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Manx Norton 40m Restoration (I hope)

65820 Views 161 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Cyorg
I got a phone call almost a week ago, I missed it but the caller left a message. The message recorded poorly but my knackered old ears heard "I've got a couple of bikes", "restoring" then "Norton" then I though I heard "Manx" then "Seeley", "Surtees" and "Beart"! What the......... Best I call this guy back but best not sound too keen and perhaps I should give it few minutes? Bollocks I must have called him back before he had put the phone down.

The chap on the phone was an old racer, now 75 years old and still had two of his old race bikes, he gave me his name which was a little familiar then started to tell me about his bikes. One was a 1954 350 Manx with a Surtees connection and the other was a period built special which consisted of a 57 Beart Manx frame with a Matchless G50 engine fitted, the engine was the 3rd G50 AMC made and the full bike was constructed in 1958. All very interesting and right up my street, appointment made and the next day I went to see the bikes.

I met with a spritely gentlemen who then took me to the bikes. Both were hidden under piles of stuff, the Manx was in big pieces and looking very sorry, the Manx G50 was as last raced in 1972 and complete. I hatched a quick plan a decided the Manx would be the most problematic, probably incomplete and would take the longest. The Manx G50 I could get on with later in the year.

So what do I hope to do under this post? I plan to write a short post every few weeks accompanied by a half dozen photos of the restoration work as it progresses. Hopefully some of you will find it interesting and not too boring. I will detail the engine build and other parts if there's enough interest. This Manx has gone through many changes but these will be reversed and the bike restored to 1954/5 spec as requested by its owner. Or rather this bike will be a restored as the factory racer that in my opinion every "caferacer" owes a debt.

By the way the old racer had ridden for Francis Beart winning a Junior Manx, rode for Ray Petty, has won the Thuxton 500 on a factory supported BSA and endurance raced Laverda's for Mead and Tomkinson amongst lots of other stuff.
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I think norton realised making in alloy wasn’t cost effective, I can tell you steel manx items weigh a lot less than alloy. Those alloy items are a thick casting. The top of the casting looks like it’s been machined so wouldn’t be surprise if the casting has been machined over.

Got to remember a 7000rpm garden gate manx is quite a destructive experience so no point making everything super light. In fact most riders would remove all this non essential cycle stuff and chuck it in the nearest ditch.
I'm still temped to use them on an garden gate Inter bitsa. It is a real collection of odds and ends so it will send the rivet counters into vapour lock anyway. I'm just slowly collecting and horse trading for the last few bits. Just about there. Gearbox is done. Cam box is ready to go together. I have my sack of shims and corks. This one had a lot of the cycle stuff tossed. The only thing I really miss is the rear fender flap. All of the other stuff that I want can be had relatively easily by comparison.
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