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Norton identification? #446917
07/31/12 12:42 pm
07/31/12 12:42 pm
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 52
Stavanger, Norway
M
MRodey Offline OP
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Stavanger, Norway
I just picked up this bike today, owner said it was a 1939 16h but as I look at the frame number #87055 and engine #84056 it seems to me that this would mean it was a 1938 as 1939 numbers started at 87920. So if it is a '38 and from what I read off the internet at this link then it would seem this bike is either a Model 18 or ES2 based upon the engine number but from the looks with no external push rods, it doesn't seem this is the case? This is my first Norton so can anyone here help me out? Here are a few photos if this helps?






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Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #446929
07/31/12 1:50 pm
07/31/12 1:50 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,286
Scotland
kommando Offline
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Scotland
Don't know much about these old singles but its a side valve engine which rules out the ES2.

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #446933
07/31/12 2:09 pm
07/31/12 2:09 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,286
Scotland
kommando Offline
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Scotland
Probably a 16H and the arrow with the 56 under it could mean it was in the Army at some point.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_16H

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #446936
07/31/12 2:30 pm
07/31/12 2:30 pm
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 625
Winter Springs, FL
Tom Sanders Offline
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Winter Springs, FL
Try this link:

http://www.norvilmotorcycle.co.uk/

then click on "identify your bike"


LONG LIVE LOCKTITE

74 Roadster 880cc
1962 Norton 650SS
75 Ducati 860GT
1968 Commando Fastback SN 126157
1975 Honda CB400f AHRMA racer #842
email addy: sargehopp@gmail.com
Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #446941
07/31/12 2:57 pm
07/31/12 2:57 pm
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 52
Stavanger, Norway
M
MRodey Offline OP
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Stavanger, Norway
The last link is post war, this is a pre-war bike so not much info out there on them. Why do you think the arrow is Army? If it was Army I thought it would have a W before the engine number?

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #446943
07/31/12 2:59 pm
07/31/12 2:59 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,287
New Jersey USA
Tridentman Online content

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New Jersey USA
Suggest e-mail or phone the Vintage Motorcycle Club (VMCC) in UK.They hold whatever factory despatch records are left. Enquiry service available to members and non members.
HTH

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #446945
07/31/12 3:07 pm
07/31/12 3:07 pm
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 52
Stavanger, Norway
M
MRodey Offline OP
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Posts: 52
Stavanger, Norway
From what I just looked up, the arrow with the M is the "inspectors stamp" and the M mean magdyno.

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #446946
07/31/12 3:11 pm
07/31/12 3:11 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,286
Scotland
kommando Offline
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Scotland
Never suggested I knew much but you had no replies so I answered and said 'could' as I have seen it stamped on WD spanners.

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #446949
07/31/12 3:36 pm
07/31/12 3:36 pm
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 52
Stavanger, Norway
M
MRodey Offline OP
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Stavanger, Norway
I think it was a good suggestion Kommando, thanks for the help either way!!!

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #446962
07/31/12 4:34 pm
07/31/12 4:34 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,373
scotland
triton thrasher Online content
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scotland
That does look like a British Army crow's foot mark. Didn't know they put it on vehicles.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #447007
07/31/12 9:41 pm
07/31/12 9:41 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,086
Oztralia
R
Rohan Offline
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Oztralia
Definitely an ex-military 16H Norton for WW2.
Have a very similar inspection mark/acceptance mark on an ex-military WW2 Enfield.

Nice bike, looks to be in good condition.
Have you ridden it yet ?

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #447048
08/01/12 6:15 am
08/01/12 6:15 am
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 52
Stavanger, Norway
M
MRodey Offline OP
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Posts: 52
Stavanger, Norway
So who can tell me why it would have the War Department marking on it yet have civilian numbering system on the frame/engine? Bike was totally rebuilt 10 years ago and dry stored since then so no, not ran it yet. Can't wait to get her on the road on those very few days in Norway when we have no rain!

