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#66229 - 09/03/06 9:35 pm 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 36
CanadaBike Offline
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CanadaBike  Offline
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Canada
Showing off my new toys smile
Just picked this up last week.. was restored a number of years ago by a collector and put in heated storage and never used. I bought it, along with a 1956 BSA Golden Flash, from the estate after the owner passed away.
A Norton with electric start, who would have thought!!











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#66230 - 09/03/06 10:28 pm Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,919
John RGS Offline
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new jersey usa
Beautiful! Read up on gear box issues if you plan on putting any kind of serious mileage on it. A great example. Theses bikes were targeted at the ladies at the time. Hence the electric start, lower profile.

By the way, it looks like your lucky enough from the condition of the bike, that the starter might actualy work! If so, don't use it!


,_o
_ -\_<,
(*)/'(*)

NOPGS #2
#66231 - 09/04/06 12:43 am Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 36
CanadaBike Offline
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CanadaBike  Offline
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Canada
Yes, the Starter does work.. I fired the bike up once and then put it away. Will have to go over the bike over the winter to make sure everything is up to spec before I ride it. No plans to put any miles on it, a ride to work on a sunny day or 2 or a scoot around town on a nice weekend will be the extent of its use.

In any case, any comments on what I would look out for re. Gearbox and Starter issues?

#66232 - 09/04/06 1:07 am Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,919
John RGS Offline
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new jersey usa
Quoted from the web site below. Some interesting info. I like these little bikes. Yours is quite sharp!

Quote:
My experience of the electric boot (starter) was that if it did manage to start the engine from cold, then the feat proved so traumatic that it would never work again! Just added weight, but easy enough to dump.
http://www.umgweb.com/member1/bnormis2.htm


,_o
_ -\_<,
(*)/'(*)

NOPGS #2
#66233 - 09/04/06 2:46 am Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,956
norbsa48503 Offline
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Flint,Mich
Guy rode into the Norton rally this year on one. He was from Ohio rally in north Michigan all told about 400 miles. Bike made it both ways. He called it a middle distance bike meaning anything longer than the 400 would hurt you and the bike.
Buddy bought one some years ago a fixer upper I called around about parts, my suppyer only had this to say: First the starter will brake and than the kick starter will brake.
I got to see the insides of the engine and it looked good. Now the frame was the scary part. I thought Dreams were bad.I like the look of the thing. I have only seen one with the sheet metal work around the carb this one is also missing.


norbsa
1960 TR6
1963 Super Rocket
1965 650 Star
1966 441
1968 Thunderbolt
1969 Twinkle 250
1972 Fastback
1974 Roadster
1970 S.S
Way too many BSA's not named
http://decentcycles.com
#66234 - 09/04/06 5:35 am Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,227
leon bee Offline
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arkansas
I like that little puddle under the Beezer.

#66235 - 09/04/06 1:58 pm Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 36
CanadaBike Offline
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Canada
the leak is gas from a bad petcock cork, not oil. The strange thing is that the bsa does not seem to leak any oil (Yet)

#66236 - 09/06/06 11:31 pm Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6
nortonxyz Offline
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ohio
I was the one who rode from Dayton OHio to the Michigan Norton rally on my Electra. It was also ridden to the Tennessee and Virginia rallys as well. First off, the e-start works very well and if anything, you would be better off to remove the kick starter. So, the good points of the bike are : 1) e-start (required for a real touring machine especially at the end of a 430 mile back road 100F day. 2) handling- the frame has stiffening plates which combined with roadholder forks lets the bike handle like a feather bed (as I know from my 99 and Atlas). 3) sounds like a Norton (well it is a NOrton, duh). NOt the not so good points 1) it is only 388 ccs and you have to really rev it to keep up with traffic. It is comfortable only to about 60 mph due to the high revs and vibration. Technically with the gear driven twin cams and short stroke it will likely rev much higher but it is really buzzy. 2) the electrical system is really cheap (Wipac which apparantly under bid Lucas for components). The light switches feel like they will twist off in your hand, although they haven't yet. The headlight contact connector has copper contact "spring blades" which do not hold tension and thus the lights go out after a while. The points require three pages in the manual to describe how to set them. This is something you do not want to do on the side of the road. 4) parts are hard to come by due to the low number produced.

The bike has a poor reputation most likely because of the cheap electrics. Most owners probably thought they were buying a classic Norton but got a bike with the same weight as an Atlas but with half the power and cheaper components. Norton probably lost $$$$ on it since they couldn't charge ATlas prices but it probably cost just as much to produce.

With a little education and some fettling you can easily keep one on the road and have fun with it. No one will know what it is including most Norton owners. Always good to put another Norton on the road.

Jerry Jensen 64 Norton Electra

#66237 - 09/06/06 11:37 pm Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6
nortonxyz Offline
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nortonxyz  Offline
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Posts: 6
ohio
Ooops, forgot to add how to wire the batteries. The electra originally came with two 6v batteries in series. The bike is wired `12v as is the starter. I run two 12v 12n5 batteries in parallel and it works great. You will need one or two heavy battery leads made up to do this. I had some made up at the local lawn mower shop.

Jerry Jensen

#66238 - 09/07/06 1:49 am Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 36
CanadaBike Offline
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CanadaBike  Offline
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Canada
Wow,
I am truly inspired. Don't think I would have it in me to go that far on this little thing smile

I have already done the same thing and installed 2 12v in parallel to make sure I had enough juice for the starter. Seems to be working fine and it starts on the first press of the button even when cold.
Not planning on doing any "Real" riding on this, just a little run to work on a nice day or a Sunday Drive around town. I'll keep the real riding for the bigger bikes but I must say, I realy like the look of this thing!!

