T120 engines in Norton Featherbed frames

Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
8,216
Check your facts Knut ?
Matchless and Ajay compy frames were welded, from the mid 1950s.
Plain steel tubing, and plain steel welding.

It has previously been discussed here the difference between brazing and bronze welding.
In common use, 'brazing' is only using brass - and is not suitable for 531 tubing.
Bronze welding using gas (oxy) can be built up into fillets, and was used for the 531 built frames.

The discussion about Reynolds building 531 frames for P11's etc hasn't been had yet.
AMC didn't have the welding facilities to build them in bulk... ??
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
9,540
Country flag
I notice the Ranger frame picks up both ends of the swinging arm - might not have a hinge in the middle like those disgusting AMC frames ? Pre-unit Triumphs, and those early matchlesses were beautiful to ride if you pushed them hard. You'd have to be numb in the head if you couldn't feel the seat tube twisting - great confidence destroyer. A swing arm B33 BSA frame, a featherbed, Royal Enfield Bullet or a unit construction Triumph frame, was always a much better deal.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
9,540
Country flag
I rode plenty of old AJS/Matchless singles when I was a kid. We used to give them a good thrashing on public roads long before speed cameras were invented. They handled like a bag of shit - worse than a pre-unit Triumph, and much worse than a featherbed dommie. A BSA single or twin with the post 1954 frame was a much better deal as long as you threw the fork yokes away and fitted the ones from the unit construction Triumph 650 (about 1963 model). AJS/Matchless fixed at lot of their problems in about 1963, anything in their road bikes between WW2 and then, is rubbish.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
8,216
We'd like to ask Alan what he/they did for damping on those old Ajays and Matchies,
the Jampots were not known back even then for their oil retaining qualities.
No oil = no damping = no great road holding ability...

It is detailed in Don Morleys great book on compy bikes that the factory riders found that they could
disguise Munroe Wiley dampers inside the Jampot housings, and enjoy the best of both worlds -
ie look 'original', but damping that lasted...

But we diverge, as usual.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
246
I had a 750 unit construction engine in a 1961 Featherbed frame. It was a 5 speed with a single carb. I loved it and regret ever selling it.
She handled well enough for me,but brakes weren't so good. I say po po to the "purist" who think a Triton needs to be pre unit. I'd rather have a unit engine in a bike .....and apparently so did Triumph......one other thing for the purists to chew on ....the carb was a Mikuni :)
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
55
acotrel said:
I rode plenty of old AJS/Matchless singles when I was a kid. We used to give them a good thrashing on public roads long before speed cameras were invented. They handled like a bag of shit - worse than a pre-unit Triumph, and much worse than a featherbed dommie. A BSA single or twin with the post 1954 frame was a much better deal as long as you threw the fork yokes away and fitted the ones from the unit construction Triumph 650 (about 1963 model). AJS/Matchless fixed at lot of their problems in about 1963, anything in their road bikes between WW2 and then, is rubbish.
Out of interest. Did you ever try a G12 or G15 framed bike? Believe they came in 1960 as a full cradle frame..
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
23
Attached is a Photo of Collin Seeley and his early G50/R-7 engine racers. The similarity between Rob North's modified Featherbed frame and Collin Seeley's frames is interesting. I haven't read the Seeley books yet so I don't know if there was any connection or association between Rob North and Collin Seeley, but it would appear that they at least thought alike. Can anybody on the forum comment on the background of North and Seeley as far as their association or collaboration.
 

Attachments

Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
9,540
Country flag
Acebars said:
acotrel said:
I rode plenty of old AJS/Matchless singles when I was a kid. We used to give them a good thrashing on public roads long before speed cameras were invented. They handled like a bag of shit - worse than a pre-unit Triumph, and much worse than a featherbed dommie. A BSA single or twin with the post 1954 frame was a much better deal as long as you threw the fork yokes away and fitted the ones from the unit construction Triumph 650 (about 1963 model). AJS/Matchless fixed at lot of their problems in about 1963, anything in their road bikes between WW2 and then, is rubbish.
Out of interest. Did you ever try a G12 or G15 framed bike? Believe they came in 1960 as a full cradle frame..
Only ever rode the old style frame with the alloy block holding the swing arm. I know a lot of the post 60 AMC bikes were a lot better. The 650 CSR twin was excellent, and I love the singles from about 1963. I saw two at Bathurst in about that year and they were to die for. There should still be some around, there were not eligible for Period 3 historics, however I saw a motor in the back of a ute at one race meeting. I believe those models had the G50 pressed up bottom end.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
9,540
Country flag
It looks like a really great bike. If someone was a bit smart they would collude with Norton and Triumph and build the 961 Triton on a continuous production basis. It might help justify the overheads for the two bikes already in production by creating economies of scale.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
1,929
Country flag
acotrel said:
It looks like a really great bike. If someone was a bit smart they would collude with Norton and Triumph and build the 961 Triton on a continuous production basis. It might help justify the overheads for the two bikes already in production by creating economies of scale.
Norton's production wouldn't add any scale to Triumph.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
8,216
It would also probably takes sales away from Norton.
Looks neater, and would be less expensive ?
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
9,540
Country flag
Rohan said:
It would also probably takes sales away from Norton.
Looks neater, and would be less expensive ?
That's the sort of mindset our Australian politicians currently have. It is more about screwing more out of the status quo than growing a bigger pie. I suggest that if the Triton , the 961 Norton and the Triumph twins raced each other on a level playing field and developed partisan cult followings, the companies might sell more bikes. 'Racing improves the breed'. However it takes a different attitude towards speed by the authorities. I believe the kit car industry in the UK is bigger than the rural sector - why is this ?
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
8,216
acotrel said:
That's the sort of mindset
Nortons would sure need to pay special attention here, if their overall sales are going to diminish !!
Never mind what games some silly politicians are playing elsewhere....
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
9,540
Country flag
So you are saying that there is a finite number of potential sales for that sort of bike, each year ? I suggest that with the right approach towards creating enthusiasm, it is possible to grow your own market. A fifties café racer is what it is for a certain reason which had to do with kids who loved their road race heroes - we need a level playing field for a class which caters for the 961 Norton etc.
Have a look at modern motorcycles - they are all throw-away items. Their sameness has the potential to destroy motorcycling. Why would you sit out in the breeze on a motorcycle which does everything perfectly when you could sit inside a nice warm car which does everything perfectly ?
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
9,540
Country flag
When I look at the 961 and that Triumph engined 961 based café racer, I feel the urge. I never get that when I look at modern Japanese road bikes, and only minimally when I look at a MotoGP race bike. The Japanese bike would make those retros look stupid in performance, however if the bike doesn't inspire you, why would you ride it ? Droning down long highways on a four cylinder sports bike is my idea of hell - the utmost in frustration. Ducatis are too expensive and complicated in every way, however I love them - how could you ever own one ?
 
Top