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new guy with a few questions

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by John P., Oct 8, 2019.

  1. John P.

    John P. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Hi. New member here—’73 850.

    Wanted to introduce myself and ask a few questions…

    My mufflers (typical peashooters) are stamped “Campbells”, and also, maybe, “replacement”, but it’s hard to read. So they’re aftermarket I assume, but does anyone know anything about them/ the company?... a period correct option?

    Also, my left side handlebar switches, the paddle type switch: what was its original function? It does nothing on my bike. And unlike it’s righthand counterpart it only has one function. It only clicks upward, being blocked internally from clicking down.

    Silly questions, I know, but I’ve become obsessed with knowing as much as I can about the bike (to which this site has already been invaluable.)

    And…

    I’ve seen a few—very few—racks/ panniers that fit the Commandos—and what a thick line it is between what’s expensive (or ugly) and my need to carry things; so I’m going to build something.

    I’ve got a few ideas but it’s turning out to be a real feat of engineering. I just need a “trunk” type rack to lash a daypack to. Or something to carry a bag of groceries. Nothing complicated, but something—I think—that must be hung off/ from the upper shock mounts and supported in the rear.

    Any ideas?... Or anyone willing to post a photo or two of a home fabricated version? I’ve seen a couple searching the site but more examples would be helpful.

    Thanks.
     
  2. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Welcome, John P,

    Yes, Campbells produced aftermarket pattern silencers/mufflers but the company ceased trading some years ago.

    As it is a two position paddle switch it should be the headlamp 'dip' (High-Low beam) switch and the RH three position switch is for the direction indicators/blinkers.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. John P.

    John P. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Brilliant! thanks.

    The bike has an amp metered headlight shell with a two position switch under it-- and that's where my hi/low ended up.
     
  4. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
  5. John P.

    John P. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    I hadn't seen that Riders Manual before... and what an opener!...

    “The Norton Commando is precision built, designed for the discerning rider who desires the ultimate in high speed motorcycling.”

    Thanks again.
     
  6. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    The seat loop on a commando frame is not known for its strength
    Although the 850 is stronger if you have the type with the longer inner shock absorber mount
    But if you are putting serious weight on the back of the bike you really need to triangulate
    IE mount on to the Z plates or you may end up with commando seat loop droop!!!
     
  7. John P.

    John P. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    I don’t plan on carrying a lot, but, yeah, it looks best to stay off that loop.

    Something cantilevered off struts coming up from shock mounts maybe, attached/ secured to a point on the grab rail (which kind of tucks under, securing closer to the main frame).

    I’m trying to design it around no one ridding pillion-- meaning, I’ll have the advantage of positioning it partially over the back half of the seat.

    This might be hard to visualize, but I’m working on it.
     
  8. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    You can follow the 850 mod and have an extra large gusset plate welded on the inside on both sides.
     
  9. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Yes you anchor off the shock mounts, and attach somewhere on the seat frame but also and importantly if you are going to put any significant weight on the rack you need to mount to the Z plates
     
    blaisestation likes this.
  10. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    The police used to weld angle iron onto the seat loop to take the weight of the radio etc etc
     
  11. John P.

    John P. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    The angle iron seems a smart idea, giving you some flats to work with/ build off.

    If I cant swing a bolt on device I'll give it some thought.

    Thanks.
     
  12. dynodave

    dynodave

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    68 69 70 (series 1) are the years with an amp meter so expect other inconsistancies...
     
  13. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
  14. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Thanks for that. It gave me some design ideas.

    I have a home made luggage rack that's ugly but functional. It attaches to the frame loop via 4 threaded blocks that I welded under the seat for a sissy bar many years ago. I figure the weight that I'll ever put there (a couple six-packs?) would not harm the frame, especially with the reinforced 850 loop. This winter it'll be redesigned in stainless with the stock grab rail, for better looks. I only carry a tail bag with rain gear, maps, and a few tools but it's really handy to have.

    [​IMG]
     
    cash likes this.
  15. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    I felt the need for some kind of a luggage capability too and I didn't like the look of the craven hard bags that are traditionally mounted on british bikes. Once I got started researching, of course I got carried away because I saw the Bruce Chessel made, hard bags and rack that canucknortonnut here has, which were beautiful. Mine are not as well integrated into the lines of the bike because it was a first attempt.

    Unfortunately, canuck's pictures have the dreaded photobucket blur on them so his thread's pictures are useless to repost. Thankfully, I copied one of his pictures to save for my research, so here is Thomas's givi bag mount below. I'm not sure of the details of his mounting points, but it's a great look.

    thomases saddle bag norton.jpg


    I thought that I posted a thread on my givi luggage mount for my commando, but I couldn't find it with the search function, so maybe I didn't post it. Anyway, here's 2 pictures below.

    Just the frame:
    [​IMG]

    bags clipped on the bike
    [​IMG]
     
  16. holtcorseaux

    holtcorseaux VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Hi yes you did post those pics i have seen them sure.
    I bought a rack from:
    https://www.classicbikeracks.co.uk/product-category/norton/

    For £75 plus about £10 shipping I was very happy. It was not polished but I did that. Very nicely made and sturdy. I have made some struts in case any heavy load but they look the pits so normally leave them off.



    best Martin
     

    Attached Files:

  17. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Interpol tank with tank bag popped into the radio slot carrying the heavy stuff and the Classic Bike Racks stainless rear rack.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. John P.

    John P. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    There are few pictures/ ideas here that got me thinking, so thanks (this is all really helpful).

    I feel I’m on the right track mounting the load at the shock mounts then somehow tying into the grab rail—the salient move being to then locate the “platform” directly over those points (where the passenger sits). The big geometry problem back there seems to be keeping the load forward, and not creating a lever worse than it needs to be.

    When I get further into the build I’ll look into how to post photos (then I can stop trying to explain this with words).

    A question arose in thinking about this though—which might be getting me a little too far into the weeds (but I’d like to hear anyone’s opinion)…

    I wonder how much of the passenger’s weight is offset be the operator. These seats (with pillion) seem like they can kind of behave like a seesaw board, having a pivot point. My seat has none of the bumpers, so it’s kind of floating (and I’ve taken my girlfriend for plenty of rides already with no weirdness.)

    I wonder because if the operator’s weight isn’t doing the heavy lifting—and the passengers load lands below the passenger (aft of the shock mount/ before the end of the seat)—is to say that that part of the loop (alone) can carry 150plus pounds (…at speed, and over bumps too). If compressed my seat’s back end land on the grabrail mounts.

    I won’t be resting my rack on the seat, but if I tie into where the passengers weight falls (and load over it—not away from it) I should, arguably, be able to carry a passenger on my rack, yes?

    Or, again, the operator is holding them up, and their weight alone would collapse the bikes back end.

    Either way, I should be fine, but I did have the thought.
     
  19. John P.

    John P. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    ...not that I would carry a passenger on my rack.
     
  20. zefer

    zefer VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    I have 2 sets of soft bags that CNW used to produce and sell,also it incorporated a slick little rack that would hold a small nelson riggs roll...plenty of room for a weekend
     

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