72 combat for sale - mysterious weld bead

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Hello all,

Hoping I can get someone to comment on this, looked at a 72 combat today, looks great, sounds great, extensive records and only two owners - except this weld, not sure why its there and the current owner didnt know. If anyone has an idea of what this would be please chime in? Hopefully the image works. Thank you!



 
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It appears you have an early combat case which has the sharp cutter/stress riser cases. The crack emanates from being over stressed.

early cases stress risers in red..these were probably HOBOT's cases.... crack shown in green...like yours..

Later improved combat cases proper factory cut in green, proper relief in blue

few extra pix here: http://atlanticgreen.com/engcases.htm
 
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Combats have a bad history of breaking cases for a couple of reasons; the other one being the badly located oil scavenge pickup.

Great article here:
https://www.oldbritts.com/n_c_case.html

Don't let it put you off: once sorted they're the most fun Commando by a country mile, and well worth the effort.
 
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Yup, mine has a similar repair, hasn't caused a problem in the 30+ years I've had it.

B
 
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Should work now? (IMG tags removed).
Thank you, not sure what I did wrong there, is there a tutorial for posting photos on here? the image was attached, but not showing until you fixed it...do I need to delete the "IMG" that comes up? Hopefully I can figure this out so that moderators here arent having to fix my lack of computer savvy


Looks like a crack in the case has been welded?
Yes, I am trying to decide on the purchase, my main concern is - was the work done properly, and could there be issues down the road.
 
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It appears you have an early combat case which has the sharp cutter/stress riser cases. The crack emanates from being over stressed.

early cases stress risers in red..these were probably HOBOT's cases.... crack shown in green...like yours..

Later improved combat cases proper factory cut in green, proper relief in blue

few extra pix here: http://atlanticgreen.com/engcases.htm

Thank you, Great info here!!! Trying to figure out if the work was done properly ont he bike in question, and it doesnt look like plates were welded in, seems like it was a quick fix, but one that was done years ago
 
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Combats have a bad history of breaking cases for a couple of reasons; the other one being the badly located oil scavenge pickup.

Great article here:
https://www.oldbritts.com/n_c_case.html

Don't let it put you off: once sorted they're the most fun Commando by a country mile, and well worth the effort.
Thanks B+Bogus, I've been waiting for the right bike for a long time, and just dont want to inherit a bike that I'll need to sink thousands of dollars into right out the gate. Also trying to make sure I pay what its worth and the asking price is $11,900. I know this is a bit steep, and the owner seems willing to negotiate. Other than the weld, the bike is in good to excellent condition, cosmetically. still has the original fiberglass tank, and it was completely restored in the early 00's
 
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Yup, mine has a similar repair, hasn't caused a problem in the 30+ years I've had it.

B
Good to know, thanks Interbak. Do you have a pic? I'm curious to know if there were plates added or if it was just a simple weld on yours too.
 

eskasteve

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I'd think twice about spending top dollar on a bike that has such a repair. Even if it's done correctly and causes no future problem it does significantly impact value, both current and future resale. Almost 12K Canadian or $9100 USD seems a bit steep. Myself, I'd keep looking. Instead of spendin all of your time scouring ads why not place a couple of "Combat Wanted" ads. I've had good luck posting such ads in the motorcycles for sale section of Craigslist. Everyone with a bike for sale looks there to help determine the going price.
 

L.A.B.

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is there a tutorial for posting photos on here?
There was, in the good old days when almost everyone used photobucket to host photos (but please don't use photobucket now).
As there are so many image hosts that would be difficult now.

the image was attached, but not showing until you fixed it...do I need to delete the "IMG" that comes up? Hopefully I can figure this out so that moderators here arent having to fix my lack of computer savvy
The photo was hosted by google. All I can tell you is that it worked after the IMG tags were removed.
 
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Hard to say how awesome a bike is from a picture of a weld on the case, but it does tell you that it's been apart. The fiberglass fuel tank is garbage IMO. I gave mine away to a friend to hang on his wall. Not too many people own reliable Norton commandos without being knowledgable about them. It takes a knowledgable owner to keep them running well. Guys who don't want to learn about their systems and troubleshoot their bikes, will sell their commando or just store it as a collectable. I ride my bike often, and maintain it myself. It's reliable, fun to ride, and a freakin' relic from a bygone era where the rider had to know more than just where to insert the key...

Be prepared to learn and troubleshoot if you want to ride it often and enjoy that aspect. If not, then there's always a lot of bikes out there that are very maintenance free and fun to ride.
 
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Hi NortonNewbie, a couple of thoughts, just my opinion but fiberglass tanks are a problem, they are difficult to fully seal, most everyone switches to a steel tank, factor in that substantial replacement cost.
It is a Combat which means it has higher compressions and a higher lift cam to get a couple more hp at the top end. The Combat problem was, perhaps you do not know, a history of failed main bearing because the crank whips at high rpm and causes the crank ends to dig into the main bearing races. IF you are not sure the bearing have been replaced with "superblends" then factor in that cost of doing so in your purchase price. Personally, I would not not pay 9000 US even if verified new bearings and a steel gas tank.
So yes, without knowing further, you may well face a couple thousand US dollars in additional expenses ^^
 
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Good to know, thanks Interbak. Do you have a pic? I'm curious to know if there were plates added or if it was just a simple weld on yours too.
Just welded as far as I can tell, no additional plates added. I'll snap a pic when I'm back at home.

B
 
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What part of the country are you in? I'm in SW Ontario, $12k around here is pretty much top dollar, unless it's something very special. More details required to give you an accurate assessment.

B
 

rvich

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Fiberglass tank?

You might want to look at this one. Long standing member of the forum here so you have some provenance at least.

Broken link removed

They come up for sale here often enough that it is worth checking the listings. Do you specifically want a Combat?
 
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Time Warp

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They made around 50000 Commando's so they are not rare, so look and choose carefully'
The cases in that picture look to have divots and other signs to be weary of, my advice with that high asking price, say thanks for your time and keep looking.
The last thing anyone needs is a money pit after paying top dollar, there are plenty of nice bikes in that money range especially in US dollars.

Buy an 850 and avoid all the pitfalls of the 750 if you have that kind of budget but obviously you are looking for pay and ride, not pay and wonder.
Cracked cases with mediocre repairs is not a good start given the market.

PS.
Add a steel EMGO fuel tank and paint and that bike just got very expensive not to mention the seller did not have the time or inclination to wipe the cases down for sale.
What does the rest of that thing look like ?
 
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i've got a 73 850 for sale and asking 10,900CDN but it has a totally rebuilt motor, so 11,900 is pretty steep unless it looks the part with mucho TLC...
 
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Thanks to everyone for your input! I made an offer a couple of weeks ago, for $8,000 CAD. To justify my offer I cited examples of bikes for sale, I noted the fiberglass fuel tank, and welded case as reasons for my lower offer. The bike is actually in great shape, with no rust anywhere, nice clean headers and pipes, corbin seat. The bike went through a complete tear down and rebuild in 2003 - new paint etc. It has a front wheel disc conversion, decent rubber. Still in great shape.

One thing he did note when I looked at the bike again was that when the bike sits it drains the battery quickly. So he just disconnects the battery. I havent looked through AC yet to see why this problem might be occuring. Does this sound like a quick fix or a world of electrical hurt? lol.


He counter offered at $9000 a week ago and I held to my offer of 8K. No word back for a week and he came back to me and said "I’ve thought about this and think the price is low but not unreasonable" and has accepted my offer of $8K. Now I have to decide if i want to pull the trigger.
 
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