Designed byJames Lansdowne Norton himself the first prototype Model 18 was seen in 1922 and was based on the previous side value engine design. It didn’t make a great impact at the Senior IOM TT that year however at Brooklands the world 500cc kilometre record was raised to over 89mph by D R O’Donovan.
The road going version produced in 1923 quickly establishing a reputation for both speed and reliability, a standard engine assembled from parts was used to set a host of records, including a new 12 hours mark.Alec Bennett won the Senior TT for Norton in 1924 and, demonstrating that racing really did improve the breed, the Model 18 gained Webb forks and better brakes for 1925 as a direct result of the works team’s experiences.
The Model 18 retained its essentially vintage characteristics until 1931 when the range was extensively redesigned, the most obvious external alteration in its appearance before then being the adoption of a ‘saddle’ tank for 1929.
The Model 18 was Norton’s first overhead valve machine and was a big step in both reliability and performance, it is highly regarded and extremely collectable amongst motorcycle enthusiasts today. This example from 1929 was purchased by a collector, himself an engineer and well maintained while in his ownership. A well presented machine it is god running order and in generally fine condition.
Report by anthonygodin.co.uk