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Norvin

REC141

New Website User
VOC Member
#1
Now that the Geriatric Comet is back on the road after 35 years absence it's time to turn my attention yto doing the same for the Norvin. Can anyone point me towards an illustrated parts list, or something similar for an early sixties Manx frame and running gear. An exploded drawing of the front forks would be useful if such a thing exists. The engine is fitted as far back in the frame as it will go by engine plates which I got from Hilton Woodrow in 1965. Would anyone in the Norvin section care to comment if this is good for weight distribution and does anyone have any thoughts as to the desirablity of fixing the cylinder heads to the top tubes.

Returning toi the Geriatric Comet, it has a Commando gearbox which is very satisfactory, but about which I know nothing. Is an exploded drawing or illustrated parts list available anywhere?
 

dave g6xnc

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
#2
Commando gear box

I should think that apart from the clutch it would be an almost standard amc box. These were fitted to matchess machines as well as nortons the only difference being the casing having different lugs. Very good box used to be installed for racing in comets being more available than Albions and a lot more robust. Get a haynes manual on a commando, all that will be different will be the diaphram clutch commandos had, if it's got a standard amc clutch you'll have no problems brilliant, they also have a built in shock absorber so yourComet will be super smooth!. Hilton Woodrow used to do some good stuff, contact the norton owners club they will have all the cycle parts data.
dave gs.
 
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trident

New Website User
Non-VOC Member
#3
Fixing heads to the top Rails

Be very careful I have seen the results of attaching both heads to the Top Rails without allowing for movement The heat expansion will cause one or both heads to be crushed You have been warned. I have seen several Norvins with the front head steady to frame by a modified plate fixed in the standard Norton position which dosen't seem to cause a problem. Comments from Norvin owners please
 

Comet Rider

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#4
Expolded drawings

Try contacting Norvil motorcycles, who are very helpfull (but not cheap), as they hold stocks of parts for roadholders, and also lots of comando stuff:D
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#5
Norton boxes

If REC141 will contact me offline, at sunbeam42@tiscali.co.uk, I'll send him (her?) a scan of a Motorcycle Mechanics strip guide for a Norton box, and, if he (she...) wishes, build diagrams for 5 and 6 speed clusters to fit in the AMC case.
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#7
Names and what they mean

Hi Tom.
Your Email address anything to do with Marston Sunbeams? John
Nope, the other kind. I have an S7 - have had since 1974. Bought it for £45 intending a rudimentary overhaul and quick sale, for money to buy a cafe racer - a real bike - but fell in love with it. Advance the ignition to where it should be, and it goes like an sohc oversquare twin. Which, oddly, is what it is........ Doesn't handle terribly well though.
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#8
Bought my M9 for £5 as a box of bits in 69 .Sold it as bits and got it back 3 years ago as bits and hope to have it on the road within 12 months.I'm still in the wilderness looking for bits:(.I can't contact a parts supplier for NEW bits like I can for the Comet:).
 

Vic Youel

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
#9
I too have a M9 in fact two plus one in bits....... a real gentleman's motorcycle. I bought the first in 1979......all restored but not yet back on the road.

I may be able to help out with advice and perhaps reluctantly with bits. Suggest you contact me directly.

Cheers

Vic
 

peter.C

Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
#10
I once had two head steadies on my Norvin and over tightened the rear one. About 200 yds up the road there was a loud bang which was found to be one of the a two piece head stud shearing. Now I only run with the front head fixed to frame.
 

Denis Curtis

Website User
VOC Member
#11
Can anyone help?

:) My first visit to the new VOC website, what a treat!
I have never built a full framed Norvin but several people in the club have called my special twin projects by that name, and I have never been disappointed.
My compliments to all accross the Vincenteering World for a happy and healthy Holiday Season, and a very prosperous New Year.
I am communicating from Canada. It is Sunday night 23rd December, and I just got off the phone to my Brother in Bognor Regis UK whose birthday it was today. We built a Comet together for him in the '60s and he sold it to buy a car. I never forgave him.
Back to my post, if anyone reading this has any knowledge of my enquiry if they could pass that information on to me I would be most greatful.

I'm looking for information on the whereabouts of my original Curtis Vincent Twin special which graces part of page #80 of Mr.Geoff Preece's beautiful Photographic Miscellany. I sold it to a Martin Bland of Sleaford in 1969 just one year before I left England for Western shores.
I also built several replicas of the frame for Stuart Howe of Leicester before I left Blighty, I'm sure everybody has heard of Stuart. While I was away in Canada, he and his Twin Special won lots of races in the '70s.

If you visit my website www.cmrracingproducts.com you will see several pictures of my original special and the one raced by Stuart.

And that's where the link with Norvins comes in. My original Twin Racer was made during '65-'67 using a 'B Twin chopped engine' modified to Lightening Spec by Jim Smith of Pegsden? near Hitchin Hertfordshire. I mated it to a Manx Norton less engine, with the front down tubes cut out to place the Twin crankshaft on the same centre line as the original Manx engine.
It worked well, and the rest is history including several replicas built in British Columbia Canada in the early 1970's using my own tubing layout in a brand new frame, one of which is owned by Mr. Jay Leno.

