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'74 MKII Front "Nickerlastic" Done

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Tornado, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Updated with the Norvil pre MKIII vernier kit ( just the rubber and two end caps...$124 Cdn...pretty good price).

    Quite easy to remove bracket...was expecting it to be loaded from engine weight but all bolts came out smoothly and did not need to pull right or left side header off to free the main central bolt....was expecting to need that based on a couple of videos on YouTube showing the need for removing header(s).

    Original rubbers came out easily just by sideways rotating with a screwdriver. Seemed they were in pretty decent condition for 44+ yrs or service...not heavily out of round. Bracket interior only light dusting of rust easily cleaned up.
    New rubber in using dielectric grease (rubber compatibke). Not hard to do really...but holding bracket in vice helped a lot. Putting on new gator boots finicky...they are a different shape than oems (which were in reasonable condition...no holes and I could have returned to service).
    Getting bracket back into frame was quite difficult, despite the kit stating no mods needed for the main tube on pre MKIII. Made it fit using 2x4 wedged between downtubes to help separate them a bit, persuaded there with big rubber dead blow hammer....also used to drive bracket home after much fussing orientation etc.

    Next major hassle was trying to retract new boot and locate the small adjuster holes with a suitable sized Allen key. Had to do that mainly by feel as could not visualize at such close distance etc. Bike in side stand, got it dialed in to 0.006" when engine pryed over with a tire iron lever.

    Anyway, all buttoned up now...time for a test ride. Mailman brought me my new stainless seat knobs (Commando Specialties). Nice reward for the hard labour.
     
  2. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Test ride around city showed improved vibration control. Not as exaggerated in the 2k-2.8k range. Also, seems front wheel/shocks have noticeably less front/shake at idle with brake off...my trick to make it steady at stop lights was to hold front brake on. No longer seems to needvthat.
    Quite pleased with this setup. Inspires me to have go at rears some cold winter night...
     
  3. CanukNortonNut

    CanukNortonNut

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    the shaking and vibration should stop at about 3K. The mirrors should settle down where you see clearly behind you. Do you get that with the norvil set?
    Cheers,
    Thomas
     
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  4. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Yes...actually, was also happening on stock 44+ yrs old too. Rough and wonky mirrors (reproduction of oem's, not bar ends) from 2200 until 2800 rpm...then quite smooth and calm going up.
    With Norvil (claim new type of softer compound) still have mirror shake in that range but seems less intense.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  5. frankdamp

    frankdamp

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    I'm disappointed to hear that there's vibration above 1000 rpm. There shouldn't be. In the prototypes, there was no vibration evident to the rider at anything above idle, but there were problems with fairly rapid deterioration of the rubber when out on the road. I was long gone to Boeing before the vernier ISOs made their appearance and haven't ridden a Commando since my Norton Experimental days in Wolverhampton.
     
  6. Mr. Rick

    Mr. Rick VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Tornado: I have not tried this, 'cause I'm too lazy, but my limited understanding gives me to believe that the degree and onset of vibration can be "tuned" with judicious adjustment of the isolastics.
    And many report that the stock headsteady is not quite up to the job, either.
     
  7. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Interesting comment....Thank You.
    From perusing these forums, over many years of threads, there is the common statement of mirror shaking type vibration in the range I have mentioned above. Some have performed mods to the existing rubbers via fairing them down to 1/4" at the periphery, drilling holes through etc. to tune out vibrations are certain ranges. This is my first commando and my first vintage bike, my only other bike a 2013 Bonneville. The '74 Commando does vibrate more than the Bonne, at least until rpm is above 2800...then it just settles in wonderfully. I am not unhappy with the current situation in the least....I didn't update the front ISO to fix something that I hated...I just wanted to ensure the 44+ year old iso mount wasn't creating frame stress or other damage.
     
  8. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Understood. I'm not wanting to tweak it anymore right now...I'm fine with how it's currently behaving. And, it isn't an easy task making those adjustments even with the vernier setup ;-)
    Dreading the rear ISO update....
     
  9. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Oh, it's not bad. Just be sure to strip it to the bare frame first. :eek:
     
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  10. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

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    Dec 5, 2017
    "strip it to the bare frame first"....so few words to describe so much work!
     
  11. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    You'd be surprised at how many "I'll just replace this one little nut" adventures ended up with bare frames. :D
     
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  12. CanukNortonNut

    CanukNortonNut

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    With that statement it is obvious you don't ride a Norton Commando.
     
  13. Mr. Rick

    Mr. Rick VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    With the help of Commando expert Steve Payne, I replaced both of mine, front and rear, with very little disassembly. I don't recall much drama.
    In fact the front was more traumatic, as we struggled to refit the housing.
     
  14. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

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    Dec 5, 2017
    Was it the full vernier upgrade, just the individual rubber as OEM, or the Mick Hemming's vernier end caps done to your rear Nickerlastic?
     
  15. Mr. Rick

    Mr. Rick VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    They were slightly less expensive, in those days, from New Zealand, and I got them (I think) from British Spares. Their website is totally different now, and I can't even find a picture, but it was a kit similar, if not the same as this one: https://www.ebay.com/i/381507272025?chn=ps
     
  16. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    So it was the full vernier upgrade kit. That's what I hear is the most difficult to do without having full clearance to the engine cradle...hence the powertrain removal recommendations. There are a couple of older posts stating success using straps/levers to rotate engine & casing sufficiently forward to permit clearance of the iso...but these seem to state only for OEM original rubber replacement...won't work for full vernier removal/insertion.
     
  17. Mr. Rick

    Mr. Rick VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
  18. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Thx for that Mr. R...seems to be the most detailed post on the procedure In Situ. Though it doesn't cover the MKIII type single piece upgrade, if it exposes the engine plate sides to get rubbers out/in, I can't see why the one piece unit wouldn't go in also.