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No.18 / September 2013 - Important Changes to Online Catalog

From this weekend we will be closing down the SOHC Online Catalog for approximately two weeks.

The main reason for this is that, sorry to say, Martin who deals with all the online orders is leaving us and finishes in the next week. The good news is that we have got a new person starting with us - Rob, whom Martin will be handing over to in the next week - but to allow for this transition and to give Rob and myself time to get this new arrangement in place, we will not be taking any further orders until the website catalog is re-opened.

Please note that for you customers that already have orders in progress, Martin will be continuing with these over the next week and we will continue to contact you as normal. Also you can continue to email for updates to your orders - but please be aware that at sometime in the next two weeks there will be a handover and that Rob will be taking over, so we would really appreciate if you could be patient and appreciate that Rob may not be as quick or as familiar with your requests as Martin or myself.
Please do not try to send orders and normal queries to us by email in this time - we will not be able to deal with them, and with all our efforts being spent in trying to transition over, inevitably they are likely to get missed or ignored.

The good news though is that Rob himself is an ex British motorcyclist and experienced engineer, so does bring quite a bit of knowledge with him.

To give you further visibility - as part of this transition, for the first time I have had to rent seperate premises for managing the mail order side of the business. Just like Martin and myself, Rob will only be able to do this job part-time and may only be able to answer emails at certain times in the week - therefore please bear this in mind when placing orders. As always though, we will be contnuinally checking and ensure payments are acknowledged and orders sent out as quickly as possible.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Martin for all his help, he has been a great boon to the business and will be sorely missed - although we remain very good friends and neighbour's, so I am sure he will continue to keep an eye on me!

Finally, for my own part, as you will see from previous blogs on my homepage, the last year has had some personal challenges and very reluctantly I have given serious consideration to if I can still carry on with the Norton SOHC parts business?, with so little time being available - given that I also work full time (well a bit more than full time actually!) in the IT industry and have also have some additional home commitments at the weekend now.

Given the feedback and encouragement I have received from so many customers and enthusiasts, many of those being yourselfs reading this Newsletter, I have decided to carry on, and maybe the current changes may even lead to further growth - but please bear in mind that in the coming months there may need to be further changes to the way we operate, and I will send further updates if this is the case.

Crappy modern technology and Email!

Just in case some of you have sent me emails over the last two months and have not got a reply - I have been having issues with the super-duper high spec laptop I purchased about a year ago - which has resulted in 4 unrecoverable crashes over that time period - and have meant me having to go back to the last good backup image I had made - in each case resulting in some email messages being lost. The latest of these happened two days ago . . . just when we are in the process of transitioning from Martin to Rob - not ideal timing!
I have managed to get most things back, but can see there is a gap of about 3 weeks around early August missing in the email - so if you have a query from that time, please resend.

Best Wishes All, and expect to see the Nortons Parts Catalog back operational in the next two weeks
Paul Norman

And now for the normal updates:

What’s New? – New Products and Updates - September 2013

I have just checked and can see my last Newsletter was Number 17, back in October 2012. Sorry it has taken so long, but as mentioned on the website Blog page - time available for developing new products has been a bit limited in the last few months - so although Martin and I are both as busy as we can be, there have not been many new parts advertised of late.

In fact with the amount of On-line orders being as strong as it has been in the last year, most of my manufacturer's available capacity has been spent just replenishing those items we seem to be constantly running out of.
I know for my own part, that although I only make/fettle a limited num
ber of products myself in the workshop - I seem to be spending a good part of most weekends working to cover the gaps . . . to the continual detriment of my own bikes!.

Anyway, although the list of new parts is not massive this month, there are a couple of significent updates that might be of interest to you, so please read on.


SOHC Bevel Gears - Coming Soon!
As I am constantly being asked if I can supply bevel gears of the Olhdam Coupling type? (to which up to now I have always had to reply - 'no, you will have to fight for them on Ebay, like everybody else'), I am now having batch's of these gears manufactured, the first of which will be lower bevel gear pairs, which should be ready by early September.

I am having the gears manufactured by a local gear making company here in the UK, who specialise in manufacturing bevel and helical gears. I have supplied original Norton gears as patterns and am currently just reviewing the drawings before we commit to the manufacture.
Due to the large initial investment I am having to make, I am having these gears manufactured in 3 seperate batch's. First I am having the lower bevel gears made - as these seem to be the most frequently sought after. Then once I have recouped enough of that investment back, I will commision the upper bevel pair. Finally, I will have a batch of the oil pump and oil pump drive gears made

As far as the first batch are concerned, I will be having both International and Manx type crankshaft bevel gears made (the SOHC Manx type gear had a narrower rear shoulder than the International gear). Price for bevel gears will not be cheap, but should be comparable to other similar gears manufactured by manufacturers of similar engines. Please contact either Martin (on the Sales email) or myself if you wish to reserve a set of these gears - although we may ask for a small deposit).

PS - as a small footnote to this update, it is interesting when you start looking closely at original parts, as you often find more than one variation. In the case of bevel gears we have measured many vertical gears and found a whole variety of tolerences, even at the unworn end - indicating a range of approximately 4 thousandth's of an inch - a veritable mile in 'ground shaft' tolerence! I have elected to go for a finished size that should be appropriate to originals, going into a good condition original plain bearing with little wear

Price : £TBC


Bevel Gears

Bevel gears like this coming soon - although the one on the right in this photograph is out of my race engine and is scrap!

