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Old 01-29-2012, 10:13 PM   #31
lemieuxmc
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Location: East La Jolla... it's just Clairemont!!
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Originally Posted by lrutt View Post
What hack is that?
That's a Velorex that I reinforced the frame, built the mounts for, and stiffened up with wooden ribs inside, to make it strong enough to open up the cockpit and accomodate a really big cooler for my "Sidecar Soda Service" vending business.

A nice side effect is that my wife likes riding around in it (slow and easy roads) because it's not claustrophobic.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:59 AM   #32
lrutt
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I thought it was a velo. I have on on a CB750 Honda but it's so damned hard to get in and out of. I'd likely not open it up that much but at least some. Interesting.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:53 PM   #33
Lomax
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I just picked up my second 73 commando and found this old thread. Looks like I will be doing swing arm bushings and front brake resealing at least.

A book is on the way. If anyone has good advice on the swing arm bushings and front brake, like tips or places to find parts, it would be greatly appreciated.

My old 74:




Hopefully the new 73 will come out even better.

Marc
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06 KTM 450EXC, 84 R100RS LE, 89 XL600V, 2012 Stelvio, 2013 V7R, 73 850 Commando, 78 CT90, 14 Ural, 74 Eldorado police, 64 R50/2
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:14 PM   #34
concours
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lomax View Post
I just picked up my second 73 commando and found this old thread. Looks like I will be doing swing arm bushings and front brake resealing at least.

A book is on the way. If anyone has good advice on the swing arm bushings and front brake, like tips or places to find parts, it would be greatly appreciated.

My old 74:




Hopefully the new 73 will come out even better.

Marc
Most likely it's the swing arm PIVOT SHAFT wobbling in the engine cradle causing the movement. Learn about the Kegler mod, http://www.accessnorton.com/heinz-ke...kegler#p223153


www.accessnorton.com has a lot of good info. www.oldbritts.com is a premier (AWESOME service, stock, quality) parts supplier.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:57 PM   #35
Steve G.
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Originally Posted by rudolf35 View Post
I have a lead on a 73 850 Commando. The bike was ridden to the current owners location and the fuel drained and then it has been sitting for 12 years. The bike is kicked over (not started but just turned over) once a month so the motor spins free, not frozen. I am waiting for images but would love to know what issues, Norton specific, I might run into. I have spooled up many BMW's and other British iron but never a Norton. Any info would be of value.


I've had my 11/73 Commando Interstate since 1988, and also have a '72 Combat that's been in the family since 1990. It has been said that the 850 right hand shift Nortons are the best of the Commando's. Not really the most collectable, but by far the best daily driver, most reliable, and nicest most happy engine. The 850 really has it all compared to all other English twins pre: 1990. It's got proper head cooling, proper oiling, and with the superblend mains as standard, the bottom end virtually unburstable.

As has been mentioned, everything is still available for them [heck, Les Emery still sells new versions of the Mk11a new in England] and the modification potential in all aspects is endless,,,,brakes, ignition, charging, carburetion, power, handling,,,all can be vastly and easily improved. It's still a great bike left bone stock, with just slightly more regular attention than a Japanese bike of the same era.

The biggest weak points of the early 850's were the continued regular checking of the isolastic points on the bike. Left on their own, the Norton show's why it got it's nickname [bender] as loose iso's may make the engine smoother, but will get wobbly in time. Changing to a Mk111 isolastic system is a move many make. The charging system may be getting lazy, most as the magnatism of the alternator rotor will have weakened, with it the charging output. Carburerator life suffers hanging off an 829cc virticle twin. The slides loosen in the bores, and indicate this issue with a creaping idle sitting at a traffic light as they slowly rattle up. Not a bad problem, but new improved Amal Concentrics are quite cheap and easy to get fully jetted to your bike and altitude, why not? Swingarm bushings can be buggered by owners who don't know that they are lubricated with very thick gear oil rather than grease, complimenting the Norton's "bender" monicker.

They are enduring classics, buy one and enjoy every ride, huge pride of ownership will result.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:41 AM   #36
ricochetrider
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There are more than a few upgrades and modifications for the 850 Commando.
As mentioned, the head steady is among them, also a ball valve mod in the lower end to prevent wet sumping is popular and effective. Mine (1974) has a dry clutch, primary belt drive, a single Mikuni carb, & both the above mods, among others. Runs like a beast, and steady as a rock.

There are at least a couple real Norton experts, a bunch of good people, multiple sources for parts etc, and tons of good info available at BritBike.com. Here's a link to their Norton forum pages.
Please do check them out. They are a great go-to for any Britbike owner or fan. Awesome site with really great members.

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbth...Board=3&page=1
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:32 AM   #37
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Just for my information, what is it about the '75 850's that downgrade them as opposed to the right side shift bikes....
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:14 AM   #38
norton73
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Originally Posted by Brad-Man View Post
Just for my information, what is it about the '75 850's that downgrade them as opposed to the right side shift bikes....
5 or so years ago you couldn't give a '75 away, now they are climbing in value and desirability.

The things that people didn't like about them are the things that make them desirable now.

They weigh more, due to the electric (non) starter, a little detuned from the earlier bikes, and the added complication of the crossover for the left side shift.

Now, as the riders get older, they want the electic start (there are mods that will make it work), and if they own modern bikes, don't have to remember how to shift.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:44 PM   #39
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Join the International Norton Owners Association (INOA). Then seek out and join your local chapter. A great bunch of folks, the national rally this year was in Wyoming. Then get a copy of their technical book. It's in its third edition and has just about got everything covered through the collected wisdom of the membership over the years.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:56 PM   #40
norton(kel)
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Due to the original posting date of this thread I hope the OP has been enjoying his Commando for the last two years
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:11 PM   #41
Lomax
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Jim,

After I pick this thing up I may need to pick your mind about swing arm bushings and front brakes.

Marc
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:16 PM   #42
norton(kel)
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Originally Posted by Lomax View Post
Jim,

After I pick this thing up I may need to pick your mind about swing arm bushings and front brakes.

Marc
Marc

There's not much left. but pick away


Jim
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:19 PM   #43
Lomax
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Originally Posted by norton(kel) View Post
Marc

There's not much left. but pick away


Jim
Hey I resemble that remark. When I get it and take a look I will email you and we can talk. Or I might even go out of character and call.

Marc
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:41 PM   #44
Steve G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad-Man View Post
Just for my information, what is it about the '75 850's that downgrade them as opposed to the right side shift bikes....
The weight of the electric start/sprag/hydraulic primary chain tensioner, etc. was initially the sour news when brought out in 1975,,,,soon after that the awareness of horribly inferior Portugese gearbox bearings, other that that not much, other than the left hand shift which may piss off the odd excentric purist. They had IMO a superior made and better looking steel Roadster fuel tank with hidden welds, and 1/2 gallon bigger fuel capacity over previous steel Roadster tanks. They had VASTLY better swingarm setup. The guage/dash/switchgear was extensively different, perhaps easier to understand. I've had a Mk111, restored it ground up,,,, and can't really say the switchgear was actually better or more reliable than the old stuff, but easier to understand for first time English bike riders.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:29 AM   #45
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Thanks for the info - my brotgher in law had a '70 Commando and I almost got a '75 Commando after someone hit me on my RD 350...

Still wanting one...just love the looks!
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