A Norton Navigator’s tale – the rescuer rescued

Les Orme tells how, many years after the event, he managed to return the favour to a Norton Navigator that had rescued him from a breakdown crisis in France.

My motorcycling days started in 1959, at the age of 15, when friends Keith Pitcher, Pete Evans and I bought an old non-running rigid rear-end BSA for £5. I can’t remember the capacity, but it must have been a 250cc or 350cc single.

Our intention had been to take it apart for some maintenance experience, but Bill Pitcher, who had an important position at Norton in Bracebridge Street, just happened to be Keith’s father, and soon had it up and running.


The three of us learned to ride it in the vehicle access right-of-way at the back of Bill’s house, but the neighbours soon complained about the noise.

Read more in August’s issue of OBM

Enjoy more Classic Motorcycle Mechanics reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.