Friday, February 12, 2010

My Holy Grail Part 1

As a newbie to classic motorcycling, I didn't really know what I was getting into when I purchased my Norton Model 7. Quite frankly I still don't but I am steadily learning. It's not the most common bike and living in southern Texas only exacerbates an inaccessability to expertise that for me is pretty much limited to the internet. Credit for much of what I have learned is thanks to the Norton Model 7 Yahoo group. I read a great deal about the interchangeability of Norton parts but it appears that the plunger framed Model 7 has quite a few specific parts as well. This is particularly true for the peaked front mudguard and the elbowed stays.

Interestingly enough, the current front fender on my bike is peaked just like the original but is a poorly painted chrome version that does not require stays. It doesn't look bad but it also doesn't look right either. I do prefer the lines of the front end with the original fender setup.

My Bike

Close-up from the side

Close-up from the front showing the peak

The Standard

One of the most enjoyable aspects of classic motorcycling is searching for those parts and the relationships formed with comrades in the process. My search for a fender started pretty much the day I received the bike and lasted almost three years. I found one on Ebay UK while I was stationed in Iraq. How absurd when I think about it. Imagine being in a war zone bidding for a vintage mudguard in the UK via Ebay USA. I was very fortunate to correspond with a member of the Model 7 Yahoo group regarding the restoration of the fender. My colleague is extremely talented and provided excellent drawings as well as advice to fabricate the stays that can be declared as unobtainium maximum.

The outstanding drawings

The fender itself is in very good condition with some surface rust. It has a few problems like anything 60 years old. The scarcity of fenders is attributable to the fact that it is the most fragile part of the bike and mine certainly shows evidence of having hit something in its lifetime. Some of the metal work has been done and bronze brazing completed on a couple of small cracks.

 I will freely admit that I never have done any metal work and so this will be a new experience. My main concern will be to re-establish and maintain the peak as well as repair the edge bead at the front. All in all it's a job I think I can handle. Keep posted for the progress.

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