Saturday 22 December 2012

Featured Bike - Norton Wulf 500cc Prototype 1975

I was interested in this bike because it reminded me of my old Suzuki GT500 I rode ages ago. It is also a 500cc two stroke twin but the engine uses an unusual "stepped piston" design where the lower chamber pumps the mixture to the opposite cylinder rather than through the crankcase thus lowering emissions because the crankshaft does not need to be lubricated by the mixture.

The bike never reached production because of the state of the British bike industry at the time and the era of the two stroke was coming to an end.

Photographed at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham in 2009.

How it works


  1. Remember reading about this in MCN or Bike or whatever way back then. Then saw it a few years back on a trip home and visiting the NMM.

    Wonder if, like the other prototypes there at the NMM, if it'd been any good and kept the industry going or not.

    Too bad the industry had to give up the ghost due to complacency, mismanagement, strikes, etc.

    Some of these just might have helped....

  2. It was a pretty ingenious bit of engineering. Never know, something similar may pop up again...maybe in India or some other far flung country.
    Been fun following your blog and seeing things on 'the other side of the big pond'. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

    1. Seasons greeting to you, Larry. I'm glad you like the blog and I plan to keep posting this stuff in the new year.

      Its a quiet time of year on the bike front. I still ride the CBF most days. At present it's dull & damp with no chance of a white Christmas. Fairly mild (8C/46F) so I can get about but don't go far. No activity in the garage because the bikes don't need any work - maybe I need a project.

  3. My father's design... He and Bernard Hooper were responsible for the concept and the design of this prototype.

    1. How is your father doing? He responded to a post I did on the Norton Owners page a couple of years ago and I was delighted that a Norton legend would bother to respond to my photo and comment.