The Nortons

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
Here we go. I'll try to keep the intro short and sweet. After Thanksgiving dinner, Dad gave me his 1973 Norton Commando 850, his 1965 Norton Atlas, his one-owner 1967 Norton P11 Ranger (including spare engine and trans), his 82' Kawasaki GPZ1100, and lastly his 196? BSA Goldstar 500. Also included is stacks and stack of books and documentation going all the way back to the 50's, really hard to find stuff.

He's 80 now and can't ride motorcycles anymore, which is hard on both of us (more on him obviously). Because of Dad, I've been riding and wrenching since I was 6 years old, however I was not expecting this and it came as quite a surprise. It took me awhile to get my head around it but it made sense coming from his perspective. He wanted me to have them and enjoy them while he's still around and can still unload his years of British bike moto-wisdom on me. I'll need it.

Because of space at my garage, all I've been able to bring home so far is the Commando and about 1/3 of his parts stash. This bike will get my winter attention and I've barely got started. This is a kick only bike, the Commandos' weren't kick/electric until 75' on the MkIII I believe. That's also when all bikes shipped to the US had to standardize on left side shifting. This one is right side shift, one up, three down. It's got nice rearsets already, a Corbin Gunfighter seat, and adjustable Tomaselli bars.

Main stuff the list:

- cleaning
- radius and trim/fit new Wassel alloy fenders
- decide on, get and install new rear brake light and new turn signals, and 12v headlamp bulb
- swap exhaust to proper peashooters (done)
- Pazon electronic ignition upgrade, new 12v rec/rec, 2 new 6v coils, and most of the harness needs modification
- fix/refit lucas bar control switches, etc
- new electronic tach
- tank flush/clean and possibly seal
- cleanup guage mounts
- replace/adjust/fix rear brake setup, front Lockheed setup seems to work well
- maybe chain and sprockets
- Dad said it used to pop out of 1st gear sometimes so I'll have to take a look at that
- Fit and tune Mikuni flatslide carb and 2-1 intake. Needs new throttle cable fittings for the carb top.
(I have the old Amals and intakes but no intention of using them)
- fit an EarthX battery, rec/reg, ignition module, etc in the old battery tray area
- maybe fit a bit wider rear rim and tire, it's too skinny...

I don't intend to do a crazy concourse restoration. Paint on the tank is original and there are a few small dents but nothing terrible so I'll leave it be. The sidecovers are in excellent shape and have original paint as well. Not a purist bike of course but hopefully a nicely modified reliable cafe style rider.

And pics to get started...
1commando_van.jpg
2commando.jpg
3commando.jpg
4commando.jpg
5commando.jpg
6commando.jpg
7commando.jpg
8commando.jpg
 
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The Jimbonaut

Active Member
Re: 1973 - The Commando

Gutted as your old man must be that he's not riding anymore he must be really happy knowing that his rides are going to be well looked after, and ridden. Glad to hear these are staying in the family, you'll do them, and your Dad, proud.
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

Welcome aboard guys.

The Jimbonaut said:
Gutted as your old man must be that he's not riding anymore he must be really happy knowing that his rides are going to be well looked after, and ridden. Glad to hear these are staying in the family, you'll do them, and your Dad, proud.
Thanks Jimbo. I hope so.
 

Maritime

Active Member
Re: 1973 - The Commando

Nice, sign me up. I hope to pass my bike down to whichever kid will want it someday. Glad you get to keep your dads rides going.
 

irk miller

You've been mostly-dead all day.
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

Hell yes. Seems justifiable to me for you to buy or build a small space or addition just for Dad's stash.
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

irk miller said:
Hell yes. Seems justifiable to me for you to buy or build a small space or addition just for Dad's stash.
You are so right. My space is pretty limited now because of this habit. I've been looking at getting a shipping container for my side yard. Either that or I'm going to have to tear down the old chicken shack and put up a small pole barn. I need to offload some projects. Zephyr 750 needs to go, so does the KX60.
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

CrabsAndCylinders said:
This is going to be a nice story.
Thanks for joining in guys.

I ordered the Pazon ignition this morning, it should be here before Christmas and I've got some time off between that and New Years, I hope to get a bunch done.
 

adventurco

Nick Ol' Eye
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

canyoncarver said:
You are so right. My space is pretty limited now because of this habit. I've been looking at getting a shipping container for my side yard. Either that or I'm going to have to tear down the old chicken shack and put up a small pole barn. I need to offload some projects. Zephyr 750 needs to go, so does the KX60.
I've been looking into this for when I have the money to put up a proper shop, prices are reasonable and delivery and installation is included in the price: https://www.carport.com/
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

advCo said:
I've been looking into this for when I have the money to put up a proper shop, prices are reasonable and delivery and installation is included in the price: https://www.carport.com/
There are a few metal building places close here too. I've priced out several but I'm not ready to pull the trigger.
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

I found this in the parts stash. New Mexico gets hot in the summer. I put one on my Shovel too so it makes sense to put one on the Commando.
commando_oilcooler_pazontoo.jpg
commando_oilcooler.jpg
 
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canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

A snowy hike to the mailboxes and I got the new coils. I'm considering a complete re-wire at this point, 46 year old wiring being what it is.
newCommando_coils.jpg
 
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pidjones

Active Member
Re: 1973 - The Commando

canyoncarver said:
A snowy hike to the mailboxes and I got the new coils. I'm considering a complete re-wire at this point, 46 year old wiring being what it is.
Considering the original manufacture, it needed a rewire 46 years ago.
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

pidjones said:
Considering the original manufacture, it needed a rewire 46 years ago.
Ha. Yeah, the original harness isn't in bad shape, it's never been hacked either, it's just old and configured wrong for modern ignition components. It's also wired for positive ground. My brain doesn't work well like that so I'm going to rewire it for 12v negative ground.
 
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