1950's 4 cylinder Norton
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1950's 4 cylinder Norton

This is a discussion on 1950's 4 cylinder Norton within the News forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Just been reading Classic Racer and came across a gossip section regarding Molnar building a replica of a 4 cylinder Norton that was never raced. ...

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Thread: 1950's 4 cylinder Norton

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mark Burton's Avatar
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    1950's 4 cylinder Norton

    Just been reading Classic Racer and came across a gossip section regarding Molnar building a replica of a 4 cylinder Norton that was never raced.

    Apparently, Norton built this engine in the 1950's, but never got any further than running it on a dyno. It's a 500cc watercooled DOHC with reverse cylinder head and forward facing carbs. Molnar will be following specification as closely as possible to historical information they have and aim to build a competetive race bike with around 80bhp at 14,000rpm.

    A modified featherbed frame will be used, just as Norton would have done, which is interesting to hear. They aim to have some engine components ready to display at this years Classic TT.

    Their target is to debut a bike at 2017 Classic TT. Should be an interesting thing to follow.

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    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    I've often thought of how a reverse port engine "should" work better than a conventional type purely on the basis of a more direct airflow.

    Like the Team Foggy Petronas:



    Unfortunately it was plagued with problems - a lot of them to do with having such a short exhaust...




    Seems to be a more popular set-up in drag racing though....



    ....probably because they can run a longer exhaust due to the longer chassis.

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    Member doogalman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillsy View Post
    Like the Team Foggy Petronas:



    Unfortunately it was plagued with problems - a lot of them to do with having such a short exhaust...
    The bigger problem the Foggy bike had was that the rules changed to 1000cc for the fours from 750cc. In doing so the team couldn't compete against the bigger 4 pots, as there was no further concessions for triples and the Foggy bikes had already been homologated as 900's.

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    Senior Member jalsteve's Avatar
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    ....and what does Andy intend doing with this bike, it cannot be raced as it didn't race in period? Hey but neither did the Patton 8v other than in a few domestic Italian Championship races (and its suspected that the 4 valve engine was used in most of those races too) and never in a GP. All that came of the Joe Craigs Norton project was a one-cylinder 125cc test engine and some castings for a prototype full-build engine.

    There have been plenty of reverse cylinder bikes, as this thread is about Norton it worth mentioning that Derek Minter rode a reverse cylinder Manx for Ray Petty in the late 60's with some success.

    Ref 14000rpm and 80HP in the 50's dream on, the design HP this Norton 4 was a little under 50hp so I guess the Molnar engine will be modernised version. Gilera couldn't hit 80hp or could MV get anywhere near. In 1978 a 496cc Honda 400/4 was put on the old Norton works dyno and it made mid 50's hp and eventually 62hp with a 13000rpm red line and the guy operating it said "that's is the most powerful 500cc 4 stroke bike we've ever had on this dyno". I think it took Helmut Fath and his valve spring development work to get an engine to reliably rev to 14000rpm in 1968!

    Projects like this in my opinion don't bring anything to classic racing. Developing Manx and G50 engines usually means an improvement in standard specification parts resulting from better materials and machining so there is a benefit. Replica's of Honda 6's, Benelli's, MV's and Gilera's are fantastic but mean deep pockets and 1/4million budgets to go racing, now that's not amateur is it. Saying that Joe Craig's works Nortons did beat the Italian multis not by out performing but by doggedly pushing and threatening until the Italians blew up or their riders made mistakes.

    Interestingly Andy's 65hp 4 valve Manx (which has no historic credence) was out dragged by Ken Macintosh's 57hp 92bore Summerfield at last years Manx. Personally I would be looking to improve last years 4v project and make it win perhaps with a little more development and with a rider more suited to the bike, GP singles are ridden like 125's and not wrestled like big Jap multis.
    Last edited by jalsteve; 03-13-2016 at 02:34 PM.
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    Senior Member Mark Burton's Avatar
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    Hmmm, Andy is quoted as saying they will debut a 4 cylinder bike at the Manx in 2017, where it will undoubtably fail and then return in 2018 to win. Some statement to make, that is.

    Same thought as you really, as it's not a bike or engine that was ever raced so I don't know how he will gain an entry at the Classic TT.

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    Senior Member jalsteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Burton View Post
    Hmmm, Andy is quoted as saying they will debut a 4 cylinder bike at the Manx in 2017, where it will undoubtably fail and then return in 2018 to win. Some statement to make, that is.

    Same thought as you really, as it's not a bike or engine that was ever raced so I don't know how he will gain an entry at the Classic TT.
    The Classic Manx needs visitors and needs special bikes, I am sure they will fall over to let the bike in.
    Lite the blue touch paper and stand well back!

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    Senior Member Mark Burton's Avatar
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    V4 Norton Teaser

    Last edited by Mark Burton; 10-27-2016 at 01:35 PM.

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    Senior Member BigAl8295's Avatar
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    I feel like I have a better chance of seeing the Easter Bunny.

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    Senior Member jalsteve's Avatar
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    Its all bollocks.

    Norton built fantastic bikes the equal of some and better than most in period. Today people like Garner are more interested in squabbling over brand ownership than making bikes the equal or better than the competition. "Current" Norton are still trying to make variations on the monster tube frame (designed by Spondon) handle better than the beam framed Spondon bikes form the 80's and early 90's and are failing miserably.

    Enough said.
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    Senior Member pwalo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jalsteve View Post
    monster tube frame (designed by Spondon)
    Dirty bastard..... go and stand in the corner and think about what you've just said...

    Are we talking THE monster...

    The one with the fluffy teddy bear on the front mudguard?

    Where they technically cooked the figures in the back of a transit but it would actually wheelie off the throttle at 140.....

    dirty boy..... stand in the corner
    If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

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