70 Commando resurrection project

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Jan 15, 2008
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Okay, for those with a weak stomach, please avert your eyes, this is the "donor" bike that will eventually be a '70 Roadster. I bought it from a guy in Oklahoma City who must have been a "wild child" of the late 60s / early 70s era.

I'll include dots and spaces to delay the horror...









70 Commando resurrection project

70 Commando resurrection project

This is the one that was going to be rebuilt alongside Chip's bike. I've already stripped the frame, chopped off all the stuff that was welded on and removed the several dozen hose clamped and u-bolted-on field-fabricated "aftermarket" parts.

The chassis is powdercoated, the engine is cleaned up, nice wheels are standing by, and the Red bodywork, Corbin seat, and nice OEM Norton peashooters will go on. i might go ahead and use the Lucas Rita ignition and single Mikuni setup that came with the red bike, too.

However, this one can't get going 'till I roll chip's & my 72 Combats out of the shop as finished bikes. Anyway, just thought I'd show you what kind of stuff I sometimes get to work with! Some of the "mods" on this bike are unbelievable; can you spot all of them?
:shock: "Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"

I'm glad you warned me, so that I was sitting down. I assume the previous owner wasn't of sound mind, or a regular consumer of illegal substances? I particularly like the well engineered coil mounting.

I'm going for a lie down :shock:
Got to keep those coils cool and the plug wires short. Racers do it why not Me... Paul all this for a 71? Are you going for Sainthood? Or just trying to use up all the pieces?
I hope you are going to keep that kewl springer and ape-hangers! :shock:

You powder coated that frame?? What about all the custom "molding"?

And of course you want to keep that "easy access" wiring harness. And those rear struts! We don't need no stinking shocks! :wink:
Years ago I used to hang around a British bike shop in Tampa Fl. Guys would bring in bikes like that and say get it running. Most of the time they were Triumph motors made up with the fat bob tanks like this one to look like a Harley. We called them Harleyumphs. Mant times the story went like this. The bike belongs to my girl friends ex and he left it in the garage. She said I could have it. So of course he has nothing invested in it and when he finds out how much it is going to cost to "get it running" the project gets dropped.
Many think that Coppers are easy till they try building them. Most don't even get beyond lining up the sprockets for the engine and wheel. And wiring one well the all red wires say it all. If your good enough to build one, than your good enough to modify your riding style so you can ride one without injury. Darwin's principle worked in the old days when these were built by the owners. Now you have guys that write checks for these pieces and go out and promptly crash them. Blaming everyone but themselves of course.
I chipped about 5 pounds of bondo off that headstock.

The builder and bik won several major awards:

U.S. Steel award for extensive use of 1/4" thick steel plate

Ideal Co. award for most hose clamps used to hold bike together

Lowe's, Home Depot and Ace Hardware joint award for best use of harware, plumbing, and utility sections in completion of project including meritorious use of U-Bolts.

Miller Welding award for most welds where hardware would have sufficed, and handy use of cutting torch to fabricate parts from plate steel.

The Bondo company pulled thier award when they found out about my disrespect for art.
Ron: I traded the springer to my powdercoater's helper for his HD; in exchange, they powdercoated the chassis for me.
Ron: I traded the springer to my powdercoater's helper for his HD; in exchange, they powdercoated the chassis for me.
Hmmmm... Does he need any more? How 'bout some nice twisted "Z" bars? Four foot sissy bars? I think I can find several king and queen seats! And at least a dozen sets of highway pegs! How 'bout spike footpegs? I ought to get at least a couple P11 frames coated for all this stuff!

Seriously, I bet we all have dragged home some misguided chopper builder's frustrated mess. If only to keep a wheel or gearbox or engine and pile the rest in the corner for the steel re-cycler. I should have taken some pictures!
Ye Gods ! Did people really ride things like that ? I must've led a sheltered life (Seen some equally unsafe café racers though).

Wouldn't short plug leads like that result in over-advancing the ignition ? I'd always understood that the best way to retard it was to lengthen the HT leads... :roll:
Well here a beaut 1960TR6 at least I got the engine trans and motor mounts.
70 Commando resurrection project

70 Commando resurrection project

And yes as with all the choppers I have got someone paid me what I paid for the bike after I took what I needed . Did I tell you I love Choppers.
Really, I love chopper, too! I traded a bunch of the chopper bits off that one, a BSA chop, and another Norton chop for VERY GOOD OEM Bonneville parts; both of us thought we got the better deal (we were both right, too).

I think the guy you got that TR6 from was a neighbor or buddy of the guy I got those Nortons and BSA from.
Well this guy didn't know Bondo but he had taken a welding class. I don't think he got his card though. I vote it the scariest duplex frame I have ever seen. Just look at that Neck work( A thing of beauty will last for ever) The guy who bought it from me was pumped cause it set so good. And later bought a unit motor complete to set in it.
I don't for sure guys but I would leave this bikes just the way they are and go around the country and show people just what can happen when you use DRUGS!!! They are really 1 of a kind in that the person really felt like this was cool, WOW!!!
Some of the "mods" on this bike are unbelievable; can you spot all of them?[/quote]

8) No, I'm safe wearing my peril sensitive sunglasses. 8)

Bwah hahahahaha - man, the stuff really was stronger back then......
For what it's worth, this one is back on the stovetop alongside Chip's bike.

I guess I'll build it as it was originally, a STANDARD Norton Roadster in basic Black w/ peashooters.
teeb said:
Some of the "mods" on this bike are unbelievable; can you spot all of them?


Noooooooooo, please stooooopppppp.......

this is inhuman communist plot......

peril sensitive sunglasses.........

are failing........ :cry:

Pleeeesssseee make them stop............


Hey, these pictures could be posted in a picture folder at this site



Think of the sheer entertainment factor!
Cool bikes from trash!
Soooo, I'm thinking there'd be a backlash here if I install my 12" over forktubes and a Pepboys driving light headlight? Also thinking about lacing a 10" wide 16" rear rim to the stock hub.

Youse guys just gots no sense of style. 8)

Fortunately there are no pics of mine with 14" apehangers on it, so I will deny it ever happened. :p The only good that came out of that set of bars was my braided stainless front brake line! :lol:
Rick, did you dutufully wrap the extra brake line length around one of the fork tubes?
grandpaul said:
Rick, did you dutufully wrap the extra brake line length around one of the fork tubes?
:lol: :lol:

No paul. But I did remove the 3 inch solid line out of the caliper and hook the line in directly to the caliper. And there is a loop about 3" in diameter hiding between the headlamp shell and the mounting bracket! :D

My bike has "western" bars so it's not too bad. When I went to get that line built in 1978, the shop wouldn't build me a brake line. So I walked out, walked back in and requested a fuel ine. That they built! Ahhhh liability laws. 8)

Those ape hangers lasted one summer. About half a dozen road trips convinced me that life was waayyy better without aching shoulders from sitting so upright in the wind. But if you want a set, they're hanging in my garage! :lol: Just reminds me of my youthful exuberence and lack of sense!
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