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miltary contract details

Hello I have Norton 16h 1941 frame number w45852
Contract number c102017 Norton despatch book number 23
Is there any details as to its military career
It seems to have been an raf bike due to blue paint under all panels and frame
Also what was the earliest year road holder forks were fitted.
I enjoy the info in your form keep up the good work
Thanks don

Re: miltary contract details

Don, as you say, W45852 will have been produced under WD (Army) contract C10217 and delivered during the latter part of 1941. It would have been allocated the number C4583980. I have never seen evidence of WD (Army) 16Hs being passed on to the RAF. The Air Ministry was separately (and better !) financed and purchasing was separate at this stage of the war.

Specification-wise, this contract was a little 'in-between' - It had steel footrests and the canvas grips but retained the 8" headlamp and alloy valve cover. Panniers were fitted and pillion was the large Dunlopillo pad. Horn was still mounted on the frame clamp.

Although Norton had tried teles before WW2 and there was some experimental work during the war, the 'Roadholder' telescopic fork did not appear until the 1947 model year. If yours has Tele-forks then they will be a later substitution.

There is no surviving evidence of end-users but most photographs from this contract show them in Canadian service. By 1942, the Candians were the main users of 16Hs, the British taking more M20s and G3Ls.

private image sharing

Re: miltary contract details

There is no doubt that WD motorcycles after demob, at which point they were once again under the control of the Ministry of Supply, were allocated to other governmental organisations.

If your engine is a '51 then the magneto is driven in the opposite direction to the WD models so you'd have an anti-clock mag with a clockwise dynamo (I think the long 60w). The NOC or the VMCC could tell you where the engine was originally sent (the post-war records are more or less complete). It might give a clue.

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