1931 Norton CS1 motorcycle

1931 Norton CS1 motorcycle

Engine Number CS50594, Frame Number TBA

The Norton is currently Under Contract

On offer is an early example of the legendary "cammy" Norton. The bike was the owner's favourite machine from his collection, and was rallied from the early days of the vintage movement in the 1960s until a few years back. When last used it was in in excellent mechanical condition, and although the finish has suffered a little in 50+ years of restored life, the well-earned patina now represents that much sought after "shabby-chic".

Although the Walter Moore-designed "cricket bat" design had been quite successful, it wasn't until Arthur Carroll's redesign for the 1931 season that Norton began its extraordinary period of racing dominance, which extended well into the 1950s. Our CS1 Norton represents the first of the redesigned models, where the new Carroll bottom end teamed with the left-side-exhaust cylinder head that was a feature of the earlier Moore design.

In 1931, all 490cc cammy Nortons carried the CS1 moniker. The standard CS1 was offered as a road-equipped sports-tourer, but the specification could be upgraded to an over-the-counter race winner if required. The "International" and "Manx" names were yet to come.

 Simon and John at vintagenorton.com have supplied information about the original specification of the bike: "Engine CS50594 started life in a 1931 Model CS1 with three-stay frame number 43789 (not the current frame - see below). The bike was shipped in late December 1930 to Fisher Melbourne, Australia, via Tozer, Kemsley and Millbourn Ltd. The records suggest the bike was originally supplied to standard rather than racing specification, as it was fitted with an MDB1 magdyno, electric horn and speedo. Forks were Norton's own variety with serial number 726 and the slightly earlier model gear box was fitted - the LS type - with serial number 146277. Sorry not to be able to give any more specific info - it looks like another although very desirable composite job."

Like most racy vintage motorcycles, the CS1 has deviations from its original specification. The most notable deviation from standard is that the current frame has a two-stay rear end of the style featured in later 1931 models (see this article about the evolution of the Norton frame around 1930-31), but the original frame 43789 - now fitted with a Norton plunger rear end - is included in the sale, and should obviously stay with the bike. If the rear end of this frame were rebuilt the bike could be returned to a rare a matching engine and frame number machine, with the additional benefit of the pre-1931 build date as verified by the Norton dispatch records. Perhaps the liberated two-stay frame could form the nucleus of your next cammy project.

Lots of options with this one. As it stands we have a very rideable, well patinated 1931 cammy Norton, much the same machine that finished top of the leader board of the 1931 Senior TT on the Isle of Man. Rebuild? Restore? Ride as-is? Road trim? Race trim? Which-ever path you take much vintage-motorcycling pleasure awaits the new owner.

Details of the Expression of Interest process

Contact and enquiries

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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The photos below show the modified original frame, no. 43739. This frame, originally fitted with three rear stays as at bottom right, will be included in the sale. The front fork shown in the first photo is not included.
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