Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas
500 T -1949 -
The first trials Norton
In the 1920s, the leading English factories offered "Colonial" versions of their models. They differed from the home market models mainly in increased ground clearance, sometimes allied to high-level exhaust. Such machines gradually evolved into the first "trials" bikes, exclusively intended for off-road use.
New Off-Road Categories
In the 1950s, new categories of off-road competition began to bud: there were scrambles and motocross bikes intended for racing on closed circuits, enduro machines intended for a combination of race and rally, and trials bikes in the modern sense of the word for tests of machine management and control in which speed played no part.
Geoff Duke Joins the Team
Norton continued to offer trials versions of its sports roadster but, in 1948, launched its first dedicated off-road bike - the Model T. Though only a few of its 350cc variant were built, the 500 quickly tasted success. The works team included a rider who would soon become a household word for speed - Geoff Duke. The 500T used the bottom end of the ES2, onto which were grafted a light- alloy cylinder and head: a slightly higher compression ratio, 6.0: 1, gave maximum torque low down. The frame was a lightened version of that used on the wartime I6H.
Engine: 490cc (79x100mm) air cooled singlecylinder four-stroke; magneto ignition
Power Rating: 21 hp@ 5000 rpm
Fuel System: carburetor
Transmission: 4-speed. chain final drive
Suspension: hydraulic teleswpic forks (front); rigid (rear)
Brakes: offset dnnn (front & rear)
Wheels: wire: 2 75x21 inch (front); 4.00x19 inch (rear)
Weight: 300 lb
Maximum Speed: 90 mph
Norton 500 T will also be often used with a side-car