The Nortons

irk miller

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

I'd love to have a seat from a 1960 BSA 500cc Goldstar Catalina Scrambler.
 

grandpaul

Author, "Old Bikes"
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

Ah, yes; if it isn't one thing, it's twelve...

I just bought six tires and will have our top 3 bikes re-shod by the weekend. Just in time to head for the hills!

You really must finish the Commando and allow it some significant ride time before a final decision on selling. You owe it to yourself.
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
Re: 1973 - The Commando

grandpaul said:
Ah, yes; if it isn't one thing, it's twelve...
I just bought six tires and will have our top 3 bikes re-shod by the weekend. Just in time to head for the hills!

You really must finish the Commando and allow it some significant ride time before a final decision on selling. You owe it to yourself.
Yeah, that was my other thought. I guess I need to get busier ...
 

teazer

Active Member
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Re: 1973 - The Commando

Commando is such a great looking bike. I had a series of Triumph pre-unit twins when I was younger and then a Rocket 3 and always had a soft spot or yearning for the Commando.

Unfortunately for me, I repaired one for a friend and got it all set up and took it for a short ride and that was really a colossal let down. Compared to the Yamaha twins I was riding at the time (RD and RZ), the big Norton was slow and heavy and clumsy. My Gt750 makes a lot more HP weighs about the same and make way more torque.

But, and it's important, the Commando was never designed to be a peppy little street fighter. It's designed a different way for a different purpose.

GP is correct that you need to get enough miles under your belt to appreciate it for what it is and what it offers. She may be a little older and slower, but that lady can still dance - and beautifully. Appreciate her for who she is who she is not.
 

grandpaul

Author, "Old Bikes"
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

teazer said:
Unfortunately for me, I repaired one for a friend and got it all set up and took it for a short ride and that was really a colossal let down. Compared to the Yamaha twins I was riding at the time (RD and RZ), the big Norton was slow and heavy and clumsy. My Gt750 makes a lot more HP weighs about the same and make way more torque.

But, and it's important, the Commando was never designed to be a peppy little street fighter. It's designed a different way for a different purpose.
Not meaning to cast aspersions on your tuning abilities, but a well-tuned STOCK Commando can beat an RD almost anywhere except very tight twisty stuff. The first straight line you come to, you leave the RDs behind (like for like, stock vs stock)
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
Re: 1973 - The Commando

teazer said:
Commando is such a great looking bike. I had a series of Triumph pre-unit twins when I was younger and then a Rocket 3 and always had a soft spot or yearning for the Commando.
Unfortunately for me, I repaired one for a friend and got it all set up and took it for a short ride and that was really a colossal let down. Compared to the Yamaha twins I was riding at the time (RD and RZ), the big Norton was slow and heavy and clumsy. My Gt750 makes a lot more HP weighs about the same and make way more torque.
But, and it's important, the Commando was never designed to be a peppy little street fighter. It's designed a different way for a different purpose.
GP is correct that you need to get enough miles under your belt to appreciate it for what it is and what it offers. She may be a little older and slower, but that lady can still dance - and beautifully. Appreciate her for who she is who she is not.
I'm really ok with whatever performance per pound the 850 has. It really is a great looking bike. I do look at each bike for what it is, not what it isn't. My dad is the one with some trouble with that. He just can't get his head around why I also have a chopper in my stable. "They can't keep up in the twisties" is his thing. He isn't a horsepower guy per se but his bikes have always been stuff that he can turn, lean, and stop. Not a comparable trait of most choppers. Mine hauls ass in the straights though. ;)

I really do dig the Commando and I'll get it on the road although not as soon as I first hoped. I'm going to take a closer look at the other bikes this week and see what I can shuffle around to get them to my place. I still have space issues.
 

teazer

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

grandpaul said:
Not meaning to cast aspersions on your tuning abilities, but a well-tuned STOCK Commando can beat an RD almost anywhere except very tight twisty stuff. The first straight line you come to, you leave the RDs behind (like for like, stock vs stock)
Well don't.

Sure a well set up Commando should be faster than a stock 30hp RD, but a 60HP RD will pee all over a Commando any day of the week. And as you should have realized, that was not the point of my post.

The point was that it's a different sort of bike and different sort of riding experience and should be enjoyed for what it is and for what it is not. It's a fun bike to ride in its own right, and I was encouraging Canyoncarver to appreciate it for what it is and to ride it when it's done.
 

grandpaul

Author, "Old Bikes"
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

teazer said:
Sure a well set up Commando should be faster than a stock 30hp RD, but a 60HP RD will pee all over a Commando any day of the week.
Didn't I mention "like for like"? I meant 'stock' RD vs 'stock' Commando; should have been clear.

A 60HP RD is quite the modified bike. I'd stack up a similarly (for a 4-stroke) modified Commando against an RD anytime!

Like, say, this one (a tad under 60HP, and I'd be giving up over 100 pounds) ...



Apart from the suspension, carbs, headers, and bodywork, this is a stock 850.
 

clem

static fluff
DTT BOTM WINNER
Re: 1973 - The Commando

Well, I would hope that a commando would beat out an RD being that it has 400 more cc's. It's twice the bike.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using DO THE TON mobile app
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
I'm working to get back on track here. A few weeks ago I picked up the 1969 Norton P11 Ranger Dad gave me and I've decided to combine my Nortons in this thread instead of starting multiple threads.

My Dad bought this P11 brand new in 1969. I have all his original purchase paperwork and he's the only owner. I also still have a 65' Atlas project and 60' BSA Goldstar scrambler at his house. All this includes extra engines,tanks, transmissions, parts and original paperwork and loads of documentation.

I've decided not to change the P11 other than what's necessary to make it road worthy. It's too damn cool as it is. I don't care that it's not 100% original, he painted it after an unexpected get-off in the desert years ago and a few other little things here and there. I've loved the P11 since he let me ride it a few times way back when.

I've ordered stuff like fuel line (it disintegrated when I touched it), fuel and air filters, battery, primary cover gasket, new plugs, etc. I've fixed a few wiring issues although I'm probably not done with wiring on the coils. It likely needs new plug wires. I've drained the crankcase sump and picked up some new oil but still need to pickup some transmission gear oil. He also told me the clutch definitely needs to be adjusted properly.

It'll need tires. I'm thinking Kenda 761's. Maybe.

Here's a few pics:p11_right.jpgp11_left.jpgp11_electrics_1.jpgp11_electrics_2.jpgp11_electrics_3.jpgp11_right.jpgp11_left.jpgp11_electrics_1.jpgp11_electrics_2.jpgp11_electrics_3.jpg
 
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Luugo86

'73 CB350, '78 XS650 Cafe Killer
Dude, that P11 is straight up bad to the bone ! I always liked the desert sled look.. and those Norton engines are just perfect looking. The exhaust is the cherry on top... looking forward to seeing you get it on the road
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
Luugo86 said:
Dude, that P11 is straight up bad to the bone ! I always liked the desert sled look.. and those Norton engines are just perfect looking. The exhaust is the cherry on top... looking forward to seeing you get it on the road
Thanks Luugo!
 

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