Rider’s Library | Illustrated Norton Buyer’s Guide

Rider's Library | Illustrated Norton Buyer’s GuideMotorcycle Library Retro Review

Focusing on post-war Norton models in painstaking detail, author Roy Bacon wrote a definitive book to guide the buyer of vintage machines – whether a newbie to the vintage bike scene or serious collector/investor.

With more than 160 black-and-white historic and contemporary photos and illustrations, including specific details of certain models and rarely seen models, the Bacon’s Illustrated Norton Buyer’s Guide provides an unusually high level of insight packed into only 160 pages.

Bacon provides an entire section on engine and frame numbers. He explains the seldom explained manufacturer’s serial numbers that are specific by model and date of manufacture, as well as where to find the numbers on the various models.

The little-known variations that only a true expert would know are also covered. For example, the 1946 ES2 model with the “A” year code, which denotes 1946, in its serial number. Regardless of the “A”, this model was not actually produced until 1947.

To further help sort model identity and help assure authenticity, Bacon includes an exhaustive set of model range and identity charts. Using these charts it is possible to zero in on what model a bike actually is by the physical features it has.

For example, if a seller represents a 348 cc 40M model as a 1946 model, but it has an alloy fuel tank and DOHC engine, he has a problem with his facts: according to Bacon’s detailed chart, neither feature was available on that model until 1949.

But Bacon doesn’t stop there. Another section of the book is devoted to a detailed discussion of the factory paint color schemes applied to each model by year of manufacture.

Perhaps the most intriguing feature is Bacon’s one-to-five star rating that he conceived to help guide potential vintage Norton buyers with respect to the viability of various models in various states of condition as financial investment prospects.

One star applies to models considered unlikely to appreciate in value, those in need of extensive restoration work, and those that are too non-original to be worth their asking price.

Five stars applies to highly sought-after models in pristine condition and most likely to increase in value over time; two, three and four star ratings apply to those bikes falling in between the cream of the crop and the bottom of the barrel.

If you are a Norton owner, plan to become one. or just have a deep interest in the Norton marque, Bacon’s book is a definitive resource to look for to add to your library.

Book Data:

  • Title: Illustrated Norton Buyer’s Guide
  • Author: Roy Bacon
  • Published: 1991
  • Publisher: Niton Publishing, PO Box 3, Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 2AS England and by Motorbooks International in the U.S.
  • ISBN: 1-85579-004-1 Paperback

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