Norton Prospect (2016)

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New guy here some Norton Commando questions, I have a bad hanker'in for a Commando been like that for 25 years Norton on the brain, Ive never ridden a Norton and never seen one up close and personal so maybe I don't know what I am getting into , anyway the time is getting near a Norton is in my future, in mind I hanker for a black Commando with gold letters, stock with low bars and end mirror and disk brakes, left side shift, that said I know nothing about Commandos but imop they are the best looking bikes ever made and that is exactly why I want one its all about the look sorta, but I need performance and reliability too , reliability is a must and performance well as long as a Commando is not a slug and can handle the twistiest and stop better than a drum brake bike I'll be happy, I've ridden lots of Jap bikes and H-D's , I hope a Commando can out perform a stock HD big twin , or be comparable to a old school 70's era 750 cc Jap bike, what do ya'll think do I sound like Norton material or should I stick to the Jap bikes?
 

lazyeye6

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I think it would be a good idea to actually see one in person, sit on it and if possible start and ride it.
Only then will you know if your hankerin' is gonna work out. Oh!, and be willing to part with at least $7500 for a reliable example, AND have the mechanical aptitude and desire to wrench on it. :wink:
 
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Triumph made motorcycles too . Generally Tougher for Desert Racing etc ,. ( Hard use / Abuse )

Anything thats not meticulously maintained will tend toward ' issues ' if youre treating it like a G P bike .

Once you could pick up a old surplous aeroplane for a few grand , and a scrapyard motor ( low time , new , or overhauled ) for 500 bucks .

Times have changed .

If you want a ' ace built ' bike , your in for a penny or three . If thats no problem , fine .

You need to find your local Brit Bike club / Ride Day , and turn up to see the wares . sights'n sounds .

But Generally Pommy M'Cycle riders needed to be ace accomplished mechanics , with a understanding of engineering principals , Newtons Law , and the theory of relativity .

If you dont like being left in the weeds in the twisties , Built a Rickman or Seely CB or Z1 . :p

Were Some Fantastic R III projects on ebay in the last few years . A RICKMAN COMMANDO would be Far Better . Ground Up . Mix 'n match .

75 on engine , Weber Carb, big valve . Belt Primary . 180 W Alt. Tough Aftermarket 5 speed . Some Brakes that work !
of course a electric start is extra weight and isonly for girls and old men ! :twisted:

9289205687_1398d07348_b.jpg


yoiks , theres thousands of em , these days . :shock:

Were Designed for a Big Single ( G 45 ) so are sort of the PII ( desrt racer Norton ) of the Road Racers . ( these were races on roads- not twits who treated roads as racetracks )

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Not Many People would get a 50 year old machine for everyday transport . Primarilly due to economics. If they loved and coddled and were on first name terms with every component , it'd help .

Post 75 Triumphs are Left Foot Shift too , if your encumbered there ., Can tune up for 140 mph , if the accostics arnt too important . ( Not a City Slicker )
or the could close new york , then the reverberations of the tall buildings , using the streets as a race circuit , would be worth recording . :D

P.R. T140 Got the British P.R. Champs in 78 ?? was good for 145 .

A well Built Fast 750 / 850 Norton Motor Would too , but theres better chassis , at that speed . The FIRST thingi it needs is Greater Oil Capacity ( a gallon ) for that game , :shock: 8)
Theres a fairly long list of other tripe too . But a Z1 will only do 131 . a 650 Triumph CAN do that , if you know what your up to . Unstreamlined .

New second hand triumphs are half the price, used. A Rebuild on one thats visted the scenery ( Theres pklenty of ugly stupid customs around ) would be more practical . If your endowed with a brain .
 
