Barry Stickland talk

P1020413The Surrey section on 14 January 2015, was delighted to welcome the NOC’s Camshaft Singles Technical advice specialist Barry Stickland to give us a very in-depth talk about all the aspects and history of Norton’s camshaft singles. This was organized for us by our very own Mike Duffell, and Dave Gibson. There were 23 members of the branch that came to this very informative talk by Barry. If you did not manage to attend then you missed an amazing event.

Barry explained that he has been the specialist adviser for the club for over 20 years, and his most asked questions are “So how much is it worth” and the paint lining on the petrol tank.

Barry went on to explain how he started his motorcycling with the use of an Ariel Arrow two stroke. He then wanted to go racing and acquired a BSA Gold Star. He found one that was cheap and that needed work. He bought the BMS Book of the Gold Star, and rebuilt the Gold Star engine using it. He did some practice laps at Brands Hatch, the Kent racing circuit, and his first race was at Snetterton’s where Manx Norton’s and G50 Matchless’s passed him easily on the straights. He then sold the Gold Star, and bought a Manx Norton. He taught himself to build the long and short stroke singles.

Barry Stickland 1Barry after telling us about his racing history and experiences, then went on to explain to us the story concerning the camshafts singles history. The precursor to the Manx was the TT25 in 1927. Walter Moore then designed the CS1 OHC single, but after a disagreement with Norton’s, as Walter wanted to be on the board of directors, he took his designs and left. Walter Moore went to NSU and used the CS1 design to the advantage of the German company. As Walter Moore owned the rights to the CS1 the bottom half of the CS1 was redesigned by Arthur Carroll. The main difference between the two engines were the bottom half, and a vernier adjustment to the camshafts. This gave the camshaft adjustments a lot of different permutations, and made it far easier to adjust than the older CS1 design.

The International came out in the early 1930’s and the CS engines carried on till 1939. The International’s were of a more sporting bike.The camshaft singles used hairpin valve springs as the coil verity were not that reliable back then, and the coil valve springs broke far to easily. Norton’s also copied the BMW telescopic front forks, and Barry showed us all a picture of the great Freddie Frith studying a BMW with these fitted on the start line of an international race meeting.

P1020418Barry then went on to tell us all about the so called Suicide Stand. Norton’s in their infinite wisdom decided to place the rear stand, so in stead of it locking backwards,it locked forwards. It was fitted round the wrong way. All owners of these machines, make sure that the centre stand is fully secured before they leave when going out for a ride. Our own Roger Deadman has such a stand on one of his own camshaft singles and he fully understands the implications if this stand were to come loose, which can have disastrous consequences for the bike and the rider. So hence the very appt name the Suicide Stand. This stand was moved so that it locked back wards in a later redesign. Norton’s issued a catalogue for 1940 that was only sent to Austria, and it showed the telescopic front forks fitted to a camshaft single. A few Norton Manx’s were produced in 1940, These frames had the lugs for both types of stand fitted to them. To tell if the frame was originally fitted with girder or telescopic fork there is a very simple check that the owner can do. If the headstock has one grease nipple it had telescopic forks, if it has two grease nipples it had girder forks fitted. In 1948 still with the SOHC engine, but as the pre-war engine but with a re design of the crankcases it went back into production.

Now we come to the part that Leo Kuzmicki (pronounced Kootsmitsky) the brilliant Polish professor and engineer that was employed sweeping the floors of the post Norton factory, played in the development of the camshaft singles story. It was Leo that was introduced to Joe Craig after he had a discussion about the camshaft engines with the race engineer Charlie Edwards. After the war the Poles had to leave the country or find an employer that would give them a job for seven years. This is what Gilbert Smith did for Leo, and it was a constant source of annoyance, and a very big grievance for Leo as Gilbert Smith still paid Leo, sweepers wages even though he went on to hugely improve the camshafts singles engines power out put. As soon as he could and he had the chance he went to Vanwall and designed their GP winning cars by using for Manx Norton top half’s on a common crankcase. This engine even used Amal GP carburettors.

P1020422It was Leo that introduced the squish band to the cylinder heads with a modified piston and cylinder head. One of these pistons was passed around by Barry to the eager assembled audience, along with other pictures. Geoff Duke said that it wasn’t the frame that he won first time out, but the huge boost in power from the engine, Barry told us. This was later taken up by Velocette who used it on the 500 Venom, that became the Thruxton that came first and second in the 1967 Isle of Man TT races. The Thruxton’s cylinder came from an American called Lou Branch who sent it over to England for an evaluation by the Velocette factory. Leo went on the design the Hillman Imp all alloy the 875cc, rear mounted engine. Leo sadly passed away in 1982, having been a WW2 fighter pilot for this country. Leo was a very clever and intelligent man that Norton’s should really have cherished, and it can only be surmised at what an impact he could or would have made if he had been treated much better by Norton’s management. He was huge loss to Norton’s later expectations.

