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View Full Version : New to BCF/BBF -- Commando Pics



Cooltouch
07-02-2008, 03:53 PM
Hi all,

I just joined the forum, left the obligatory intro in the New Members forum, so if you'd like to find out a little more about me, well, go on over there and have a look.

http://michaelmcbroom.com/motorcycles/norton/Norton_rtfront1.jpg

I've wanted a Norton since I was in junior high (mid-60s). As a lowly 7th grader, I vividly recall sitting on my Schwinn Stingray in the bike cage (probably a 20' x 40' fenced in area), watching all the lucky kids with motorcycles pull in. Mostly they were riding small Hondas and a smattering of equally small Japanese two-strokes, but there were a couple with bevel-head 250 Duc singles (wouldn't you love to have one of <span style="font-style: italic">those</span> now?), and there was this one 9th grader who owned a Norton Atlas. At 750cc, it was Colossal, and the guy who rode it was surely a member of the Greek pantheon. Apollo, perhaps, or maybe Hermes. And the sound! From that point onward during those impressionable years, nothing else would compare.

And then a few years later Norton introduced the Commando. I was hooked. Totally. Irrevocably. I had access to a friend and his brother's Honda 175 and 350, and rode them often, unbeknownst to my parents, who forbade me from having a motorcycle. But it didn't matter. I wanted a Commando.

Fast forward almost four decades. I own four bikes by that point (my parents should never had said "No!" and I might have gotten it out of my system as a youngster), and almost unexpectedly, find myself to be the owner of a '74 Commando. I had placed a rather low bid on it on eBay, feeling for sure I'd be outbid, but I wasn't. It was an unexpected surprise, and ended up being the best birthday present ever to myself.

After I went through the bike and got it running reliably, I cobbled together a web page HERE. (http://michaelmcbroom.com/motorcycles/norton/commando.html)

That was five years ago. Currently I have all the controls off the handlebars. I'm replacing the original master cylinder with a more modern version, which should hopefully give me a less wooden feel than the original. In order to match the new MC up with the existing fittings, I'm going to have a local guy who specializes in the old Brit bikes cobble up a replacement front brake hose for me. Also, almost all the original switchgear is shot, and I'm thinking about replacing the lot with this one. (http://www.chaparral-racing.com/Chaparral/productr.asp?pf%5Fid=2106%2D0010&amp;gift=False&amp;0=dept %2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D793%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D% 2COffroad%20Electrical&amp;1=dept%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D 5168%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D0%2CSwitches&amp;HSLB=Fal se&amp;mscssid=8ED132C19E93449BB48BE42D4414B74E) After that, I should have it back on the road.

Best,

Michael

tony barnhill
07-02-2008, 04:11 PM
Nice - real nice....here's mine...since the photo was taken, I've added ther original taillight/license plate assembly:

http://www.theautoist.com/tot1.jpg

GeeBee1
07-02-2008, 04:16 PM
Why do you guys always always have to make me drool all over my keyboard.

My boss told me that three more and I was outta here and that was two keyboards ago.

Cooltouch
07-02-2008, 04:18 PM
Noice Boik, Tony! Couple questions: What year is yours? What tires are you running?

Best,

Michael

tony barnhill
07-02-2008, 05:30 PM
Michael - mine's a '72...tires are 1.00/90x19's

Steve
07-02-2008, 06:26 PM
Something to keep in mind, my father was one of the design team on the Norton Commando, the gearbox is "his", along with a few other items.

To this day, Harley Davidson use elements of the Commando gearbox, and the cushion drive on their rear hubs are identical to the Commando. He was recruited by HD back in 1978.

He's retired now, but if you had any questions he could certainly field a few of them for you.

Basil
07-02-2008, 07:06 PM
I want a Triumph! Been pinning after one for a long time.

drooartz
07-03-2008, 11:07 AM
Nice bike, Michael! (You too, Tony!). Brit bikes just look "right" to me, hence the new Bonnie in my garage -- well it's actually at the dealer having a brake leak fixed under warranty. Wouldn't be British if it didn't have a leak, I guess. :smile:

tony barnhill
07-03-2008, 12:50 PM
Drew - I want one of the 2003 Triumph Speedmasters so bad - the yellow &amp; black one! &amp; that's the only one I want!

http://www.triumphtwinpower.com/images/04_sm_yellow_275.jpg

Silverghost
07-03-2008, 02:15 PM
Basil....pinning? You're not a Norwegian Blue I hope?! :laugh:

drooartz
07-03-2008, 02:51 PM
Keep your eyes open, Tony. They're out there. I love my Bonnie, but it's been at the dealer getting the front brake reservoir replaced (under warranty, was leaking). It's been there 6 weeks waiting for parts from Triumph. I'm not pleased, to say the least.

Basil
07-03-2008, 06:49 PM
Basil....pinning? You're not a Norwegian Blue I hope?! :laugh:

Nope, I'm an Irish Green I think.

JAV
11-23-2008, 07:59 PM
That's interesting, for I thought those gearboxes were all DB, David Brown. They are almost unbreakable.

vagt6
11-24-2008, 02:26 PM
Very nice bike. A friend of mine has a '63 Norton Atlas, the precursor to the Commandos. Lovely bike, and he rides it at least once or twice weekly. It's a thumper (single cylinder), but surprisingly little vibration.

And, it's relatively fast. But, the brakes are awful (front and rear drums) by today standards.

Great bikes, lot of fun to restore and ride.

keep us posted!

GregW
11-25-2008, 12:50 AM
Drew - I want one of the 2003 Triumph Speedmasters so bad - the yellow &amp; black one! &amp; that's the only one I want!
Oh Tony, I know you secretly desire the stealth of the black Speed Triple.
http://www.triumph.co.uk/images/SpeedTriple_2009_rhs_mattblack1_534x309_copy.jpg

tony barnhill
11-26-2008, 10:25 AM
Drew - I want one of the 2003 Triumph Speedmasters so bad - the yellow &amp; black one! &amp; that's the only one I want!
Oh Tony, I know you secretly desire the stealth of the black Speed Triple.
http://www.triumph.co.uk/images/SpeedTriple_2009_rhs_mattblack1_534x309_copy.jpg
Can you imagine my old body straddling that thing? I don't think so!