Between the impressively distant years of 1911 and 1954, Norton produced a series of bikes all around a 490cc side-valve engine. These bikes were referred to as the 16H – H stood for Home, as in a domestic model. The 16C (Colonial) was introduced in ’21 for the export markets of Australia, India, New Zealand, and Canada, and they had more ground clearance for roads in poor condition.
Norton made plenty of money on the 16H as they were the biggest supplier of motorcycles for the British armed forces in World War II. Nearly 100,000 16Hs were used by the military. The 490cc engine produced 14 horsepower, good for a top speed of about 65 miles per hour.
This example (VIN: W19077) has approximately 200 miles on it since it was rebuilt – though the speedometer is not connected. The seller’s friend used to work for the State Department and found this bike, a BSA M20, and a HD WL in Cairo, Egypt in 1991:
Per the seller, his friend ‘completely rebuilt this bike from one end to the other’. It was originally a WD (War Department) bike, but it’s been brought back to life with a “civilian, slight custom look”. The gorgeous Brooklands exhaust prevents the fitment of the original tool box, and the red pinstriping is not stock, though it’s tape and thus easily removable. There’s a tool bag installed on the other side of the exhaust, and other modifications include the carb from a Norton ES2 as well as a disc brake that the seller calls “a monumental upgrade” (though it does prevent the speedometer from being hooked up). The seller says this is nearly show condition, though it shows the use from a “couple vintage road runs”. That’s why I adore it – it seems like a beautiful vintage bike that you can actually enjoy on the road.
The seller (whom you can follow here on Instagram) also has a startup and walkaround video:
Find this Norton 16H for sale in Idyllwild, California with bidding up to $19.39 and the reserve not yet met (obviously)