Norton ES2

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Norton ES2
Norton ES2 motorcycle 1949.JPG
Norton ES2 1949
Manufacturer Norton Motors Ltd Aston Birmingham
Also called 'Easy-two'
Parent company AMC Ltd from 1953[1]
Production 1928-1964[1]
Predecessor Model 18 1922-27[1]
Successor Norton ES2 Mk2 (Norton badged Matchless)1965-1966[2]
Engine 490cc OHV air cooled single
Top speed 82 mph[1]
Power 25 bhp @ 5500 rpm, 1960 spec[3]
Transmission 4 speed gearbox to chain final drive
Brakes 8.00 x 1.25 inches front, 7.00 x 1.25 rear from 1959
Tires 3.00 front, 3.50 rear x 19 inch from 1959
Wheelbase 56 inches
Seat height 31.5 inches
Weight 380 pounds (170 kg) (dry)
392 pounds (178 kg) (wet)
Fuel capacity 3.5 gals
Oil capacity 4 pints
Fuel consumption 50 to 60mpg

The ES2 is a Norton motorcycle first produced in 1927. It was a long stroke single, always 79mm x 100mm bore and stroke, originally launched as a sports motorcycle but throughout its long life it was gradually overtaken by more powerful models.

Norton ES2 1939

It remained popular due to its reliability and ease of maintenance, as well as the traditional design. From 1947 the ES2 had an innovative hydraulically damped telescopic front fork and race developed rear plunger suspension.

From 1953 it had a single downtube swinging-arm frame and was uprated to the Rex McCandless Featherbed frame in 1959, featuring an improved AMC gearbox, revised cylinder head, crankshaft-mounted Lucas RM15 60-watt alternator with coil ignition and an 8-inch front brake with full width hubs.[1] The wideline Featherbed-framed bike was road tested by The Motor Cycle 4 June 1959 and found to have a mean top speed of 82 mph and with petrol consumption of 56 mpg at 60 mph.[1]

For 1961, in common with other large-engined Nortons, the bike was further improved with the Slimline frame with upper frame rails narrowed and a restyled slimmer tank.[4]

The last Norton ES2 was produced in 1964, but a Matchless-based machine with Norton badges was produced for a further two years before final discontinuation, coincident with the commercial failure of the AMC Group.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f The Motor Cycle, Road Test, 4 June 1959
  2. ^ [1] The Classic MotorCycle, Mortons Media. Retrieved 2013-03-29
  3. ^ Motor Cycle Data Book, George Newnes Ltd, London 1960
  4. ^ "Norton ES2". Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  5. ^ Motorcycle Mechanics, December 1964, editorial p.3 "(Earls Court) Show - not much new." "Two Matchless singles christened the Mark II versions of famous and former Norton models by virtue of a Norton badge". Accessed and added 2015-01-21
  6. ^ Motorcycle Mechanics, December 1964, pp.29-31 "What's new? Bill Lawless takes a look at the 1965 models." "Messrs AMC reintroduce the once popular Model 50 and ES2 Nortons by calling them the Mark II models and sticking Norton badges on Matchless G3 and G80 machines". Accessed and added 2015-01-22

Bacon, R, Norton Singles, Osprey Publishing, 1983 Power Output: 21 hp Fuel capacity: 2.75 Imp gal (1947–58), 3.5 Imp gal (1958-63

See also[edit]