c1929 Norton Model CJ 350cc OHC

c1928 Norton Model 19 588cc and Goulding Sidecar

The CJ Norton is now sold.

Frame Number 35375, Engine Number CJ1228  71 x 88

The CJ Norton is the baby brother of the famous CS1: Walter Moore's 'cricket bat' motor which appeared in both models was the beginning of Norton's 30+ year affair with overhead cam sports and racing machines. The 350 and 500cc bikes are very similar in style and design, with the extra rear chain stay on the CS1 being one of the few obvious differences between the two models.

Our CJ has an interesting history. Some time in the 1950s it was given to well-known motoring identity Theo Van Alkamade of Bacchus Marsh by one of his neighbours. The bike had been raced, Theo was told. Being more of a car man, Theo passed the bike on to the present owner, a fellow member of the Veteran Car Club of Victoria. Pleading failing memories, neither Theo nor the current owner can be precise about the exact date.

Because of its long history as a 'vintage bike', it was surprising to learn that this bike is not as it left the factory. Simon and John ( www.vintagenorton.com ) supplied the following information:

"It is of no great importance but the bike is a mixture. Engine number CJ1228 was originally fitted to a CJ with standard DESL (Druid Enclosed Spring) forks and frame number 38309. Gearbox number was 159370. There is nothing to show it was anything special - just a standard CJ dispatched through TKM (Tozer, Kemsley and Millbourn, the export agents) to Australia on May 25, 1929.

"Frame 35375 was originally fitted with a JE engine (350 OHV) number 1128. Again, standard Druid forks and gearbox number 151542. This was shipped through TKM on April 19, 1929.

"Norton did not start delivering the CJ and JE models until April '29. There were no production CJs or JEs sold in 1928 although they would have assembled a couple for the Olympia show in 1928. Both CJ and JE models had identical frames and DESL forks when in standard trim. A few CJs were supplied fitted with Webb forks, mainly for racing (see catalogue illustration below). A previous owner must have fitted the Webbs at some later point in the bike's life."

So there you have it: the bike's racing life must have been a tough one!

Not that the bike is much of a racer these days. It has completed many thousands of miles on vintage rallies in the hands of the present owner and has shown itself to be completely reliable. I have ridden the machine on a number of occasions, and can report that it is a joy to ride. The motor starts easily and runs smoothly. The bike handles beautifully and is amongst the most comfortable vintage machines I have ridden. The gear change lever has been moved down to be used as a foot change and the change is light and easy, despite the absence of a positive stop mechanism. The intermediate gears (neutral and second) require a delicate foot, but the technique is easily learned. Brakes are more than adequate.

As you will no doubt notice from the photos the bike is not a likely concours winner in its current condition, but is believed to be in excellent running order. Personally I'd touch up of the paint and  tidy up the handle bar controls. But I'm a patina man. For the perfectionist restorer there is scope to bring the bike up to catalogue specification; for riders here is a vintage motorcycle ready to delight on country roads. Looking for a vintage racer? Perhaps best look elsewhere...

My favourite bike from the collection.

Looking for more info on the CJ? Try http://www.vintagenorton.com/search/label/Model%20CJ

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The images below show the motorcycle in its present condition. Click on an image below for a high resolution view - return to this page with the back arrow of your browser.

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