Continuing cold weather and snow precludes any "Tales from the Road" so I delved into the archive for another Norton prototype. This is the P800 of 1965. It was an 800cc double overhead camshaft unit twin with a five speed gearbox intended to replace the Atlas. As usual financial woes killed this project. Photographed at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham in 2009.
article on bike
Stuart, which hall was this one in? I was there about three years back with Kawa and don't recall seeing this unless it was off display at the timeReplyDelete
The bike was in an area connecting two halls overlooking the fountain in the middle of the museum building. Hard to miss, maybe it wasn't there when you visited.Delete
Interesting routing for what I assume is the camchain drive to the cams. Too bad the 'Newest' Norton company didn't look to the past for their future. The Kenny Dreer derived Commando is ok, but a clean slate design of a DOHC twin would have made more sense...at least to me. Someday I hope to get to visit the museum there.ReplyDelete
The tubes for the cam chain look a bit skinny to give a clearance. Especially at the rear where there would need to be space for a tensioner to move the chain.Delete
On my FJ & CBF there are long blades at the rear to tension the chain & a guard on the top to prevent chain lash hitting the engine cover. It's hard to see how the Norton works.
I've added a link to an article on the bike.Delete
The bike may have been called the P10 (project 10), but was called the P800 on the museum's information board.Delete
Very interesting article. Yeah it seems that the original cam chain drive mechanism was not well thought out. Too bad the 'Z26' was dropped, oh well..it all brought about the Commando.ReplyDelete
This still born project was killed not because of financial woes.ReplyDelete
It was killed because this expensive to make engine had no more power than the old Dominator/Atlas unit and because the ill conceived camchain mechanism was a pain to fit during production and wasn't possible to get oil tight and caused problems with the chain, too.