Bernard Hooper well known in the motorcycle industry for the highly successful Norton Commando and the Isolastic system formed BHE to further advance R & D into the novel concept of the stepped piston engine, together with advanced projects on conventional engine and vehicle projects.

The background to the present day



Norton Commando - Motorcycle of the Year 5 times in succession

Bernard Hooper, Chief Engineer of Norton Villiers Ltd from 1965 to 1974, was responsible for the design of the Norton Commando. He led the team behind this highly successful British Motorcycle securing the future of the Norton Company at that time. Later work comprised advanced projects including the stepped piston engine for single cylinder industrial and motorcycle application (as shown below) to expand the Norton range.

Norton Wulf 500

The first modern multi-cylinder stepped piston engine, designed by Bernard Hooper whilst Chief Engineer of Norton Villiers Ltd. The engine was 500 cm3 capacity producing 42 BHP at 6500 RPM, achieving a mean top speed of 103.15mph at the MIRA proving grounds. Group Chairman, Dennis Poore, insisted that the basic engine should be able to allow for a 750 cm3 unit from the same engine block. This means that the 500 cm3 unit shown is of course much larger than it would otherwise be. The air cooled Wulf shown above was further developed at BHE Ltd as a liquid cooled Wulf II unit in the interests of creating a low emissions two stroke engine with greater efficiency. The Norton Wulf, Wulf II, Norton 76 (new Commando replacement) and EURO50 (50 cm3 entry level bike) are currently on loan to the National Motorcycle Museum at Solihull in England.

Wulf II

Details of a more recent stepped piston Motorcycle engine can be seen on the Motorcycle Engines page of this website. Development of the stepped piston engine is ongoing at Bernard Hooper Engineering Ltd for a number of applications (please select from our Home Page).

Selected Technical Papers

Link to paper

* - This paper was awarded the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Aerospace Industries Division Charles Sharpe Beecher Prize, "for the best paper on an aerospace subject published by the institution in the previous year or for a contribution in that field," at the AID AGM at IMechE HQ on 16 May 2006.



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