1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

22 year old and my first norton 650 ss :) from england

Discussion in 'Other Norton Motorcycles' started by norton_rider, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. frankdamp

    frankdamp

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    You did well, finding that one. I'm originally from that part of the UK (born & raised in Leyland). Got my engineering degree at what was then the Royal College of Advanced Technology and is now the University of Salford. After a couple of post graduation jobs, the last 18 months or so at Norton-Villiers in Wolverhampton, I took a job with Boeing. We've lived in the Pacific Northwest for all but three of the last 43 years. My ride-to-work was a tired 650SS belonging to the company. IIRC the odometer was showing just shy of 100,000 miles. The only problems I had were a blown head gasket and then an engine seizure at 85 mph going down the M6. The "banjo" on the bottom of the oil tank came loose and it lost all the oil. I think the bike was still sitting in a corner of the competition department when the company relocated to Andover and was probably junked.

    Too ancient for a kick-starter any more! Haven't owned a bike since 1968. It's too dangerous around here.
     
  2. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Hi Frank,

    how are you?

    many many many thanks for your reply that was an absolutley amazing story to read and Ill be showing it my uncle in a bit once I get to the pub haha I dont drink alcohol as Im out on the bikes pretty much every single day so never put a drop into my system but will be a cracking night out full of norton talk :D

    such a shame such an iconic bike was most likely junked real shame what happened to the original Norton back in the day must have been an amazing place to work awesome to hear they can do that sort of millage and here's everyone over here thinking there japanese bikes have high millage at 9,000 miles loool i tend to really crank mine on on my daily riders

    I really was born in the wrong era would have love to have been around in the 60's and got a job at norton one of my biggest dreams that along with racing the TT which is definatley on the cards after some more effort not a matter of if but a matter of when. :)

    I think Ill lockwire that bolt thanks for the heads up was looking at a few Im going to lockwire just to stop them vibrating loose not drilling any irriplacable parts of course 8)


    whats your opinions on carbs Frank between the concentric's and the original 376 mono blocks that were on the 650ss up to 67/68. In a bit of a quandry as to what to put on originally mine had 376 mono blocks on it as it was about 100 or so bikes before the concentric's came in so could go with either really whatevers the best option its currently sporting a single 389 can't wait to get twin carbs back on it don't mind the slightly harder set up than a single used to doing twin carb setups now :)

    Thanks a load,
     
  3. gtsun

    gtsun VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Wow you lucky dog! Great story & I think it's great that someone as young as you are got the bike. You seem to understand how special it is & being so young asures that it will be in good hands for many years. As to that noise, have a experianced Norton person Herat it, they do make a bit more mechanicle noise than some are used to. I foolishly took a 72 Commando apart when I was your age (27 years ago ) cuz I thought I heard a bad noise. It was just the normal noise they make when hot and I felt pretty stupid for taking it apart for no reason. Keep the pictures coming & enjoy.
     
  4. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Hi Tom

    Very nice score there, you are lucky to have the old owner sell you his pride and joy and I'm sure you will take as much pride as he did with his bike, I am in the process in rebuilding a 62 650, one thing I got to ask you is why you want to get rid of the maggie and go to electronic ignition, if the Lucas maggie is old and worn why not replace it with a new moden Joe Hunt maggie and they sit right where the old maggie sit, I have been running a Joe Hunt on my 850 for 12 months now, it start first kick nealy every time and don't rely on a fully charged battery for starting, in fact I don't even run a battery.

    But its your desission and you seem to have your own ideas and what ever you do to it you will have the best fun ever, I have owned my Norton for 36 years now and it will probly go to the grave with me Hehe, I'm building my 650 Norton up for my daughter, shes bike mad and has been riding since 9 years old she is 14 now so she will have a few years to go before she will get the 650, but I will have some fun on it first.

    So take care and enjoy what you have and it's good that you will change it the way you want it and keeping the orginal parts if you want to change it back some day.

