Clubman Classics is a personal blog inspired by the fearless, amateur road racers who competed in the 1947 - 1956 Isle Of Man Clubman's TT races and their production based machines.

Friday 2 July 2010

A Tale of Two Norton Inters

The Norton International was the pre-war flagship bike for Norton from its inception in 1932. Used for racing both by the Norton factory Works racers, clubman racers and for fast roadwork, the International was produced in 350 and 500 versions (with a few 600cc bikes for sidecar racers). The first bikes were produced with girder forks at the front and rigid rear ends , with plunger rear suspension appearing at first on the Works bikes and later on the customers models. The very last pre-war racing Inters were very quick specialist machines and were christened "Manx" by virtue of the marques immense racing record in the Isle of Man TT and Manx GP races.

Post war, the Inter acquired telescopic front forks as well as plunger rear suspension from 1947 until 1952, when the Inters had a final makeover with the adoption of a version of the acclaimed Featherbed frame, which took it up to its final demise in 1958

Keen to ride both the post war plunger and featherbed bikes on modern day public roads in Somerset, I spent a fabulous day in the brisk March sunshine comparing road manners whilst scaring a few horse riders in the process!

1949 Norton International 350 Clubmans

First up the 1949 350cc 'Plunger' Inter. Having spent many years in a leaking shed in Northumberland and once raced by Bill Camier in the 1949 Isle of Man TT, this Clubmans spec machine has been fully restored by Mike Pemberton and George Cohen.

Now demonstrating a distinctly road bias set-up, this machine has a comfortable but sporty riding position demonstrated by the turned up bars and lack of 'bum-perch' seat. The elegant but rorty Brooklands exhaust can, rear set footrests and lack of lights turn the balance back towards road racer. Considering the engine, recently rebuilt by George Cohen, has covered less than 50 miles since the rebuild, this road test was an exploration of handling rather than outright speed. We'll save that for another day at Wroughton Airfield.

Starting easily on the first kick, the 350 makes a fabulous noise. No doubt thanks to the Brooklands can, I scare a pair of juvenile ponies and their riders, trotting up the neaby bridleway. Cutting the engine immediately I make my apologies. Horse-hair-raiser over I restart the 350, again first kick.

Once underway, the free revving, all alloy single ohc motor begins to warm up and I am rewarded with a charmingly smooth power delivery. Positive gear changes are very straight forward and within a mile I am begginning to swing the Inter into corners with confidence. Approaching a bumpy kink in the road, I am keen to discover the cornering abilities of the plunger frame. Entering the bend at 55mph I learn a shift in body position to the rear of the bike helps the dampers smother road imperfections also emphasising the need for a bum seat.

On reaching a long straight I find even in run-in state this 350 Inter can still reach illegal speeds with ease as I instinctly overtake a Sunday-driver-driven Nissan Micra. Back in the fifities, the driver of an unsuspecting Ford Anglia would have received quite a fright. A practical, sporty machine with a wealth of charm and character, the '49 Inter is a real gem.

1954 Norton International 500 Clubmans

Next up, the 1954 Featherbed 500 Inter Clubmans, another machine with a fascinating history. Raced by G W Shekell in the 1954 Clubmans TT, finishing 12th at an average speed of 80.25 mph (the second Norton to finish) and restored by Bernie Allen in 2009, I rode this bike at last years Norton Owners Golden Jubilee event at Donington Park.

Restored to Clubmans specification, including an all alloy engine, no lights, rear set footrests, Manx front numberplate and seat, this Inter has a very purposeful appearance. Second kick brings the 500cc motor to life, producing a deeper but no less fantastic sound. The riding position of a racing featherbed is much heavier on the wrists than the earlier Inters, even with flat bars fitted, resembling that of a more modern sports bike.

Fitted with race cams, the featherbed Inter is happiest on an open throttle which makes for swift, rewarding progress especially blatting along country A-roads. The long Manx seat permits plenty of movement in the saddle, the drum brakes are soft by modern standards but provide ample stopping power.

With more grip than outright power, the 500 Inter is a very confidence inspiring machine and a bike that cries out to be ridden. The combination of low weight and a rev hungry engine make for a smile inducing road experience, the bike responding to delicate inputs and with none of the plunger's evident pre-war feel. With only 50 bikes built to Clubmans specification, this is a very rare machine as many were turned into Triton cafe racers. Following on his Honda VFR 750 my Dad commented, "You looked like you were having fun!", and indeed I was.


