frankdamp wrote:The comments about build quality sum things up very well. A fairly good overall design mucked up by the gorillas in the shop? There's an even chance that some of the problems were due to very old, worn-out tooling.
There's a legend from the move from Birmingham to Plumstead after Norton became part of Assocoated Motorcylces. Many of the long-time workers declined to move and took retirement. When production started in Plumstead, they had a very difficult time getting the holes in the crankcases, which are used for the barrel tiedowns, to line up accurately. They were drilled by a drillpress with multiple spindles on the main column.
The folks at Plumstead got so fed up, they brought the old retiree down to London to see if he could help. The first thing he said when he got to the machine was "where's my piece of wood?" It turned out that the bearings on which the drill press column moved up and down were so worn, he had a length of 2x4 lumber which he used to force the column over to the same side of the bearing clearance each time. Apparently it made up to 3/16" difference down at the drill tips.
Lack of funding, particularly for capital equipment, was evident to me the first few days I was a Nortonian. I had already interviewed with Boeing before I went to N-V and I had planned to withdraw my application once we'd got settled in Wolverhampton. I'm sure glad I wised up quickly.
Good description of all the reasons I bought the bike in 74 and why we love them. Describes my 850 to a tee. Could you really ask for more. Of course, Steve, you already know that or you would be spending all your time on a Honda or God forbid a Harley.
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