    Ashley
     
  5. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    @gtsun deffo my uncles coming to look at it in a week or so will have an expert opinion on the engine then so jobs a gooden nowt he doesn't know about british bikes and especially nortons so will be very nice to get his opinion on her rather than diving into the engine incase its right just does sound like excessive valve clearances to me so I will be very interested to check the clearances once the previous owner is back of holiday to tell me which one


    just to learn about them really and increase my knowledge pretty familiar with mags but very fascinated by pazon's systems so will be interesting to see the difference in the bike first hand and to get it a better and more stable ignition curve, got to admit joe hunt mags are really awesome bits of kit though :)

    haha sure are amazing arn't they got to love the 650ss's really are a stunning bike got some pics to post up in a bit had the tank of today and to say the bike and frame are mint is a big understatement really looks excellent condition thats brilliant that your daugther is into bikes we soooo need more youngsters into them Im always trying to get my friends onto classic bikes something tells me Im just going to have to convince them of the vurtues of the featherbed frames by leaving there gixers behind on some twisties :wink: haha they are all wimps on corner speeds and brakes lol

    yep deffo would love to keep the original tankset on it but really really dont want to see them ruined by the local weather its chucking it down yet again lol so they are coming of for safe keeping plus I have very long legs so will be nice to be able to get the footrest where I want them but as soon as Im done riding it It'l be getting the original parts bolted back on so Its all intact and as it should be :) best of both worlds really

    what carbs you running on yours Ashely brilliant to see another 650ss being taken care off as they deserve ?

    Thanks,
     
  6. Jeandr

    Jeandr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    One thing you should do before you cane it is replace the connecting rods, I think some of them are not up to snuff, I destroyed my 650 Manxman's motor when a rod broke. As for carbs, take a look at the carb thread on the Commando forum ( what-the-deal-with-keihin-carbs-t10689.html ) You could contact Jim and ask if his PWKs would work correctly on a 650 ( http://www.jsmotorsport.com/contact.asp ) A Joe Hunt mag would sure be cool, especialy placed behind the cylinders.

    Jean

    PS Love your pictures
     
  7. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Hi Jean,

    thanks for the message yep was just planning on what to do to the motor Ill deffo do that my worst fear is damaging the cases through something failing in the motor so going to box all the standard internals up as I make it a little more reliable and do what the previous owner did still got the original valves and springs out of the engine really nice to see and to think he had the forsight to keep them

    Ill defo contact Js about those carbs was looking at some of his stuff a while ago regards the commandos (still on my list of bikes to get one of those) amazing stuff really works of art and a very informative website which is nice to see in this day and age.

    thanks I do try my hardest with the photography been a real struggle in these economic times but still putting the work in :) which is all I think any of us can do at the moment with all the crazy stuff thats going on.

    just nipping to the workshop now to do some more work on her and Ill take some pics on my phone all the cameras are on charge >.< so will be pretty pants but still interesting to see

    Thanks,
     
  8. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Hi Tom

    My 650 was owned by Mike Ferrell here in Brisbane who builds and races old Nortons so this 650 has a bit of history, but my problem was when the last owner who brought it off Mike had no idea what he was doing, he pulled the motor apart without marking anything 15 years ago and as far as I can see there was no need to pull the motor down, the bores are 20th oversize with hi compression pistons that look near new, I will be running the orginal carbs as they look to be good it has a hi performance racing Lucas maggie that shoots out a big blue spark, a alloy central oil tank, alloy rims, and a brand new 5 gallon alloy TT fuel tank which has never had fuel in it yet, but over the 15 years he has misplaced the head, but I don't think he had the head for it as he was quick to give my $500 off the price, but the good news is I just brought a head for it and it arrived yesturday after 8 mouths looking for one, this bike was built before the twin leading front brakes so will have to put up with the single leading brake, it will be done up as a road racer look with clip ons and solo seat.

    If you look at some of Jims clips his Norton has the Joe Hunt maggie and flatslide carbies as well as other good bits inside it, I have used eleictronic ignitions but the Joe Hunt has been the best money I have spent on my 850 so far, the new Joe Hunts with the 4 rare earth maginets are the go, once set up they will keep on going for years without any problems, I had a older Joe Hunt maggie on my 82 Tunderbird Triumph for 9 years and done 250,000 kms on it with out any troubles with the Joe Hunt and it only had 2 rare earth maginets and with the single Amal carb use to start first time every time.

    As for the rattle in your top end it mite just be the nomal sounds that come with these old bikes, if it starts and runs good I wouldn't be to concern about it, just check the valve clearances and do nomal oil changes it probly will go for another 40 years, by the way my 850 Norton sits in a Wideline Featherbed frame, I built it this way in 1980, as far as I am concern Featherbeds rule the twisty roads.

