Commando Advice Needed

L.A.B.

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And it has the headlamp halo..,. former Commando 'S'?

The 1970 Roadster also had the halo.
Norton-1970-Commando-750-Roadster.jpg

 

SteveA

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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.
 
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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.

I will look around for a local mentor for sure and I will research what you have here. First things first, fluid changes!
 

SteveA

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I will look around for a local mentor for sure and I will research what you have here. First things first, fluid changes!
No, first thing is find out where the fluid is....if any!

Don't rush putting fresh fluid in, imagining you will get it up and running in a few days.

Have you any idea when it was last run, and can you access any history at all?
 

Ron L

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I second LAB's comment regarding that front brake. Making sure it will stop is at least as important as getting it running. That front lever is looks like those shoes are seriously worn!!
 

Richard Tool

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May we inquire where you are located ? If you were within a reasonable distance I would be happy to help - perhaps others may feel the same .
 

L.A.B.

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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.
 

Richard Tool

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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.
Once again the voice of clarity in our oft times muddled world - what the hell would we do without you L.A.B . ?
 

ashman

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By the looks of it it is pretty clean with a bit of dust on it so I say its been kept in a safe place for storage, we can all go over board with what each one will do so a bit more on how long its been laid up or where is been stored etc will go a long way before any work, it looks like its had some good things put on it and there is no rust on the shinny bits, so oils and carb be the starting point and ignition system, then brakes and tyres if old might need replacing, and do this and who knows in a few days it might be a goer, new battery will also need to be put in.
 
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L.A.B. hit it again...... Look here mine was stored with only monthly kick-overs for 38 years, and even without total teardown took near 6 months prior to the 1st start.... Also another 3 months before taking it around the block.... Now 3 years later it has become reliable even with some questionable wiring lurking hidden awaiting the opportunity to screw me when inconvenient.... Don't rush and do careful work..... You'd best just buy it because when you finish it you'll want to keep it. Okay I've said it.
 
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Hi all,
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?
good luck
al
 

YING

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Hi all,
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?
good luck
al
Alan,
Where I live in North Carolina,any reputable bike shops would mean traveling at least 100+ miles.Get the manuals and start reading and ask a lot of questions.
Mike
 

Onder

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Just about every question you have or will have are covered in the past on this list. Use the search function. We are still ready to answer any question. Post good clear close up pix when you have a question it really helps us help you.
If you don't inspect everything something can break costing you the bike or worse it can hurt you physically and badly. Do not even think of riding it without a full inspection.
 

L.A.B.

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...just curious what is purpose of halo?
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.
ybr125g_fea02.jpg

"Off-road style headlight rim guard gives a daring and tough image.":rolleyes:

  • "Looks great and protects the headlight in a fall.
  • The perfect combination of protection and styling!"
 
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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.
ybr125g_fea02.jpg

"Off-road style headlight rim guard gives a daring and tough image.":rolleyes:

  • "Looks great and protects the headlight in a fall.
  • The perfect combination of protection and styling!"
Looks like Norton led the way with: 'Full Face' protection for the headlight, whereas that Yamaha only gets: 'Pudding Basin' coverage.....
 

Onder

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Styling. Money that could have been spent on something useful.
 
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Styling. Money that could have been spent on something useful.
Sorry, but that's an old man speaking... (No offence intended)
Mustn't knock styling, no matter how bizarre or 'useless'. It's the 'eye appeal' that can make or break a deal on the showroom floor... 'Eye of the beholder', 'One man's meat... ' etc. etc...
Again, no offence.....
 
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