Norton Motorcycles 1950s

Today in Motorcycle History

Norton 1939 Catalogue

Norton Motorcycles 1939


STANDS. - Front and rear stands and central prop stand are fitted, the latter two being of the spring-up type.

SILENCER. - Effectively reducing the exhaust noise and is pleasing in appearance. The gases pass into the silencer body through a perforated tube which is fitted with a spiral baffle and out into the atmosphere through a tail pipe; this is of slightly smaller diameter and similarly perforated and baffled.

HANDLEBARS. - Resiliently mounted, Patent No. 419,336, yet retaining rigid steering. Of pleasing appearance with grips and controls naturally positioned.

ENGINE LUBRICATION. - Full dry sump with gear pump, pressure feed to bearings and piston. Automatic and efficient lubrication of totally enclosed valve gear with oil cushion in timing gears and sludge trap in crankcase.

MAGDYNO. - Lucas MAGDYNO Electric Lighting is fitted as standard to all machines except International Models to racing specification. Lucas electric horn is included in the equipment.

CARBURETTER. - Amal needle jet, semi automatic, twist grip control.

PILLION FOOTREST LUGS built into every frame for attachment of NORTON pillion footrests.

MUDGUARDS. - Heavy car type with mud channel, affording excellent protection. Detachable, flared tail piece to rear guard. Narrow sporting mudguards fitted to International Models.

EXHAUST PIPES. - Heavily chromium plated, of pleasing shape, downswept or high ground clearance as ordered.

TOOL BOX. - All metal with comprehensive kit including grease gun, grease and 15" x 7/8in" inflator.

FRAME. - Of immense strength. Jig-built throughout with first grade high tensile steel tube and graduated section lugs.

FORKS. - Girder type, incorporating rebound springs, Patent No. 387,550, with hand adjustable shock absorber and steering damper.

WHEELS. - Quickly detachable and interchangeable, employing journal bearings. Rims chromium plated with black centres, lined out in red.

PETROL TANK. - Heavily chromium plated with suitably enamelled panels and large resilient knee grips. Mounted on rubber insulation. Illuminated Instrument Panel, housing speedometer and electrical gear, Registered Design No. 773,858, can be fitted at an extra cost to all models except 30 and 40. This reduces the tank capacity by approximately one quart.

OIL TANK. - Chromium plated and suitably lined. Accessibly moulded on seat tube.

SADDLE. - Flexible top incorporating forward pivotal mounting and providing low and exceptionally comfortable position.

FRONT CHAIN CASE. - Patented, hermetically sealed oil bath chaincase of unique design with single bolt fixing.

CLUTCH. - Multi Plate with dual action vane type shock absorber integral. Housed within oil bath from chain case.

GEARBOX. - NORTON four-speed with built-in positive foot operation, Patent No. 424,154. Hand control available if specified when ordering.

The "Road-Holder" for 1939

-built to the most exacting requirements of the connoisseur

"FIRST AGAIN!" - these two words, so persistently associated with NORTON motor cycles over a long period of years, summarise the superiority of "The Road-Holder." Thoughtful motor cyclists will appreciate, too, that this is no mere superficial expression of superiority but that the significance of NORTON racing successes has a direct bearing on the performance of every model in the "Road-Holder" range.

To achieve what NORTON machines and riders did in the 1938 T.T. races is to provide a marvellous demonstration of speed over a difficult course, but more than that, it provides unrivalled proof of reliability. In the Junior Tourist Trophy Race the NORTON team, consisting of F. Frith, H. L. Daniell and J. H. White, won the Manufacturers' Team prize for the fourth successive year - a brilliant repetition of 100% reliability. In the Senior T.T., won by H. L. Daniell at the magnificent record speed of 89.11 m.p.h., with a wonderful record lap of 91 m.p.h., F. Frith finished third at 88.98 m.p.h., and J. H. White was fourth at 87.14 m.p.h. And so for the seventh time in eight years a NORTON was "First Again!" in the Senior T.T. and for the fifth time in six years the NORTON team won the Senior Manufacturers' Team Prize. Never in the whole history of motor cycling has such a wonderful demonstration of reliability been staged as in the long sequence of NORTON successes.

Turning to the classic Reliability Trials one finds a similar preponderance of NORTON successes so that whether it is fast road-work or "mud-slogging" and negotiating steep and rocky gradients, "The Road-Holder" is equally at home. It is evident, therefore, from the proof put before motor cyclists, that NORTON brilliance of design, consistent perfection of materials used, superlative workmanship and unfailing reliability surpass anything so far achieved.

This is what you get when you choose from the "Road-Holder" range - the best that money can buy - and this, as has been proved time and time again, is always true economy.


1. An improved oil control ring is fitted to the pistons of all engines. This, in conjunction with an increased number of oil holes in the piston, tends to still further reduce oil consumption.

2. On all models an improved silencer of tubular construction is fitted. This more effectively reduces the exhaust noise and is pleasing in appearance. The gases pass into the silencer body through a perforated tube which is fitted with a spiral baffle and out into the atmosphere through a tail pipe. This is of slightly smaller diameter and similarly perforated and baffled.

3. On all models with the exception of the International type the saddle position has been modified to give a more resilient mounting. Furthermore, the saddle itself has been increased in size, which considerably adds to the rider's comfort.

4. On all models the front brake is now mounted on the offside of the machine. This gives improved controllability, as well as providing a more direct speedometer drive.

5. The tyre inflator has been removed from the tank and is now fitted on the rear chainguard, where it is adequately protected from mud by a neatly formed shield.

6. On all models except International type the enamelled tank panel has been improved. The characteristic NORTON tank colours are retained.

7. On the E.S.2 model an International type petrol tank is now available at an extra cost of £1 10s. 0d. The capacity of this is approximately 3½ gallons.

8. On Models 30 and 40 a spring frame can be incorporated, identical with that used in the 1938 Tourist Trophy Races but with slight modifications, at an extra charge of £7 10s 0d. This is also now available on the E.S.2 machine at the same extra charge.

9. On all models the aluminium panel cover and magneto chain cover is polished finish in lieu of sand blasting, the remaining part of the case being sand blast as before.

10. The end cover of the gearbox and change speed mechanism cover is polished instead of sand blast. This considerably improves the appearance of the machine.