£20,000 (you supply the engine) - £75,000 (estimate for a bike using a crazy and exotic power plant.



Type: Norton Commando, 750cc, air-cooled, four-stroke ohv parallel twin Carburation: Single SU Bore x stroke: 73 x 89mm Gearbox: Four-speed, hand-change Power: 56bhp

Designed by Colonel Henry Holden RA the 2.75mile Brooklands track was built under the direction of railway engineer Alexander Donaldson. Hugh Locke King, backed by wife Ethel - both motoring enthusiasts, provided both capital and land to develop their vision. Work began in summer 1906, 10 months later the project was finished.

In addition to the track were public enclosures, seating for 5000, access to Weybridge station, a clubhouse and 75 competitors' stalls. The track was officially opened on 17 June 1907, but years later It emerged a local schoolboy, Dougal Marchant, later a famous Brooklands crack rider may have preceded all this as a youngster on his mum's pedal tricycle! Not only was Brooklands the world's first purpose built racing circuit, it could be hired by factories for testing.

The first 'unofficial' Brooklands motorcycle race (25 February 1908) was by two Oxford undergraduates who transported their mounts to the venue by train. W Gordon McMinnies (476cc Triumph) bettered Oscar Bickford (670cc Vindec-Special) by 150 yards over the one lap race. Two months later Will Cook on a 984cc V-twin NLG (North London Garages) Peugeot romped to victory in the first 'official' Brooklands Motor Cycle Race at 63mph. The scratch event attracted 21 starters and a crowd of 13,500 enjoyed the interlude to a day's car racing.

BMCRC - The British Motor Cycle Racing Club was formed during spring 1909 to look after motorcycle racing interests, initially at Brooklands then other venues too. A program of events was soon planned including the Novices' Handicap, Time Trials, Brooklands 60 Lap TT Race and more.

Alongside this, pioneer aviators were drawn to Brooklands. They had a runway and a meeting place, 'The Blue Bird Restaurant,' although many of the mad flying men were attracted by the proprietors' daughters, not the food!

A coterie of motorcycle racers soon developed; the Colliers, Harry Martin, Bert Culver had raced flimsy motorcycles on the cycle tracks, while others including Oliver Godfrey, 'Wizard' Stanley, Billy Wells and Victor Surridge honed their craft at Brooklands. New boys on the block Bert Le Vack, ECE (Barry) Baragwanath, Percy Brewster and others powered their way into this elite inner circle, and it was Brewster who shook the very foundations of the Weybridge track on 20 July 1912 riding one of Pa Norton's long stroke motors posting 73.57mph for the 350 - 500cc Class C flying start mile, knocking the records book sideways and beating another ace, Barry Baragwanath (998cc Winit-JAP), en route.

During 1912 RT Shelley bought the Norton business, retaining the services of founder James

Lansdowne (Pa) Norton. Shelley's bother in law was Daniel O'Donovan • a brilliant tuner, rider and record breaker but hardly the most approachable soul. He was effectively banished to London and therefore Brooklands by Shelley and his exploits soon earned him the nickname 'Wizard'. With a Binks 'rat trap' carburettor, huge cams, high compression piston and fuel best mixed in a shed at the bottom of the garden Wizard bagged records by the cart load.

Cashing in, the Norton factory dispatched 490cc engines to O'Donovan who stripped and rebuilt them to racing standards, then installed each in his racing chassis - Old Miracle - for speed tests before dispatching back to Birmingham with a Brooklands' certificate confirming either 65mph for the BS -Brooklands Special or 60mph BRS - Brooklands Road Special (later 75/70mph).

The First World War stopped play for this first generation of Brooklands heroes. When racing resumed post war, it was never quite the same.

Top /ejh Bert Le Vack relaxes with a ginger beer after winning the 1921 500 mile race.

Main pic: Pa Norton (left), Daniel O'Donovan (middle) and Rex Judd (on bike).

Bottom: Proper protective kit - long sleeved jumper and anti-flap belt, is that the spirit of Hrasmus dissapearing into the background?

dynamic crank balancing

SRM dynamic balancing allows the engine to rev efficiently over the entire range producing less wear, extended bearing life and smoother power delivery

SRM use only Colsibro guides cro-moly seats and plasma hardened UK made valves for closer tolerance, longer life and cleaner running

SRM designed oil pumps are designed to work with unfiltered oil, unlike trochoidal design pumps. The close tolerances minimise wet sumping. SRM pressure release valves are the result of rigorous evaluation and are tested before dispatch


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