Welcome to the Access Norton Forum. Login as a VIP member to remove the advertising banners.


Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Member's Norton Restoration Projects

Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby grandpaul » Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:45 pm

I just sold a '70 Commando 'bobber' for a friend (Mark), and the buyer (Alistair) decided he wanted me to make some changes before he takes delivery. He really has forethought on this, he calculated that if he got the bike and started making the changes himself, it would possibly get stood in the corner indefinitely if there were some setback or delay, rather than being ridden and enjoyed.

It started as a standard Roadster (I believe, still waiting on photos as it was before Mark tore it down the first time). I did some of the labor and farmed out the red powdercoat, polishing and machine work. I also acquired most of the overhaul parts for it, tires, and miscellaneous stuff. Mark wanted a "beach bum bobber" look, so it had a 16" wide rear wheel with big 'ol white sidewall, L-O-N-G pullback handlebars, and L-O-N-G chrome straight pipes. Custom rear fender bolted to the swingarm, limp noodle tail light, and we cleanly bobbed the seat.

Mark had a re-think and went to an alloy rim in the back with a standard tire, and peashooter mufflers. I swapped a set of drag bars he installed on it for these Clubman stylebars.


So, here we have the bike as it sits in my garage in great running shape, as sold on e-bay:

Image

Image

Image

Image
GrandPaul
author "Old Bikes"
too many bikes to list, including:
JPN, 952 Prototype, MkIII Interstate, Combat Dunstall, VR880 SS, Triton
User avatar
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
grandpaul
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 9459
View Photo Album - Images: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Laredo (south) Texas

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby grandpaul » Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:51 pm

The bike is rather dirty and dusty from sitting, it got ridden, not cleaned (much). I did a flush and make-run, the bike WILL do the ton (as well it should).

Boyer ignition and Sparx regulator/rectifier (and alternator)

Image

Good thing I talked Mark into saving the rear hoop after bobbing the frame. We plugged and drilled it to replace it, but it'll be welded back in place for Alistair.

Image

Meters were overhauled by Joel Levine some years ago

Image

I'll be swapping out the rough aftermarket headlight for a Lucas unit.
GrandPaul
author "Old Bikes"
too many bikes to list, including:
JPN, 952 Prototype, MkIII Interstate, Combat Dunstall, VR880 SS, Triton
User avatar
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
grandpaul
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 9459
View Photo Album - Images: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Laredo (south) Texas

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby grandpaul » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:00 pm

Alistair's punchlist (preliminary)

Weld rear hoop & powdercoat frame & (red) parts to black
Rear Excel rim, re-lace, and new front tire
Apply tank sealer & black 'Norton' decals
Swap seat for café racer/manx style
Lucas shell and ears for headlight
Re-chrome or replace rusted fittings
Side covers
Return shocks to original
Replace rear fender w/ original
Install original style tail light
Replace all fluids in the bike

Alarm clock goes off at 6:50 AM...
GrandPaul
author "Old Bikes"
too many bikes to list, including:
JPN, 952 Prototype, MkIII Interstate, Combat Dunstall, VR880 SS, Triton
User avatar
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
grandpaul
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 9459
View Photo Album - Images: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Laredo (south) Texas

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby Fullauto » Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:17 am

Thank God! That rear guard treatment is hideous. No other word for it. Ugly doesn't cut it.
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
Fullauto
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 1027
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:02 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby concours » Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:01 am

Fullauto wrote:Thank God! That rear guard treatment is hideous. No other word for it. Ugly doesn't cut it.


+1 :shock:




He'd of been way ahead buying a bike closer to his idea of "done". He'll be in deep ($$$) when done. JMWO
User avatar
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
concours
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 3051
View Photo Album - Images: 0
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:52 pm
Location: Kensington, NH USA

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby grandpaul » Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:15 am

concours wrote:He'd of been way ahead buying a bike closer to his idea of "done". He'll be in deep ($$$) when done.

Not so much. The powdercoat is the biggest deal, and it's VERY reasonable for a tear-down and rebuild. The engine runs great and all the running gear is already restored. Almost strictly cosmetics.
GrandPaul
author "Old Bikes"
too many bikes to list, including:
JPN, 952 Prototype, MkIII Interstate, Combat Dunstall, VR880 SS, Triton
User avatar
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
grandpaul
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 9459
View Photo Album - Images: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Laredo (south) Texas

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby alastairw » Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:49 pm

Alastair here.... based on what Paul and I discussed I will end up with exactly what I want with the added confidence its a solid bike. The fact I know person who built it is also a bonus. There might be a few $ difference but I believe its worth it!

alastairw
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:51 am

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby Danno » Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:37 pm

I would be interested in the solo seat, if it's for sale. I have no use for passenger accomodations (pegs are gone) but I didn't want to butcher the stock '71 Roadster seat which is in nice condition.
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
Danno
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 2184
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:42 am
Location: Southwestern Illinois

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby o0norton0o » Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:16 pm

alastairw wrote: I will end up with exactly what I want with the added confidence its a solid bike


Having rebuilt my own commando many years ago all the way down to the crank, I would much rather have the known mechanically sound bike to start with and go from there, rather then buy the "perfect paint" and "polished up", mechanically unknown bike who's seller claims is 100% perfect... and wants big dollars for...

