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Thruxton Production Race 1962

Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby Triton Thrasher » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:45 pm

Rohan wrote:a known problem in endurance races...



And on the road.
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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby acotrel » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:41 pm

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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby beng » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:57 am

If you look at about 3:47 in the video clip you can see a Norton 88ss go by, one of which took second overall ahead of ALL other 650s and first in it's class, with it's two-tone fuel tank. I would say as much or more of an accomplishment than the 650 bike.

I have heard that a dolphin fairing was an option for the Norton Dominators at some point in the early 60s, but I never saw any factory literature supporting that claim.

One of the bikes in the video has a dolphin fairing, so someone was smart enough to have it listed for their bike.

For 1961 and 1962 the 88ss had a manual advance k2fc magneto, the only Norton twin so equipped besides the Nomad Scrambler. In one of Roy Bacon's books, which he had help with from some factory people and the Norton records etc., he states that only 175 of these 88ss bikes went out altogether. Various sanctioning bodies requiring a minimum number available to the public to make them legal for racing.

This is why you will find a few 88ss bikes in the USA, Berliner had to import them beside the 650 and 750 bikes so that they would have something to race against BSA Goldstars etc. in AMA racing, which demanded that race bikes were "production". It is odd that the AMA let the Berliner's import and race the three "Daytona 88" bikes which were stuffed full of Domiracer and Manx engine and chassis bits, but it happened.....

Anyway thanks for the historic video, even though the resolution looks bad, it is still a great piece of history.

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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby acotrel » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:26 pm

Sorry about the quality of the video. It was edited from stuff owned by British Pathe which was pretty mixed up. When I first saw it, it had no sound track and no sequence . I edited it because movies of racing other than the IOM TT is very rare from that period. The Thruxton 500 was the great inspiration for a lot of us who had cafe racers back then. I know I'm on a bit of a nostalgia kick, but I love the result of my editing, even if it infringes copyright . It is worth the risk.
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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby Bernhard » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:09 am

[quote="beng"]If you look at about 3:47 in the video clip you can see a Norton 88ss go by, one of which took second overall ahead of ALL other 650s and first in it's class, with it's two-tone fuel tank. I would say as much or more of an accomplishment than the 650 bike.

I have heard that a dolphin fairing was an option for the Norton Dominators at some point in the early 60s, but I never saw any factory literature supporting that claim.

One of the bikes in the video has a dolphin fairing, so someone was smart enough to have it listed for their bike.

For 1961 and 1962 the 88ss had a manual advance k2fc magneto, the only Norton twin so equipped besides the Nomad Scrambler. In one of Roy Bacon's books, which he had help with from some factory people and the Norton records etc., he states that only 175 of these 88ss bikes went out altogether. Various sanctioning bodies requiring a minimum number available to the public to make them legal for racing.

This is why you will find a few 88ss bikes in the USA, Berliner had to import them beside the 650 and 750 bikes so that they would have something to race against BSA Goldstars etc. in AMA racing, which demanded that race bikes were "production". It is odd that the AMA let the Berliner's import and race the three "Daytona 88" bikes which were stuffed full of Domiracer and Manx engine and chassis bits, but it happened.....quote]

Here in the UK the A.C.U. were, I think, very flexible with the rule book regarding production race bikes. It really depended on the race scrutineers interpretation of the rule book and what he/she could see with their eyes, if your bike was presented at scrutinizing with a kick-starter and lights, it could have a full race cam and close ratio gearbox; who was to know :?: There could be a lot of optional extras listed by the factory, or for some factories, naff all. Later on, the race scrutineers got a bit wiser on policing the bikes when they turned up themselves with the manufactures list of optional extras, some factories came as 3 A4 pages long.
The dolphin fairings were not made by the factories and were supplied by Avon, Churchgate Mouldings, amongst others, in the early 1960s, they were allowed on proddy bikes, whether it was listed as an optional extra or not- see what I meant about the rule book :?:
In 1962 the Thruxton circuit in Wilshire was almost 10mph faster than the previous year. The chief reason was the revised circuit first used in Easter 1962 in which Windy Corner slow left and right hand bends were replaced by one fast right-hander.
The 500 Norton in second place finished Norton 500 was ridden by R.Ingam & F. Swift, third place was a privately entered 500 Velocette ridden by E.F.H. Boyce & T. Phillips, the same Tom Phillips who finished third in the I.O.Man TT on Norton’s works 500 Domiracer, I belive.
As practically all the bikes entered were either dealer or privately owned we wondered at the time who was doing the most to promote the bike model, the dealers who entered at their own expense or the bike manufactures who took great delight in publishing a full page advert in the motorcycle press at that time when their bike won :!:
I took great delight at the time in following Honda’s so called “Black Bomber” being entered in the 500 miler and always getting beaten by the Geoff Donkin’s entered Velo Thruxton. Except one year when the Velocette broke down due to Magneto failure, (shades of Lucas Prince of darkness) that was the only time the Black Bomber won the 500 class.
Norton had ceased making the 500 Domi by 1965.
Last edited by Bernhard on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby Bernhard » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:12 am

acotrel wrote:The Aerial Leader two stroke was very fast - most impressive . I never thought much of them, although the Brits use them in classic racing.


