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Rob's WD16H and Big4 Forum

Dutch army, Johan Herman Fuhler, somewhere between 1945 and 1950

Rob's WD16H and Big4 Forum
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Which bike

Hi, I'm new to this site and new to the Norton models but would like people's opinion on what are the differences between the 16H and the model 18? Is one more desirable than the other etc.. Thanks

Re: Which bike

The main difference is the 16H is a 500cc side valve engine and the Model 18 is a 500cc overhead valve engine. For performance the Model 18 is a much better bike but as only a handful were used for the military you're very unlikely to get a WD model. As this is the WD Norton forum I've got to say a WD 16H is more desirable...? If you're not bothered about it being a WD bike, then get a Model 18 or ES2

Here's a picture of a WD model 18
 photo IWMH8825_zps58d69713.jpg

Re: Which bike

Are you referring to the military WD16H or to civilian 16Hs and Model 18s ? The OHV Model 18 (and even more the cradle-framed ES2) were more expensive products when new than the SV 16H with a distinct performance advantage.

In like for like condition, they would probably be more 'sought after' than a 16H, but the military WD16H gives access to the world of military vehicles alongside that of classic motorcycles which is a plus point for many of us.

The 16H is simpler and easier to work on and if you have the pre-1938 civilian or WD type then parts availability is significantly better than the OHV models.

If your interest includes post-war models then it's probably true to say that the plunger ES2s are regarded with suspicion, that the SV models had become even more of an anachronism and that girder-forked machines of any type (they were fitted up until 1946) are often regarded as more attractive than the rigid with telescopic fork bikes. They certainly give a completely different riding experience.

If you really want unburstable performance then you'll be looking at an overhead cam model. If not, and you want something for sedate rides on secondary roads, any of them will be suitable and a good example of any one is better than a bad one of the other...

Re: Which bike

How would you know if youve got a wd 490 ohv

Re: Which bike

I don't think there was a contract of Model 18's made for the army, the one pictured was more likely an impressed civilian bike. It looks to be a 1938 Model as that was the only year Norton used that silencer.

Re: Which bike

Have put ours for sale on this site 16h with m18 engine double stamp on the lug and also under the frame but no bore or stoke and engine stamp is a different type to the frame stamp any ideas?