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Rescuing my WD16H


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Today a lifelong Dream came true!

Thanks to everyone for all the advice

Here's my Norton WD 16h ignore the paint off on the head stock they were looking for the number in the wrong place I phoned them on the Thursday night before viewing day when I asked them to look in the correct place an there it was revealing history!

Drove 8 hours or so round trip on Friday to go look at her

Got lucky an won her at auction on Saturday via a telephone bid think I gave the auctioneer quite the start when I screamed yes down the phone!

Found out so far she was from a Contract for RAF Sidecar combinations which was a late 44' Contract.

Most amazingly thanks to the help of everyone on the WD scene sure it will be an ever growing list of thanks

An in particular Thanks to Rik Nick Ron Rob Sven an the gang we found out the engine was from a Contract where some went to North Africa where my grandpa served. 

This has got army rebuild stamps on the belly to :) which is all part of the bikes story. At the moment although most of her is wd parts. 

Shes in civilian paint and in need of me doing a restoration on her although most is WD on her.

Initially I thought the engine was a 41' but thanks to the lads I found out it was 42 an may have saw action in Africa 43' thanks to an amazing picture of a bike from the same contract and hand written underneath with North Africa 43'

My initial plan was one of the green shades either the 44' colour then raf logos or the earlier green but now knowing the engine is 42' 

I've decided to do service brown SCC No.2 and doing it with maybe a 7th armoured logo and the engines contract number on the tank 

As my Grandpa was in the Royal Artillery in the 8th Army in 1942 as a gunner then transferred to RAOC in 1944' to me it sort of  makes sense with the engines history to lean towards that! Got a lil idea to pay homage to the raf connection once I've drawn what I've got in my head.

The plan first is to pop the cylinder head off so I can see what I'm dealing with :) whatever she needs I'll do can't wait to get her on the road.

So without further ado here's a clip of my adventure today collecting her. 


For those in the UK who do you use for SCC No.2 paint that's accurate as can be? 

Does anyone know of any suppliers for 1" bar clamps? 

What's everyone's favourite tyres on them?

Thanks in advance,


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Worth looking at heidenau K67 vintage off road tyres..mitas EO5 or my favourite Ensign trials universal ...All feature a Square tyre pattern similar to the ww2 tyre patterns ...

If you expect to ride the bike off road frequently the Heidenau or Mitas are probably best ..if you expect to be mostly on. Tarmac but want to feel ok on grass the Ensign trials universal range stands out for me ..


P.s congratulations on the new bike 



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Got stuck in today 🙂

Got a nice suprise in the tool kit not the kit alas but some spares.

First step was to get the tank off an check that out, then I pulled the cylinder head. Actually looks really nice bore seems good no scores or lips the camera flash makes it look a load worse than what it is. 

One thing I've noticed is everything seems to have been done with care for storage even the klg plug had grease on it.

Noticed the tyre inflator is stamped with Norton Motorcycles. 

Took the headlight off the bike an shes stamped up type du142 on the shell. (Cheers Ron)Captured that just about in the video. 

Got an issue with the mag which I've got to decide on an get sorted. 

So all in all a really productive day.


Edited by Norton.rider
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First few bits came today correct wd bend bars in 1" so I've gotta source a set of 1" bar clamps next 🙂 my chassis has 7/8" which was a late war change going with 1"  an gotta source all the stuff to go on them next. Few pictures of my new battery box 🙂

Over the moon with the bits thanks to one of our members.

Decided on SCC.2 now for the colour on her.

49569485412_b736c97c38_c.jpg20200222_131302-04 by norton.rider, on Flickr

49568760083_536f294cc8_c.jpg20200222_132718-04 by norton.rider, on Flickr

49569485382_ec887f61f6_c.jpg20200222_132834-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr

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I'm glad that your pleased with the handlebar and battery. The handlebar is copied from a NOS original and the battery is copied from originals that Henk and I provided.

