They say that two heads are better than one and when things can go pear shaped when you are demanding high revs from a half century old engine it is as well to have a spare.
I expect there have been many discussions in the old days about alloy plates versus plain steel engine plates.
These are alloy which I have taken the opportunity to fit as I am re-assembling the engine after a blow up, with a crankcase which is 1956 although my bike is actually a 1960 model. As it will only be used in sprints this is of no moment and all the other bits fit.
After the horror of a small end which 'let go' and the subsequent engine damage during the early 2012 season I am taking no chances and likely fitting a high quality steel or alloy conrod.These are very expensive nowadays but I am also experimenting with alternatives.
The worst feature of towing is when it starts raining and you have to find some place to stop and haul out the covers.
It is difficult to say if desmodromic valve gear would have significantly helped Norton so late in the day when multi-cylinder machines were prevailing.
The combination of their flat Guzzi type cylinder arrangement combined with the experimental valve gear might have bought some time in certain circumstances but I doubt if for long.