    Ashley
     
  9. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    sounds like an awesome bike Ashely a really brilliant story and buzzing that you managed to save it from someone like that, my 250lc was like that had pedigree but the previous owner pretty much distroyed it was shocking when we got into the engine different bike now mind. love the sound of your 850 when I first started talking to my uncle about featherbeds he always thought that a commando motor in a featherbed would be the ultimate how do you find the vibration on it? you got it solidly mounted?


    few pics I snapped on the phone last night to show my uncle just about to go down to the workshop and get some more stuff sorted on it lots more cleaning haha Ill take one of the cameras this time and get some better pictures as these are really pants lol

    thanks,
     
  10. frankdamp

    frankdamp

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    When I rode the company 650, it had twin Amals that I think were Monoblocs. The bike went back to Plumstead for a few weeks to test a single carb set-up to give better bottom end torque for sidecar duty. The bike went down and back in a van and the original twin carbs and throttle cables stayed at Wolverhampton. I put them back on so I could ride to work again. not realising that the slides were individually lapped to fit the bodies and were not interchangeable.

    Going home that first night, I was threading through evening rush-hour traffic and made a quick dash round a car and pulled in behind a double-decker bus. One carb stuck wide open! Luckily, the magneto kill switch was right next to the throttle grip and I managed to kill it just before I joined the passengers on the rear plaform of the bus who were preparing to get off at the next stop.
     
  11. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    wow that is definatley lucky Frank just moved my kill switch nearer the throttle grip just incase was miles away from it bikes coming on great now although my fingers are all dead from all the cleaning hahaha
     
  12. DonOR

    DonOR

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Great to see you here Tom, and I love your SS.
    I think many of us here are really stoked to see a young cat such as yourself carry the Norton torch into the 21st century. Being at least twice your age, I have a lot of respect for you taking on this great bike, and keeping it on the road. Good work lad.
    Cheers,
    Don
     
  13. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Hi Tom

    The 850 is soilid mounted but the first thing i did was to pull the motor down and get the crank balanced for the Featherbed frame, at 72% balance factor also got the cam rebuilt to the SS spects, running 40thu Hepolite pistons and standard valves but the head has had lots of work done to it, the motor runs very freely, I do get some vibrations at some rev ranges but mostly smooth as, this is a every day ride for me and it have done quite a few long trips on it as well some day rides on the weekends are nomaly 200 to 300 miles round trips, has been back on the road now for 11 months now and haven't had no major problems yet, just a few little things like carbies but have sorted them out now and a circlip mount in the back wheel drum broken but was a easy fix on a lathe fixed that.

    When I got my 650 the head was missing and have been looking for one for 8 months now but found one for it in here in Asutralia and just got it the other day so this weekend I will be putting all the engine parts on the work bench to see what I need to start on it, the frame is orginal blue tossing up to keep it that colour or paint it black, haven't decided yet, but I will be in no hurries as this will be a long term project, but who knows when I get started I just keep going till its finished.

    Ashley
     
  14. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    HI Don, thanks alot that means aload Im buzzing to have the bike and its going to be in very capable hands with having my uncle around to help if I get in a jam with anything going to be doing all the work myself mind every bit of it
    deffo wont be the last Norton Im going to have just going to have to get some more shoots booked in haha

    sounds awesome Ashley deffo on the cards to build one of those :) really fancy a seeley to at some point and a fastback as well darn I need a bigger garage haha :p


    Thanks,
     
  15. beng

    beng

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    The form the bike was in when you got it was a result of the original owner being smart , mature and brimming with common sense.......

    That's all out the window now.....
     
  16. Jeandr

    Jeandr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Still brimming with positivism I see :roll:

    Jean
     
  17. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011

    dont like me or my 650ss dont post simples... :wink: seriously comments like that just damage our wonderfull norton comunity its bad enough one person saying stuff like that but two seems I'm the more mature one here age isnt the only deciding factor otherwise id be saying sling it and removing all my pictures :wink:

    update for people that are interested been really ill today so not been able to make it down to the workshop, mainly been researching the original paint and tank badge suppliers and belt drives to replace the chain which tbh is a bit worse for wear oh and the forks need rebuilding for definate on touching the clocks the entire top nut came loose on the left hand fork haha good job I noticed they wern't rebounding as they should be the other day. Guess its just a case of going over the bike with a fine tooth comb (found quite a few scary things wrong on the bike that I've fixed so far so good) and checking stuff out Like I'd do when preparing my race bike and familiarising myself with the beautiful 650ss. Really noticed I can just sit next her and stare at the differnt lines for hours
     
  18. Jeandr

    Jeandr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Don't worry, its always the same two, for some reason whichever side of the bed they rise from is always the wrong one. I count myself lucky to have some optimism while being a good realist. Keep posting pictures, everyone including myself (except you know who) love to see progress done on a build.

    Jean
     
  19. norton_rider

    norton_rider

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    thanka Jean :D will do cant wait till im feeling better so i can get stuck into her again :)
     
  20. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Yep, put me in the "keep doing what you're doing" column.
     

Share This Page