Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycle Rebuilds' started by lcrken, Jan 23, 2016.
One of the top 10 understatements of the year so far...
Front axle and spacers done to fit wheel to Ohlins forks.
Bike with front wheel installed and rear wheel trial fitted, in the process of making spacers and rear caliper bracket.
Awesome looking build Ken, top quality in every way possible. Really fun to watch it come together, Are you planning on Bonneville this year? Chuck.
Thanks, Chuck. I'm really enjoying this build.
I am planning to run at Bonneville this year. I've just got back to working on the ultra short stroke 750 engine again, hoping to have it ready for El Mirage in July. I'd like to have a good run there before going to Bonneville. Running at Bonneville has become quite expensive, so I'd like to be sure the bike works well before spending all that cash.
We normally run at the motorcycles only AMA Bonneville Nationals (previously the BUB event) the last week in August, and might do that again this year. But we're also thinking about running with SCTA again this year at the World Finals in October. Also looking at the USFRA meet in mid-September, which we've never been to. That's the one that includes classes for motorized bar stools and similar weirdness, which is kind of appealing. They also run the normal classes and are SCTA sanctioned, so any records set are SCTA records.
Rear brake caliper bracket and wheel spacers are finished, I think. Might later do a little weight reduction on the bracket.
Next up are front caliper brackets. Should be simpler than the rear. This is a picture of one of the calipers showing more or less where it's going to end up mounted. Mounts should be simple flat plates.
Outstanding as usual Ken, thanks for posting! I'm really enjoying watching your project come together. I think your rear wheel spacers, bracket & caliper all together weigh less than just my stock MkIII steel caliper bracket weighs, and the stock caliper...well, faaaget aboud it
Looking better by the day Ken!
Great thread, and an inspiration to us all.
Not sure you'll inspire us all to follow your Red Caliper lead though....!
When do you think 'fire it up day' will be?
the red calipers are a pair of Beringers that I bought a long time ago to fit on one of my singles racers, but never used. Same story on the Kosman disks. Now in my old age, I'm trying to use up some of those stockpiled parts. The front brakes are definitely overkill for the Commando, but at least I won't ever have to worry about them fading! Fortunately, I'm planning to paint the bike red, so at least the colors will be coordinated.
No idea when it will get fired up the first time, but I'm certainly looking forward to that day.
Especially dig the TZ mags, forks and overall non-chrome/polish look. All business! Looking forward to seeing what you'll do for bodywork, fenders, cockpit.
So, I finally have all the calipers mounted. I think I must be improving. This time I only had to make three front mounts to get two right. Usually I would expect to make at least four to get two good ones. You will probably notice that the two mounts are not symmetrical. I discovered that the left side lugs on the fork slider are offset more from the fork center line than are those on the right. I speculate that this is so you could fit a speedo drive on the left. In any case, that's why I ended up making three mounts. I assumed the right side would be a mirror image of the left, so that's what I first made. There's probably a lesson there about making assumptions, but I'm sure I'll forget about by the next project.
These are pictures of my setups for rounding the ends and cutting some bevels on the angles.
As soon as I make some bar mounts, I'll at least be able to roll it around.
All that fancy equipment Ken... PAH...!
When you get as good as me, all you need is a hacksaw and a file. And a hammer...!
There's a lot of truth in that! I spent some time as a student in a machine shop class in school back in the late '50s, when the first things we learned were the really basic ones like cutting, drilling, filing, forging, etc. It's really amazing what a skilled person can do with just hammers, chisels, and files.
Nevertheless, I still lust after some modern CNC equipment. But it's not in my budget for the foreseeable future, and I'm not sure I have a spare year to learn how to use it properly.
In the end, I'm just grateful for the tools I have now. My lathe is pretty worn out, and needs some repairs. I traded a small collection of military rifles for it over 35 years ago, and have never regretted the deal. I bought the mill around 30 years ago with part of the proceeds from selling my TZ 750 (the rest of the $ went towards the TIG machine), and it needs rebuilding and repair. But I'm used to their limitations by now, and still get a lot of pleasure out of their use.
