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Norton ES2 500 by Keith Wood

  • Original bike purchased as a model 88 Dominator (500cc twin) in Perth around 1991, with the intention to build a copy Domiracer.
  • I was ready to start the project I met and discussed what might be with 2 very influential people, 1 being Bernie Stevenson who has performed most of my mechanical work and still does to this day.  (Both solo and sidecar) The other was Reg Craig, (son of Joe Craig who was instrumental in developing the Manx Norton Engine.)  Reg was also a test rider and did compete on Norton’s.  Reg and Bernie convinced me that the ES2 ( I had 2 engines in my shed) would be a better engine to go Classic Racing with.  (As compared to the 500 twin) Prior to the bikes completion Reg passed away, he was a really top guy and sadly missed. Reg never heard the bike in running order.  This is why I call the bike “Reg”, in his honour. 
  • First investment was a Mike Farrell crank with Carillo Rod and speedway style quick change front sprocket.
  • Followed by High compression piston and some head flowing.  SS1 35mm Delorto Speedway carby on methanol. Cams have been given the Tye treatment with Bernie trying different specs.
  • The engine has changed a little over the years with Bernie recently fitting a Ducati piston, this was to stop the rings breaking as we achieved higher piston speeds and revs. The fact that Bernie is a member of the exclusive (as he puts it) Ducatisti, with some 8 or more examples of the make, I have to make sure more Ducati bits are not fitted. 
  • The valves are now Buick and seem to be handling the revs well to date. 
  • Front end is Norton std Roadholder.  I use standard Norton hubs, SLS front brake (I do slip a TLS in on the odd occasion) and standard period Norton rear brake. 
  • Gear box is a Hagon close ratio with dry clutch, 4 speed. 
  • Frame is std slimline featherbed
  • Fairing is supposedly a Manx replica, heavy as hell but does the job.  It was made for me by some mates in WA for about $30.00.  (They have risen in price since then.)
  • Swing Arm is Manx Replica (Mcintosh)
  • Rear sets (Macintosh)
  • Clip ons (Macintosh)
  • Aluminium Fuel Tank (Servalloy)
  • Aluminium oil tank (The Tank Shop UK)
  • Rims Aluminium WM3 X 18”


I am also in the process of purchasing the John Honour Manx Framed ESSO, hope to have that running later this year.  Have also been offered a supposedly race ready Gold Star to use and abuse at the Barry Sheene this Easter, will see how that goes as I have only seen the bike at Pukekhoe earlier this year and have not heard it run. 

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