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James ML - opinion needed


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Is that the Norton which was restored by Thierry Simon ? (I believe that he sold it ? ) Almost certainly one left in France in 1940.

Would it be possible to share a close up high resolution image of the voltage regulator box ?  I'm researching the dates and styles.


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Thank you so much for the helpful reply and detailed photographs. I'm glad to hear that you haven't sold the Norton. I thought that I saw it on 'Le Bon Coin' a year or two ago.  It's one of the very best early-war WD16Hs in the world....The February 1940 component dates sound correct. Delivery of the contract commenced on 4/3/1940 and I'd suspect that yours, as the 931st built would have been one of the 86 machines received by Royal Ordnance, Chilwell on Wednesday 3rd April 1940.

There are some other aspects that I'd like to query with you and I'll send you a 'personal message' if that's OK.

This photograph of C4153065 is the closest that I have to your number C4153099.


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  • 2 months later...
On 8/8/2016 at 9:39 PM, HQsignals said:

Hi Ron,


most helpfull! My list is getting longer and you can start getting an image of the lug numbers as the framenumbers go up;


framenumber-seat lug number-engine number

ML27-38- ?

ML515-558- ?

ML648-884- AAA20739A

---my james' lug number (1135) goes here


ML1689-1807- ?

ML1811-2301 - ?

ML3401-3520 - ?

ML6716- ? -AAA25428A

ML7619-6138- ?

I only have a WD ML engine, number is .... AAA 26698 A



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Nice images thanks Monty !  I note your ML appears to have a slightly modified centre stand fitted.....the WD type was made with two "rods" joining the two stand sides but I see yours has a flat bar fitted at the lower point. The WD type stand was not very robust, and the weight of a rider kick-starting the bike on the stand can result in the stand spreading at the lower sides and then bending !

Post-war, the stand was similar but was modified with the lower of the reinforcing rods moved down in an attempt to stop the stand from spreading out. A small clip was also fitted to secure the stand when not in use....

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I’m interested in the arrangements for the return springs on the centre stand. I have seen 2 different arrangements. 

The frame you can see there has my homemade centre stand on it, while the other one has the conventional arrangement ... but is splayed out to make it virtually useless on all but flat tarmac.

Edited by monty_stubble
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I’ve also got a first contract ML, frame number 1156, C5147158. The switch panel still has the  original service brown. I had the frame powder coated, the closest they could match was RAL 8028.

My brother used to own, and restored, frame number 728. Not sure who owns it now.

Edited by Tom M
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"the closest they could match was RAL 8028"

That's strange Tom. 'Service Brown' is still a widely used standard British colour. ~BS 499. Maybe the powder coaters only use their own range of colours??   Ron

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