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #447055
08/01/12 8:01 am
08/01/12 8:01 am
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,286
Scotland
kommando Offline
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Scotland
In 1939 in the UK every available motorcycle was pulled from factory/dealers stocks and some private owners and requisitioned for war use. This was regardless of their suitability but a 16H would have been top of the list as it was already used as an army bike. If your bike is one of these it has an interesting history if you can trace it, how and when did it get to Norway.

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #447062
08/01/12 11:05 am
08/01/12 11:05 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,086
Oztralia
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Rohan Offline
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Oztralia
Nortons also supplied the British military with a lot of bikes prior to the war - could see what was brewing and were getting prepared. That stamp would seem to indicate it was BUILT for the military though, rather than just impressed into service, although that is a good suggestion.

The NOC can provide details of members bikes, for a fee, could well be worth investigating if this number is recorded and what its initial history is ?

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #447122
08/01/12 7:47 pm
08/01/12 7:47 pm
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 52
Stavanger, Norway
M
MRodey Offline OP
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Stavanger, Norway
I agree, I'm interested to find out the history of this bike, bit of a mystery. I do know the papers show it came into Norway in 1946 but that is where the info stops. I'll try the VMCC and NOC to see what they know! Any other suggestions or ideas are appreciated!

Last edited by MRodey; 08/01/12 7:48 pm.
Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #455636
09/24/12 10:15 am
09/24/12 10:15 am
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3
NZ
N
ntst8 Offline
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NZ
Worth a look on the website www.wdnorton.nl, a mine of information on military 16H's. Including a section comparing military vs civilian features.
There is also a forum on there, or a more active general wartime bike forum at www.wdbsa.nl where there will be someone who can most likely help.

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #455770
09/25/12 1:01 am
09/25/12 1:01 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,086
Oztralia
R
Rohan Offline
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Oztralia
Its also worth noting that after the war, a lot of ex-military bikes were sold off/civilianised/reconditioned.

For ex-military Enfields at least, this also included in some cases stamping civilian type numbers into them and registering them as such. With a few army reconditionings along the way, icluding getting new or changed engines/gearboxes (and everything else?) in some cases, this can lead to a very jumbled up trail of trying to identify what you have. Some of this was at a Factory level, and some large Dealers advertised similar type ex-army bikes and services.

Marble Arch Motors in London particularly come to mind - in postwar motorcycle magazines they advertised extensively their range of ex-military bikes and spares and services - for quite some decades later too. (Whatever happened to them, anyone know ?) Cheers.

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #455773
09/25/12 1:12 am
09/25/12 1:12 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,086
Oztralia
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Rohan Offline
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Oztralia
And the fact that your cylinder's serial number doesn't match the crankcase serial number means the cylinder has been changed at some time (or the crankcases were !).

This could have been in the army workshops during overhaul time(s) (they apparently didn't care about matching numbered parts, just pulled the first one off the shelf). Or could have been postwar, when getting spares meant it was easier to just replace the cylinder than get it rebored and find a new piston. Or, it had had so many rebores another cylinder was required...

Some ex-army bikes have a little tag, often inside the toolbox, which show which army workshop(s) did the rebuilds - REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) was the british army one.
Hopethishelps.

P.S. The fact that the replacement cylinder has a serial no so similar to the crankcases/original one means it is VERY likely this was an army replacement at overhaul time. In civilian life, it would be less likely such a close number was available close at hand...

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #462176
11/06/12 5:07 pm
11/06/12 5:07 pm
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 4
South Florida, USA
B
Bill T Offline
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South Florida, USA
Bike is definitely a 16H - 490 cc side-valve single. The bike was not originally built for the War Department - it should have a 'W' on the frame and engine before the serial number. That does not mean it never served, as noted above, because many bikes were requisitioned at the start of the war. The mismatched, but close in number, cylinder and crank case may also mean the bike served as a police bike. Generally, only the military or police would have service fleets, increasing the likelihood of close-in-number replacement parts.
If you contact the NOC, they may be able to tell you the original manufacture date, as the pre-war records should be converted by now from the original hand-written ledgers. These records list which frame, engine, gearbox, and forks went together, along with whether the bike was built with foot or gate shifter, came with mag or magdyno, what wheels came with the bike, etc. If known, the customer was also noted (such as RAF, WD, Sleightholme Constabulary, etc).

