Monday 5 June 2017

Bitza Model 16H Norton

-JdK- This is my 1938-ish 16H Norton built from parts collected over the years. Rebuilding a few Nortons left me with a pile of rusty and incorrect parts and it seemed to make sense to acquire a frame and an engine and assemble the lot into a complete motorbike. Don't bother contacting me about what is not correct; I know and I don't care.

More interesting, I tuned the engine based on Paul Greet's suggestions. Briefly, the compression was raised by skimming 2-3 mm from the head, a much larger inlet valve was fitted together with a 1 1/8" carb and a longer and wider inlet tube. The 'header tape' on the exhaust hides a narrow (1 1/2") exhaust pipe welded from bits of a car exhaust.

The result is a very enjoyable motorcycle! It usually starts first kick and idles perfectly. Acceleration is now similar to that of an OHV model and it will easily do 100 km/h. It's as much fun to ride as my OHC Norton but at a fraction of the costs and without splashing oil all over the place

I will be riding this machine in Scotland in the coming few weeks, together with a friend on a similarly tuned 16H. We would like to hear from anyone living in west Scotland and willing to lend a hand should they prove to be less reliable than we anticipate!