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Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Modern 961 Norton Commando Motorcycles

Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby BrotherB » Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:45 am

A Norton dealer here in Germany produces awesome alloy swingarms for our Commandos. The swingarms were made by a special company with German TÜV (= MOT). That means that they are tested by inspection engineers and you get an expertise. See pics below:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Very very clean job!

I talked to the driver who was overhappy . Fantastic handling. Best investment ever.

This is the dealer: http://www.thiel-motorsport.de/norton

Cheers

Bernhard
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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby richard-7 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:52 am

Ollie is on this site. Thanks for sharing the pics and info.
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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby BritTwit » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:01 am

Looks very well made, but will there be a corrosion issue with aluminum.
Shouldn't the swingarm be anodized or coated to avoid corrosion?
I'd like to see a long term road test of the arm to see how well it holds up to normal use and weather.

Do you know what the difference in weight is between the original arm and the new Al arm?
What is the cost?
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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby Fast Eddie » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:20 pm

What is the advantage?

I get the 'it looks trick' part.

There may be a small weight saving, but I can't imagine it being significant.

Anything else? Does it fix some known issues with the stock item? Allow more tyre size choice? Or...?
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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby contours » Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:13 am

Fast Eddie wrote:What is the advantage?

I get the 'it looks trick' part.

There may be a small weight saving, but I can't imagine it being significant.

Anything else? Does it fix some known issues with the stock item? Allow more tyre size choice? Or...?


I immediately wondered the same. If one wanted to save weight and enhance the handling on this model I would look to swapping out the wheels with the CF BSTs first. Don't get me wrong, it looks very cool. But after all the trouble and expense is it really worth that much?
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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby Voodooo » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:45 am

It's main advantage is unsprung weight. More so if used with carbon fiber wheels.
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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby worntorn » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:44 pm

The al. swing arm probably knocks off about six pounds, if Thruxton r to regular Thruxton 1200 weight difference is an indication.
That is roughly one HP, maybe not much, but as Voodoo points out, it is also unsprung weight, so doubly important.
I changed the rims to alloy and replaced the front brake on a bike for a total loss of 3 lbs, so maybe six pounds with one change is quite a lot.
I know for sure it takes a lot of drilling to get rid of six pounds!

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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby Fast Eddie » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:05 pm

As one end of the swinging arm is sprung, surely only half the weight saving (or there about) can be claimed as unsprung weight saving?

And looking at the thick structure of the arm in the pics, I have to say I struggle to believe it could be 6lbs lighter, but I know nothing about 961s so would be happy to be proved wrong.
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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby Voodooo » Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:47 pm

Coming from a car racing back ground. Mustangs and Shelbys. Anytime you can lose weight from the suspension you will gain in handling and braking. On my 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350 I went from the stock aluminum 11x19" wheels with 305/35ZR19 Michelin pilot super sports that weigh 64 pounds each to Forgeline 11x19" GA1R open lug wheels and Michelin pilot sport cup 2 315/30ZR19 at a weight of 48 pounds each. That's 16 pounds off each corner of the car. Plus I also use Titanium lug nuts that also drop just over 1 pound from each corner. 17 pounds off each corner is a huge amount of weight that you can VERY WELL notice. Not only in accelerating, braking and handling. I also switched from a 2 piece steel driveshaft to a 1 piece carbon fiber driveshaft and could also feel the difference!
We're talking huge amounts of rotating mass! My car stock weighed 3791 for full tank of fuel. I'm now down to 3580 pounds. Also bone stock it had 526hp and 429 lbs ft of torque at the crank. With a tune that I did, 1-7/8" long tube headers, 3" cat less X pipe and stock mufflers on 93 octane gas I dynoed it at 521 rear wheel hp. With adding E85 fuel on the same dyno day I went to 547 rear wheel hp. That's 633 crank hp. On a stock engine with just a tune, prototype headers, cat less X pipe and E85 pump gas. The engine in the 2015-2017 Shelby GT350 is A 5.2L flatplane crank that red lines at 8250RPM. Code name Voodoo.

If you can reduce 6 pounds from that aluminum swing arm and more with carbon fiber wheels that's huge on a bike! Especially the wheel weight reduction. That's rotating mass. What are the stock tire weights of the 961? I'll bet lighter weight tires are available. Plus a catless X pipe and short exhaust. Possibly Titanium exhaust. What is the stock chain weight? A belt drive would reduce weight and A belt is less resistance and less power to turn. When I used to drag race, I built a 331 ford (bored and stroked 302) and just by going from a dual roller timing chain to a Jessel cam belt drive I picked up 9 hp on the engine dyno. It also helped with vibrations and harmonics.

