These clutch and brake lever sets are of the competition type fitted to Norton Internationals and early SOHC Manx's up to the late 1940's. Easily identifiable by their very long blades, all parts are faithfully replicated as close to the originals as possible, with the exception of the fittings being in stainless steel. They will add the finishing touch to your Norton restoration. Being very different in construction from the standard length none ballend lever sets fitted to most bikes of the era, these levers have always been uncommon and due to their rarity are now almost impossible to find. Background: These lever sets are as listed on Plate K of the 1948 Norton Spare Parts List (see my online catalog), and were fitted to SOHC racing Nortons (early Manx's) and also to Norton International's in the 1930's. The main visual difference between these and standard (none ballend) levers of the period was that these are much longer and have a very distinctive blade shape. The other easily noticeable difference is that the length of each individual lever blade is different, with the brake lever being approximately 0.5" longer than the clutch lever, which helps to give them a very particular appearance. I have seen quite a few originals with minor variations on this design, but the overall visual look is similar on all, and faithfully replicated in the examples you see here.
-------- Specification:-------- In addition to the visual differences already described, there are other subtle differences to the standard type levers, the net result being that almost no parts are interchangeable: ---- Handlebar castings: These have a steeper rake than the standard castings, and are particular to this type of lever. In addition, the clamp piece itself is manufactured as part of the casting, rather than a separate pressed steel component. I have had boxed patterns made to produce this casting, then had them cast in bronze, Followed by CNC machining, then finally each one has been polished and chromed – a lengthy process (please note - although great effort is made to final polish these before chroming - as they are sand castings, there may be the occasional tiny blemish still visible - these in no way detract from the final overall appearance - and as always, I offer full guarantee if not totally satisfied)
----- Pivot Bolt: Rather than just employing a plain threaded bolt, these levers were fitted with a 3- part shouldered bolt\nut. The main bolt has a distinctive head shape and slight shoulder. Like all the fittings I have had these CNC manufactured in stainless steel and they look very nice. The main nut is distinctive and heavily shouldered. The shoulder feeds into the lever and through the casting, acting as a pivot point. Finally, these are retained in place with a reduced head locknut, again in stainless. The only variation from original, is that I also employ thin stainless washers, as without these the chrome lever blades get easily scratched by the bolt\nut heads.
----- Cable Barrel: These levers came fitted with a special cable barrel, particular to this type of lever, which mean that rather than fitting the normal brake clutch\brake cable with large barrel nipple, a smaller pear shape nipple is fitted and this is fed into the gap of the lever blade, then the barrel is pushed into the lever blade and finally the cable is tightened, pulling the pear into the barrel. I was very fortunate that a good friend of mine (and avid collector of original rarities) kindly lent me an original barrel which I have had faithfully replicated in stainless steel. These barrels were held in place with a circlip, which comes supplied. As background, I believe the reason this elaborate system was employed, was because the lever blades were originally made in a thinner gauge of steel. I have seen an early (1930’s) example which had the normal slit in the blade for a standard brake cable\barrel to pass through. Frankly this looked very thin and flimsy around the area of the slit. I guess they must have realised this design was unsafe, and therefore the barrel was employed, without the slit in the blade.
--- Lever Blades: As already mentioned, these replicate the distinctive appearance of originals and the blanks are laser cut from the same thinner gauge steel of originals. Large press tools were manufactured first to bend the blade blanks, then provide the correct curve of the blades. Finally the blades have been polished, copper plated and then chromed. --- Each set of blades comes fully assembled and adjusted, ready to be fitted to your bike and are supplied in separate plastic bags to avoid them getting scratched. They are assembled with Copaslip (stainless threads) and grease to lubricate, and this also protects the chrome parts in storage. Finally, as a safety feature each set comes fitted with rubber ballends, which I strongly advise are fitted. These are actually BSA Bantam gearchange rubbers and were a period mod – so themselves look very indicative of the period when fitted.
Update November 2016: Sorry, these have all sold out again. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an update of when they will next be available (or occasionally we may be able to offer slight seconds or some components seperately)