Model 25
2 November 2012
A couple of points arising from the November issue of The Classic MotorCycle

The author of your early OHC Velocette overview has repeated the same error as many: K cannot stand for ‘Kamshaft’ as stated, as a result of the German origins of the Goodman family. The German word for camshaft is ‘nockenwelle!’

Elsewhere, I note Richard Rosenthal’s reply to the USA enquiry about the Model 25. I don’t dispute what he says (makes a change for me!) but perhaps it’s worth adding a few extra comments.

The illustration used is the catalogue picture and the reality, going by the despatch records, is that relatively few Model 25s were delivered in this kick-starter-less, racing form. Most were supplied with the standard CS gearbox. Front forks were Heavyweight TT Webbs and the front brake was an eight-inch Enfield. The fuel tank was indeed special – larger (and damned uncomfortable from personal experience) with a bigger filler cap and in some cases a small tap on the top which could be turned on to facilitate fast filling. George Dance knee grips were the norm. A few were fitted with the supplementary chain oil tank used on the 1926 Works bikes and some had the foot pedal to operate the supplementary Best & Lloyd plunger oil pump in the – larger than standard – oil tank. And if you wanted, you could have your Model 25 supplied with pannier tanks, like the works bikes.

Norton promoted the Model 25 as being a replica of the 1926 works machines but failed to mention that the mainshafts in the engine – of one inch diameter in the works bikes – reverted to 22mm on the Model 25. Not much difference you may say, but work out the cross sectional area and you will see that the change is quite significant. Cams in the works bikes were long dwell items while those in the majority of Model 25s were pretty standard. Where the Model 25 engine really scored was it had steel flywheels like the works machines and, for that matter, the later CS1/ES2 models, rather than the regular cast iron items.

To see more photos of actual and original Model 25s, visit www.vintagenorton.com where there are several to see.

Simon Grigson, via email

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