Update Nov 2021: Sorry the first batch of these sold out very quickly - I will be looking to have a second smaller batch available in early 2022 - email to reserve on, as only a few of these remaining. Best wishes Paul
This listing is for an alloy racing gearlever, complete with wasted gearbox bolt and locknut (to take lockwire) and correct SOHC Manx style gearlever rubber, to fit all Norton upright gearbox type splines - and has been faithfully reproduced from a genuine original SOHC Manx gearlever.
As well as the gearlever itself, it comes complete with a very pretty 'wasted' racing type gearlever bolt (CNC'd in stainless steel), which has a deep head (as most Norton gearlever bolts did at that time), but counterbored to remove weight, and also drilled both top and bottom to accept lockwire, after a small locknut is fitted - so as not to come off through vibration. The gearlever itself is threaded, but also comes with a locknut to help prevent the bolt loosening (as gearlever bolts are prone to do in use). If you wish, the bolt thread is long enough for you to remove the locknut and fit a nyloc nut in its place.
Finally, the lever is fitted with a gearlever rubber of the same style as originally fitted to Manx Nortons in the 1940's (and one is shown fitted to the original lever, which may be original). As a final bit of bling, we have added lockwire to the rubber - which was a common period fitting on race bikes. We also supply 12 inches (approx) of lockwire in a small bag, to apply to the bolt after fitting (as I have done in the main listing photograph).
These are not cheap, but hopefully you will agree that as well as being pretty, they are a quality reproduction of original and rare 'short' Norton SOHC (Manx type) gearlevers - which are themselves now extremely hard to find.
(Note: we pack the assembled gear lever and lockwire in sealable bags to protect them in storage - with a small squirt of Duck Oil is sprayed in, this can be wiped off with a soft cloth on fitting, and a quick re-polish given if you want them shiny)
Background and Manufacturing Information:
The original gearlever this pattern was copied from came off a genuine upright Manx racing gearbox endcover, that came from an old colllector friend many years ago, who had a huge quantity of genuine Manx Norton parts and bikes, of both pre-war and postwar types (including some Works stuff). The gearbox cover and original gearlever are shown in the fith photograph and when they came into my posession, looked like they had not been touched since last used in the 1950's. Interestingly the original gearlever is cast alloy (and production quality, not homemade) and looks to have all the hallmarks of an original Manx lever, including the correct Norton spline.
I had heard it was more normal for production pre-Featherbed Manx models to have cast steel gearbox levers fitted, although I think some alloy were made and also fitted to Works models. I know the previous owner of this gearbox/gearlever had been collecting since the early 1960's and had some rare Works stuff in his collection - so just a small possibility it is a 'Works' type lever (and included is a picture of one of the 39-49 type Works bikes, which does look to have a very similar gearlever attached). i am not sure if this is true . . . but ours replicate the original pattern in shape and form exactly . .. and it is a nice story to tell anyone, if you have one of these fitted to your bike!
Manufacture: First I had boxed patterns made for this lever (from our excellent UK patternmaker - real craftsmen), and then a batch of levers were cast in Heat Treated LM25TF alloy from these. We then had a spline broach manufactured by a specialist broaching company with the correct Norton (pre-AMC) type spline, this company then taking the part machined gearlevers to add the spline in the correct position (gearlever splines should have a small blank area either side of the slit, without teeth). Following the spline being added, we then completed the machining operations (for which a number of jigs were made - see photos), and then the final levers were linished and polished. Therefore apologies these are not cheap - but the setup costs were substantial, but the result in a nice lever that is an exact copy of the SOHC Norton type they were modelled on.
As a final point - Normal roadgoing Inter models with forward mounted footrests and 'upright' style gearbox's, used the more normal style long curved gearlever (which we may stock again in the future), however, roadgoing non-Featherbed models using the 'Laydown' style of gearbox, used a cast steel lever which was of similar length and shape to these 'racing' type levers. However, if you look at an original laydown gearbox lever (see last photo) - you will note that as the lever comes away from the spline boss, the pattern sits slightly upwards from centre (denoting it being a roadgoing type). However, as can be seen in the final photograph, our lever alongside that standard type shows that if you cannot find a road type lever elsewhere - these could be used as a suitable substitute for that Laydown type gearbox.