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I hope a Commando can out perform a stock HD big twin ,

ANYTHING can outperform a stock HD Big Twin , or the post office would use them , not CG110s .

power / weight . chassis . brakes . a XR 750 / 1200 could be a differant story . If you used a 750 chassis on the 1200 .
Take a chainsaw to a new T bird write off , should have some sauce , if you got the weight down it might start to dosomething.
Or Put a 2.3 RIII in the Rickman Frame . :wink:
 

maylar

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Jackman said:
New guy here some Norton Commando questions, I have a bad hanker'in for a Commando been like that for 25 years Norton on the brain, Ive never ridden a Norton and never seen one up close and personal so maybe I don't know what I am getting into , anyway the time is getting near a Norton is in my future, in mind I hanker for a black Commando with gold letters, stock with low bars and end mirror and disk brakes, left side shift,

Black with gold is very common. Bar end mirrors can be fitted, but were not stock. Front disc brakes were standard from 1972 on, and rear disc was added in 1975 with the MKIII Electric Start model, which also had left side shift. The MKIII is in high demand nowadays because lots of the old farts who lust after these vintage machines have issues with kickstarting a big twin.

that said I know nothing about Commandos but imop they are the best looking bikes ever made and that is exactly why I want one its all about the look sorta, but I need performance and reliability too , reliability is a must and performance well as long as a Commando is not a slug and can handle the twistiest and stop better than a drum brake bike I'll be happy,

Yes, they're beautiful. And accepted in any crowd, from rice boys to HD freaks. I get a big grin when someone pulls along side me on the highway just to stare and give a thumbs up.

Remember that these bikes are now 40+ years old. Reliability is a function of how well they were maintained. There are also some common "upgrades" to electrics and certain oil seals that can enhance reliability. But in 41 years my Commando has only left me stranded once, and that was a broken spring in the gearbox.

I've ridden lots of Jap bikes and H-D's , I hope a Commando can out perform a stock HD big twin , or be comparable to a old school 70's era 750 cc Jap bike, what do ya'll think do I sound like Norton material or should I stick to the Jap bikes?

A typical Commando makes about 60 HP on 450 lbs. Zero to 60 was touted to be 4.1 seconds. The end of 2nd gear gets you to highway speeds with a smile. I've spanked Sportsters and 70's era 750's, but today's multi valve fuel injected monsters are untouchable. My brother's HD VROD eats my Norton for lunch. If fast is what you want, then look elsewhere.

The Commando does everything well and nothing perfectly. It's a sports bike, but can't compete with a Kawazuki. It can be trimmed for touring, but it's not a Road King or V Star. And the're very pretty.
 
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It's a pretty simple choice... Either you want to ride a vintage bike of a past era, with all the characteristics and challenges of the primitive technology of that era, or you want some modern bike with modern technology.

You can buy incredible modern bikes these days. Everything from GP race bikes with road going gear (headlights and directionals), to giant touring bikes with a full faring and luggage compartments all over the bike. A stock norton commando is an elegant, simple sportbike of a long gone era of motorcycle technology. IMO, the beauty of the commando is that it still rides and handles well enough to keep up with modern traffic and is fun to ride in the twisties. It won't compete with 90 hp superbikes, but most people will put a 90 hp superbike into a ditch at some point... so maybe "less HP" is actually a better thing...

My love for my bike stems from bringing it home as a project when I was a 19 year old kid. If I had brought home a ducatti or a BMW back then, I'd probably have the same affection for those bikes as I have for my norton.

Mostly, I've gotten over the "norton mistique". It's a fun bike, but it has limitations and flaws which were part of that era of technology. Back in the day, I knew a guy who dealt norton parts, who talked up the norton mistique to the point where he gave the impression that stock commandos had magical powers... He was a nice guy to me, but kind of wrapped up in a myth that doesn't hold up.

A stock commando is a solid performer on the road, but isn't going to keep up with modern superbikes. With that being said, they certainly are fun to ride and have plenty of power for riding around on the roads. I've done 140mph on my old honda down a hill on the hiway with a rider on the back. I would be afraid to try to hit 100mph in the same place being 2 up on the norton....

Good luck in your choice...
 
