The Commando came out, in 750cc form, in 1968. Before the Commando, the 750cc Norton was the Atlas. The Atlas had the famous "Featherbed" frame that Norton developed for the Manx racers. The "Featherbed" frame and "Roadholder" forks gave the pre-Commando Nortons fantastic handling. Unfortunately, the Norton engines were very unreliable. That's why Tritons (Norton frame with Triumph engine) and Norvins (Norton frame with Vincent engines) were very popular custom conversions.
My '66 Atlas left me stranded with blown engines and seized valves regularly.
But when it ran, there was nothing like it. The handling was great. Nothing could beat it on a winding road. I left Triumphs, Harleys, Corvettes, and even Panterras in the rear view mirror (which was useless due to vibration).
I rode a Commando once, but never owned one. When the Commando came out, Norton owners were disappointed because they kept the crummy engine and got rid of the great frame.
My T100 is just like the Atlas should have been. You can see from the picture of me on the Atlas that the Hinkley Bonneville frame has been strongly influenced by "Featherbed". Not only does it handle well, but the T100 is always ready to take me out and always brings me back.
The old days were good then, the new Bonnevilles are way ahead.
raproe from T.O.
[ This message was edited by: raproe on 2005-06-10 14:12 ]