Anonymous said...

For most recent information you have to pay a visit web and on the web I found this website as
a best web site for latest updates.
Also visit my webpage : my options scam

Anonymous said...

My brother recommended I might like this website.
He was totally right. This post actually made my day.
You cann't imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!
My homepage : real online roulette

Anonymous said...

I was pretty pleased to uncover this web site. I wanted
to thank you for your time for this particularly fantastic
read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to look at new information in your web site.
Also visit my blog post - play casino roulette for real money

Anonymous said...

I'll immediately seize your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly permit me recognize in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.
Look at my web blog forex currency trading system

Anonymous said...

Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
When I look at your website in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
superb blog!
Here is my web blog - forex hedging

Anonymous said...

I like the helpful info you supply to your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and take
a look at again here frequently. I am somewhat certain I'll be told a lot of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!
Also visit my web page : binary options trading signals

Anonymous said...

Good web site you have got here.. It's difficult to find excellent writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!
Also visit my web site ... forex day Trading

Anonymous said...

The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it
can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!
My web blog :: work from home jobs online

Anonymous said...

This is a topic which is close to my heart.
.. Many thanks! Exactly where are your contact details though?
Also see my web page > search for online Jobs

Anonymous said...

Hi there! This blog post could not be written much better!
Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward
this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a great read.

Many thanks for sharing!
My blog post ; online education jobs

Anonymous said...

I think this is among the most significant info for me.
And i'm happy studying your article. But want to commentary on few general issues, The site taste is wonderful, the articles is really nice : D. Good activity, cheers
Here is my web page - best trading platform

Anonymous said...

Hello to every body, it's my first visit of this web site; this website contains remarkable and actually good data for visitors.
Here is my homepage - looking for a part time job

Anonymous said...

Dip remаining 4 toгtillas into sauсe and set up more
than neхt layer. - Cеntгe tunnеl chimney duct to maximіse economicаl hot аirflow.
You could be the reaѕοn of huгdles in youг fаther's accomplishment.

Also visit my web blog ... www.purevolume.com

Anonymous said...

Part 2 of this series on marketing your small business using Facebook offers social media marketing tips and guidelines
for how to attract fans to your Facebook page. You might not allow people to write on your wall, however, when you share
a thought, a link, or comment on someone's else wall, people can definitely also leave a comment. On top to the number of friends, you can get social proof using your wall ' all you need is
few people who write on your wall on regular basis.

Here is my web blog :: http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/member.php?u=52022

Anonymous said...

The developers are saying that Defiance is a pixel perfect shooter,
so if you aim at your target's head it WILL be a headshot instead of the invisible dice rolling a 5 and telling you that you somehow missed. At the same time, web games seemed like the future of gaming, and we wanted to be a part of it. But what happens when a player runs out of race tokens.

Take a look at my page ... http://travelforum.thailand.com/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&U=159466

Anonymous said...

With Apple Motion, you work by developing text and graphical items in a modified two dimensional
space. Top animation institutes of India provides good tutorials and study
material to study different top animation courses. The best part of using Elements
is it allows novice filmmakers do a lot and makes it easy.

my web page :: videos downloaden

Anonymous said...

In the four tournaments since his first of the season, he.
This way you are not disappointed when you
get residence, and you won't have to make a excursion back to the shop. As ever we strive to help our customers make informed decisions and understand where their r4 cards are coming from.

Feel free to visit my web-site - http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/members/forums/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=22869

Anonymous said...

The most attractive feature of an online radio tuner is its ability to
record what you're listening to. Her first movie was Holiday in the Sun in the year 2001, Help in the year 2004. With the Worldmate Nokia 5800 Xpress - Music application you can keep track of the current times in up to five different cities worldwide at a go.

my webpage; http://www.online-radioportal.de

Anonymous said...

It bears mentioning that there are also games and
simulations available to those wanting to learn to trade stock index futures.
At the same time, web games seemed like the future of gaming, and we wanted to be a part of it.
t love the unself-conscious little boy or girl, the undaunted miniature
explorer who moves with unbridled enthusiasm to experience life.

