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Norton Manx Gallery

Bracebridge Street had prepared a new single cam over the counter racing motorcycle for the 1939 season, unfortunately the release was delayed due to the international situation, with the new model eventually becoming available during 1946. The machine continued in its initial form, with "Roadholder" forks and plunger rear suspension until 1949 and the introduction of the "double knocker" engine. 1950 saw the works riders mounted on machines equipped with a new frame designed by Rex McCandless which was quickly dubbed the "featherbed". The new pivoted fork frame retained the Norton "Roadholder" forks and a revised production Manx incorporating the new frame became available to the paying public for the 1951 season. Detail development occurred over the course of the next two seasons with modifications proven on the works machines being incorporated into the following season's production models.

Bike Image Description
1937 Norton Manx 500 cc 1937 Norton Manx 500 cc More Manx Norton info..
Norton 500 Manx Norton 500 Manx
  • Production - 1946-1953 (long-stroke), 1953-1962 (short-stroke)
  • Engine - double overhead-cam, single-cylinder four-stroke
  • Bore and Stroke - 79.6 x 100 mm (1946-1953), 86 x 85.6 (1953-1962)
  • Capacity - 499cc
  • Power - 50bhp @ 7200rpm
  • Wheelbase - 56in
  • Top Speed - 150mph (depending on gearing)
  • Picture kindly provided by

    1946 Norton Manx 1946 Norton Manx  
    1948 Norton Manx 30M
    1948 Norton Manx 30M

    The rear end of the frame utilised a plunger suspension system, whilst the front featured telescopic forks of Norton's own design bearing the trademark "Roadholder". Conical steel hubs were laced to alloy rims. Named the Manx 30M and offered alongside a 350cc model typed the 40M, the new model quickly established itself as a force to be contended with in competition and remained largely unchanged for the next two years. For the 1949 season a revised engine design was adopted featuring a double overhead cam top end. 1949 also saw the introduction of alloy conical hubs and tanks. The two models continued in this form until they were replaced by "featherbed" framed versions in 1951, the prototypes of which having competed during 1950 in the hands of the works riders.

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    1949 Norton Manx 30M
    1949 Norton  
    1950 Norton Manx 1950 Norton Manx  
    1952 Norton Manx 30M
    Norton Manx 30M  
    1952 Norton Manx 40M
    Norton Manx 40M Norton had been developing a dedicated racing motorcycle derived from the International for the 1940 season. The advent of the Second World War delayed the new models introduction until 1946. Dubbed the Manx by the company, although it had originally been intended to call the new model the International Manx, the new racing model utilised a rolling chassis that owed its design to the pre-war factory machines. Norton "Roadholder" telescopic front forks and a plunger rear suspension system were employed. A single overhead cam engine again derived from the pre war racing model was employed in either 350cc or 500cc capacities. 1949 saw the introduction of the double over cam engine, however, the most significant change occurred during 2007 with the adoption of the Rex McCandless designed "featherbed " frame which had been used during the previous season by the works team.
    1954 Norton Manx 30M
    1954 Norton Manx 30M Image provided by
    1955 Norton Manx 500 cc 1955 Norton Manx 500 cc  
    1957 Norton Manx Norton Manx
    1959 Norton Manx 500 cc 1959 Norton Manx 500 cc
    1960 Norton Manx 30M Norton Manx 30M

    The 1954 Manx established the design for the machine that would continue, with detail developments, to the end of the models production in 1962. The frame adopted a welded on sub-frame and the front brake became a twin leading shoe design.The engine dimensions were changed to 86 x 85.8mm for the 500cc version (76 x 76.85 for the 350cc). Larger valves and a shortened con-rod were employed in the engine whilst externally the cam drive tube was housed within the finning of a new cylinder head that was graced with revised fining. From 1955 the factory team used production based machines incorporating developments intended for the following seasons production models rather than "works specials" as had previously been the case. Whilst this may have been detrimental to the works riders at the highest levels of international competition it undoubtedly was of benefit to privateers at all levels, developments proven by the factory team were incorporated into the customer machines for the following season starting with the 1956 models.

    The developments incorporated into the 1956 machines included a revised timing side bearing and extended primary drive guard, 1957 saw the introduction of a sleeved big end, a larger carburettor and subtle revisions to the cycle parts. The major change for 1958 centred on the transmission with the AMC gearbox being fitted and was followed in 1959 with detail revisions to the clutch and engine which benefited from further revisions for 1960 and 1961.

    This example was owned by Mike Hoskisson of Bee-Bee Racing and ridden by Alistair Frame and Malcolm Lucas in the Manx Grand Prix. The 1957 specification engine using new, original, crankcases and a BTH magneto was the last one built by Ray Petty in 1985 and is installed in a 1960 frame.

    1961 Mckintosh Manx 30M
    Mckintosh Manx 30M This example of the 500cc Manx is based on a 1961 "lighthouse tower" twin cam model. The original engine was rebuilt using a set of Summerfield crankcases by well known Manx specialist Phil Kettle for Harry Whitehouse. The chassis is a Mackintosh example conforming to 1961 specifications. An Oldani front brake and a five speed gearbox complete the machine.
    1962 Norton Manx 40M
    Norton Manx 40M

    This example was completely rebuilt by renowned tuner Ray Petty during 1972, at which time an ex Reg Dearden/ex Norton race Shop engine was fitted, numbered with Ray Petty's own stamping. The engine was equipped with an outside flywheel and a titanium con-rod and breathed through an Amal 1 3/8th inch GP2 carburettor fitted using a specially manufactured venturi. Whilst in Mr Petty's ownership it was ridden by Derek Minter, Dan Shorey and others. In 1988 it was sold to Adrian Sellers who retained it until 1997 when it moved into the vendor's ownership.

    During the next nine years it was raced at most of the British mainland circuits, at the Dundrod Ulster Grand Prix and in the INCA series during 2000. When not racing in Europe the machine was campaigned by the vendor in the North American AHRMA series between 1998 and 2006, notably securing a 5th place finish in the March 2006 Premier Race at Daytona and taking fourth overall with its rider in the 1999 AHRMA National Championship in 1999.

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    Barry Sheen Manx Raplica Barry Sheene's Norton Manx Replica
    Neville Evans Replica Manxman Steve Hislop's NRS 588 Rotary Norton

    500cc SOHC Manxman with a bore of 85 mm and a stroke of 88 mm, produced by Neville Evans of Manx Engineering at Port Talbot in 1990.

    • Engine Standard Manxman with P.A.L magneto and Gardner 35 mm carburettor with remote float chamber.
    • Frame Standard Manx replica of Reynolds 531 tubing with oval swinging arm to facilitate WM3 rim.
    • Tanks To Manx spec, fuel 4 ¾ gallons, painted and lined, oil tank painted and lined to match
    • Gearbox 4 speed close ratio
    • Exhaust Low level as on 1960 Manx, chromed with flat in megaphone
    • Rear Chain 1/4” X 5/8” (110054)
    • Primary Drive Bob Newby belt
    • Front wheel 19” WM2 alloy rim with 230 mm four leading shoe Gremeca hub painted black
    • Rear wheel 19” WM3 alloy rim with conical hub painted black

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