Norton Rotary Development (3):
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.