Practical tips and tricks

Back to change notice

 During the use of the motorcylces the riders were confronted with problems not envisioned by Norton.

Motorcycling and The MotorCyle magazines were weeklies that published several tips and tricks to help the riders keep their bikes on the road, both military or civilian M/C's .

Additionally,  I give a personal tip for clutch problems.

Petrol Tank Fixing  bolts:
Petrol tank bolts had a tendency to get lost during use of the machines. The continuous vibrations apparently loosened the tank fixing bolts. I found it out myself before thinking of a cure.
A very practical way to prevent the loss of the tank bolts was by securing them with safety wire.

To do this, a hole (roughly 1,5 mm diameter suffices) was drilled through the head of the bolt. After tightening the bolt to the tank, a piece of safety wire is inserted through the bolt head and then conveniently fixed to the petrol tank support. See picture for my solution. To fix safety wire properly, fix it such that the bolts can not be rotated "backwards".

Wheel sleeve nuts.
One experience I did not have to the extend that it caused me serious injuries, but certainly a scare is the loosening of the wheel sleeve nuts. Its easy to imagine what might happen if one of the front sleeve nuts comes loose and at some time is restricted in its movement by some stationary part of the bike.

The cure for this was again the addition of holes through the hexagonal part of the sleeve nuts and safety wire. 
Shown is the fix as published in the Motorcycling of April 1943.

From the view of safety wire application this picture shows an incorrect application of safety wire. The wire should have been fixed to the spokes further forward to keep the bolt from turning loose at all. (Aeronautical engineering!)

Clutch disengagement problems
I hear many Norton riders complain about the bad working of the clutch after installing new clutch plates.
It keeps dragging a lot.

I found out years ago that the newer plates were slightly thicker than the older oners, resulting in a minimum play when pulling the clutch lever. This usually then results in continouosly dragging plates, leading to gear change problems, especially when trying to find the neutral position while standing still.

My solution to the problem has been to just remove one steel and one fiction plate. The plates will get more "room" to disengage, reducing the drag to a minimum. With good springs there will not be any slippage, and the front wheel of the bike can still be lifted from the ground by a sudden clutch engagement. 
It seems the clutches were made with a large "safety factor".
If the clutch does show some slippage, the springs should be replaced by longer ones (the original pulled outwards) or some washers can be added at the bottom of the spring cups, making up the thickness of the missing plates.