Norton Cosworth Challenge
In 1974 N.V.T. commissioned Cosworths to design a 750cc engine to power a new superbike and a production racer. It was to be a vertical twin with a 360degree crank so that it could run a single carburetor in its road version, to keep emissions in check, and to make it run smoothly in road guise twin balance shafts were specified . The first race for the new machine was The Race of the South at Brands Hatch in late 1975, unfortunately an accident just after the start brought down several riders among them Dave Croxford on the Norton Challenge. To meet the homologation requirements 25 sets of components were produced and there may be 6or 8 complete engines still in existence, there was no frame as such the front wheel/handlebar assembly was mounted on the engine and a swing arm pivoted on the rear of the gearbox controlled by a suspension unit on a small subframe bolted to the ear of the engine. No road engines were produced although a race engine was run on the test bed with a single S.U. carburetor. In the January 1980 edition of the American magazine Cycle, Kevin Cameron wrote a very accurate technical analysis of the Challenge project and in the January 1985 edition of Motorcycle Mechanics in U.K. John Robinson described the machine that Rob Sewell had modified and ridden for Ian Sutherland Racing unfortunately the photos accompanying the article were reversed . Some engines were modified by Ilmor Engineering (the company founded by Paul Morgan and Mario Ilian who were to design and build the Maclaren Mercedees formula 1 car engines) and built by Bob Osborn for the Quantell Cosworth racing team.
#1. "RE: Norton Cosworth Challenge" In response to Reply # 0
Great Article. I copied it to the collection of history articles on the front page where it will reside permanetly. I will be deleting this message in a few days but the article will remain. Anyone else who wants to contribute Norton history is welcome. You can post here or email me and I will create an article for the front page.
Thanks Bateby 45 for the bit of Norton history.
Photo Steve, editor Brit Iron