2022-09-24 Norton Model 18 Motorcycle 1936 Vintage
Norton Model 18 Road Test
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This superb 1938 Model 18 trials replica might not see much of the rough stuff, but it’s a wonderful celebration of a bygone age of motorcycling. Sometimes you just know. Know that a bike’s performance is going to live up to its looks, and that’s just how I feel about this superb Norton Model 18 trials replica.
The starting drill is as simple and straightforward as the bike itself. Fuel and oil taps on, retard the ignition slightly using the lever on the left handlebar, pull in the de-compressor to get that 79mm piston moving up and down its long, 100mm stroke, and swing on the folding kick starter like you mean it. I’m rewarded first time by an, only slightly muffled, bark from the gleaming, high-level pipe snaking down the right-hand flank of the bike. This is clearly a well-prepared and set-up machine.
After a few moments to warm the bike up, I hook the sweet acting gearbox up into first and nudge the advance retard forward as I pull away, marvelling at the lightness of the clutch action. Cracking along some back lanes out in the Leicester countryside, the bike is in its element. These are the sorts of roads that time seems to have forgotten and the Model 18 is made for them.