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Future of Old Britts Technical Articles

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by bsaboss, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. bsaboss

    bsaboss VIP MEMBER

    Sep 11, 2009
    I read a post recently that mentioned that Fred and Ella at Old Britts may be retiring in the not too distant future. I wonder if any thought has been given to finding a new home for the wonderful range of technical articles they have on their site? While there are other sellers for parts and services it would seem a shame to loose such a wealth of information.
    XTINCT and JimC like this.


    Jan 10, 2012
    Why don't you ask them?
  3. ashman


    Jul 11, 2010
    What ever happens it will always be on the world wide web but think about the times before the web, a good workshop manual is always the best thing to have and always learn by your mistakes or think things through before you start anything or when you get stuck and if you get stuck on anything don't get angy walk away from it and ask on here there is always help somewhere, but the best way to learn about your bike is doing it yourself and remember don't be scard to ask even if its only something simple.

  4. swooshdave


    Apr 15, 2009
    Yes, they’ll get archived one way or another. Or just st Ashley as he’s done everything.
  5. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Jan 15, 2008
    This forum would be a good repository for those articles...
    Chris Zet and norton73 like this.
  6. MexicoMike


    Jan 31, 2010
    FWIW, I have seen sites suddenly leave for whatever reason and years of info disappeared with it. No explanation, no warning, nothing. Yesterday the site's there/normal; today it's gone as if it never existed - click on your link and you just get a "site does not exist" or similarly worded message from the search engine.

    I would not assume that the info will somehow remain on the web. It will only remain if the site owner maintains the site. If he/she doesn't, it's gone. In the past year I have personally seen this with a motorcycle site, a car site, and a vintage electronics site. In one case it was extremely annoying because I was restoring some tube (valve) equipment based on the site hosted by one of the original designers of the gear. Then it was gone...

    So, I suggest that if there is interest in ensuring that the OB tech data be available if they shut down, some steps be taken to coordinate with them/copy the info. Obviously, anyone can download/copy the tech articles from the OB site but posting publicly without their permission might be a copyright issue. I don't know if that's the case on the Web - maybe everything is considered public info once published and copyright/ownership does not apply. But worth being sure about.

    If nothing else, it's the right thing to do - talk to Fred/Ella first and then proceed.

    NOTE that OB has not stated they are quitting the business. It's just that some of us (me included) are ASSUMING from some of their recent messages about scaling back, etc that they are heading in that direction.
  7. KiwiNeill

    KiwiNeill Guest

    I,ll print them off and keep them with my other data sheets, very good articles specially the gearbox and e start assemblies. Done by people who know what they,re talking about.
    Workshop manuals OK up to a point on some things but hardly as good as a dedicated tutorial.
    The official Mk 3 Commando manual doesn,t show how to set the timing via the slotted crankshaft mark for instance, error prone primary degree scale only.
  8. texasSlick

    texasSlick VIP MEMBER

    Jan 2, 2013

    The web is exactly like print media. If a copyright declaration (C in a circle) is not attached, the material can be considered public. Due credit should be given if copied.

  9. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Jan 15, 2008
    I left a message for Fred at Old Brits. I'm going to ask him to consider allowing Jerry to host the archives (also involves Jerry agreeing, so I'll message him, too)
  10. Mr. Rick

    Mr. Rick VIP MEMBER

    Feb 6, 2009
    Which of course brings up the subject of what happens to this forum, when/if Jerry decides to move on before the rest of us. I'm a worrier...
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  11. bsaboss

    bsaboss VIP MEMBER

    Sep 11, 2009
    I had thought of printing them off, in case the OB site does close down at some stage, but there's so many of them. Having a new host (whether it be this Forum or someone like CNW) take them over (with due credit given) would be brilliant. Worse case scenario would be they just disappear, as they really are a wealth of information.
  12. MexicoMike


    Jan 31, 2010
    Same thing that happened with the sites I was talking about...We'd be, to put it scientifically, SOL. ;)

    I guess we'd all have to join the NOC!

    On the motorcycle site I referred to in the earlier post, another regular from the original site started his own site for the same bike. Most everyone from the old site are now there but all the posts/tech stuff from 5-6 years on the original site was lost.
  13. gortnipper

    gortnipper VIP MEMBER

    Nov 11, 2013
    @Jerry Doe I think it would be fantastic to get all of the past and present OB tech articles in a reference section here on Access Norton!

    However, if any of you find a site has disappeared, or you are afraid of it disappearing for some reason, you can always try and leverage The Wayback Machine at https://web.archive.org/

    There, you can either search the archive and you can also nominate pages to be crawled and archived.

    One of the technical articles that has disappeared that I remember seeing a few years ago is this one - Dismantling a Norton Commando for restoration - broken link removed
    I had referenced it and bookmarked it before starting my restoration, but by the time came around to do it, it was already gone.

    However, I was able to get it via The Wayback Machine - https://web.archive.org/web/20120102041834/http://www.oldbritts.com/dismantling.html
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
    oldbeezer likes this.
  14. 1973x75


    Nov 15, 2015
    Mr. Peabody and Sherman had a way back machine.
    gortnipper likes this.
  15. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Jan 15, 2008
    I believe L.A.B. has full access as a backup resource for this forum, and I would hope there is a long-term / ongoing plan for keeping the place up and running.
  16. Jerry Doe

    Jerry Doe Admin

    May 21, 2003
    Wayback machine is the way to go. I have used it many times. This forum is not going anywhere. If I evaporate the forum keeps going. My wife has the keys to the lock :)
    Gmchief and NortonMKIIA850 like this.
  17. frankdamp


    Oct 7, 2005
    I'd have considered taking it on a few years back, but at 77 with 18 years of retirement under my belt, I/m not sure how much longer I'll be adequately compos mentis to do that kind of thing.
    Hortons Norton likes this.
  18. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2004
    No....I don't.
  19. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Jan 15, 2008
    Well, it sounds like Jerry has a plan. Still waiting on Fred, should be today...
  20. ellaeaton


    Jan 27, 2011
    When Fred started Old Britts, customers would ask the same questions over and over, so he started writing tech articles so he could refer them to our website instead of having to repeat answers over and over. He's had in mind over the past few years to pass these tech articles on to the INOA after we retire -- if they'll take them. He does know he doesn't want the information lost. Until we do retire, he'll keep updating the articles.

    On the subject of retiring, we have no immediate plans. We are just trying to slow the business down so we can take more time off to travel and enjoy our grandkids, our new puppy and my mother who will turn 90 next week.
    lutewizzard, bluto, Yakatak and 13 others like this.

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