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Discussion Starter #1
Sure would like to have one of these . . . one of these days.

Back in 1970, when I had my 1970 Kawasaki Mach III (H1), this bike -- the Norton 750 Commando -- was to be feared in the quarter-mile. Most times I could beat them in the quarter but they top-ended my bike and were also much, much better in the curves. The H1 was notoriously bad handling.


This is a beautiful specimen. If you want to spend $7500, it can be yours. It's in Tempe, AZ. (BTW, I'm not the seller -- I just found it on CL)
716442
 

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Beautiful bike. I have always admired the Nortons. I think the memory of how good they were is lost in reality of how good they really were though. :) I'd still have one today though. There is a black version around Ipswich and it has a beautiful sound
 

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I misspent my Wonder Years on Commandos, when they're running right there's nothing better.
The early Commandos could hand grenade just like most BSA A65s of that era. By 72 the Commandos were pretty reliable and if you understood the Isolastic suspension they could be real sweethearts to ride and easily leave other British twins in their non vibrating rear view mirrors.
 

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The best thing about the 70 Norton Commando was The Norton Girls... View attachment 716445
There were a few different girls in the first two Commado ads. After that they stuck with one girl for years. She was not British. I believe that sh was Swedish, but I'm not sure. Many years ago the INOA tracked her down and invited her to a US Norton rally. I believe that she has since passed away.
 

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This was my '74 Interstate. Great when it ran, I spent too many times pushing her to the side of the road and then had to pick her up with my trailer. She was like a beautiful woman, great looking but temperamental, even won some trophies. Couldn't wait to see her go to another sucker.



Chico
 

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Beautiful bikes but notoriously unreliable, thats why many bikers looking for a 'big' bike in the early 1970's went for a CB750 instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
If I was single, a Norton like this would be one of the bikes I'd buy to put in my living room. I would remove all the furniture, replacing it with old cool motorcycles. I'd line the walls with them. I could probably get 7-8 around the walls. The center of the room would be a small table with a couple of chairs for me and my mates to sit, drink beer, and talk motorcycles. They don't have to be running, just cosmetically agreeable. Here's another example, a 1969 Triumph Trident:

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I was glad to see this post. I have 1972, 73 and 74 Norton Commandos and love them all. I also have a 2018 Bonneville T120 and I rode both that and the 72 Norton (Combat engine) this w/e. No comparison in ease of riding and smoothness (the T 120 wins), BUT, you can't ignore the visceral feet of the Norton - I swear you can feel the pistons moving up and down in the seat of your pants. And the sound is beyond compare. And the suspension is at least as good as the 2018 Bonnie (so much for 48 years of "progress"). But on a cold day the fuel injection, great brakes, light clutch and heated grips are a definite plus. But there is no rule I'm aware of that says you can't love then all!
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This was my '74 Interstate. Great when it ran, I spent too many times pushing her to the side of the road and then had to pick her up with my trailer. She was like a beautiful woman, great looking but temperamental, even won some trophies. Couldn't wait to see her go to another sucker.

Chico
My Commando has been very reliable and has only broken down once in years of hard riding: the alternator rotor blew apart about 30 miles from home. This issue was common with certain Lucas rotors on a number of British bikes, so I don't blame it on the Norton.
 

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I owned my 850 Norton since 76 brought new at the young age of 17 its no longer in Commando form and built it in to my Hot Rod Norton it is today converted it to a 57 Wideline Featherbed with a fully balance crank for the Featherbed its been this way since 81 and the only time it has let me down when it broke a rear chain, last rebuild over 7 years ago I upgraded the brakes with a full Grimica floating brake set up, a hot Joe Hunt Maggie and flatslide carbies, its supa light, handles like its on rails and its one of a kind build, has over 160k miles on it and its my hot rod built by my hands, its showing its age now and well ridden just the way I like it, it was a everyday ride for most of its life.
By the way I called my first born Norton, its a good strong English name.

Ashley
 

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Here's my '74 Roadster. This is the way I bought it. It started and ran when I got it, I am now in the process of trying to get it to look like a motorcycle
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I had a 68 Fastback blow up around 1,000 miles from home (rod through the front of the crankcase) and traded it in on a 73 850 which I really beat on because I was young, dumb and full of you know the rest.
I also had the mechanical know how of a dill pickle back then!

I don't know how they'd compare to a modern bike but I recall them feeling like a big bicycle that just begged to have the throttle twisted to the stop and when they'd hit 4,000 RPM the exhaust note would just get really wild and it would leap forward like it was a horse breaking into a gallop.
 

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Here's my '74 Roadster. This is the way I bought it. It started and ran when I got it, I am now in the process of trying to get it to look like a motorcycle
View attachment 716551
To me its is a true motorcycle and is showing its age and looks well ridden than sitting in the shed, if it was mine I just clean it up a little bit and if its running OK just replace things that it needs to keep it going, a well worn bike that's showing its age has its own beauty, I would keep it the way it looks.

Ashley
 

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To me its is a true motorcycle and is showing its age and looks well ridden than sitting in the shed, if it was mine I just clean it up a little bit and if its running OK just replace things that it needs to keep it going, a well worn bike that's showing its age has its own beauty, I would keep it the way it looks.

Ashley
Mine is a rolling restoration project. I ride it regularly, but over the years I've had it repainted and re-striped because the original paint was fading, I had a lot of the fasteners re-cad plated, I've repainted the barrels, and more. It is probably a 9.5/10, but it's not a garage queen.

The big deviation from stock is the CNW electric starter kit. I have a bad right foot and leg from an accident in 81, and I cannot kick start larger bikes with my right foot. I've been putting bikes on the centerstand and starting them with my left leg for years. Unfortunately my left knee is now giving out. So I finally brok down and got the starter kit.
 

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The CNW starter is a nice bit of kit, expensive but you pay for workmanship, I have had mine for over 43 years and still kicking it but I have the T160 kick start leaver on it which is longer and gives a better swing on the kicker as well with the Joe Hunt Maggie its got a big hot spark and once started for the day will fire up on 1/2 swing on the kicker every time, at 61 I still have no problems with kicking my Norton to life, but one day might need to do a push finger conversion.

Ashley
 
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