Chapter

Crunch Time

Its been a little over a month waiting for all the machining to take place and all the other incidental parts to arrive.   Take a moment to think about all that goes into a motorcycle.  Take a look at your own bike and all that goes into it.  Every last nut and bolt for every sub-assembly…  It is a daunting task to just gather the parts needed, made even more so by the fact that this is truly a custom motorcycle and we can not rely on a factory parts list.

However, we have not been standing still while waiting for every last item on our list to pile up.  Kenny has worked his way through the wheels.  The front wheel was straight forward and sent off to get laced.  The rear is more of a challenge.  The rim must be laced up by hand on the bike to achieve the correct offsets with respect to the fame and the drive-train.  Its an interesting process.  So much so that Canon USA used the opportunity to make a training film on how to use their video equipment with Kenny and Spannerland as the backdrop!

The suspension was also mounted up as soon as all the bits were available.  We had to borrow a left fork leg from Jamie, a fellow Spannerland member, as no new ones we being cast any time soon.  We also had some help from Chris Cosentino who produces custom fork internals for vintage Norton Roadholders in his own shop that is tied to Spannerland.

Even the period correct solid brake rotors received some special treatment.  As ordered, they are just massive solid disks… much thicker than a modern floating rotor.  Too keep the rotating mass down Kenny ordered a special bit for Peter’s CNC machine, yet another Spannerland member, and programed a custom pattern to drill out the rotors.  A few lost pounds later, we had some of the nicest brakes around.

The final part to be dropped of at the loading dock was the motor.  Jim Comstock, who works closely with Kenny, had spent many hours machining the parts to the correct tolerances and flowing the Fullauto cylinder head to competition spec.  This is state of the art, even though the original pattern for the motor is decades old.

In the next month the bike will have to be fully assembled.  Motor and transmission mounted.  Brackets and fittings will need to be fabricated.  Wiring, ignition, carbs, brakes, bodywork all sorted out as well.  Each item a time sink.  The film crew wants more footage and will film the final assembly in two weeks, then a week or so of testing and tuning followed by the first AHRMA vintage motorcycle race at Road America the week after.  This is turning into a reality show with all its “make or break deadlines”, which is not what we really intended.

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Norton in America

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First Track Test