Commando Rear Shock Length

Classic Norton Commando Motorcycles.

Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby acotrel » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:02 pm

Is getting the bike to turn into corners quickly a problem with standard commandos ?
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby Torontonian » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:19 pm

Never had any issues diving into a corner and recovering if sketchy occurs or perhaps the dreaded(GRAVEL ). :lol:
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby mschmitz57 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:35 pm

I just checked my Commando on the stand and both tires touch the ground while on the center stand.
Longer shocks will only make this worse so I'm sending these shocks back to Walridge for a swap for stock length.

(Checked shipping rates to Canada from the US lately? $40 is the cheapest method for a pair of shocks. Yikes. USPS seems desperate to make money)

Mark
Last edited by mschmitz57 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby Biscuit » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:01 pm

If both tires touch now with the standard shocks, you're right about the 13.4" not working with the center stand you have. Something is off about the stand you've got though. With 19" wheels, front and rear, and the stock shocks with the original center stand, the back tire should be off the ground 3 or 4". Probably more with a 18' rear.

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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby hobot » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:40 pm

I know center stand legs can get splayed wider and also bend back some to lower the lift. The need to use stand for service is pretty infrequent though but if I liked the longer shocks I'd weld a extension on the feet. On my factory Combat stand is just right with the factory length shocks but does stand a bit leaning d/t RH leg just won't stay straightened. I think ya got to play pretty silly in public to notice longer shocks handling better and likely a bunch of other mods too. So admit it, you who like the longer shocks better, wouldn't ya been arrested if police seen ya enjoying it that much in public? I encourage this of course but only for those who know what they risking.
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby rick in seattle » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:17 pm

If you're a bit short of inseam, as I am, then longer shocks are NOT better for street riding. I found that the ability to ground both boots at a stop is essential to relaxed riding. The standard 13" shocks carry the standard loaf-of-bread Commando seat 34" above ground. If your inseam is less than 34", you'll approach every stop wondering if you should ground the left or right boot; grounding both is not an option. I was obliged to use 12" shocks, at a cost of an additional 0.75" of rake (slightly less quick side-to-side but a bit more stable on the straight). If this is not your problem, then at least be aware that the rake will decrease with increased shock length, making the bike a bit more nervous in its handling.
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby hobot » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:25 pm

Interesting scope of needs and side effects. Here's a long lecture on swing arm angle with shock length and other factors.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/6031806
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby mschmitz57 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:37 pm

What? 3 to 4 inches?
I don't believe that for a minute.

Do a Google image search of "Norton Commando" and look at the stock Commando's on center-stands.
They all have both tires touching the ground (except for Dave Edwards goofy Interback).
Oh there might be the odd one or two bikes with a sliver of clearance but they probably have short shocks.

Flat feet on the ground topic:
I'm a 34" inseam. The Commando feels quite normal with a comfortable reach to the ground (my V-Strom on the other hand...)

Mark
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby Snorton74 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:43 pm

Mine clears just barely after I replaced the centre stand spring. Seems like a longer than stock rear shock might increase weave potential as rear wheel is unloaded some.?
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby mikegray660 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:17 am

if you plan on actually riding the bike you could always get some good shocks that are adjustable and just return those mediocre ones for a refund

http://www.worksperformance.com/html/home.html

http://gazisuspension.com/


pair
mschmitz57 wrote:What? 3 to 4 inches?
I don't believe that for a minute.

Do a Google image search of "Norton Commando" and look at the stock Commando's on center-stands.
They all have both tires touching the ground (except for Dave Edwards goofy Interback).
Oh there might be the odd one or two bikes with a sliver of clearance but they probably have short shocks.

Flat feet on the ground topic:
I'm a 34" inseam. The Commando feels quite normal with a comfortable reach to the ground (my V-Strom on the other hand...)

Mark
70 Commando
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62 Triumph T110
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby mschmitz57 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:33 am

I have a problem with $500 shocks on a 40 year old motorcycle with a rubber mounted swingarm. That's a lot of dough.
I won't use the "spats on a pig" analogy but it's along those lines. There are so many shortcomings on a 40 year old bike. It's a slippery slope.
I don't race, I live in Illinois where the roads are mostly straight and flat, and I'm sort of cheap.
The NJB shocks are probably a little better than the Girlings that came stock on the bikes back in the 70's.
For $500 I could buy another basketcase.

Mark
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby Chris » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:30 am

Hi Mark

Normans shocks are a good product better than Girlings & even new Hagons for the price. 2 out of 3 Commandos (mine) just drag the rear tyre when on the stand. The one that doesn't has no wear on the stand or the bolt or the cradle . It had probably never been fitted :D
All have longer shocks & never been a problem even when I had a puncture.

Chris
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby hobot » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:44 am

Oh NO Mr. Bill !! Not just plain jane shocks on a rootin tootin 4 decade old Commando, what will rest of the world think. For me and my buddy on budget Commandos, we are in your camp Mark, just spend and do enough to be road worthy and not try to test limits of nothing but day light and temps to get home with a grin again. If me and Wes get better suspension it just temps us to go a tad faster on THE Gravel trap washbords and ruts and lumps then no reserves for the emergencies flashed into our path. If we upgrade one thing it shows up the limits of something else, so no end once started till most the real Norton eliminated. There is some satisfaction to just order part numbers from the good book and tool along fast as modern traffic no problemo keeping eye out on tire and chain bargains. Only way to resolve the dilemma is get at least two as long as the 2nd one ain't a chopper, like my 3rd one will be if ever finish the 2nd one and recover normal wear show stopper on the plain one.
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby mikegray660 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:03 pm

understand - but does make me chuckle - like the guys at the shop say the only thing cheap on a norton is the rider :mrgreen:

mschmitz57 wrote:I have a problem with $500 shocks on a 40 year old motorcycle with a rubber mounted swingarm. That's a lot of dough.
I won't use the "spats on a pig" analogy but it's along those lines. There are so many shortcomings on a 40 year old bike. It's a slippery slope.
I don't race, I live in Illinois where the roads are mostly straight and flat, and I'm sort of cheap.
The NJB shocks are probably a little better than the Girlings that came stock on the bikes back in the 70's.
For $500 I could buy another basketcase.

Mark
70 Commando
73 850 Commando
75 750gt Ducati
78 Laverda 1200
83 Laverda RGS
61 BSA A10
62 Triumph T110
74 laverda 750 SF2
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Re: Commando Rear Shock Length

Postby mschmitz57 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:19 pm

OK, Maybe "Cheap" isn't the right word. I just don't like to overpay for stuff. I bought Hagon's for my `71 Commando 10 years ago and didn't feel much difference over the old original Girlings with 20K miles on them. I think they were around $180 at that time.
I read the story how Norman (NJB shocks) used to work for Girling and now he assembles shocks in the U.K. for vintage bikes. I'm hooked by this.
This is probably a big reason I'm giving these shocks a try (price is a factor too). I want an "old" bike, warts and all (OK, maybe I'll take electronic ignition over points).

OK, I'm sorry for rambling. I've had a few beers.
What was the question?

Mark
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`63 Norton Atlas Cafe Racer
`73 Norton Commando 850
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