Norton 1932 ES2 490cc OHV single frame # 53872 engine # 49553
The ES 2 was Norton’s second OHV model; the Model 18 was brought out in 1923 and for the 1928 season a new model OHV was presented, based on the successful new OHC racer that would be marketed as the CS 1. The new OHV basically used the Model 18’s overhead-valve engine with its pushrod return springs enclosed in the cradle frame of the CS1, and from then onwards the ‘Enclosed Springs2’ designation was always applied to Norton’s top-of-the-range overhead-valve single. We may wonder if there also was a ES 1 design; possibly the ES 1 model name would resemble the CS 1 too much and therefore the ES 2 was more discriminate, but that is just a guess. The ES 2 was the most expensive of the 500 cc OHV models. The design was improved step-by-step through the thirties: it got a four speed foot-change gearbox, rubber-mounted handlebars, fully enclosed and positively-lubricated valve gear and new cams with flat followers for quieter running. For 1939 plunger rear suspension was available as an optional extra. After WW2 the model got the new Roadholder telescopic forks and plunger rear suspension as standard. In 1953 ( the year of the AMC merger) swinging arm rear suspension was available and the ES 2 got a featherbed frame in 1959. In 1963 the last ES 2 left the production line – at Plumstead, not Bracebridge Street – after a development history of 35 years. This well-restored 1933 machine has quickly detachable and interchangeable wheels, is fitted with a bum pad and comes with current Belgian registration.