#66239 - 09/07/06 4:29 am Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,956
norbsa48503 Offline
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norbsa48503  Offline
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Posts: 1,956
Flint,Mich
nortonxyz , Good to see you here. I could only estimate the 400 miles for the trip. If you used all secondary roads from Dayton I am thinking 500. Did you check your milage? Or your MPG?


norbsa
1960 TR6
1963 Super Rocket
1965 650 Star
1966 441
1968 Thunderbolt
1969 Twinkle 250
1972 Fastback
1974 Roadster
1970 S.S
Way too many BSA's not named
http://decentcycles.com
#66240 - 10/01/06 3:57 am Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,011
Gunk Offline
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Gunk  Offline
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Posts: 1,011
43.34 (4320') | -79.81 (-794...
I'll give ya a go.
I think my gettin' ta werk byke is a fine fetchin machin' wit a lodta freakin' atdt-dutde.
Whaddya say we see what these fellas can doooo?


"he who laughs fast, laughs first"~Gunk
#66241 - 10/01/06 10:16 am Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,297
Stuart Online content
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Stuart  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,297
Scotland
Hi All,

Quote:
Originally posted by nortonxyz:
the e-start works very well
I agree with Jerry; the rest of the electrics may be Wipac but that starter is the same Lucas one that Triumph put on the T160 Trident ten years later. Having been enmeshed in the world of T160 ownership for nigh-on 30 years, I can say that, contrary to ill-informed opinion, one of the few things that doesn't generally go wrong on T160's is the starter; any problems are always individual and have to be investigated from that pov.

CanadaBike: if that bike's as nice inside as it looks out, you're a lucky sob :p exactly what sort of deal have you done with the Devil? wink

Hth.

Regards,

#66242 - 10/01/06 10:31 am Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6,894
triton thrasher Online content
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triton thrasher  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6,894
scotland
I like that critique!

My learner bike back in 1974 was a 1966 Jubilee 250: similar weight and even less power.

People don't believe me when I say the Wipac electrics were worse than Lucas, but they sure were. It was extraordinarily sensitive to timing and points condition.

The separate heads had almost zero mating surface to the separate barrels on the insides.

Quote:
Originally posted by nortonxyz:
I was the one who rode from Dayton OHio to the Michigan Norton rally on my Electra. It was also ridden to the Tennessee and Virginia rallys as well. First off, the e-start works very well and if anything, you would be better off to remove the kick starter. So, the good points of the bike are : 1) e-start (required for a real touring machine especially at the end of a 430 mile back road 100F day. 2) handling- the frame has stiffening plates which combined with roadholder forks lets the bike handle like a feather bed (as I know from my 99 and Atlas). 3) sounds like a Norton (well it is a NOrton, duh). NOt the not so good points 1) it is only 388 ccs and you have to really rev it to keep up with traffic. It is comfortable only to about 60 mph due to the high revs and vibration. Technically with the gear driven twin cams and short stroke it will likely rev much higher but it is really buzzy. 2) the electrical system is really cheap (Wipac which apparantly under bid Lucas for components). The light switches feel like they will twist off in your hand, although they haven't yet. The headlight contact connector has copper contact "spring blades" which do not hold tension and thus the lights go out after a while. The points require three pages in the manual to describe how to set them. This is something you do not want to do on the side of the road. 4) parts are hard to come by due to the low number produced.

The bike has a poor reputation most likely because of the cheap electrics. Most owners probably thought they were buying a classic Norton but got a bike with the same weight as an Atlas but with half the power and cheaper components. Norton probably lost $$$$ on it since they couldn't charge ATlas prices but it probably cost just as much to produce.

With a little education and some fettling you can easily keep one on the road and have fun with it. No one will know what it is including most Norton owners. Always good to put another Norton on the road.

Jerry Jensen 64 Norton Electra


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
#66243 - 10/01/06 10:59 am Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,465
L.A.B. Online content
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L.A.B.  Online Content
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,465
Norfolk, UK
Quote:
Originally posted by Stuart:
that starter is the same Lucas one that Triumph put on the T160 Trident ten years later. Having been enmeshed in the world of T160 ownership for nigh-on 30 years, I can say that, contrary to ill-informed opinion, one of the few things that doesn't generally go wrong on T160's is the starter; any problems are always individual and have to be investigated from that pov.

Well, no it isn't exactly!

The electric motor is basically the same (M3) unit but the engagement/drive is totally different, the T160 unit being fitted with a 'pre-engaged' type solenoid operated assembly (I don't really need to tell you this Stuart I know), the Electra starter motor unit has an epicyclic driven sprocket which then drives (by chain) a rather crude crankshaft sprag unit and the whole thing I believe was neither particularly robust or reliable.

Had this same engagement system been used on the T160 I doubt you would be extolling its virtues!

#66244 - 10/02/06 4:44 am Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,297
Stuart Online content
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Stuart  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,297
Scotland
Hi Les,

Quote:
Originally posted by L.A.B.:
The electric motor is basically the same (M3) unit but the engagement/drive is totally different,
Ah - I've only ever dealt with one Electra starter (and that was many, many moons ago), and never got as far as the drive before the problem was sorted.

Nice bike tho', always quite fancied one since, if only to ride to the local H**da Owners meetings to educate them about exactly who first made a 400 twin with electric start. laugh

Regards,

#66245 - 04/05/07 3:45 pm Re: 1964 Norton Electra  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4
lgrunthaner Offline
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lgrunthaner  Offline
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Posts: 4
NJ
Hi I am looking at a 65 Norton Electra, anyone cafe one out so I can get some ideas?
Thanks LG


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