What is the difference between slimline & featherbed frame?

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I was just wondering what the difference was between there, and what frame was used on the Norvins?
 
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A Slimline is a 1960-on Featherbed, with narrower seat rails and a few detail differences from the earlier frame, which became known as Wideline.

Norvins are specials, built by loonies, so can have either frame.
 

grandpaul

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Tell you what, Thrasher, post up a few pix of your bike and I'll try to be as harsh as possible.

(really, I want to see it; not sure I recall whether you posted pix yet or not)
 
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grandpaul said:
Tell you what, Thrasher, post up a few pix of your bike and I'll try to be as harsh as possible.

(really, I want to see it; not sure I recall whether you posted pix yet or not)

post39311.html#p39311

What is the difference between slimline & featherbed frame?
 
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grandpaul said:
Ah, yes. The classic daily rider hooligan horse.

Or will be when the gearbox goes back together. Did you know Triumph changed the threads on one end of the gearbox mainshaft in 1968? That's the sort of thing that makes repairs take longer.
 
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grandpaul said:
Just bodge on a 67 nut with lots of loctite...

We seem to have hijacked the poor guy's thread, but that is not a good idea. The tapered shaft with key and right-handed nut is a bit dodgy, even when done correctly. Norton had the right idea with their splined shaft.
 
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Where did you get that idea, Jean? When I worked there you could almost guarantee the decision-makers would screw up in the most damaging way possible.

As examples. I submit the "green ball" logo, which prompted a question on the Earls' Court show stand, "why are the turn signals green?" and the silver/orange/green color scheme of the show bikes whic led on reviewer to question wehther the whole thing had been funded by the Republic of Ireland, whose flag is white, orange and green! There was also our spectacular scooter, the Villiers "Fantabulous" and the misguided effort to import an awful Italian bike called the "Motom". That was a 50cc 2-stroke pseudo-scrambler with a 3-speed twist-grip shifter. I rode that thing to and from work for a couple of weeks and it got worse gas mileage than my regular works 650SS ride. The "Fantabulous" was a real turkey, too. The structure was an unbelievable cobble-up of welded sheet metal and weak tubular bits. You could feel the thing flexing as you went over road irregularities and it developed alarming directional instability at anything over 50 mph (which needed to be downhill with the wind and tide behind you).

There are many other horror stories, but in reverence of my elders from N-V, I think I'll leave them untold! (notice, I didn't add "betters").
 
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frankdamp said:
Where did you get that idea, Jean? When I worked there you could almost guarantee the decision-makers would screw up in the most damaging way possible.

There are many other horror stories, but in reverence of my elders from N-V, I think I'll leave them untold! (notice, I didn't add "betters").

Considering the numerous tomes written around the rise and fall of the British motorcycle industry there probably isn't much you can say that would surprise us. I say commence with the stories. :mrgreen:
 
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In french there is a sayin "au royaume des aveugles, le borgne est roi" which means in the land of the blind, the one with one eye is king, so comparing a Norton to a BSA to a Triumph or even a Royal Enfield, my feeling is the Norton will be better. Lots of emotional rationale here, nothing to do with real life, so take everything with a grain of salt, a rather large one :wink:

Jean
 
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I guess a few things mystify me, like how they improved the oil pick up so you could blow up with high sustained speeds...
My 70 was a pretty good all around bike but ill thought out improvements (you Combat owners can stop reading here) certainly trashed the reputation for a while.
BSA certainly had its problems also and don't even mention the royal Oilfield.
To the guys I knew who rode Triumphs it was more like joining a cult but we did have pretty good luck with some of those.
I guess this is a long way off the original question but the featherbed frame in general set the standard for quite a while. My current one is very comfortable in corners but it sure shakes the heck out of you, unlike a good Commando.
I have often thought that a featherbed with a 650 single carb Triumph would actually be a pretty good mix, and maybe why they are so popular, not to mention the ready availability of a Triumph engine.
We had a Triumph 750 around for a while which was the one I put my spare Commando front end on when it got wrecked. We got good use and reasonable reliability out of the 750 Triumph but I don't recall it being that smooth, at least not as nice as a good 650, and I'm not sure it had any more power than a 650. I just was never that impressed with that bike. It got traded when it's gearbox, which had not been properly hardened, gave up the ghost and my friend bought a 650 Yamaha you could not kill with a stick.
Anyway my point is that a 650 Triumph is a good smooth engine, I can't compare it to a 650 Norton since I never had one around. The 750 Norton is faster but a shaker.
Put them together and you would have a good smooth bike that handled well and could have good brakes, no wonder so many did.
 

ILLF8ED

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frankdamp said:
Where did you get that idea, Jean? When I worked there you could almost guarantee the decision-makers would screw up in the most damaging way possible.

As examples. I submit the "green ball" logo, which prompted a question on the Earls' Court show stand, "why are the turn signals green?" and the silver/orange/green color scheme of the show bikes whic led on reviewer to question wehther the whole thing had been funded by the Republic of Ireland, whose flag is white, orange and green! There was also our spectacular scooter, the Villiers "Fantabulous" and the misguided effort to import an awful Italian bike called the "Motom". That was a 50cc 2-stroke pseudo-scrambler with a 3-speed twist-grip shifter. I rode that thing to and from work for a couple of weeks and it got worse gas mileage than my regular works 650SS ride. The "Fantabulous" was a real turkey, too. The structure was an unbelievable cobble-up of welded sheet metal and weak tubular bits. You could feel the thing flexing as you went over road irregularities and it developed alarming directional instability at anything over 50 mph (which needed to be downhill with the wind and tide behind you).

There are many other horror stories, but in reverence of my elders from N-V, I think I'll leave them untold! (notice, I didn't add "betters").

Hi Frank,

Maybe before your tenure at Norton, but what was the inside feeling about the Jubilee/Navigator/Electra models. Phil Radford commented several years ago it was another "nail in Norton's coffin". I picked up a '63 Electra 400 in pieces that tagged along with a '57 Model 50 I was really after. Due to it's dissassembled condition and poor reputation, it has the doubtful honor of being the only motorcycle I've dropped in a dumpster.
 

worntorn

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Cookie said:
Anyway my point is that a 650 Triumph is a good smooth engine, I can't compare it to a 650 Norton since I never had one around. The 750 Norton is faster but a shaker.
Put them together and you would have a good smooth bike that handled well and could have good brakes, no wonder so many did.

http://s402.photobucket.com/albums/pp10 ... g&newest=1

I have done a fair bit of riding of this 650SS and I am convinced that the best engine for a Norton featherbed frame is a probably a Norton 650SS. According to MIRA speed tests back in 62 when the 650 SS was first tested, it had 10 MPH on the top over a Bonneville.
The bike is smoother than I expected, not as smooth as my Commando 850, but pretty smooth for a solid mounted engine.
It is also much quicker than I expected. Not as torquey as an 850 Commando, but hits a powerband at 4000 and pulls so quickly to 7000 that you barely have time to shift. The bike was ported by Herb Becker , the Canadian Norton Commando race engine builder.
 
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That's very interesting, I wonder why they were not more popular then?
 
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