Front Brake 850 MK3, improve braking (2019)

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Have you tried it with other grips?

The Norton brake is no worse than any other disc of that era in my experience. If you know of anyone who has a Honda CB750 with standard brakes ask them, or better still ask to ride it.

I suspect you are right. I had a 71 Commando back in the day (drum front brake) and, frankly at the time, I had no complaints at all about the brakes; they were certainly as good or better than Hondas and Kawasakis I also road back then. IOW, at the time, they were good brakes. I never had a disc-brake Commando back in the day but reports indicated they were better than the drums so, again, at the time they were probably at least average as moto disc brakes went.

Sure, by today's standards the original brakes suck but the only issue as far as improving them to modern capability is mostly based on whether you want to retain some/all/none of the original appearance.

Heck, as far as that goes, there is nothing a Norton Commando has that doesn't suck compared to the current standards/expectations for a motorcycle...other than its appearance! ;)
 

cliffa

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Now we are getting down to grips. Forget about it.

First off, there isn't anything of the stock Norton disc brake worth saving. Replace it all; rotor, caliper, master cylinder and brake line. Once you done that you'll wonder what in the hell Norton was trying to do when they designed their disc brake.
Have you tried it with other grips?

The Norton brake is no worse than any other disc of that era in my experience. If you know of anyone who has a Honda CB750 with standard brakes ask them, or better still ask to ride it.

I may be wrong but I very much doubt Norton we’re responsible for the actual spec. of the system, that was probably laid out by AP Lockheed.


Cheers,

cliffa.
 

robs ss

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The Norton brake is no worse than any other disc of that era in my experience.

I was loaned a Moto Guzzi 850 T3 for several months in 1978 and remember being impressed by the good brakes. It did have cast iron discs that went red-rusty in a heavy overnight dew though!

It was better than the Suzuki GS850 shaftie (ss discs) I bought in 1979 - although it was a great bike.

Cheers
Rob
 
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I was loaned a Moto Guzzi 850 T3 for several months in 1978 and remember being impressed by the good brakes. It did have cast iron discs that went red-rusty in a heavy overnight dew though!

It was better than the Suzuki GS850 shaftie (ss discs) I bought in 1979 - although it was a great bike.

Cheers
Rob

The Brembo setup on Italian iron was definitely the best stock setup in the day, but even that only came into production when the MkIIIs were already on the road.
Jap bikes with stainless discs... :eek: And single piston calipers :( I remember seeing warning stickers on them about the lack of wet weather performance.

That said, NVT stuff came out of the factory with chrome plated discs...
 

trident sam

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I suspect you are right. I had a 71 Commando back in the day (drum front brake) and, frankly at the time, I had no complaints at all about the brakes; they were certainly as good or better than Hondas and Kawasakis I also road back then. IOW, at the time, they were good brakes. I never had a disc-brake Commando back in the day but reports indicated they were better than the drums so, again, at the time they were probably at least average as moto disc brakes went.

Sure, by today's standards the original brakes suck but the only issue as far as improving them to modern capability is mostly based on whether you want to retain some/all/none of the original appearance.

Heck, as far as that goes, there is nothing a Norton Commando has that doesn't suck compared to the current standards/expectations for a motorcycle...other than its appearance! ;)


From what I've read in the past, the first design Commando disc set up was that good that Norton deemed it too powerful and likely to cause accidents. It was then redesigned ()probably by use of a bigger master cyl) into the unit we all know and don't love. !

sam
 
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baz

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From what I've read in the past, the first design Commando disc set up was that good that Norton deemed it too powerful and likely to cause accidents. It was then redesigned ()probably by use of a bigger master cyl) into the unit we all know and don't love. !

sam
That's what I read too
It was said at the time that they detuned the front brake because their biggest market was America
And they didn't want to be sued over a too powerful brake!
Does anybody know if this was true?
I assume America already had a blame culture back then?
But these days it's also big in the UK
 

baz

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Have you tried it with other grips?

