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850 Mk2 & Mk2A Discussion Split From Another Thread

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by marshg246, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. marshg246

    marshg246 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    For a clearer picture of models, look here: https://www.gregmarsh.com/MC/Norton/CommandoID.aspx

    It almost certainly began with silver barrels. Unless the battery box and air cleaner where change it's not a "A".

    The only real detractor on price, and it's not much of one, is the gearbox serial. To me, if the engine and title match on a pre-75 it's good enough, the gearbox too is gravy. So, if I wanted it, and I was standing in front of the seller, I would offer less with cash in hand and only peel of the extra thousand if I had to. But in that price range, they sell easily so don't mess around if you really like it.
     
    nortriubuell and Eric Bauer like this.
  2. Time Warp

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

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    Dec 3, 2012
  3. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    My MK2a is stamped Nov73 on red plate 3104xx, so Jan 74 for 307311 is wrong.
     
  4. Time Warp

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

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    Dec 3, 2012
    Dec73 311032 for my Mk2a.

    More likely Mk2/2a 307311 from Sep73 ?
     
  5. Onder

    Onder

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    My Feb 74 is 312xxx just for reference.
    Well nice bike but wrong colour.....:)
     
    Eric Bauer likes this.
  6. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    The factory records between 305549 and 317848 are lost/destroyed, therefore January 1974 probably was the new model release date which would have been reported in the weekly motorcycle newspapers, monthly motorcycle magazines, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  7. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    You need that. Norton numbers & Marks are strange. Mine is Mk.II dated on frame Feb. '74.
     
  8. MichaelB

    MichaelB VIP MEMBER

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    Jan 14, 2004

    My 3077.. was built in Sep. 73.
     
  9. 998cc

    998cc "Cheap" is rarely the least expensive. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2018
    My Mk-II 3087xx was also built in September '73.

    ~998cc
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
    MichaelB likes this.
  10. marshg246

    marshg246 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    MK2A is not a follow-on to MK2. The MK1A is not a follow-onto MK1. The "A"s were a quieter version made mostly for Europe. Later in 74 the MK2As started being imported to the US. Then there are those like mine. My 310311 was build as a MK2A and sold in Scotland. Then imported to the US.
     
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  11. marshg246

    marshg246 VIP MEMBER

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    Jul 12, 2015
    So, what makes you think it's a MK2?
     
  12. marshg246

    marshg246 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    The certification label date cannot be taken as much. I have a factory record showing "off-track" months later than the stamp on the bike. I discussed this with AN - they had no answer except that sometimes they were finished, not acceptable when tested, and eventually made it back on the line so be finished.

    I doubt that they would take the front-end apart to change the label to match the final build date.

    307311 is generally accepted as the beginning of 74 but what does than mean? At Norton, there were no "model years" and they changed what the dates meant over time. For instance, the 72 I just sold was clearly marked on the factory record as the 25th made on Jan 4th 1972 and it was a yellow Roadster. It was a Combat but they didn't keep take of that in the records. The certification label says Dec 71. There is no "off-track" date in the 72 records.

    As L.A.B pointed out to me one time, there was no MK1 until there was a MK2
     
  13. 998cc

    998cc "Cheap" is rarely the least expensive. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2018
    Hello Greg. It's registered as a 1974 and is a numbers matching bike. Mk-II by the best of my knowledge based on the descriptions of Mk-II versus Mk-IIA folks have given me here in this forum over the past year or so. If you think is is something different, please help me determine what it is. :)

    Regards,

    ~998cc
     
  14. marshg246

    marshg246 VIP MEMBER

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    Jul 12, 2015
    My 310311 is also stamped 11/73. It is most definitely an "A". It was imported to the US in 74 so it has a 1974 title. It has black barrels that have never been off so it should be a 74 but again, the label says 11/73.

    Wrong is an overly strong statement - I've never found any facts on how or when the numbers were stamped on the certification label or engine. Unlike Triumph and BSA, there were no model years and Norton tended to make changes whenever they were ready.

    Unfortunately, AN doesn't have the records for bikes in our range so it's hard to figure out more.
     
  15. MichaelB

    MichaelB VIP MEMBER

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    Jan 14, 2004
    Maybe I wasn’t clear , my 3077.. is a MkIi and registered as 74.
     
  16. marshg246

    marshg246 VIP MEMBER

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    Jul 12, 2015
    Not sure MK1 or MK2 makes much difference. My last post told of my 310311 "built in" Nov 73 which is pretty clearly a 74 MKIIA. I would say that Sep 73 is far enough back that it is MK1 but since I have a similar case with another bike that is Sep 73 but definitely imported it the US in 74 ???

    The big thing to realize in the US is that back then, the date on the title had nothing to do with when the bike was built. It only had to do with what the importer (dealer) put on the paperwork.

    If it came with a bean can air filter, you can rule out "A". MK1 or MK2 is harder and I'm not sure makes much difference.

    I'm relatively certain that some MK1s left the factory after they were officially making MK2s - fail testing and go back to be fixed when time allowed.
     
  17. marshg246

    marshg246 VIP MEMBER

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    Jul 12, 2015
    You were clear, I was just trying to add to the info you provided. I should have been more clear that I was not contradicting what you said.
     
  18. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Another clue would be the head stamping - RH4 for a MKI and RH10 for a MKII. Dunno about the "A" versions.

    And you're right about dealers assigning the sale year - my Aug 74 bike was sold to me in May of 75 as a 75 850 MK2 Roadster. That's what my bill of sale, title, and Connecticut registration say it is.
     
  19. marshg246

    marshg246 VIP MEMBER

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    Jul 12, 2015
    I've heard the RH4/RH10 thing before but have never seen factual on it. Do you know of anything to back that up? I would love to add it to the page but I like to keep things as verified as possible on that page.
     
  20. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Only general consensus and anecdotal evidence. My MKII has an RH10 with 30 mm ports. I can't find any official references to that head, AN doesn't show it. They do show the RH4 with 32 mm ports for 73-74 models.
     

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