I'm guessing  that your bike might have come with the 7/8" bar? Your twist-grip looks suspiciously like a hard to find Doherty, and so does your front brake lever. Although by the time of 7/8" bars, I wonder if they were fitted with the pressed steel levers (Perhaps Rik can confirm?)   Ron

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Hi Ron yep really am over the moon with them. They really do look great love the 44'  stamp on the battery case to with the age of the chassis.

Just got the mag off totally wrong one looks like it's a 35' pre war msl1-10. 

Good thing is 98% seems to be wd so far 🙂

Apart from the mag an bars.

shes definitely had plenty of work done judging from the amount of nice grease everywhere an the insides of the engines all looking good the more I'm working on her.

hopefully once I get the new mag sorted an the bits for the bars I wont be to far away from getting her fired up which is a nice suprise.

Attached some pictures of the levers an throttle that's on it grip does say Doherty 🙂 sure Rik did mention pressed levers on the later ones but I might not be remembering right.


49570426176_ab615532e8_c.jpg20200222_172717-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr

49569921358_2012cf29d4_c.jpg20200222_175920-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr

49570421101_7f044662b6_c.jpg20200222_175931-01 by norton.rider, on Flickr

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Hi .Norton Rider

The handlebars you have fitted look to be correct for the age of the bike ..and i am confused why you are fitting 1 inch handle bars ? This will result in needing to change all the fittings which again look contemporary .?

Military bikes went through REME workshops to repair damage and wear and in my opinion those modifications become part of the bikes history . I understand the removal of post war civilianisation and chroming as an example but not so sure if it' has to be a copy of how it came out of the factory ....particularly when we are often unclear on the factory standard....

Is there a chance your bike came out of the factory with 1 inch bars of it was a REME refit ...? 




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Hi Jenikov,

Thanks for the message 🙂 the bar bend seems really strange on the 7/8th bars fitted like they are not Norton bars think they are actually upside down. When the right way up they will almost feel like a set of drops, was interested In the levers as I dont know what's right or wrong yet style wise hence me posting pictures think they are the right style but not sure about them. From what I've seen finding the correct set of 7/8"wd bars will be very hard to find so I'd sooner go with the 1" bars which I know are the correct bend an they used them for a longer period so hopefully theres more 1" bits out there and box all the 7/8" parts until I find the complete set.

From what I've read on Robs excellent Norton side the 7/8th stuff came in at the age of my chassis started doing 7/8th I'm 44 if on remembering correctly.

I'm actually doing her according to the engine which is 42' for sentimental reasons and not being able to find the raf tank numbers.

My grandpa was in the 8th army ra as a gunner from 41-44' and raoc after that 8th army again.

Rik showed me a picture with a hand written note saying North Africa 43' with an contract number on the tank about 500 numbers from my engines which was made 42'. Not concrete enough evidence I know but good enough for me to approximate 🙂

From what I understand 1" bars, 6" du42 headlight would have  been correct for 42' and then they got the pannier racks and rails which I'm fitting onto mine for practicality as I'm gonna be going all over on her hopefully. 

Gonna box and keep the du142 8" headlight as once I've done my 16h I'm hoping to sell a few more of my Japanese classic bikes rd250c etc and get a second wd bike. So my dad can come with me on rides do everything together he usually follow me when I'm out on my Norton 650ss on his gsxr. + it's his 60th this year a few days before d day so would be nice to suprise him with the use of one 🙂 

oh yep think I'm gonna do her scc2. brown as well. 

the du142 headlight was an earlier wd one wasnt it? 

comments advice tips opinions I'm always open to them because I really enjoy learning about all this stuff. So keep them coming Everyone.

Edited by Norton.rider
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Tom your 16H might well have had a 7/8"....but not the one fitted! According to Rob's site, only one contract had 7/8" bars. I don't know if any more info has come to light since, to include later contracts. Norton used Doherty controls, not Amal. The controls used went through several changes from the pre-war combination levers then the separate 'solid' levers and then a couple of variation of the economy pressed steel levers. The only part of your controls that is definitely Doherty, is your twist grip. 