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The 961 is a "Commando" only in name. Different frame, rigidly mounted engine, no Isolastics. If riding comfort is a big thing for you, a Classic Commando is the only way to get a Norton that's comfortable.
 

L.A.B.

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frankdamp said:
rigidly mounted engine, no Isolastics. If riding comfort is a big thing for you, a Classic Commando is the only way to get a Norton that's comfortable.

The 961 engine has a balancer shaft so it doesn't need Isolastics.
 

Deets55

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grandpaul said:
concours said:
Left shift means ONLY 1975 MKIII model.
Correct answer.

Didn't realize the 961 was a right side shift. Was just joking around with Pete (Concours) because of his newly acquired, beautiful red 961.
 
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I would at the very least hope you can turn wrenches for yourself. Reliability is all in the eye of the beholder. Will you ever be able to ride it 10k miles and in those miles never adjust anything? HELL NO!!!!!!! Just remember, even if you aren't mechanical, it's a bike and is caveman simple so you should be able to learn quite quickly.
 

Onder

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Right now I have two brit bikes on the road. That way I can have a better chance that I have something to ride at any given time.
Keeping them ready to go is almost more than a fellow has time for and Im retired!

The easiest to live with would be a 73-74 Triumph single carb.

The most comfortable to ride but less easy to live with is the Commando.

The Trident is harder to build right harder to keep right and slightly less comfy than the Commando.

The BSA twin is slightly less than the Triumph twin all around.

The Enfield twin is less than any of the above all around and really only for guys with a full
machine shop ( and staff) and a really good bank balance.
 
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Thanks for the info! I'm going to be a lurker here at accessnorton just gathering knowledge for my up coming Commando buy, decision made I must have a Commando a, Triumph or any other Brit bike will not do Ha Ha . I'm a old guy 55 years old and do my own mechanical work short of machine shop stuff, I can handle what ever the Commando mechanical issues hand me , just hope my expectations on ride power and handling are not disappointed. Pics when I find my Commando.
 

concours

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Deets55 said:
grandpaul said:
concours said:
Left shift means ONLY 1975 MKIII model.
Correct answer.

Didn't realize the 961 was a right side shift. Was just joking around with Pete (Concours) because of his newly acquired, beautiful red 961.
Mistaken identity. I don't have a 961. Tiger 1050, yes. OTOH, my bud came out for a ride last night with his new-to-him 5 year old Thruxton... the cookie cutter cafe racer proved to be a TASTY SNACK for the vintage Cdo. :oops:
 

Deets55

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Mistaken identity. I don't have a 961. Tiger 1050, yes. OTOH, my bud came out for a ride last night with his new-to-him 5 year old Thruxton... the cookie cutter cafe racer proved to be a TASTY SNACK for the vintage Cdo. :oops:[/quote]

Are you sure you don't have a 961? :D

Got you confused with Contours :oops: FUBAR

Continue on gentleman
 
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Just buy one and learn - it must like having an affair with a super model - you know it's wrong but you just can't stay away from it
 
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Onder said:
Right now I have two brit bikes on the road. That way I can have a better chance that I have something to ride at any given time.
Keeping them ready to go is almost more than a fellow has time for and Im retired!
I think I am going to invent a tow bar that allows me to ride one, and rotate to the next one when it breaks down. 71 750 Commando, 72 650 Bonnie, 73 850 Commando, 75 Trident, 79 Bonnie, and an 84 R100 in my garage that is my dads that I get to store due to him not telling his wife/my mom about :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: So I have a bunch to cycle through.
 
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Jackman,

Before you leap and buy a vintage Norton Commando, I recommend that you take a look at the Colorado Norton Works internet site. Not that you should have Matt build you a bike BUT the photo gallery section shows what their potential is in terms of aesthetics and the PARTS section would inform you as to what has been developed to make these old vintage bikes better than when they were new. Vintage Nortons came with a lot of problems/issues; most of them have been sorted out over the years and there are viable fixes. The cNw site may well give you an idea of what to fix/upgrade. Good luck.
 
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