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Rear hubs #785602 09/27/19 8:04 am
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jimq Offline OP
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Hi I am needing to find out what differences there are between 50s featherbed aluminium rear hubs and the similar looking commando hubs. Or anything in between for that matter. I am beginning to consider building a featherbed racing bike but don't know alot about Norton's at this point.

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Re: Rear hubs [Re: jimq] #785605 09/27/19 8:42 am
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Threads are different, cycle on some (featherbed as cross over ?), UNF on the later ones. There are variations within the Commando, early have the 3 through bolts screwed into drum without shock absorber for gearbox, later have holes for paddles on the drum and some weird plastic pads that act as a shock absorber as the Commando clutch did not have one. So you have to match drum to hub.

MK3 850 has disc brake and completely different again and unless allowed in the racing regs best ignored..

Re: Rear hubs [Re: jimq] #785617 09/27/19 11:26 am
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Early brake drums for 50s featherbeds (widelines) used a narrow 1/4" wide chain (5/8 x 1/4) (and sprockets too.)

And somewhere in the 1960s they used the more common 3/8" chain, (5/8 x 3/8) as does the Commando.
Bear this in mind if a mix-n-match range of parts doesn't make any sense !

Re: Rear hubs [Re: jimq] #785634 09/27/19 3:07 pm
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t ingermanson Online Content
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If you're considering a race bike, some of the more common mods are an aftermarket clutch or Commando clutch, and a primary belt drive. If either of those are used it usually deletes the cush found in the Dominator clutch. A cush in the drive train is a needed component, less so on the track, but still. Do you know what primary and clutch you'll use? If not, figure out your entire drive train spec and use a hub that matches your needs.

The Dominator hub has no cush, as pointed out by Kommando, and the cush found in the Commando hub is considered marginal by most standards.

Norton hubs can also be a problem for racing use because of the rear sprocket being integral to the brake drum, so changing ratios can be more difficult than need be, particularly with a belt drive.

If you've already got something, that's one thing, but if you're spec'ing from the ground up, best to think of all the options.

Last edited by t ingermanson; 09/27/19 3:10 pm.
Re: Rear hubs [Re: jimq] #785725 09/28/19 7:49 pm
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jimq Offline OP
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Thanks for the reply's everyone.

So I take it from what I read here that all alloy hubs up to the commando ones are the same except for the threads. Then commando's have a visually similar hub but fitted with a Kush drive.

One question I have for now is (and I hope this makes sense) some hubs, when viewed from the brake side but without the brake fitted, have plain round bosses where the bolts come through and some have what I will describe as little wings coming out from the bosses. Is there an explanation of how this fits in with aging the hubs.

Cheers.

Re: Rear hubs [Re: jimq] #785726 09/28/19 7:52 pm
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kommando Offline
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The little wings could be the alloy around the holes that take the plastic pads and the brake drum paddle from the cush drive hub.

Re: Rear hubs [Re: jimq] #785733 09/28/19 9:31 pm
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I think these are the little wings being described.
(photo selected at random off the 'net)

Thats an interesting question, I don't know when these appeared.
Most hubs I've taken notice of have them, but I'm not currently where
I can inspect whats on the early 50s wideline hubs.

It looks they strengthened the holes from stretching/elongating, doesn't it....

[Linked Image from owensmotorcycles.co.uk]

Definitely used on the Commando, but before that ?
The thread type may give that away ?
(are there different thread type bearing lock rings ?)
https://www.oldbritts.com/14_060313.html

Re: Rear hubs [Re: Rohan] #785734 09/28/19 9:42 pm
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jimq Offline OP
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Yes Rohan that is what I mean. My best source of information on what is what is the net and in particular what is being listed on eBay. Neither of which are necessarily correct.

Re: Rear hubs [Re: jimq] #785738 09/28/19 10:18 pm
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Rohan Online Content
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Originally Posted by jimq
and in particular what is being listed on eBay. Neither of which are necessarily correct.


Amen to that. !!
No-one has a 100% infallible memory, thats for sure.
Even the factory literature has the odd blooper.

Asking on these forums has produced a lot of new info, corrections to old info, and tweaks on old info.
Even after 50, 60 or etc more years...
And, a lot of forums are archiving their older sessions, so stuff keeps arising, again and again. ?

Re: Rear hubs [Re: jimq] #785739 09/28/19 10:38 pm
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Rohan Online Content
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P.S. Some of the regulars/racers on this forum (and others) are in NZ, and may be able to offer some advice ?
johnm in particular has a 500cc dommie that has been well developed and well described,
with systematic thoroughness. You get to any classic race events ?

I've watched someone localish here develop an ES2 into an 'ES3' such that it could trounce
a good manx, and its secrets are well published. I think the NZ rules allow more changes than Oz Classics ?

Re: Rear hubs [Re: Rohan] #785744 09/29/19 12:08 am
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jimq Offline OP
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Yeah I have been racing a stock Daytona 500 for a couple of year's now but although that has been great fun the bike is basically unsuited to racing as is and I don't want to turn it into a racer. I have just about finished building a BSA B50 racer but I am thinking now I really should have built something pre 63.

In New Zealand there are 3 classes within pre 63. They are clubman, modified and factory racer. Clubman is road based and quite strict rules. Modified is basically frame and motor must be pre 63 and drum brakes only. Factory racer is Manx etc.

The reason I am interested in finding out about the hubs is I am considering starting a parts collection for a next project with a mind to eventually getting a McIntosh frame to build it all into.

Last edited by jimq; 09/29/19 12:09 am.
Re: Rear hubs [Re: jimq] #785746 09/29/19 12:32 am
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Rohan Online Content
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Might be worth asking Ken then - he may (try to) sell you a pukka magnesium one !

A lot of folks go for the BSA Triumph conical rear hub.
It looks like the manx magnesium item - if you squint a bit.
Takes a bit of juggling the rear axle.
Gives you a choice of bolt-on rear sprockets then too.
If these would be eligible ?
(photo selected at random off the 'net).

[Linked Image from classic-motorcycle-exchange.com]

Re: Rear hubs [Re: Rohan] #785754 09/29/19 1:44 am
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jimq Offline OP
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That would be eligible for modified but not clubman. And I have a spare one too. At this stage I am thinking of something clubman eligible which is why I am interested in the Norton parts. I could also consider a BSA crinkle hub which I have spare I suppose.

Re: Rear hubs [Re: jimq] #785825 09/29/19 10:16 pm
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Rohan Online Content
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Seems like we are preaching to the converted here ! - have fun.
I'll check my hubs when I get back to them.

I'd doubt which version of hub you use would cause eligibility problems.
Unless its blatantly later Commando. ?
You could always use what you have to build up a stash of bits,
and then get eligible bits for the final assembly ??


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