The 16H was built for over 30 years, and more than 100,000 built for the War Department alone. 16H and Big 4 production ended in '54.

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #526772
02/06/14 5:35 pm
02/06/14 5:35 pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 159
Belgium
7
79x100 Offline
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Belgium
This bike is a wonderful piece of history and was originally built for the War Office. Nortons first used the 'W' prefix after the outbreak of war in October 1939 when they started a new system of matching numbers. Prior to this, the War Office contracts utilised blocks of numbers within the civilian production and numbers did not match.

The machine bearing Frame No.87055 and engine 84056 was despatched on 12th January 1938 to the War Office. The tester was named 'Turner'. It was finished in gloss bronze green and was intially sent to the Royal Ordnance depot at Chillwell Nottinghamshire for further distribution.

The number 382898 when prefixed 'C' was the original War Office serial number. The Inspection stamp numbers were unique to each inspector. '56' is the only one that I've seen on pre-war Norton engines.

The engine no. 84045 from which the cylinder came, incidentally was originally fitted to frame no. 87071.

I can check the original fuel tank, gear box and front girder serial numbers for you.

With the exception of a few later parts (headlamp, handlebar levers, long gear indicator), this is a very original 1938 WD Norton. There are a number in Norway as, although it's often overshadowed by the BEF's loss of equipment in France a month later, when the British Force to Norway was evacuated in 1940, they left all their motorised transport behind. As in most countries, the farmers must have been quite good at hiding motorcycles for the duration.

This one looks too standard to have endured five years of Wehrmacht service so the cylinder swap probably occurred in a British Army Ordnance workshop.

It would have originally looked something like this one, complete with large nickel-iron battery.




'39 WD16H
'75 850 Commando
Re: Norton identification? [Re: 79x100] #526822
02/06/14 11:50 pm
02/06/14 11:50 pm
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 727
angeles city, rp
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jaycee Offline
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angeles city, rp
about 10 years ago or so dick barnes from domiracer told me "a whole bunch of 16h's were sold in norway" they were disposed of by the norwegian govt.as well as a lot of u.s.military ww2 vehicles that were in storage for decade's. maybe you have one,and that would endorse all the previous posts!!!

Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #526879
02/07/14 11:35 am
02/07/14 11:35 am
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 159
Belgium
7
79x100 Offline
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Belgium
Norway as a friendly post-war government certainly received a quantity of WD16Hs from British stocks (along with Ariel W/NGs) These generally have very late 'W' prefix numbers and were probably unissued machines. There were vast stockpiles ready for the expected longer war against Japan.

This example with its early carrier etc (no pannier rack)really does look like one of those that went to Norway in April 1940 with the British Army North West Expeditionary Force.


'39 WD16H
'75 850 Commando
Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #526883
02/07/14 11:56 am
02/07/14 11:56 am
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,917
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Offline
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That sure is a nice old bike.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #530132
02/24/14 6:42 pm
02/24/14 6:42 pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 159
Belgium
7
79x100 Offline
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Belgium
MRodey, I don't know if you followed the link earlier to the the WD Norton website and if it proved helpful. Rob who runs it would appreciate the chance to talk about your bike with you.

http://www.wdnorton.nl/


'39 WD16H
'75 850 Commando
Re: Norton identification? [Re: MRodey] #530376
02/26/14 2:06 am
02/26/14 2:06 am
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 52
Stavanger, Norway
M
MRodey Offline OP
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Stavanger, Norway
Thaks for all the input guys, really appreciate you taking the time to fill in the knowledge gap about this bike! Now the question remains, restore to its original state or leave in its latest renovation state, AKA civilian paint scheme.

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