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.

Saturday 24 March 2012

Mallory Park Test Day - NSU Norton

These photos were taken at the recent Mallory Park test day on March 22nd - first time out for the NSU Norton! The new machine performed faultlessly apart from a trapped breather pipe that meant a little oil began escaping through the filler cap - an easy fix. The new bike replaces the NSU Sportmax replica that I campaigned in the VMCC Economy Appliances Championship in 2011.

Mallory Park is a relatively simple track but one that takes time to perfect. From the first gear bus stop chicane to the very fast Gerrards, it's a track that demands a combination of slow and fast bike control. My favourite corner has to be the devils elbow, a slightly downhill left-hander just before you cross the start/finish straight. One of the other great things about Mallory is the number of 'lines' at each corner. The track is quite wide, allowing plenty of overtaking and even spectators are well catered for thanks to the raised viewing banks.

The NSU Norton is a 250cc NSU Max engine, cradled in an un-modified Manx Norton featherbed frame. The first thing you notice is the front mounted oil tank, located low, out in front making the most of the cool air-flow- it also helps maintain a low centre of gravity. The next major difference to the original Norton layout is the drive-side. Located on the right-hand side, instead of the left, the NSU engine/gearbox unit is also self-contained.

Heading out onto the track for the first time the NSU gearbox is as sweet as a nut. Fitted with Sportmax cams, the engine thrives on revs and only past 3000/4000rpm does it come on song. The following 4/5 laps gave me chance to enjoy the fantastic handling while running-in the new engine. The first race is in 3 weeks time back at Mallory Park, I can't wait!

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