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53-ish ES2 Tank Photos Wanted SOLVED! #752323
10/11/18 1:49 pm
10/11/18 1:49 pm
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Posts: 391
Kenya
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Peter Gee Offline OP
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Hi, starting on my great tri-border ship/bus/ 4 x 4 offroad smuggled ES2 from the fabled island of Zanzibar, here in Nairobi Kenya. The tank is a grungy black with chrome underneath, which I don't think can be right..or maybe it is..I don't think one can upload photos direct to this forum, or I don't know how...but would love to see the top and especially undersides of 53-ish ES2 tanks so I can judge if I have the right thing.

Images Tried Below, hope they work
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Of course it was an export model so maybe there was chrome on parts of the tank..I am having to strip it like restoring a Michaelangelo fresco...so I can see layer by later what is what.

I do note the tank it came with had badge dimples for screw on type badge, but I don't know if this was correct for year or what type of badge.

So far the bike seems 99% original Norton parts.

Last edited by Peter Gee; 10/17/18 2:32 pm.
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Re: 53-is ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #752371
10/11/18 9:31 pm
10/11/18 9:31 pm
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Your tank looks quite similar underneath to my 48 one, so its Norton.

The important bit for now is that the tank mounting bolts are on the same centres/measurements as your frame.?
It does have an extra clearance/bump down the back, I'd be curious what that is for ?

Tank badge holes would suggest its for a couple of years later, when they did have tank badges.

We note that one tap hole has been welded up, as has one of the two (per side) kneepad mounting screw holes.
If you have chrome underneath (the paint), its often not in very good condition, which is why they often get painted over.
You will then have the tricky question of what to do next.
Keep us posted - have fun !


Re: 53-is ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #752373
10/11/18 9:36 pm
10/11/18 9:36 pm
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P.S. Norton tanks had a number and year stamped into them (for some years, at least).

I can just see some numbers at the top on your underneath view.
Is the year there as well ?

Re: 53-is ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Rohan] #752374
10/11/18 9:47 pm
10/11/18 9:47 pm
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Kenya
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Peter Gee Offline OP
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Thanks for that info Rohan..I am only partially sighted, so I will check with an aid and sandblast, then get back to you. All the examples I have google image'd show no badges. I wonder that year badges became norm?

Re: 53-is ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Rohan] #752375
10/11/18 9:50 pm
10/11/18 9:50 pm
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Peter Gee Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Rohan
Your tank looks quite similar underneath to my 48 one, so its Norton.

The important bit for now is that the tank mounting bolts are on the same centres/measurements as your frame.?
It does have an extra clearance/bump down the back, I'd be curious what that is for ?

I'.
Tank badge holes would suggest its for a couple of years later, when they did have tank badges.

We note that one tap hole has been welded up, as has one of the two (per side) kneepad mounting screw holes.
If you have chrome underneath (the paint), its often not in very good condition, which is why they often get painted over.
You will then have the tricky question of what to do next.
Keep us posted - have fun !



Thanks Rohan I will keep peeling away the layers on this old gal. She's had a hard life but ran for probably 30 years..the rear brake drum is life a wafer! Testament to simple solid engineering


Re: 53-is ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #752397
10/12/18 12:08 am
10/12/18 12:08 am
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Originally Posted by Peter Gee
I wonder that year badges became norm?


I think that was 1955. Along with the alloy head.
And the 8" brake and underslung pilot lamp for 1954.
Slowly slowly, Nortons model 'changes'....

1955 ES2
[url]https://cdn.globalauctionplatform.c...c820-442f-d9a4-6fd18b1469e0/original.jpg[url]


Last edited by Rohan; 10/12/18 12:14 am. Reason: Trimmed my post, with no rhyme or reason ??
Re: 53-is ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #752399
10/12/18 12:12 am
10/12/18 12:12 am
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How bizarre, it will only post half my words... ??
These are the rest of them.
----------------------------------

If you filled the badge holes, the tanks are likely to be all very similar to each other.
(& 1 kneepad hole prior to 1950, then 2 after, per side)

I'd post a pic of the underside of my ES2 tank, but I haven't figured out how to downsize a pic in Windozs 10 yet.
Change isn't always an improvement....

