Military Tyres

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Basic specification for the WD16H refered to 19 inch wheels (3,25 x 19 tyres), whereas for the Big4 the specification gave  18 inch wheels (4,00 x 18 tyres).
It is described by Jack Dienst (see "a civilian in uniform") that while in Tunesia, he rebuilt 16H hubs with 18 inch (BIG4) wheel rims. This provided the possibility to apply the trails type BIG4 tyres with more grip and leaving more room for the mud between tyre and mudguards.
Based on a late (1944/45) spareparts list for RAF 16H sidecar combinations were provided with 18" wheels as well. At least one 16H with 18 inch wheels surfaced in Holland in the late 80'ties.

Mostly seen on pre and early wartime pictures are the Dunlop Universal, Goodyear and Firestone tyres. The assembly books show in a number of cases the brand of tyres for each MC by letter D, F or G for Army MC's. Air ministry apparently only used Dunlop tyres. There are also many entries which just state "WD tyres" both on Army and RAF MC's.
On later war pictures,  Avon tyres become visible. After the war, also Avon Supreme and Michelin tyres were used.

Military tyres were marked with the "broad arrow" as can be seen on the pictures below. Sometimes even a white ink stamping can be seen with an LV6 MT14 code (RAOC? (Royal Army Ordnance Corps) stores code).
On some tyres, it looks like the broad arrow was not initially moulded in the tyre but appear to be hot pressed into the tyre afterwards.

Date of manufacture is not clear in many cases.

Tyre pressures as given in military Norton Driver manuals range from 17 to 22 lbs for the front tyre and 20 to 24 lbs for the rear tyre. In the military Norton Maintenance manual it states 16 lbs front and 18 lbs rear. The exact pressures for tyres are therefore hard to give. 
A postwar Dutch civil Norton maintenance manual refers to pressures of 22 lbs front and 26 lbs rear with one person on board and 26 lbs front and 28 lbs rear with two persons on board.   

To top it off, at the bottom are some pictures of what each Norton 16H should have, but seldom does. (Would personally be interested in obtaining one!)

Dunlop Universal

Firestone UK

Firestone India



Michelin UK

Dunlop Universal a1

Firestone England a2.JPG (94691 bytes) Avon 1

Michelin UK 3.jpg (30001 bytes)

Dunlop Universal a4 Firestone England Avon 3 Michelin UK 2.jpg (29716 bytes)
Dunlop Universal b1 Firestone England   Michelin UK 1.jpg (34100 bytes)
  Firestone England   Michelin UK 4.jpg (31909 bytes)
Dunlop India Firestone USA     Avon Supreme  
  Firestone USA     Avon Supreme  
  Firestone USA c6.JPG (67802 bytes)     Avon Supreme 3  

Wartime Tyre advertisements
Dunlop advert 23 September 1940 Dunlop June 20 1940 Dunlop tires april 11 1940  


Tyre inflator APEX