Norton 1923 Model 16 H Sports 490cc side valve single frame # 8309 engine # 6056
The 16 H engine with dimensions of 79x100mm had a remarkable production run of no less than 45 years. Keywords with this design are reliability, robustness and power. The cleanliness and high level of finish of the engine are described in the 1923 catalogue as follows: “The appearance of the Norton Engines at once appeals to the engineer. Of clean, sound design, no unnecessary protuberances, scrolls or advertisement appear upon them. There are no awkward interstices for the collection of dirt. All cover screws are sunk flush with the case, all corners are radiused and edges rounded. The special surface finish makes them very easy to keep clean and it is now generally recognized that, for smooth power production and efficiency, there are no better engines than the long stroke Norton.” For 1923 three 490 cc side valve models were available, the standard “16H”, dubbed “The Sports Norton” and clearly the fastest of the side valve machines (close ratio gearbox available on request!), the “17C Colonial Norton” that had among others higher ground clearance, different tyre size and other gear ratios and the ”Model 2 Touring Norton”, virtually identical to the “16H” but with footboards and semi-TT handlebars.
This 16H is well-restored and comes with steering damper, foot-controlled oil pump, Brown & Barlow carburettor, bulb horn and ML magneto. The rear stand is constructed with a powerful spring which swings the stand into the “up” position and holds it there without the necessity to soil one’s hand with a locking device. Another practical feature is the internal expanding front brake that Norton first fitted in 1923. All in all a first rate, practical vintage mount with lots of character!