Historic racing motorcycle illustrations: 1949 Norton Manx 30M – Roadracing World Magazine


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Featured in the September 2021 issue of Roadracing World:

1949 was an important year for three reasons: it was the first year of the new Grand Prix road racing series that eventually became MotoGP; last year the Norton Manx had piston rear suspension; and the first year Manx private buyers got a double overhead cam engine and other factory bike features!

Although Norton’s first overhead cam engine was launched in 1927, Arthur Carroll and Edgar Franks redesigned the engine in 1929, giving us the classic Manx look. In 1930, Jimmy Simpson gave a Carroll motorbike his first podium with a third in the Senior TT on the Isle of Man, and Stan Woods won the Ulster GP on a machine with an engine with a steeper downward current socket. AAt that time, Norton did not list pure road racing machines in its product line, but built replica factory bikes for “skilled” riders …

—Historical illustrations of racing bikes: 1949 Norton Manx 30M, by Mick Ofield

Most companies that sell or rent racing bikes develop features on factory bikes which are then incorporated into customers’ machines. In the case of Norton, later became much later; factory engines had dual overhead camshaft engines in 1937! Manx’s customers had to wait until 1949 for their models to be fitted with DOHC engines, but the years have seen the company advance technology elsewhere, particularly in the revolutionary “Featherbed” frame. Read the details in the latest issue of The world of road racing!

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OVERVIEW on Roadracing World September 2021 issue!

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About Todd Wurtsbach

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