The Manx was a fierce competitor on the track.
The Norton Manx is one of the most well-known bikes produced by the British motorcycle company. As of late 2010, original Manx bikes fetched large prices at auctions. In 2006, a record was set when a 1961 Manx 500 sold at auction for $61,000. The Manx 500 is also known as the 30M, and its fame is certainly due in part to the engine.
The Norton Manx Engine‘s most famous iteration was the Manx Norton 500. This engine became a racing legend during the 1950s. There was also a smaller Manx engine in a 350 cc size in addition to the 500cc engine. The Manx was a single cylinder engine design. It utilized a four-stroke mechanism. The engine underwent a few changes during its life. The original Manx had a long stroke of 79 mm-by-100mm but was reduced over time throughout the ’50s. By 1957, the stroke was instead 86.1mm-by-85.6mm. The engine featured an overhead cam design.
The performance of the Norton Manx engine, especially when combined with the “featherbed” frame innovations of 1950, made a mark on the race world. The engine produced approximately 50 bhp at 7200 RPM. The bike has reached top speeds of 140 mph. The 350 engine was able to put out 36 bhp at 8000 RPM.
The Norton Manx featured a four speed gearbox. The engine was air cooled and used a bevel gear shaft. The engine was modified just enough to fit into a newly styled frame that was developed in 1950 known as the “featherbed” frame. It was this new frame design created by the Mcandless Brothers combined with the Manx engine that made it the winner at the Isle of Man TT 500cc class race in 1950, the first year it was entered. The Isle of Man TT Hall of Fame included members like Geoff Duke and Geoff McIntyre, who both raced with Norton during the Manx years. The fuel supply was provided from a 25-litre tank.