Hi, would my 37 civilian model16h have 1" or 7/8" handlebars please and what are the differences between this and the military model?
The factory literature implies that Norton changed to 7/8" bars for the 1937 model year but the WD models continued unchanged up until WD motorcycle controls were standardised across all makes during 1944. Although a number of sources including Roy Bacon refer to the WD16H as being to 1937 specification, my personal feeling is that this is a misinterpretation based upon the fitment of CVC electrics. The WD16H always retained vertical saddle spring studs and the 1937 civilian bikes had horizontal studs to accommodate the lower seating position. Even ignoring the revised frame geometry caused by the higher ground clearance, it is easy to differentiate the WD frame from civilian 1937-on by virtue of the saddle mounts. WD spec, apart from the electrics was actually 1936. The '37 model had a different oil tank (WD will no longer fit) and of course you should have rubber-mounted handlebars. Footrest stubs will be welded to the engine plates (WD are separate) and rear brake lever will be shorter with shorter footrest hangers (but these could easily have been changed).
Richard's brochure notes about riding position confirm to me that I'd be better off with a 1936 not 1937 16H. I've had to move my saddle both up and back by roughly the same amount that Norton changed them down and forwards.
That's a good point, David and my '39 16H is WD so has the '36 saddle position along with more forward-set footrests and in theory adjustable handlebars, not that the steering damper knob leaves much room for them to move. The saddle mounting is claimed to have changed again for 1939 but I'm not clear what this 'more resilient mounting' is. The saddle certainly became wider.
That's interesting, Richard.
Point 4. Why does an offside brake improve controllability? Didn't they make the same change with the Commando decades after?
Points 9 and 10. I bet if you polished the covers like that before a show, someone would come up and say, wisely "they were never as shiny as that when they were new".
And of course there was a new silencer for the new year.