My page ... spielespielen24.de/gesch..

Anonymous said...

According to statistics, "Internet radio attracts an upper-income audience, with weekly Internet radio listeners 36% more likely to live in a household with annual income of $100K+ than the general US population 18+".
If you want to know what folks are listening to and talking about on the opposite coast, Fly - Cast is terrific.
You can in fact lend your ears to varied musical programs on rock music, jazz, country music and
many more.

Here is my web page; Skip Navigation

Anonymous said...

Facebook has groups, applications, and many of the exact same features of
My - Space, delivered in just about the same
way. This information provides easy ways for hackers to step into your personal world.
The challenge with being on top is that it can get lonely.

my web-site; click the following internet page

Anonymous said...

She loves to share hers positive and negative experiences, and staying at
, booked through chilloutbali. If you own a Black -
Berry 9550 Storm 2, Black - Berry Curve 8530, Black - Berry
Tour 9630, Black - Berry Storm 9530, Black - Berry Curve 8330,
Black - Berry World 8830, Black - Berry Pearl Flip 8230, or Black
- Berry Pearl Flip 8130, then you can listen to
nearly a thousand songs on a single micro - SD card. Powerful hollow waves form here and can hold a sizeable swell.

Review my page; gpilethabwakgvj.tblog.com - gpilethabwakgvj.tblog.com

Anonymous said...

When it comes to fishing, some goes for fishing as an entertainment activity and many depends upon fishing for their livelihood.

One of the benefits of fishing is that it is not physically demanding.
If the fish are not hitting on your main crappie jigs you may need
to switch to live bait or a combination of live and artificial baits.

Feel free to visit my web-site wholesale fishing tackle

Anonymous said...

In the four tournaments since his first of the season,
he. Don't leave the landscape designing and terrain optimization to the last moment. It is recommended that the golfers select those putters with which the golfers feel good and works well with their gaming pattern.

Also visit my blog - http://www.oahuislandnews.com/index.php/member/166961/

Anonymous said...

The fishfinder approximates where the fish are by measuring the amount of time between when the beam
was sent out and when it registered the hit.
Sea fishing can take place from a boat, from a pier or jetty
or from the beach or by an estuary. If the fish are not hitting on your main crappie jigs you may need to switch to
live bait or a combination of live and artificial baits.

Feel free to surf to my web blog :: mouse click the up coming document

Anonymous said...

clients, Rachel, who got back together with her ex.
It should come as no surprise that i - Tunes is loaded full
of pirate apps for i - Phone, i - Pod Touch, and i - Pad.
But what happens when a player runs out of race tokens.

Visit my web-site; Learn Alot more

Anonymous said...

Perfect pan size we encourage you take them back to your hotel and
have them prepared. The 360 Series from Aqua-Vu is specifically designed with
a rugged encasement for ice fishing. One can find another
2 options as to wholesale fishing rod, which might be hollow-tip rods and reels and spliced-tip rods.

Look at my web page :: Http://fishing.seweb.de

Anonymous said...

In the four tournaments since his first of the season, he.

Port forwarding lets you specify which ports the game
needs to perform at it's best. We carry R4 SDHC, DSTT, R4i SDHC, Acekard 2i, EZFlash Vi, M3i Zero, and now the i - Edge.

Here is my homepage; visit the following website page

Anonymous said...

Similar to the cue ball that is shot in pools; this game involves coins and
strikers that are essential to play carrom game.
The only downside of it in a lot of people's eyes is the fact that there is no multiplayer content. The most unique thing about Ouya is that it is said to be "open" -- although what this means is up for interpretation.

My web blog: Click On this site - universalmaroonassociation.com

Anonymous said...

Not only will your child be in awe of all the
bright colors of his favorite cereal transformed into
a birthday cake but your guests will absolutely love your creativity.

The good part of it here is that the act of doing so
does not require any kind of skill or competence.
Cake decorating is absolutely not confined
to large cakes by any means.

Take a look at my web blog fran's cake and candy supplies

Anonymous said...

Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one
and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam
comments? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
I get so much lately it's driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

Feel free to visit my website ... diets to lose weight fast

yanmaneee said...

golden goose
nike react
birkin bag
supreme hoodie
yeezy 700
supreme clothing
kobe shoes
air jordan 1

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...