This picture from Rob's site shows what I think is the last 'economy' version.  Ron



brake lever after 1942.jpg

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Legend cheers Ron 🙂 great information.

Another thing I love about the 1" bars is how chunky they are I've got litho printers hands haha so quite big the smaller ones on my 650ss have always irritated me a little.

Feel great the 1" bars! Next step is to hunt a set of clamps down on with getting the mag sorted this week. 



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Was thinking that mate the one on Milweb looks like the one a dealer had that had the later frame an earlier number on the frame when I looked the number up in forces motorcycles.  They never sent me the frame number picture when I asked so I discounted it as I couldn't confirm anything more on it. 

Ended up with the right one in the end though :)

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I've got and older version of this twin pot 50 ltr compressor which does all my spraying, tyre inflating and the small amount of grit blasting that I do. I also have a spare older single pot version as a standby. But for the odd bit of bike parts spraying and tyre inflating, the 24 ltr would be a good compromise. Buy a reasonably priced gun (Devilbis or similar) with fairly fine nozzle. The cheap  guns are ok for undercoat etc but I found that the nozzle is too course for top coat and give an orange peel finish.  Ron




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Made a bit more progress on her today, 
The exhaust came an I gave it a test fit all seems ok just working out the clamps thanks to Ron for some pictures of how they should be. 
An cheers to everyone that's been helping out with bits and endless advice. She's really starting to come together now. 
Should have my new magneto in 20 or so days! Can't wait to get that fitted. 
One of the lads advised me that the headlight brackets are different between the du142 and the du42' anyone know the way to tell the difference. 
Got one 1" clamp on the way a lead on another top an bottom if the guy comes back to me :) decomp lever, advance lever, choke lever as well an canvas grips an a throttle assy! 
Next things to sus out are fuel lines, bar end caps, cables, tyres, (got old firestone one's at the mo) horn button an dipper switch do they have a kill switch on them? (looking at an old picture) 
Exhaust paint, field stand and a skid plate. Then looks like she's mostly there! Really excited at how fast she's coming together. 
Going to order my paint tomorrow for the bike an get going at that. Then I've gotta sus out the best way to paint the numbers on the tank. 
Just wanna thank you all for all the advice so far very much appreciated.

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Ferg is living a long way south of his comfort and fried, battered Mars bar zone! A good old English cricket bat up the kilt will often subdue these Kelts the noo! 🏏

No Kill switch Tom, just the valve lift lever! 

I can't talk really........I'm from Froggy heritage. Ron De St-Pierre😏

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Haha! Sure I could find somewhere for that an a 303. Cheers lads, 3 generations back from dad our entire family is Scots did all the family history over the past few months. 

Jacobites as well managed to got back to 1650 direct line. Then one the daughter of a Bruce /halliday family married a bro of from memory my 9th great grandad got it all writen down interesting stuff :)

What was weird was we had printers further back in the family that we had no idea of both dad an I were in print till our family print company went. Just on a career break at the mo sussing out what to re train in.

Great grandpa was in the 1st Manchesters ww1 Bef. My Gramps was ra gunner in the 8th army then raoc.

Bit of great progress today my throttle grip came yay! An the canvas grips.

Got the other clamp on the way as well so I'm gonna be able to fit the bars! 

Hoping the weather gets a bit better towards the end of next week so I can start to paint gonna order it on Monday in the hope's the weather picks up over the next week or so.

Next jobs I'm gonna tackle are taking the timing cover off to double check the oil pump seal etc out. 

Need to research where to get a fuel line from an get some control cables ordered. 

Last bits to find now are, 1" bar end plugs, clutch an brake lever assy, any switches/buttons for the bars, sort 

Eventually a field stand, bash plate, carrier an racks. 

One thing I was wondering on the pic I've seen of one 500 or so numbers from my engine contract. It had the Norton logo and the c next to that an the contract number underneath. 

When did they bring in the divisional markings in? So say for 8th army the crusader logo and the 7th armoured (believe some ra were attached to them) on each side or one or the other? 





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