Rob's WD16H and Big4 Forum

One of first 500 of contract C14498 with leg shields

Rob's WD16H and Big4 Forum
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what am I looking at?

Hello from Athens Greece
Just came upon this barn find and I am not sure if is is a War Norton or not.
I can not make much out of the frame number and there is no engine number visible.
It looks like it was cut in two as the welding on the frame suggests.
Can anybody help with this?
Thank you in advance
I hope the pictures are clear

Re: what am I looking at?

Here are all the pictures I have.
Copy paste the link to your browser.
Hope you can help.
Thanks a lot

Re: what am I looking at?

Hello Stam

Basically a wartime military Norton 16H.
The only thing which I cannot place is the cylinder and the apparent addition of some sort of automated valve lubrication.

It would help if you could send the frame and engine numbers.
See present bikes 16H on the website for the exact position of those.

You can send them to my website email address.



Re: what am I looking at?

It is a WD16H which appears to have had a caring and skilled owner at some stage as he has not only created the oiling system for the valve gear but went to the trouble of engraving the 'Norton' name on it too. However, it also seems to have had some hard use and neglect.

The most logical explantion for the frame is that the rear downtube cracked, the engine dropped and the other tube was damaged too.

The frame number looks clear enough to me as W60052 which would make this a C11082 bike delivered in mid-1942. Certainly this number and the late oil tank / crankcase shield suggest that it could not have been left behind when Germany invaded. it would either have been with the British Army in 1945 or delivered subsequently to Greek forces.

It is going to take a lot of skill or a lot of money to make a decent machine of it but as with most of these projects, it could be done !

Re: what am I looking at?

Some hard to find parts are missing, others need to be replaced, a hell of a job is needed on both frame and forks, but still... it's a start!
Is it yours? Are you planning to restore it?
Athens, Greece

Re: what am I looking at?

I would like to thank everyone for the input.
It is not mine, it belongs to a friend who is willing to restore it but I am not quite sure about his commitment to the project.
I think that the best thing to do at this point is to dismantle it and try to neutralise rust and corrosion.
Later on it can either be a complete bike or just parts for the ones who need them.
Many things from the bike are in the garage it rests but I can not be sure what is everything as I am not familiar with this model and not willing to undertake the restoration myself.
If he proves his real interest and commitment to the restoration I will assist.
Otherwise I will just try to preserve it for someone who will really care about it.
Best Regards

Re: what am I looking at?

Well it looks pretty much complete and worth restoring. Have seen a lot worse. Please do not dismantle it if you lack commitment to finish the job. Keep it in one piece. There are far too many bikes out there that people have dismantled only for the bits and pieces to languish in cardboard boxes for years and years gradually disappearing with no hope of ever becoming a bike again. It is also too good to part off as spares. There are only a finite number of these bikes left and that number is getting smaller all the time.

Re: what am I looking at?

Also, of course, its monetarily worth more complete than dismantled.

Re: what am I looking at?

If it belonged to me I would be already restoring it.
I have driven such examples in the past and the feeling is great.
But the owner is quite unsure of what he wants to do with it so I think the best thing I can do is just preserve it someway untill it finds a new caring home or gets back on her feet.
Thanks for all the info you all are true gentlemen.

Re: what am I looking at?

Hi Stem

Like keith said it is a good bike I have started with a lot less. If your friend does not want to restore it try to get it from him BUT DONT LET HIM TAKE IT APART even if you can get it running it does not need to be fully restored

Cheers Steven in Canada

Re: what am I looking at?

It hasn't rusted much so it's not likely to deteriorate. It's not a piece of Jap Crap. If the repairs work leave the frame alone. It's part of the bike's history. DO NOT take the bike apart until you are ready to fix it. There are loads of restored 16Hs. There are far fewer with patina. If it were mine I'd do whatever was needed to get it running again but otherwise leave it alone where ever possible