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I am a Dutch owner of a British built wartime Norton WD16H since 1977. Searching through quite a number of books, magazine articles and internet sites on Norton's, it makes me wonder why the military WD16H and WDBIG4 motorcycles are so very underrated. There is lots of information on model 18, 19, ES2, CS1, Manx, International, Atlas, Dominators and Commando's to name a few. Apparently the pre war poor man's Norton does not bring the "grand feelings/illusions" that racing motorcycles do.
Many books and articles seem to have a black-out over the World War 2 period (1939 to 1945). In these years however, numerically most Norton's of a single model were produced! Nearly 100.000 bikes were made for the military, almost 1/4 of the total British military motorcycle production, and only surpassed by BSA.
I started this website in the hope to give the humble 500cc Norton (WD)16H and more potent 633cc (WD)BIG4 military sidevalve models more recognition in the motorcycle world

I want (WD)16H and (WD)BIG4 owners (past, present and future) to communicate and learn from each other and have an informative site altogether. I would be most pleased with information from those countries where the Norton's were used by British, Commonwealth or other Allied forces. 
To see the Norton's biggest wartime competitor, have a look at Henk Joore's 
BSA M20 site or Edwin and Jork's Triumph  site (see links page). I would like to challenge people to start similar sites on Matchless, Velocette, Ariel, Royal Enfield, James and Excelsior Welbike to name a few of the British motorcycle brands used in the second world war.

Have fun, regards, Rob van den Brink, the Netherlands. 

Questions / remarks  Rob


Main topics Paragraphs


Change notices
(WD) 16H

WD 16H original specification

Civil versus Military details guide
Military detail variations
Sidecar details variations
WD 16H engine and frame numbers
Illustrated parts


Civil versus Military details guide
Military detail variations

Sidecar details variations

WD Big 4 engine and frame numbers

Illustrated parts 


(WD) Model 18 Specification
Model 18
(WD) 16H en BIG4 Gearbox and Transmission
Practical Tips and Tricks
(WD) 16H en BIG4 common info Production numbers and dates
Contract nos./spare parts lists 
Electrical things Electrical system (including wiring diagrams)
Electrical equipment
Spark plugs
Other technical items Air Cleaners
Smith Speedometers (including restoration info)
Military Tyres
Mysterious parts (not so visible failures, special tools, home made spares and other stuff)
Part sketches for manufacture or reference
Running a 16H or Big 4

Pictures WD 16H old
WD Big 4 old
Pictures Dutch Military Nortons
Instruction model engine
Historical items Census and contract  numbers
Individual motorcycle history

Interesting original parts
DME circulars
Prinses Irene Brigade (E/N)
Postwar Dutch Military Norton's (E/N)
Australian War Memorial military vehicle registrations


Personal histories Jack Bullock
Restoration My WD 16H
Tips for buyers

Some remarks on restoration
Colours (General)

Invoer en Kentekens (Dutch text only)
Frame, fork and wheel alignment

General Stolen MC's
Compulsory reading
Links and useful addresses for restoration
Credits and References
Trade Trade page (By and for website visitors)