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Frame options

Classic Norton Commando Motorcycles.

Frame options

Postby BrianG » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:52 pm

Examination of my newly acquired 1969 Commando has revealed some significant frame concerns. I am thinking of building it up from an aftermarket frame. Some time ago I saw an article on a trellis frame that carried a monoshock swingarm.
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I wonder what current frame options are available. Any ideas?
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Re: Frame options

Postby cjandme » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:43 pm

BrianG wrote:Examination of my newly acquired 1969 Commando has revealed some significant frame concerns. I am thinking of building it up from an aftermarket frame. Some time ago I saw an article on a trellis frame that carried a monoshock swingarm. I wonder what current frame options are available. Any ideas?

Check out JSMotorsports Norton website. the frame you pictured looks an awful lot like his old race bike frame. He sell blueprints for just 10 bucks and I believe he can even have one custom made to order. (don't quote me on that part) Super nice guy and great to do business with. (He shipped out the manifold and carb to me on very short notice).
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Re: Frame options

Postby Rohan » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:44 pm

Bear in mind that a lot of the cycleparts (tank seat sidecovers possibly wheels brakes) won't fit if you go with a trellis frame. And it won't look like a Norton, other than the logo on the tank.
And you won't be happy with the standard engine's performance after having spent all that dosh on the fancy cycleparts. ?

Remind us, whats wrong with your frame.
Unless its scrunched into a ball, a good repairer can make them new again.
Although if its too bad, it may be easier/less expensive to find another....

It would have a lot of bling with that trellis, IF you are prepared to spend....

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Re: Frame options

Postby grandpaul » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:18 am

Yeah, you could end up with something ugly like this one...

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Re: Frame options

Postby peter12 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:15 am

Wouldn't want that in my drive. :D

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Re: Frame options

Postby Dances with Shrapnel » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:52 pm

BrianG wrote:I wonder what current frame options are available. Any ideas?


Norvil offers (offered?) a lowered Commando frame and may offer a standard frame.
NYCNorton can fix you up real pretty with a new Seeley Replica - badass option!
There is always the used featherbed (not after market) or a McIntosh Featherbed Manx frame.
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Re: Frame options

Postby BritTwit » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:58 pm

BrianG wrote:Examination of my newly acquired 1969 Commando has revealed some significant frame concerns. I am thinking of building it up from an aftermarket frame. Some time ago I saw an article on a trellis frame that carried a monoshock swingarm.
Image
Image


I wonder what current frame options are available. Any ideas?


Norvil does offer replacement frames for Commandos.
The benefit going this route is that you can retain the isolastic engine mounts.
The trellis frames are rigid mounts, not really suited to smooth, comfortable street/road use.
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Re: Frame options

Postby gortnipper » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:09 pm

BritTwit wrote:Norvil does offer replacement frames for Commandos.
The benefit going this route is that you can retain the isolastic engine mounts.
The trellis frames are rigid mounts, not really suited to smooth, comfortable street/road use.


Well, a dynamic balance tuned to the frame would go a long way to helping with that.
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Re: Frame options

Postby ashman » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:32 pm

gortnipper wrote:
BritTwit wrote:Norvil does offer replacement frames for Commandos.
The benefit going this route is that you can retain the isolastic engine mounts.
The trellis frames are rigid mounts, not really suited to smooth, comfortable street/road use.


Well, a dynamic balance tuned to the frame would go a long way to helping with that.


Yes a good balanced Commando motor and no need for isolastics at all, I went this way 35 years ago with my hot 850 in a Wideline Featherbed and have no problems at all with vibrations even to this day and at 58 years old I can still ride it all day every day and the best thing I ride a well set up and one of the best handling frame of old.

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Re: Frame options

Postby jseng1 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:03 pm

BrianG wrote:Examination of my newly acquired 1969 Commando has revealed some significant frame concerns. I am thinking of building it up from an aftermarket frame. Some time ago I saw an article on a trellis frame that carried a monoshock swingarm.
Image
Image


I wonder what current frame options are available. Any ideas?


Yes that's a JS Motorsport frame. Currently owned by Ken Canaga. JSMotorsport with the help of Frame Crafters can build you a copy (street version available). For smooth cruising you'll want the lightweight pistons (1/3 lighter than stock). Frame Crafters can make you a smoother looking fuel tank with rounded corners. Definitely the best handling Norton frame available. The last Norton to get on the National AMA podium and the only Norton that could compete successfully against aircooled monoshock Ducatis.

Early version with spoke wheels:
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Ken Canaga's version with mag wheels:
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Another customer constructing his frame & swingarm:

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Re: Frame options

Postby Rohan » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:55 pm

What would a typical build cost, $$ wise ?
Would you get any change out of say $10k or $20k , or ??

Std engine/gearbox unit etc already on the garage floor....

Does anyone run one on the street ?
Would this even be legal, within the strict letter of the law.

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Re: Frame options

Postby acotrel » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:12 pm

Whatever you build will probably be expensive, so it is always wise to keep in mind it's ultimate resale value which depends on it's end use. (If it fits an historic road race class, you might have more potential buyers.) If you build a Seeley or Rickman framed bike, you will probably get max return when you eventually come to sell it. And the bike's functionality might be better than with the trellis frame you are looking at. 'Racing improves the breed'. How much race- winning was done using that trellis frame and on what sorts of circuits ? If it is slow-handling, you might build yourself a pig and you will only find out when you ride the bike on public roads.
This is an expensive bike, however from where you are at present with your project, it's build is completely achievable . It's price would be somewhere near $30,000 US. So perhaps you might calculate your project budget from there ?:

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Re: Frame options

Postby jseng1 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:48 am

Rohan wrote:What would a typical build cost, $$ wise ?
Would you get any change out of say $10k or $20k , or ??

Std engine/gearbox unit etc already on the garage floor....

Does anyone run one on the street ?
Would this even be legal, within the strict letter of the law.


Here is a quote I got from Randy at Frame Crafters years ago. It probably needs to be updated.

One frame $3600
engine Plates $400 to 500
Gas Tank $1200
Oil tank $450
Brazing instead of tig welding - add $300
50% deposit required


I know of one that was run on the street and there are many that have bought the plans but I've lost track. It is legal to "create" a bike and its much easier if you already have the registration for the number on the motor and just go with that and change the frame. You would go through the same process as the street Seeley owners.

If anyone wants to know about the handling of the JS monoshock frame. The person to look up is Rob Tuluie - he placed on it at a National BOTT race in the 90s and later worked his way up to the head of the Renault F1 race team.
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Re: Frame options

Postby gripper » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:21 am

A friend of mine has a 920 Commando engine in a BSA bandit frame. The front down tube is down the back of the timing case right next to the revcounter drive and the gearbox is almost touching the oil pressure relief valve. It's tight. I believe it was originally built by Pete Lovell.

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Re: Frame options

Postby Rohan » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:33 pm

Pic ?

As a road bike, or a race bike ?
How does it handle, with a fair bit heavier engine in it ?
(The bandit was a 350, although the frame looks like it was intended for something bigger.)

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