Cambox Cover
A11M/781 : Magnesium Cambox Covers - this one fitted with cambox oil jet holder, which we also make

Cambox Covers
This photo shows our covers (bottom two in photo) and an original 1930's Norton cover (top in photo) as a comparison. The wet look is water repellent oil to protect them in storage

SOHC Magnesium (Racing Type) Front Cambox Cover
A nice little item I have had in the pipeline, but have now had final machined are these distincive magnesium cambox covers, which allow for the central oil feed to the camshaft. These were fitted to the racing (magnesium) cambox's used on competition Inter's and Manx's from the early 1930's through to the introduction of the DOHC. This type of cover were also often fitted to the later (Featherbed) Inter models.
As always with the castings I have made - I have had patterns made using an original Norton casting to copy from, and as you can see from the photograph, they are virtually indistinguishable from an original.

These castings come fully chromated (and as you can see from the photographs, sprayed in Duck Oil to protect them from corrosion in storage), and if you are intending to fit our cambox oil feed jet boss, I can also fit this for you before sending out - as per the top photograph.

Still doing the final tasks on these, and still need to work out the final price, but expect them to be ready in next two weeks

Price : TBC


2x48: SOHC Rear Cambox Paper Washer

We actually introduced these about 2 months ago . . . but thought they are worth including on this newsletter - SOHC rear cambox gaskets.
The original and unusually distinctive original shape of the original gasket has been faithfully reproduced and tried against an original cambox.

Price: £2.85 Each


Cambox Gasket
Unusual shape of SOHC rear cambox washer - but just as per original


Controls : Air and Magneto Levers and John Bull Grips to Special Order . . . and other parts for the future

We have recently introduced air and magneto levers to our catalog. These are modern replicas of the typical Amal 1950's versions fitted to most british bikes of the time.

Price: £14.00 Each

Byt the way, I was recently asked about the special pressed steel levers fitted almost exclusively to early Manx Nortons - yes, I have been doing some work in the background to replicate these (some formers and laser cut parts already produced), but a long way off yet - and do not expect them to be in the same price bracket as those shown here!.

Magneto Lever
We are now able to offer both magneto and air levers - this is the Magneto version

John Bull Sports Rubber
John Bull rubber 'Sports' grips are early 1930's and quite long (7.5")
See my YouTube video of 1000 Bike Festival - Ivan Rhodes KTT's to see what they look like - available by special order but not cheap! - £34 Pair
  I was also asked about handlebars for 1930's Norton International's and I have a similar story. I have had first patterns made of the distinctive racing 1930's style Norton handlebars fitted to International's, which include a wrapround bracket which locates on the girder forks to stop them rotating. However, due to manufacturing difficulties with the sharpness of the bend, we are not there yet - again, watch this space.

Finally, for my own bike I recently was able to acquire a set of distinctive early 1930's John Bull type handle rubbers. I have seen these fitted to Velocette KTT's, but only recently found a period photo of them fitted to an early racing Norton. However, I get no dicount on these from my supplier as they are special order. I will list them . . .but with my margin they are very expensive - so will not be surprised if there are few interested customers!

Back In Stock


Following Items Back In Stock:

- Fuel Pipe Sets
- Valve Guides (or at least . . .they should be in next 2 weeks!)
- Cambox - valve guide oiling pipes
- Rear wheel plunger sprockets

Items Out of Stock but Progressing (with urgency!!):
- Cheesehead Screw sets
- Bevel Nut Copper Washers (I cannot believe it would be so difficult to get these made . . . but they are! am talking to my gasket supplier again)
- Manx Clutch Square Springs - Sold the (original) large batch of these very fast, new batch now being made
- 3 Part Rocker Adjusters - Sold out again. New batch high on priority list
- Petrol Taps: I make these up in batch's of 10 at a time (from all the component parts made previously) - new batch to complete asap

Valve Guides
Valve Guides expected to be back in stock in next two weeks
Other News

Other News


Competition Clutch and Brake Levers - In Progress
Another item I am constantly being asked about is the next batch of competition clutch and brake levers - particular to competition motorcycles of the 30's/40's, with longer blades than standard, and 'sided' with brake lever longer than clutch..
Progress is being made - a large batch of the bronze handlebar castings have been machined and are awaiting chroming.

Next step is pressing the lever blades - which I am now half way through doing, then all will be sent away for chroming before final assembly.
Realistically, expect at least 3 months to complete . . . apologies to those on the waiting list

Cams and Camshafts
my normal supplier has retired. Last few sets remaining, am trying to source new supplier for both of these. Work in progress

Competition Lever Brackets
Competition Clutch/Brake Levers

Please Note: Because I am not VAT Registered, I do not show the VAT seperately. However, rest assured that I still have to pay VAT on all costs and pay tax on all sales! (currently UK VAT is at 20%), the Retail Price you see quoted above takes this into account. Therefore, please bear this in mind - and that many suppliers of parts quote Tax Exclusive, meaning their quoted prices still have 20% to add, while our price is the price you pay.

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