The Bikes

1915 Model 16TT

Richard will be piloting a 1915 Norton Model 16TT (Norton Code Name: Tourist), it is the twelfth oldest known Norton.

He bought the bike in February 2015 from Joe Seifert of Norton Motors (nortonmotors.co.uk). Initially the rare bike wasn’t for sale, but Joe was intrigued with Richard’s plans to ride it in the Cannonball Run, and kindly allowed him to purchase the Norton.

Restoration and race modification was performed by Keith Martin of Big D Cycle, Dallas, Texas.

The 490cc single, 3 1/2 hp, 3 speed engine had a period top speed of 60+ mph in its racing versions. The three-speed Sturmey Archer transmission is unique to the 1915 year.

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Improvements to the Tourist for the Cannonball Race include: modern rims and tires, a drum brake for the rear hub, L.E.D. lighting, and an auxiliary fuel tank mounted behind the seat.

Richard rode the Model 16TT in the 2016 Cannonball Century Race finishing 22nd, on the only Norton entered in the race.

1923 and 1924 Norton Model 16H

Both the 1923 and 1924 16H models use the same engine as the 16TT – a 490cc side-valve. The transmission – while still a Sturmey Archer three-speed – is a different model. The gear ratios do differ somewhat between the two bikes.

The quickest way of distinguishing between the two bikes are their race plates – the 1923 is #115 and the ’24 is #116. But the handlebars and the foot peg layout also differ. The former has smoothly swept bars and the latter has stepped bars and the pegs sit further forward.

Both have modern rims and tyres, and LED lights but notably both have period brakes. In addition to the flat tank – additional fuel is carried in a tank on the rear carrier to increase the effective range. There is also a stowage box for spares and foul weather gear if needed.

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