My question is, can anyone help me find the current owners and whereabouts of the original Curtis Vincent Twin Racer, and the Stuart Howe raced Twins of the early 1970's and later years?

I will be visiting UK in 2008 and would very much like to re-aquaint myself with those bikes and their owners.
Please contact me in Canada:
denis@cmrracingproducts.com

Sincerely,
Denis Curtis
VOC Member in Ontario Canada
 

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
#12
Best I can do is tell you that my Brother has a Norton Commado powered dirt track racer, I believe one of only two you made back in your time in this part of the world. The other one is with a Scotsman in Kelowna BC. When I first went looking for a Vincent in the mid eighties, the one Jay Leno has was offered, however I declined and later bought a Rapide locally.

Robert Watson
 

Denis Curtis

Website User
VOC Member
#13
Can anyone help?

Hello Robert,
Many thanks for your response, and may I say how greatful I was to receive my MPH magazines from you when you were editor. Very well done! While our current Editor Graham is doing an equally fantastic job, I feel your neatly folded MPHs fit on my library shelf a lot tighter than the current ones do. Perhaps Graham could take some lessons on how to fold the assembled MPH magazine as you did?

Great to hear of the whereabouts of those two Norton Flat-trackers. Any chance you could put me in touch with those two gentlemen as I'm trying to build an album of pics of some of my frame kits and complete bikes built over the years. Most of my earlier documents were lost in a flood many decades ago, and I only have a few photographs. If you reply to my personal email I would be most greatful. denis@cmrracingproducts.com

On the subject of Vincent specials, and not necessarily Norvins, I have been looking at building a replica of the bike Jay Leno purchased from Jim Brokensha. It will have an updated triangulated swingarm with twin horizontal gas shocks a la Vincent, and a complete Vincent twin engine rather than a chopped one. Interested?
I have been at work building a replica of my first racer as shown on my website www.cmrracingproducts.com and was able to find a set of chopped twin sandcast early cases through Carleton Palmer and the MPH Classifieds a couple of years ago. It should be ready to race in 2009.
Best regards,
Denis Curtis
VOC Ontario Section Member
 

daytona2002

Website User
Non-VOC Member
#14
B & M Norvin, Head steady

Hi, I have had a strong head steady fitted since 1995, to the front head

only, I find this works OK! I was warned before I started the rebuild not

to fit one to the rear head because of the expansion problems!

I have also a Commando amc gearbox fitted, (Chopped engine :) the

commando box has a longer drive shaft, ideal for the outriger bearing ive

fitted.. with the 40mm Bob Newby belt drive, this system seems to handle

the extra power (91 bore) OK.

If you don´t know my Norvin, you can check it out on www.google.de

type in : Terence Norvin & you will get some pictures... pity though the

articles in German :rolleyes:

Cheers German Jock
 

vincati

Website User
VOC Member
#16
Norvin engine placement, head steadies

If one examines the early Norvin pictures from Australia (1957-58), it is clear that it is not necessary to cut the nearside rear mounting lug to mount the engine. The frame gusset may be relieved a very small amount to clear without weakening the gusset; therefore, I see no reason to chop the engine and affix a weaker trannie. And I doubt that a very minor difference in engine placement will have any significant effect on handling. My Norvin engine is mounted with 5/16" 6061 T6 aluminum plates, and although I know others disagree, I see no reason
to mount a head steady. As for cutting the frame downtubes, the ones I have seen did not seem to have the engine lowered, so I considered that there was no apparent benefit, while the integrity of the chassis must have suffered. Pictures of mine are at www.thevincent.com. at the very bottom of the page.
 

Vic Youel

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
#17
My good friend Eric Patterson (he is the organiser of the Kempton Bike Jumble see http://www.egp-enterprises.co.uk/ ) has just acquired a Norvin. It uses manx hubs, GP carbs and a custom oil tank hidden by a large petrol tank and still has the original Shadow gearbox. It is called a "Viscount" and Eric believes it was one of a few built in the late fifties with spare engines provided by Harpers. It was raced quite successfully in the past. Does anyone know about the origin of "Viscounts?"

Vic
 

daytona2002

Website User
Non-VOC Member
#18
Viscount

Hi Vic, Peter Carpenter who lives near Oxford owns a Viscount & knows a hell or a lot about the "Viscount" builders. I went to his house once a long time ago & got some nice Engine brackets for my Norvin, after meeting him at the North London Section Sunday meet, He´s a very nice man!

Hope that helps .... Cheers German Jock :)
 

peter.C

Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
#19
viscounts

I am glad to see that another Viscount has surfaced after thinking that only two were in exsistence for the past tweny years. The brief description given sounds very much like the real item. I had discussions with the Prof in MPH many years ago who thought that the one Pete Ross owned at that time was the only one made which mine proved to be incorrect. They were made by Tom Somerton in Staffordshire and he broke a lot of twins at that time for their engines. I will be glad to swop info and photos to anyone who has a norvin project. I have a copy of the original MCN road test.
 

Vic Youel

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
#20
I just spoke to Eric and his machine was the one owned by Mr. Ross recently purchased from his widow. Apparently it won quite a lot of races in the past.

Vic
 
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