SPORTING MACHINES ON TEST—concluded.
the taps with confidence, secure in the belief that the model would proceed in a straight line without a flicker.
Even on so brief a trial as we enjoyed, we did not find cornering difficult on the Norton, merely the strange ness of the machine made it necessary to exercise some determination in ” laying it over.”
After several interruptions by thoughtless traffic (I), we were able to extend the Norton for a short while ; short, but long enough for a reliable speed omet r to register 70 m.p.h. on second gear and just over 80 m.p.h on top. Valve bounce seemed to prevent a higher speed on second, but was not in evidence at full speed on top, thus suggesting that, given more time, a still higher speed could have been attained on this gear. At 80 m.p.h. on an indifferent surface the steering was perfectly safe and there was no necessity to clutch on ” unduly. The machine held the road extremely well, and was noticeably free from bounce of any sort, though, strangely enough, a strong application of the back brake produced that curious hopping of the rear wheel, which so minimises the effective stopping power. It is difficult to explain this fault, which is common to many modern machines whose weight distribution is not quite right, but on the Norton it may ha e been due to a special competition tyre, which is not particularly suitable for fast *road work. Nothing else about the behaviour of the Norton suggested faulty weight distribution, which is usually betrayed by bouncing or tail NA ag at speed or a tendency to skid on loose corners,
The Norton front brake is of such a size and has such a long operating lever that it obviously could be very useful, though on the machine we tried it had no apparent effect at all. It is only fair to state that the machine was only hurriedly prepared for us, at very short notice, and so could not be expected to be in perfect condition as to details.
Acceleration was rousing, and more rapid than the silence and high gears seemed to suggest, in spite of the weight of the machine, which, incidentally, was fully equipped with electric lighting set and dynamo.
As with most high powered and high grade machines, riding comfort and absence of fatigue are prominent features of the Norton, largely due to big tyres, spring top saddle and very thick pneumatic footrest rubbers.
Altogether the new Norton impressed us as a really first class machine, silent, fast and comfortable, not cheap when compared with many quantity produced models, but backed by a firm with a reputation for reliability and with a list of competition successes absolutely ” unapproachable.”