1952 Manx Norton
Claimed power: 45hp @ 5,750rpm
Top speed: 108mph
Engine: 499cc air-cooled DOHC single, 79mm x 100mm bore and stroke, 12:1 compression ratio (8:1 stock)
Weight (dry): 330lb (150kg)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 4 gal/15ltr (est.)
In 1952, this Manx Norton took then 22-year-old Dick
Klamfoth — and Norton — to history at Daytona Beach
as the first three-time winner of the most famous race in America.
Sixty-one years later, it’s still racing, thanks to the tireless efforts of
Brit George Cohen is globally recognized as the ultimate
authority on Norton singles. A National Health psychiatrist until taking early
retirement to concentrate on restoring and racing Nortons, he’s been a hands-on
engineer since a very early age. His father was the head of Cambridge University’s
engineering faculty, so growing up George observed skilled toolmakers and
engineers at work: By the age of 11 he had his own lathe, rescued from behind
the engineering lab.
He’s worked on an unrivaled roster of iconic Nortons,
including reconstructing Rem Fowler’s 1907 winner of the very first Isle of Man
TT race after it was destroyed in the disastrous 2003 fire at the National
Motorcycle Museum (NMM), then riding it in the Centenary TT parade held in 2007
over the original St. Johns Course.
George has tracked down an array of genuine works Daytona
Nortons and now owns a pair of them, one from 1948 and another — our feature
bike — from 1952.
“I found a 1949 Daytona Norton for sale on the Internet,
back when the late Roy Richards [the NMM’s founder] was still alive,” George
says. “I’d been restoring bikes for him after the tragic fire there, so
although I didn’t have the money to buy this bike, Roy did, and it turned out to be Dick
Klamfoth’s Daytona race winner. MC