A Norton had contested every Isle of Man TT race from the inaugural 1907 event through into the 1970s, a feat unrivalled by any other manufacturer, and the development and honing of the Manx racing motorcycle was another step in this racing achievement. New Manx Nortons, built to various specifications are still available to buy new, from various suppliers around the world. These suit different categories and definitions of Classic Motorcycle Racing and Historic Motorcycle Racing in different countries around the world.
Norton’s first use of the name ‘Manx’ was applied to the ‘Manx Grand Prix’ model available from 1936-1940, a special racing version of their ‘International’ roadster, with telescopic forks and a plunger rear suspension, magnesium for the crankcases and cambox, and no provision for lighting. Just after WW2, the ‘Grand Prix’ was dropped, and Norton named their 1947 racing model the ‘Manx’. It was a lightly redesigned prewar racing Norton International, an overhead cam single-cylinder machine available as a 350cc or 500cc. The Norton factory race bikes under team manager Joe Craig were experimental models, and a version was available to buy from the factory in Bracebridge Street – to selected customers. Fitted with the McCandless brothers Featherbed Frame for 1950, the Manx gained a new lease of racing life as a racing machine, the new frame giving the fine steering necessary for high speed navigation of some very fast racing circuits of the time.
The last Bracebridge Street (the original home of Norton) Manx Nortons were sold in 1963. Even though Norton had pulled out of International Grand Prix racing in 1954, the Manx had become the backbone of privateer racing. The Classic Motorcycle Racing movement from the 1970s onwards has seen relatively large numbers of Manxs return to the track, and a flourishing supply of parts and services has appeared all around the world to nourish this demand.
Report by ruotedasogno.com