TAKING INSPIRATION FROM BERT HOPWOOD
In 1959 I first set eyes on a Norton Jubilee 250cc twin. To me, a budding toolmaker at college, it was the ultimate design – I think Norton’s designer Bert Hopwood and I were thinking along the same lines – it was just what I had been sketching in my college note book at South-east London Technical College.
It wasn’t until 2006 that I got my dream bike, via an ad in CB. A ’64 model, it was ‘almost complete’, but a complete stripdown and repaint was required. The wheels were in a state, the engine casings full of holes, there was no clutch or alternator and the shocks had collapsed. Luckily, I was able to buy a complete engine in good order. The tinwear was blasted, zinc coated and painted by a local classic car restorer. The engine was a 1965 MKII, which meant re-drilling the frame and plugging the old holes, but in it went. After rewiring to my own design, the engine started third kick. I fixed the seat, the stainless wheels and spokes came from Supreme Motorcycles and new exhaust pipes and silencers from Armours of Bournemouth. I made new handlebar mounts in aluminium and fitted replacement alloy levers. I am also experimenting with a pull multiplier on the ’bars, as the brakes are not good.
The restoration was over, but I still had the old engine in bits, and I got to thinking what old Bert would have done if Norton hadn’t stopped making lightweights in 1966. Surely he would have fitted alloy wheels, disc brakes, better suspension, improved switches and wiring. So I am now in the process of fitting the renovated engine into a 1981 Kawasaki Z250 rolling chassis. Once the bug has bitten, it’s hard to stop. JIM LLOYD
Jim finally got his dream Julilee in 2006 – but it needed plenty of work
LEFT: ... in this Bertinspired Kawasaki Z250 special
ABOVE: This is where the Jubilee’s original engine ended up...