Don’t you mean the Arrow :?:

It is surprising at that time that these ring-a- dings finished a race :!: :)

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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby beng » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:45 pm

Anyway good job on saving this historic piece of video for us all!

With 1962 being the last year for Norton production at the Bracebridge Street, and the first year for the 650ss model, I have long felt that 1962 was the year that Norton was at it's best. By fate I have ended up with four 1962 featherbed sporting Nortons to work on.

In fact my opinion is that 1962 was the best year for all the British marques that were still in business.

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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby acotrel » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:33 pm

I've been uploading all the old footage I can get . But stuff from pre 70 is hard to get. I found this Thruxton clip quite emotive, I really hope some of the young guys get an idea of what it was really like back then. These days it is all a bit better, more guys stay alive, even though they are going faster.
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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby Bernhard » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:13 am

acotrel wrote:I've been uploading all the old footage I can get . But stuff from pre 70 is hard to get. I found this Thruxton clip quite emotive, I really hope some of the young guys get an idea of what it was really like back then. These days it is all a bit better, more guys stay alive, even though they are going faster.



There are some on this website from the mid 1960s ;
http://www.vintagebike.co.uk/galleries/videos.php


..................and hundreds of pics of bikes A-Z

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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby Bernhard » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:05 am

Bernhard wrote:
acotrel wrote:The Aerial Leader two stroke was very fast - most impressive . I never thought much of them, although the Brits use them in classic racing.


Don’t you mean the Arrow :?:

It is surprising at that time that these ring-a- dings finished a race :!: :)


This is a bit off topic, but the information might be useful..................

249cc 1960 Ariel Arrow - George Brown Sprint Special

During the same weekend George also took the British Standing Start Kilo Record in 250, 350 and 50Occ classes on a special Ariel Arrow. This machine had been lent by the Selly Oak Company to see what the Brown brothers could do - a good deal, it seemed.
Held the flying Kilometre speed record at 122.45mph.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gordoncalder/4600149198/

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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby acotrel » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:34 pm

I wonder where they got the pistons for the Aerial Arrow? In those days a few pistons were forged, most were cast. The Japanese developed the machine which spun cast then forged the two stroke pistons, so that the grain flow was better, and they did not seize so easily. I'm amazed that the Arrow was so fast without doing a number on itself. The bike which made me laugh was the Greeves which had a big piston diameter, also they intially used GP carbies with big velocity stacks. After the stack fell off and the bike actually revved out they found themselves with a much quicker bike. One of the guys who started historic racing in Australia smashed the shit out of himself when a Greeves seized in a corner. When Jack Findlay was racing the aircooled TR500, Suzuki lent him a couple of their good pistons, then took them back after he won the GP.
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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby beng » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:46 pm

I found the video elsewhere on the internet with a bit better quality and ripped a few photos of the Nortons from it.

If you look carefully at the video, you can see that there were two 88ss bikes that look identical except for the numbers.

Anyway absolutely fabulous motorcycles, and also very rare motorcycles these days.

Notice the 650ss has an ATRC Smiths tacho, but the 88ss looks to have the standard chronometric sitting up proud on it's bracket.

The 650ss was the flagship of the Norton range for 1962 and always got the most attention, but the 88ss was very important because it's 500cc displacement gave Norton a legitimate 500cc hot-rod to enter in production races the world over.
Since the top class in the World Championship was 500cc, the various sanctioning bodies in different countries had their top and most respected racing class at 500cc also. In the USA the AMA let the 500cc OHV bikes run in their top class along with the 750cc side-valve bikes the American Harley Davidson and Indian companies produced.
In the USA the 88ss had to run against BSA Goldstars and A50s, Triumph unit T100s and Harley KR750 racers. All formidable opponents especially as Harley, Triumph and BSA had much deeper pockets and larger organizations in the states which let them hire the top riding talents of the period.

If anyone has any more photos or information on the accomplishments of Norton 88ss and 650ss bikes in this or other production-based racing lets have them......!

Image

88ss:

Image

This 1961 AJS 650 finished 15th in the 1962 Thruxton:

Image
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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby acotrel » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:06 am

I think that is the 650CSR, the model on which all the old problems were fixed. The New South Wales police had them in 1963.
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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby beng » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:37 pm

Yep, it is a CSR. I am pretty sure that by 61' they had the nodular crankshafts, and from what I read about the above Ajay it is still running on it's original crank, pretty good for having competed in endurance road races for thousands of miles at over 120mph. This was a one-owner bike that was recently auctioned off by Bonham's. My old man was a Matchless dealer, he is still kicking and he has a 63 G12csr we are supposed to try and start up when the weather breaks after he had the engine all apart for a look and back together. Beautiful bikes, rare bikes, and they can be very competent in the right hands with good maintenance.

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Re: Thruxton Production Race 1962

Postby acotrel » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:13 pm

The G45 Matchless was probably the fifties British racer with the most potential. A friend of mine fixed the cam follower problem by using followers from a 650CSR. Some of the guys around here are building replicas using Yamaha XS650 crankshafts, so the drive side oiling problem with the centre bearing is under control. I'd really love to own a 650CSR, they were really good but few were ever sold in Australia. I think a good 500cc version would give a molnar manx a big fright.
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