With enough patience and care, a clapped out old lathe and mill can do wonders.
Not only do I not have either machine, I don't have the patience and skill! I thank God for my custom-knifemaker friend Enrique who allows me full access to his machine shop. I'm still pressing him heavily to invest in a CNC machine; he's considering doubling the size of his shop and obtaining a decent one, along with a waterjet cutter...
Had to laugh when I saw this....it made me think of my uncle on my Dad's side, he was born in 1917. He made Sudbury/ Bury ST. Edmonds his home after moving out of London. Anyway he went into an apprenticeship for mechinist trade and he told me the story of how one of their assignments was to make a perfect cube from a chunk of steel using hand tools. He showed me his and it looked quite perfect to me....he went on to say some of the other guys' cubes got quite a bit smaller than his before passing muster. He might have been bragging but he was a pretty understated and quiet guy. He used to race speedway on 500cc bikes after the war, and then later switched to stock cars.
Part of my City and Guilds Mechanical Engineering exam was to use two plates of steel , one large one and cut a square hole and to file at exactly .750in square and similarly file another square to fit exactly into it, we were only allowed to use a pillar drill a hammer and chisel and files, also a surface plate and clock gauge and angle bracket- a real lesson on fitting to get pass the exam.
You quickly had to stamp your own number on it to stop anyone else from swapping it with theirs :!:
Really nice Ken. When I decided to put to get another Commando back in the early 2000's my plan was to build the bike I had always wanted back when I used to go by H.P.I. George Gjonovich's shop in Garden Grove as a kid and drool. I wanted to sort of "resto mod" one as in better brakes and a rear disc modification for a pre MKIII bike because I still like the simplicity of the 74 & earlier bikes and shifting on the right. Unlike you I do not have the lath & mill or the skills to use them and as it turns out I am still struggling to find the time just to make my current 73, 850 nice and on the road. I don't mean to hijack the thread but speaking of George Gjonovich, I remember you saying that you once bought a flat track bike from John Hatley, used the motor in your Prody Racer and sold the chassi to George and he built and installed another motor in it. You said it eventually went to someone who had been a Norton factory racer now in Texas who was restoring it and some other historically significant bikes. I was wondering if you remembered who that person is and had any info on him, the bikes he restored or any pictures of these bikes. Also If you have any pictures of any of the bikes that George Gjonovich built I would love to see them. I know I have some old Poloroid pictures of them but I haven't been able to find them. I was just about 19 or 20 ridding my 72, 750 Dunstallized combat when I became friends with George and saddly he passed shortly after that time. I never even got to see him race. Did he ride hiss road race & drag bikes or did he have others pilot them? Thanks, Glenn T. S.
Hi Glenn. The chassis is now owned by Bill Milburne in Texas. I've lost his address, but will PM his phone and email to you. I haven't talked to him for a while, and don't have a lot of info on his bikes. I do know that he has both Norton and Triumph factory bikes. He was one of the NVT factory racers for a while.
I don't have any pictures of George's bikes. I didn't t take a lot of pictures back then, before digital cameras.
While waiting for some materials to make an offset, cush drive rear sprocket carrier, I managed to get a couple other details done. I might eventually do a little contouring on them to round them off a bit, or maybe not.
These handlebar mounts put the bars at about the same position as on a stock Commando. I'm just waiting to get some correct size bolts for them.
I wasn't sure I could use the stock rear fender with this rear tire size, but it looks like it will work. New stainless fender from Andover, classic British bike tail light from Old Britts, and new rear indicators from my old stock. I'm planning to find a way to also mount a stock front headlight and turn indicators. I'm trying to keep it still looking like a Commando as much as possible.
Nest step is the cush drive, and then I can finish up the primary side bits.
Looking beautiful Ken!
It's hard to say what I like most... You seem to be making every part of this build special. The adjustable yokes are really cool...