I don't even care if I don't replace tarnished original fasteners,... They're unrestored stock parts. I thought collectors liked that stuff.... :lol: I'm glad I have my ratty bike with it's patina. ($hitty paint job) It's like me. It's ugly, but it gets the job done.
Last edited by o0norton0o on Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar

o0norton0o
Posts: 544
- Images: 0
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:15 pm
Location: east side of seattle

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby grandpaul » Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:26 pm

Danno wrote:I would be interested in the solo seat, if it's for sale. I have no use for passenger accomodations (pegs are gone) but I didn't want to butcher the stock '71 Roadster seat which is in nice condition.


The seat will be available once the replacement arrives and is confirmed and approved. PM or e-mail as a reminder.
GrandPaul
author "Old Bikes"
too many bikes to list, including:
JPN, 952 Prototype, MkIII Interstate, Combat Dunstall, VR880 SS, Triton
User avatar
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
grandpaul
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 9459
View Photo Album - Images: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Laredo (south) Texas

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby Danno » Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:03 pm

grandpaul wrote:
Danno wrote:I would be interested in the solo seat, if it's for sale. I have no use for passenger accomodations (pegs are gone) but I didn't want to butcher the stock '71 Roadster seat which is in nice condition.


The seat will be available once the replacement arrives and is confirmed and approved. PM or e-mail as a reminder.


OK will do
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
Danno
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 2184
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:42 am
Location: Southwestern Illinois

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby grandpaul » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:45 pm

Bodywork & forks removed as first step to get to the bare chassis parts for powdercoat.

Image

Rear wheel, fender, mufflers & elecrtical removed

Image

Oil tank, carbs, battery tray, ignition coil, cables, head steady & headers out of the way

Image
GrandPaul
author "Old Bikes"
too many bikes to list, including:
JPN, 952 Prototype, MkIII Interstate, Combat Dunstall, VR880 SS, Triton
User avatar
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
grandpaul
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 9459
View Photo Album - Images: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Laredo (south) Texas

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby grandpaul » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:48 pm

Primary gone to the "clean-up" pile

Image

Power unit extracted

Image

Tranny removed from the cradle, then cradle & swingarm extracted

Image

Rear isolastic through bolt was hesitant, but a rubber mallet persuaded it out. It was dry and chalky (that's what makes them stick, should have been greased lightly)
GrandPaul
author "Old Bikes"
too many bikes to list, including:
JPN, 952 Prototype, MkIII Interstate, Combat Dunstall, VR880 SS, Triton
User avatar
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
grandpaul
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 9459
View Photo Album - Images: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Laredo (south) Texas

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby grandpaul » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:51 pm

Drew off the swingarm spindle and pushed out the isolastics; all done with disassembly. I need to weld the rear loop back on, grind down the weld, and this stack will be ready for the sandblaster.

Image

Bucket 'o parts

Image

Power unit & tranny ready for flushing and inspection once I pull all the covers.

Image
GrandPaul
author "Old Bikes"
too many bikes to list, including:
JPN, 952 Prototype, MkIII Interstate, Combat Dunstall, VR880 SS, Triton
User avatar
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
grandpaul
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 9459
View Photo Album - Images: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Laredo (south) Texas

Re: Alistair's 1970 Commando resto/mod project

Postby grandpaul » Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:01 pm

I have not yet tempted Alistair with all the wonderful aftermarket improvements available for the Commando. I suppose sooner is better than later...

The bike does have a type of the Heinz Kegler swingarm spindle fix (2 holes drilled with nuts welded over them, for dual set bolts)

It will also be getting one of my reed valve crankcase breathers at no charge.
GrandPaul
author "Old Bikes"
too many bikes to list, including:
JPN, 952 Prototype, MkIII Interstate, Combat Dunstall, VR880 SS, Triton
User avatar
Access Norton VIP Paying Member
grandpaul
VIP MEMBER
Posts: 9459
View Photo Album - Images: 30
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:11 pm
Location: Laredo (south) Texas

Next

Return to Norton Motorcycle Rebuilds

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests