factor for a high speed bike with rigidly mounted motor. The Norton works, pre Dennis Poore were not all stupid. I believe that making the 650cc motor into a 750, and then an 850 was ambitious, and Poore never got it right. He might have done better to produce two models - one for commuting, the other for high speed work. One bike with that long stroke motor cannot do both, the crank balance requirements are different in each case, and vibration is the killer.

Hello I agree with you The Norton Manxman was a peace of Art and a fine motorcycle build like a watch it had its own parts manual it had its own set of silencers and exhaust pipes thats Mufflers and down pipes IN the USA the silencers had seams down the sides and a big triangular plate welded too the top of the silencers edge which was bolted by the passenger foot rests on the left there was a 1 inch spacer so the silencer did not catch the brake back plate the right hand exhaust pipe was made too kink inward too miss the Technometer cable the hole motorcycle had style all of its own there was no there Norton Built like it, and a very fine bike too own and ride it turns heads !
There Extremely rare now I have only 53 now on The Norton Manxman Register and thats world wide so guys keep looking there out there stashed away somewhere they make a very good restored motorcycle with some modern touches too them but do not lose the art work
 
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Anna, can you tell us how many of the 650ss bikes were built over the years?


Glen
 

robs ss

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G'day Norton riders
This is my first post to any forum, let alone this one - I have stalked a few though!
I am underway with my second restoration, the first being my father's 1962 Model 50. This time it's my preferred choice - 650SS (1964 - would have preferred Bracebridge St but Plumstead will have to do)
My specific question to you is, as my cylinder barrel has broken fins (yes - bottom ones near front) I am considering replacement.
Atlas ones seem to be more readily available so - is is advisable to re-sleeve an atlas barrel to 650 bore?
FYI - mine has the spigotted mating with head
Best regards
Rob
 

texasSlick

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robs ss said:
G'day Norton riders
This is my first post to any forum, let alone this one - I have stalked a few though!
I am underway with my second restoration, the first being my father's 1962 Model 50. This time it's my preferred choice - 650SS (1964 - would have preferred Bracebridge St but Plumstead will have to do)
My specific question to you is, as my cylinder barrel has broken fins (yes - bottom ones near front) I am considering replacement.
Atlas ones seem to be more readily available so - is is advisable to re-sleeve an atlas barrel to 650 bore?
FYI - mine has the spigotted mating with head
Best regards
Rob

Fins can be repaired. Impossible to tell after painting.

I think (think means not positively sure) Atlas barrels will not fit the 650 head as some of the bolts were moved outwards. Verify before purchasing Atlas barrels.

You could fit an Atlas head to the Atlas barrels, then fit proper sized pistons. You would then have a 750SS, or would it be an Atlas?

Slick
 
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In 1966-67, the 750SS was actually a re-badged G15/33CSR!

I've never seen one in person, only a couple of ads from that period, and don't know how many were ever sold (likely just a few)

This was the hybrid with the AMC chassis, Norton forks and wheels, and Atlas engine. The difference between a CS and CSR was the CS was a Scrambler, while the CSR was a cafe bike (CSR supposedly meant Competition, Sprung (swing arm), Road, but was often called a Coffee Shop Racer)

CSRs typically came with chrome headlight, chrome tank, swept-back pipes, low bars, and rearsets with a reverse camplate in the gearbox. These specs changed over the run of CSRs, and were mainly sold in the home market


G15CSR


G15CS (my 67!)
 
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The history books are saying that the 750cc Norton was announced as a 750SS at the launch,
but by the time they appeared in the metal in 1962 they were being called an Atlas.

Anyone have any press clippings etc to show this ?

We diverge....
 
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Robs ss wrote:

G'day Norton riders
This is my first post to any forum, let alone this one - I have stalked a few though!
I am underway with my second restoration, the first being my father's 1962 Model 50. This time it's my preferred choice - 650SS (1964 - would have preferred Bracebridge St but Plumstead will have to do)
My specific question to you is, as my cylinder barrel has broken fins (yes - bottom ones near front) I am considering replacement.
Atlas ones seem to be more readily available so - is is advisable to re-sleeve an atlas barrel to 650 bore?
FYI - mine has the spigoted mating with head
Best regards
Rob


I don't think 750 barrels will fit the 650 crankcase. The Atlas cases had the breather moved to the side of the drive side case instead of the rear. This was to accommodate the bigger mouth needed for the larger liners. Without this the breather tunnel would be breached.
Broken fins are an easy repair, & with 650 barrels being as rare as rocking horse sh#*, well worth it.

Martyn.




Martyn.
 
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Martyn,
Welcome to the forum. You'll need to repair your 650 cylinder, as the Atlas mounting bolts are a smaller size and moved out to accommodate the larger bore. Therefore, your head, will not bolt up to your cylinder.
 
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