Military BIG4 detail variations

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This page intends to categorize all variations found on military BIG4's. I do not pretend to have it complete, but it will cover most variations. If anybody can add more (proven with photographs) I will be glad to hear. The sequence is arbitrarily taken from the front to the rear. Parts which to my knowledge have not changed are not mentioned.
For clarity, the sidecar variations are given a separate page.

Variation one:
Basic civilian motorcycle with rubber handlebar grips and foot rests, civilian type rear number plate with rearlight mounted in the right hand corner and front numberplates,  pillion arrangements, toolbox with school bag type lock, oiltank with weldings at the rear, Speedometer mounted in the middle of the fork, 1 inch handlebar mounted in rubber, 8" headlamp (7"aperture), painted on black out, forward facing horn, round ribbed head tappet cover screw. 

Variation two:
As one but with winged bolts on toolbox and steel footrests, speedometer mounted on left hand side of fork

Common upgrades:
During the operation of motorcycles, modifications were introduced as common faults (fracturing of front petrol tank lugs) or improvements (adding of panniers). These modifications were documented in  "circulars", prepared by the Director of Mechanical Engineering (DME). From these lists, modifications for the Nortons can be found. It is however quite certain from pictorial evidence that these modifications were not by definition introduced on all bikes.


First variation mentioned in each row is the oldest, variations in one column not necessarily same time frame between rows.

  Item Variation one  Variation two Variation three Variation three Variation three
Cycle parts Front number plates

with civilian type numberplates

number plate stud present but no number plates used anymore
no numberplate provisions at all    
  Rear number plate Civilian type two top bolts None      
Centrally mouted

Left hand side mounted
Engine parts oil tell tale
without oil tell tale

with oil tell tale
  Toolbox lids
overlapping lid (Proto only?)

lid filling in cavity
  Tool box locks
"School bag type"

"Round" knob
"Winged" knob    
Electrical parts Head lamp

8" outer diameter

7" outer diameter
  Head lamp switch OLH OTLH      
  Black-out mask

Black Manilla paper mask behind lens (local manufacture)

Single slot overhead covered

  Rear light civilian type MT110 military type       

Mounted perpendicular

Mounted parallel
  Petrol leads copper rubber