With the core of the machine now precisely assembled, dependable and functioning as it should, the question is now; “how do you dress up a classic beauty with a fresh aura that is in step with these new times”? Your answer may be different, but here is mine. The original machine was rich in polished alloys and some beautifully chromed components, sometimes even too much in places and curiously absent in others. Areas, such as the large primary chain case and the covers of the timing case and transmission, present large polished surfaces that create a “blur” of shine which sometimes visually detracts from other finer pieces. To tame this situation, I like the muted, semi gloss or satin finishes applied to these areas. The benefit to me is now those finer elements stand out. I have also found that this substantially makes the bike so much easier to clean and retain a fresh appearance even after a long ride. Areas that curiously were lacking in brilliance are the rough cast triple trees, the rear wheel hub, and the rear brake cover plate and hardware. These are now chromed and/or machined and polished. The rear wheel area, typically a “grungy” environment, is now sporting a new, easier to clean brilliance. Also, the swing arm, center stand and side stand have a polished ceramic coating (standard ) that adds even more easy clean shine and is extremely durable in a very nasty area. The handlebar area, our only view of the bike when riding, now has a new gleam.
If the goal is to modernize the Norton’s appearance, what defines “modern” to me is the precision of fit and finish of the castings. In this area, the Norton needs help. With only a goal of cleaning up the mismatched seams of all the cases and covers, I found it impossible to not continue and clean up the rough surfaces, casting lines, and flashing left by the original casting methods of those times. I also found that I was very close to polishing some of the visible areas which ultimately lead to the full engine and transmission detailing option. The photo gallery “Details” has many views of what goes into this process. Several of the shots include a stock component for comparison purposes and I have many views showing work in process. The final result gives the old Norton a new glow of detail on the outside which to me is a reflection of the same qualities now on the inside. Please excuse the quality of some photos, in this gallery and others, taken from some older files prior to a better camera.