The 1953 brochure pic shows a chromed tank, but brochures don't always reflect what actually happened.
https://cybermotorcycle.com/gallery/norton-1953/images/Norton-1953-catalogue-05.jpg

Re: 53-is ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #752423
10/12/18 9:27 am
10/12/18 9:27 am
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Birmingham UK
iansoady Offline
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I'm pretty sure the 1953 bikes still had chrome tanks with silver panels and the usual black & red lining. Taking Rohan's Korean war comments (on my photo) into account of course....

Downsizing photos? I use pixresizer - freeware and very easy to use.

That tank does look as though it's led an interesting life.


Ian.

1952 Norton ES2
1982 Moto Guzzi V50
Re: 53-is ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #752479
10/12/18 8:27 pm
10/12/18 8:27 pm
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Peter Gee Offline OP
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Thanks all for lots ofhelp..strangely it shows no replies have been posted to this thread, but there are many.

It's possible someone fitted a later tank..due to the 1964 revolution in Zanzibar, records were all destroyed or mislaid as thousands of Zanzibari Arabs, Hindues, Persians etc fled the massacres, abandoning their property...including my Norton! Everything I find shows no badges for 53 models. I am going to join the owners club and have them do a full search of the consignee of export models, as my engine and frame numbers match.

Re: 53-ish ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #752493
10/12/18 9:42 pm
10/12/18 9:42 pm
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Peter Gee Offline OP
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PHOTOSTORY of the Africa Barn Find are now posted in the "PHOTOS NOW UPDATED" thread just above this one. It;s fun. I'm crazy. She will be rebuilt as good as new........here is my 2018 Africa Concours winning Triumph TR6C 1966, also rescued from a junkyard in Tanzania 20 years ago and smuggled into Kenya on a pickup truck.

[Linked Image]


Re: 53-ish ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #752502
10/12/18 10:13 pm
10/12/18 10:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Peter Gee
Everything I find shows no badges for 53 models.


The 53 and 54 models had a Norton decal in a painted panel tank.

This was (just) in the era/end of the Korean war, so painted rather than chromed tanks were possible..
This may have been relaxed during this time, so chromed tanks returneth.

btw, someone looked into this, and it was legislated in the UK that bike manufacturers were required to restrict
their use of chromium plating to a % of previous use - because of the nickel being deemed a strategic metal.
Handlebars and exhausts were OK, but painted rims and tanks were required.

Re: 53-ish ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Rohan] #752543
10/13/18 5:52 am
10/13/18 5:52 am
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Peter Gee Offline OP
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Very correct Rohan, I have come across numerous silver pained wheels and tans of precisely the Korean War era and also post WW2.

Re: 53-ish ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #752847
10/15/18 10:11 am
10/15/18 10:11 am
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Tanks for Nortons not very long after WW2 were chromed though, very heavily chromed in fact
- different process then than now, they were thickly chromed and ground back smooth and shiny...

If they went rusty or became dented anywhere though, they were often then painted over to hide this,
as any proud owner would do without wanting the expense of getting it beaten out and rechromed.
Panels cut out underneath and welded up are often a sign of some trauma or other...

Re: 53-ish ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #752917
10/15/18 7:35 pm
10/15/18 7:35 pm
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Peter Gee Offline OP
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Hi Rohan, I have peeled through the layers of black paint and found the following. The tank had chrome sides and a top that was chrome roughed over ( for painting I Guess. There are two knee pad screws ( so it is not just pre-1950's which had one). It has badge screw points (1955+), but on ONE side ( the other had damage and was patched with a welded section) only -where there is also the outline of a round decal between the badge screw holes.

In 53 according to my Google images research, tanks were overall SILVER with a Norton black decal, and two pad screws.

