- Nov 20, 2004
Without having detailed knowledge of the individual bike and when it last ran, I would not want to run or ride it until I knew the condition of the sludge trap and layshaft bearing. Now you don't even know what I am talking about yet, but if you go down this route you will.
As a clue it means a nut and bolt strip of the engine, and gearbox, with the primary drive thrown in for good measure. Does it really need that, well who knows? But if you don't check it you may find out the very hard and expensive way!
And I would be stripping the tanks, carbs, swinging arm spindle and forks and brakes to be sure they weren't going to cause me more problems. The isolastics would get a going over. I can't be sure there are problems with it, but neither can you, and that in itself is the problem.
I am not talking restoration, that is a whole different issue, I am talking about verifying the safety of the bike for use, without destroying even more hard to source and expensive parts. Cosmetically it would look just like it does now!
The potential of the bike is great, and I would be happy to take one like this on, but like a few on here I learnt these bikes over 45 years ago.
Steep learning curve for you and really tough if you have no local mentor.
No, first thing is find out where the fluid is....if any!I will look around for a local mentor for sure and I will research what you have here. First things first, fluid changes!
Once again the voice of clarity in our oft times muddled world - what the hell would we do without you L.A.B . ?Before we get too carried away suggesting rebuilds and upgrades, as the OP (eatpasta) said in the first post: "I am helping out a family friend with this Commando and was going to try to get it running again." so it would be useful to know what the owner's intentions are whether it is to keep or just get it running to sell it.
To my eyes that’s a pretty good looking bike.
if you had to be initiated into the joys of pommie bikes, it would be a great one to start with.
As almost all contributors have suggested, to rush into it, start it and roar down the road could create a lot of damage not to mention disappointment .
A sensible approach of arming oneself with knowledge would be a good first step. These bikes are ‘very old school’ even in comparison to other contemporary bikes, particularly those from Japan. They do require a degree of knowledge and commitment from the owner.
Unlike some other contributor, I’m a little less fastidious about ‘awakening sleeping beasts’. If it was mine, after changing all fluids, inspecting all that can be expected, I would give it a tentative prod, if all felt well, a good tickle with fresh fuel, I would give it a kick. Presumably with 30 seconds of firing you will know more about the actual bike than lifetime of consternation.
If it starts, and there is absolutely no reason to believe it wouldn’t provided if it was in good nick when put away, my bet is the pilot jets on the carbs will be blocked and it won’t idle but you can cross that bridge when you come to it.
Assuming it runs well and no strange noises are emanating, it has compression, oil is returning etc, I think I would revist all the fluids and check for contamination (metal content etc), if all good, I would gently and progressively reintroduce it back to the open road.
without actually seeing the bike, all is hypothetical. If in doubt at all, why not take it to a reputable bike shop and have them check it over?
Supposedly intended to protect the headlamp in the event of a fall when off-roading but really not much more than a styling gimmick on the Commando 'S' and '70 Roadster....just curious what is purpose of halo?
Looks like Norton led the way with: 'Full Face' protection for the headlight, whereas that Yamaha only gets: 'Pudding Basin' coverage.....Supposedly intended to protect the headlamp in the event of a fall when off-roading but really not much more than a styling gimmick on the Commando 'S' and '70 Roadster.
"Off-road style headlight rim guard gives a daring and tough image."
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Sorry, but that's an old man speaking... (No offence intended)Styling. Money that could have been spent on something useful.