Less weight helps everything. Plus it's easier on parts, prolonging life, and is a great way to increase performance.
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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby Fast Eddie » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:23 pm

Voodooo wrote:Coming from a car racing back ground. Mustangs and Shelbys. Anytime you can lose weight from the suspension you will gain in handling and braking. On my 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350 I went from the stock aluminum 11x19" wheels with 305/35ZR19 Michelin pilot super sports that weigh 64 pounds each to Forgeline 11x19" GA1R open lug wheels and Michelin pilot sport cup 2 315/30ZR19 at a weight of 48 pounds each. That's 16 pounds off each corner of the car. Plus I also use Titanium lug nuts that also drop just over 1 pound from each corner. 17 pounds off each corner is a huge amount of weight that you can VERY WELL notice. Not only in accelerating, braking and handling. I also switched from a 2 piece steel driveshaft to a 1 piece carbon fiber driveshaft and could also feel the difference!
We're talking huge amounts of rotating mass! My car stock weighed 3791 for full tank of fuel. I'm now down to 3580 pounds. Also bone stock it had 526hp and 429 lbs ft of torque at the crank. With a tune that I did, 1-7/8" long tube headers, 3" cat less X pipe and stock mufflers on 93 octane gas I dynoed it at 521 rear wheel hp. With adding E85 fuel on the same dyno day I went to 547 rear wheel hp. That's 633 crank hp. On a stock engine with just a tune, prototype headers, cat less X pipe and E85 pump gas. The engine in the 2015-2017 Shelby GT350 is A 5.2L flatplane crank that red lines at 8250RPM. Code name Voodoo.

If you can reduce 6 pounds from that aluminum swing arm and more with carbon fiber wheels that's huge on a bike! Especially the wheel weight reduction. That's rotating mass. What are the stock tire weights of the 961? I'll bet lighter weight tires are available. Plus a catless X pipe and short exhaust. Possibly Titanium exhaust. What is the stock chain weight? A belt drive would reduce weight and A belt is less resistance and less power to turn. When I used to drag race, I built a 331 ford (bored and stroked 302) and just by going from a dual roller timing chain to a Jessel cam belt drive I picked up 9 hp on the engine dyno. It also helped with vibrations and harmonics.

Less weight helps everything. Plus it's easier on parts, prolonging life, and is a great way to increase performance.


I agree 100% with all of that. But IF the alloy SA is not 6lbs lighter and if only half of that is unsprung... I just think I would have preferred to put the money towards some carbon rims and enjoyed all those bennefits that you listed!
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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby worntorn » Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:38 am

A start would be to know the cost and weight savings of the part.
I still haven't figured out what the stock bikes weigh. One report by an owner here stated "415 lbs with some fuel and on a certified scale"
I believe the Norton site shows somewhere around 415 dry. Cycle World mag weighed a fueled up 961 Sport on their scale at 517 lbs. So that's quite a range.

Same with carbon fibre wheels. BST has them as incredibly light as compared to stock sportbike wheels. But the numbers often don't include axles, bearings, sprocket carriers and other things you need to make it go.
One magazine review of the BST wheels from a few years back compared the BST weights to new Honda 600 stock wheels. The BST pair all in were 4.4 pounds lighter than the stock wheels.
Not the ten pounds that everyone expected!

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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby Raphi » Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:22 pm

I just got the BST wheels. I will weigh them including sprocket carrier and give you the figures as soon as I have done this...
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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby contours » Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:09 pm

Raphi wrote:I just got the BST wheels. I will weigh them including sprocket carrier and give you the figures as soon as I have done this...


Cool! And weigh the stock wheels, too - that would be interesting.
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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby worntorn » Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:19 pm

I suspect the weight savings will be much greater than with the Honda sportbike since you are going from relatively heavy wire spoked to carbon fibre.
Are you also going from tubetype to tubeless? If so there's another savings.

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Re: Alloy Swingarm Commando 961

Postby Fast Eddie » Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:35 pm

Raphi wrote:I just got the BST wheels. I will weigh them including sprocket carrier and give you the figures as soon as I have done this...


Lucky man! They are things of beauty AND function.

Looking forward to the weight info...

And the ride report, before / after comparison...

And the pictures...!
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