I therefore conclude this bike shed it's original silver 53 tank with pinstripes and Norton black decal, probably from general abuse, from the original to a 1955 ish version of tank......and as that deteriorated over time, black was applied overall. I'll try and send you a pic of the forensics.

Re: 53-ish ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #753119
10/17/18 2:29 pm
10/17/18 2:29 pm
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Peter Gee Offline OP
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"In 53 according to my Google images research, tanks were overall SILVER with a Norton black decal, and two pad screws.

I therefore conclude this bike shed it's original silver 53 tank with pinstripes and Norton black decal, probably from general abuse, from the original to a 1955 ish version of tank......and as that deteriorated over time, black was applied overall. I'll try and send you a pic of the forensics."

WRONG! Further careful peeling has unveiled traces of the original paint scheme. Looking up Google Images 1953 ES2 Brochure, it's plain the 53 tank was both silver painted and chrome plated (sides and top) , but had NO badges. The fact that I uncovered badge "dimple" screw holders means the factory probably put filler over them when painting the silver panel.

If I had black light or something I could probably make the long-covered original paint scheme stand out .

Indeed the paint scheme I have uncovered looks remarkably like this Indian copy- except my ES2 tank does not have a flip lid[Linked Image]

and here is the 1953 Brochure.. obviously silver, chrome and NO plastic round badge.

[Linked Image]


Re: 53-ish ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #753120
10/17/18 2:31 pm
10/17/18 2:31 pm
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Peter Gee Offline OP
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Also it looks like a bullet entered the left top knee grip screw mount, eliminating it, and exited through the right tank badge, both well repaired by an expert welder. This is all good fun!

Re: 53-ish ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #753225
10/18/18 4:00 am
10/18/18 4:00 am
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Originally Posted by Peter Gee
The fact that I uncovered badge "dimple" screw holders means the factory probably put filler over them when painting the silver panel.


That seems a little unlikely, in 53 and 54 an original tank wouldn't have already had fittings for tank badges.
That would only occur if a 1955 (or later) tank was used as a replacement,
or someone cobbled up some tank badge fittings into an earlier tank.

Have you deciphered the numbers stamped under the tank, that I can see traces of,
Norton tanks are numbered and have the year stamped on as well ( we think).
My 1948 ES2 tank is stamped with a number and 48 below it, at any rate...

Re: 53-ish ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #753242
10/18/18 6:37 am
10/18/18 6:37 am
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Peter Gee Offline OP
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Hi Rohan, it has stamped 3717..maybe a small letter before the number possibly N. Nothing below it.

Cant locate a 55 sales brochure but 56 certainly shows the rank is very similar to a 53 but now with a badge. I think your explan may be correct..the original tank expired. There was at least one more ES2 on Zanzibar from what the seller told me..and he even knew the village... so the owner either could have ordered a new tank from probablythe mainland Tanganyika ( as it then was) agent or found a later model one.

Has anyone had experience of the Indian tanks for Norton? I got one for a BSA A7SS via a UK dealer. It was quite good except they had added an inch of height to the tank and a rather more bulbous look.

Re: 53-ish ES2 Tank Photos Wanted (With My Photos) [Re: Peter Gee] #753301
10/18/18 9:31 pm
10/18/18 9:31 pm
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I think those tanks are a bit of a lottery.
There are many sources, and the rejects get parcelled out to someone else as heavily discounted.

That tank you show above looks really good - the Norton logo is a little oversize, but if you ignore and that the
pinstriping could be done more accurately then it looks good.

Someone here a good while back imported a small shipload of tanks for ES2's after experimenting with them a bit,
and they were apparently excellent - good shape, good fit, good chrome and no leaks, even with use.
They required the painted panelling and pinstripstriping.
Unfortunately I don't know the name of the supplier, and he can no longer get them from that supplier.
There are many other purveyors though...

btw, I missed initially that your tank does not have the flip lid, but a twist down cap.
Nortons introduced that, I think about 1956, but I'd have to look.
Your 53 should have a flip lid, and the 2 screw kneepads (per side).


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