Barry also went on the explain to us how not to get caught by the camshaft single being placed in a single 16H frame. This is some thing that can happen to the less knowledgeable when buying a camshaft single. I asked Barry about this so that I got it correct. Barry said that the Inter and Manx rear plungers lean forward, and the road frames plungers are straight up. This can be a very costly mistake if the bike you are looking at is being sold to your as genuine Manx or Inter but in a road going frame. The first featherbed frames had to be redesigned as there was a fault with the rear of the frame that would break the rear suspension. Barry still has one of the early unmodified frames.

Our very own Mike Duffell that owns the ex Des Craig Manx Norton, had a very special gearbox, that Barry took apart and inspected. Mike is related to the Craig family. This gearbox was nothing like Barry had ever seen before, as the shafts were thicker, and the gears came out on two rails. It was never put into production which is a very great shame and a loss to the camshaft racers.

Barry went on the explain about Norton’s camshaft singles not being very oil tight. Barry by profession works in the aviation industry. He works on hydraulic and oxygen systems for Airbus and also the Trent aero engines. He runs the hydraulic and fuel side for his company. Barry built a pressure tester to show him where the oil leaks were coming from in the cam box on the camshafts singles. By using this he has managed to cure all the oil leaks that the camshaft singles are known for, using this his own design of pressure tester. He passed around some rocker arms to show us the source of one of the oil leaks that he did not know about till subjected to his pressure tester. Note to Norton single camshaft owners, if you want to cure your cam boxes leaks send it the Barry Stickland.

P1020420Barry also showed us some special gearbox gears. The gearboxes on the camshaft singles had close gears, and there was a very big drop between first and second gear. When Francis Beart was at Daytona, this was a very prominent fault with the gearboxes. The factory got the Burman factory the maker of Norton’s gearboxes to make for the Daytona races a special set of gears, and they are now called the Daytona Gears. Barry had ten sets made, and they are now been produced by RGM Motors.

Can we as the Surrey branch thank Barry for his time and his huge amount of in-depth knowledge for coming and giving us this talk. This along with the fact our room we could not utilise, as the landlord was using it to store the builders equipment in. Along with the TV and the football commentary, and other customers in our very close proximity, Barry gave an evening to remember. and also answered a lot of questions for us all. Any mistakes or inaccuracies are purely mine and not Barry’s. Barry also donated his petrol fee to the Colin Seely charity which we thank him for his very kind generosity.

Our next events are the Annual Dinner on 31st January, a talk by Dave Newman of Newman Cams, on the 11 February. We will also have a stand at the South of England Real Classic Show at Ardingly 29 March 2015, the Kempton Park Southern Classic Show 23 May 2015. There will also be a stand at the South of England Real Classic Ardingly Show, on 25 October 2015. So come and support your branch.

Anthony Curzon

Press Officer Surrey Branch

Other Upcoming Events
Oct
11
Tue
7:30 pm Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Oct 11 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Come and find us at our pre-covid meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill, just north of Dorking, Surrey. Our new date is the 2nd[...]
Nov
8
Tue
7:30 pm Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Nov 8 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Come and find us at our pre-covid meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill, just north of Dorking, Surrey. Our new date is the 2nd[...]
Dec
13
Tue
7:30 pm Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Dec 13 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Come and find us at our pre-covid meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill, just north of Dorking, Surrey. Our new date is the 2nd[...]
Jan
10
Tue
7:30 pm Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Jan 10 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Come and find us at our pre-covid meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill, just north of Dorking, Surrey. Our new date is the 2nd[...]
Feb
14
Tue
7:30 pm Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Feb 14 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Come and find us at our pre-covid meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill, just north of Dorking, Surrey. Our new date is the 2nd[...]
Mar
14
Tue
7:30 pm Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Mar 14 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Come and find us at our pre-covid meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill, just north of Dorking, Surrey. Our new date is the 2nd[...]
Apr
11
Tue
7:30 pm Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Apr 11 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Come and find us at our pre-covid meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill, just north of Dorking, Surrey. Our new date is the 2nd[...]
May
9
Tue
7:30 pm Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
May 9 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Come and find us at our pre-covid meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill, just north of Dorking, Surrey. Our new date is the 2nd[...]
Jun
13
Tue
7:30 pm Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Jun 13 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Come and find us at our pre-covid meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill, just north of Dorking, Surrey. Our new date is the 2nd[...]
Jul
11
Tue
7:30 pm Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night at The Stepping Stones @ The Stepping Stones PH
Jul 11 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Come and find us at our pre-covid meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill, just north of Dorking, Surrey. Our new date is the 2nd[...]