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Norton Rotary Development (3): BSA/Triumph Prototypes

The BSA Bandit/Triumph Fury was stillborn, so the next step towards productionizing the Wankel engined motorcycle was based on the Group "Oil in Frame" chassis. Whilst the rear conical drum brake hub was retained, the front used a disc brake, dating this development to about 1973. There were at least two of these machines built and ridden, the picture below showing the better-known "red tank" machine. Various carburettors were tried on these "P39" bikes, Amals, SUs and Bings (these stemming from the Hercules W2000 Wankel engined motorcycle).

In this picture the P39Mk1 sports 4 silencers, noise being a major problem due to the high velocity of the exhaust gases exiting the engine- I have heard the figure of Mach2 mentioned! Compare this with the picture of the A65 based prototype that has 2 period silencers each side in series.
The lesser known sister machine to the one above was rebuilt from scratch, with parts of the "red" bike, in 2002, using parts from 5 different sources! Richard Negus' sourcing of a secondhand engine and hint to the remains of a rolling chassis did help, but 30% of the bike had to be re-made according to old works photos in our posession. Picture taken 20th March, 2004.
This cut-away engine resided on Norton Motors counter for many years. It was later sold to an English collector, and buying it with some other parts from this collector led to eventual reconstruction of the "white" bike above. Parts of the engine were used in the (now fully functional) white bike, and replaced with sub-running-standart bits. The engine was fully rebuilt to never-before glory in March 2004, and is now part of a private German collection, together with the bike, after the NMM turned the offer to buy both down.