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1974 Commando with oil nipple?

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by ewgoforth, May 5, 2018.

  1. ewgoforth


    May 23, 2010

    I've seen a 1974 Commando with a 307xxx serial number and an oil nipple on the swing arm. I thought the 1974s had the welch plug caps. It has an RH10 head and a MkIII style kick start. What serial number started the sealed for life style swing arm?

  2. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2004
    307xxx (if 307311+) would be very early '74 (built late 73?).

    I don't think we know a number, probably introduced somewhere around mid-'74.
  3. kommando


    May 7, 2005
    My 310XXX came with the nipple, Nov 73 build so the change was after this.
  4. Onder


    May 11, 2010
    312xxx oil fitting from new...Feb 74
  5. PeterJoe


    Dec 8, 2011
    I actually studied this a bit. I have a 1974 Mark IIA and I have read from various sources that the Mark IIA had the Lube for Life swingarm while the others did not. Sure enough my Mark IIA has a Lube for Life swingarm. Seeing how the Mark IIA and Mark II were made at the same time, it just did not make sense to me that only the Mark IIA would have this type of swing arm. So I looked at a lot of pictures on the internet and other sources and found that both Mark II and IIA's either had the Lube for Life swing arm or they had the serviceable type. The best I could figure from looking at numerous pictures is that all of the motorcycles with an engine number starting with 314xxx and higher have the Lube for Life swing arm. However, I did see one high numbered 3139xx Mark II on ebay a while ago that had the Lube for Life swing arm. All of the other 313xxx that I have found had the serviceable swing arm. So the best I can figure is that the starting point for the Lube for Life swing arm is somewhere in the high 313xxx numbering range.

    Peter Joe
  6. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Jul 25, 2009
    Mk2, 316XXX with a born on date of 6/74 came with lube for life
  7. NortonMKIIA850


    Jul 20, 2017
    MK2A built September '73, 308XXX, oil nipple.
  8. peter12


    Jun 18, 2013
    Mk11 1974 has an oil nipple.
  9. Nater_Potater

    Nater_Potater VIP MEMBER

    Apr 7, 2013
    311xxx, 12/73; nipple.
  10. candyapplered


    Mar 7, 2010
    Mine was also built December 73, registered May ‘74 and fitted with a nipple.
  11. N0rt0nelectr@

    N0rt0nelectr@ VIP MEMBER

    Sep 15, 2014
    Or the previous owner installed the caps with a zerk.
    John in Texas
  12. Kim Z.

    Kim Z.

    Apr 16, 2015
    My March of 1974 Commando, [HASHTAG]#313641[/HASHTAG] has the nipple on the swing arm.
  13. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Jan 15, 2008
    Careful when making assumptions, some bikes have been restored and "upgraded" is several areas. The sealed swingarm spindle can be one of those upgrades.
  14. kommando


    May 7, 2005
    Mines never been restored so the number I posted is as it left factory.
    Mr. Rick likes this.
  15. RobinKent


    Jan 31, 2010
    313652 has one too.

    Still fitting them the day after yours was built.
    Kim Z. likes this.
  16. Kim Z.

    Kim Z.

    Apr 16, 2015
    Hi Robin, I was told my Commando was purchased new in San Diego, California. I'm in Arizona now. Tell me about your Commando (purchase location, color, current location, etc.) which has a serial number 11 more than mine! ~ Kim
  17. Time Warp

    Time Warp .......back to the 70's. VIP MEMBER

    Dec 3, 2012
    Mk2A (Dec 1973 stamp)
    Nipple in the right hand end plate only, maybe added by a PO.
  18. maylar


    May 13, 2007
    319xxx Aug 74 MKII, welsh plugs no nipple. Also has the central fixing bolt and I discovered that the swingarm spindle is unique to the MKII.
  19. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2004
    One oil nipple in the RH plate would be what you'd normally expect to find. Why do you think it's been added by a PO?

    It was unique to the later Mk2 and Mk2A (with the sealed welch plug pivot) however, the latest 'long' and 'short' spindles sold by AN and others have the central bolt hole and the cotter slots so the latest Mk3 spindle also fits late Mk2/2A.
  20. RobinKent


    Jan 31, 2010
    Hi Kim.

    I bought it from a guy in Benenden, Kent, England in 2001. It was brought over from the US as a spares or repair along with a few working bikes. It had sat outside for years and had been robbed of tanks, seat, side panels etc. What could have rusted had and there was a hole in the frame where the seat latches touch the frame. Engine seized. Total rebuild into Yellow Peril racer using Mick Hemmings big valve head, belt drive, front disc etc which is why I bought a non-runner. No need to replace working parts.

    Much admired by others but not so safe on modern roads as you can't see behind you and the Norvil race tank is long even for me at six one so no fun to ride with clip ons!

    It is now a yellow roadster but I am toying with one of the really metallic colours of the Seventies perhaps Pacific Blue. Too many here are restored to black and gold.

    I will dig out the plate and US export docs. But from memory it's New Jersey. I have never tried to find out more but assume the Berliner Corp records are somewhere?

    East Coast would also explain the rust...

    Best wishes.

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018