Commando Advice Needed

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Did you do the deed?

I wont have any news about that for a bit - i still dont know what the fate is of this bike. I do really want it, though.

Not sure if anyone here is familiar with Peter Egan but he wrote an article about a trip that he and his wife took on their Norton and.....well it didn't end on a happy note.

How do these bikes do if you actually want to ride them? Would it be reasonable to want to take this thing out for a nice 300 mile Sunday ride? I wouldnt be commuting on it or anything but I do ride my bikes quite a lot and it's not out of the question to have a 1k day every now and then on a more contemporary ride.
 

Derek Wilson

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I put 740 miles on mine over the weekend without much drama, but it is a pretty well sorted and maintained machine. It definitely is doable, but you need to have the confidence in the machine.

It also depends where you plan riding. I avoid freeways and high traffic areas when ever possible. I also have a very bright head light and an upgraded front brake. Being seen and the ability to stop are key IMHO when riding in modern traffic.
 

baz

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I wont have any news about that for a bit - i still dont know what the fate is of this bike. I do really want it, though.

Not sure if anyone here is familiar with Peter Egan but he wrote an article about a trip that he and his wife took on their Norton and.....well it didn't end on a happy note.

How do these bikes do if you actually want to ride them? Would it be reasonable to want to take this thing out for a nice 300 mile Sunday ride? I wouldnt be commuting on it or anything but I do ride my bikes quite a lot and it's not out of the question to have a 1k day every now and then on a more contemporary ride.
These bikes can definitely do what you are asking
But they are only as good as the last owner
There's many things that can go wrong and an upgrade for all of them plus plenty of upgrades you don't really need!
If you start listing the things that can go wrong on a commando they sound like a terrible bike but the reality is very different , they can be and indeed are reliable bikes
 

Onder

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You can flog a modern bike endlessly with out worry or consequences. Not what you want to do with a brit bike of that era if you wish to avoid early renewals or immediate trouble. They will go the distance but under reasonable circumstances. Your inspection and maintenance routines have to be rigorous. Remember, even Jim Comstock has come home on a trailer.
 

marshg246

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I wont have any news about that for a bit - i still dont know what the fate is of this bike. I do really want it, though.

Not sure if anyone here is familiar with Peter Egan but he wrote an article about a trip that he and his wife took on their Norton and.....well it didn't end on a happy note.

How do these bikes do if you actually want to ride them? Would it be reasonable to want to take this thing out for a nice 300 mile Sunday ride? I wouldnt be commuting on it or anything but I do ride my bikes quite a lot and it's not out of the question to have a 1k day every now and then on a more contemporary ride.
Here's the early history on my 74 MKIIA. Sold in in Scotland. Imported to Pennsylvania in 74. Converted to a Café racer, converted back. Ridden to Los Angeles. Converted to a Café racer. Converted back. Ridden back to Pennsylvania and sold to the second owner in 1976. I have (supposedly) all service records - head never off and gearbox never opened. Has the original black cap mufflers. It came with plastic airbox but it had a K&N air cleaner installed when I bought it in 2014 from the 2nd owner.

The bike doesn't have a lot of miles but it made it to CA and back - supposedly 6-days each way.
 
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I put 740 miles on mine over the weekend without much drama, but it is a pretty well sorted and maintained machine. It definitely is doable, but you need to have the confidence in the machine.

It also depends where you plan riding. I avoid freeways and high traffic areas when ever possible. I also have a very bright head light and an upgraded front brake. Being seen and the ability to stop are key IMHO when riding in modern traffic.

I would absolutely go through the bike completely before attempting something like this but Its good to know that a good weekend ride isnt out of the scope of the Commando. If the bike doesn manage to make it into my garage permanently, it will get ridden!

My motorcycle philosophy is 95% B roads (or more) and the highway is avoided unless completely necessary.

Los Angeles was my home for about 15 years and I rode almost every single day so I totally agree with your statement regarding being seen. It's critical!

The Speed Triple was my LA traffic weapon. That poor thing is pushing 40k now

For the Triumph fans.....

eatpasta_Triumph%2520Speed%2520Triple%2520Shoot_Triple346_zps05ddf373.jpg
 

Richard Tool

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I wont have any news about that for a bit - i still dont know what the fate is of this bike. I do really want it, though.

Not sure if anyone here is familiar with Peter Egan but he wrote an article about a trip that he and his wife took on their Norton and.....well it didn't end on a happy note.

How do these bikes do if you actually want to ride them? Would it be reasonable to want to take this thing out for a nice 300 mile Sunday ride? I wouldnt be commuting on it or anything but I do ride my bikes quite a lot and it's not out of the question to have a 1k day every now and then on a more contemporary ride.
Love to read anything by Peter Egan - I recall an article he wrote about how he loved his Norton but it was unreliable and how his Honda CB 750 four set him free . True enough, back then .
Fast forward to now . All the foibles of Commandos are known with a plethora of fixes and almost every component is available new.
Try to find bits for 1970 Honda 750 four - you better be lucky and diligent. Once you go through the Norton start small and expand your range as you grow with it and keep after it . I go out on mine for day trips up to 100 -150 miles round trip and frankly that’s enough but I am 68 . Plenty of folks here on this site won’t hesitate to take theirs on the long jaunts you ask about .
 
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Love to read anything by Peter Egan - I recall an article he wrote about how he loved his Norton but it was unreliable and how his Honda CB 750 four set him free . True enough, back then .
Fast forward to now . All the foibles of Commandos are known with a plethora of fixes and almost every component is available new.
Try to find bits for 1970 Honda 750 four - you better be lucky and diligent. Once you go through the Norton start small and expand your range as you grow with it and keep after it . I go out on mine for day trips up to 100 -150 miles round trip and frankly that’s enough but I am 68 . Plenty of folks here on this site won’t hesitate to take theirs on the long jaunts you ask about .

This is all great to hear - I like working on stuff but I do have my limits

:)

There is a 1975 CB400F that Ive owned for about 15 years now. That poor bike has been run hard and put away wet since I bought it (by accident) from eBay for $900 with no license plate or title.

Pretty amazing machine though as the only issue its ever given me since I bought it was a fuse blew once.

The two bike are from the same decade but I dont think they could be more different. Two wheels, handlebars and a single headlight is where their similarities end!

That little four is an absolutely incredible powerplant - I have embarrassed a few sportbikes in my day in the canyons above Malibu on that little screamer
 

gortnipper

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This is all great to hear - I like working on stuff but I do have my limits

:)

There is a 1975 CB400F that Ive owned for about 15 years now. That poor bike has been run hard and put away wet since I bought it (by accident) from eBay for $900 with no license plate or title.

Pretty amazing machine though as the only issue its ever given me since I bought it was a fuse blew once.

The two bike are from the same decade but I dont think they could be more different. Two wheels, handlebars and a single headlight is where their similarities end!

That little four is an absolutely incredible powerplant - I have embarrassed a few sportbikes in my day in the canyons above Malibu on that little screamer
I had a 400 four in the 80s. Two of them, actually, though one wasnt a runner and was a big fern stand in our living room. The Commando spoiled them for me. Kinda felt like riding a sewing machine after the Norton.

I would not hesitate riding the Commando two thousand k's at one stretch, and have done a couple of times. But, I have had the bike apart to every nut and bolt, so I understand most of it.
 
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