The Norton brake is no worse than any other disc of that era in my experience. If you know of anyone who has a Honda CB750 with standard brakes ask them, or better still ask to ride it.

I may be wrong but I very much doubt Norton we’re responsible for the actual spec. of the system, that was probably laid out by AP Lockheed.


Cheers,

cliffa.
Yep I have had a couple of early 750 Honda's the brakes a truly bad compared to a commando disc brake
 
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That's what I read too
It was said at the time that they detuned the front brake because their biggest market was America
And they didn't want to be sued over a too powerful brake!
Does anybody know if this was true?
I assume America already had a blame culture back then?
But these days it's also big in the UK
Not sure if that is true, most Americans seem to think that a front brake is for decoration only.
 

jaydee75

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I rode a friends 73 BMW and almost paniced at the first turn..........brakes were terrible. Maybe Norton wasn't so bad after all back then.
Jaydee
 
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I rode a friends 73 BMW and almost paniced at the first turn..........brakes were terrible. Maybe Norton wasn't so bad after all back then.
Jaydee


My experience with a 1973 R75 was quite to the contrary. Brakes were more than adequate, for the period. Of all the disc brake bikes I’ve ridden Norton had the poorest front disc brake, by far.
 
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I have one, it brings the lever in nearer the grip but can't say if it improves leverage as I added it as part of 3 upgrades, they worked but no idea on which of the 3 made the improvement.
 

click

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I have one, it brings the lever in nearer the grip but can't say if it improves leverage as I added it as part of 3 upgrades, they worked but no idea on which of the 3 made the improvement.

Thanks for the feedback :)
 
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Running this on my 850 Removed broken link
with a CNW adapted switchgear to a Brembo 13mm Master / lever assembly
Removed broken link

JD
 
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click

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Running this on my 850 Removed broken link
with a CNW adapted switchgear to a Brembo 13mm Master / lever assembly
Removed broken link

JD

Very nice setup, what model of Brembo caliper are you using? also what is the make of disc?

Did you ever run the standard brake setup?, if yes how does your current setup compare?
 
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DevonNorton

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While all you 'old men' reminisce about the good/bad old days of braking ;)

The burning question still is:

Has anybody tried the Lockheed racing brake lever? https://www.rgmnorton.co.uk/buy/lockheed-racing-brake-lever-fits-norton-highly-recommended_2378.htm
It seemingly gives more leverage?? hence more braking power?? discuss . . . . . .

I have one of these fitted to my '72 Roadster. Other than that the front brake is standard.

The replacement lever does improve the brake slightly. The only evidence I have for this is that I can now 'hold' the bike using the front brake on the steep slope leaving home whereas before fitting I struggled.

I have only had to make one emergency brake and manoeuvre recently - avoiding collision with a car swerving around a another car stopped at a light - and the brake did its job slowing me down rapidly from 40mph to 10mph.

I plan to try and take some brake distance measurements and gradually improve braking. I have the madass master cylinder sleeve kit to fit next.

Andy
 

click

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I have one of these fitted to my '72 Roadster. Other than that the front brake is standard.

The replacement lever does improve the brake slightly. The only evidence I have for this is that I can now 'hold' the bike using the front brake on the steep slope leaving home whereas before fitting I struggled.

I have only had to make one emergency brake and manoeuvre recently - avoiding collision with a car swerving around a another car stopped at a light - and the brake did its job slowing me down rapidly from 40mph to 10mph.

I plan to try and take some brake distance measurements and gradually improve braking. I have the madass master cylinder sleeve kit to fit next.

Andy

Hi Andy,

That's great feedback.

Thanks for replying.
 
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While all you 'old men' reminisce about the good/bad old days of braking... ;)

I can't figure out why a 'young guy' would ever want one of these motorcycles!

"young guy" = anyone who hit teenage years after UJMs were invented and thus should know better! ;)
 
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