Advice on 750 S!

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Jul 16, 2004
Hi guys and gals!

Long time since I last put a message in. That’s because I am having major difficulties with a ’72 Commando I bought in july this year. More apparently, my lawyer is taking care of my nusense.

My questions are:
What do you people recommend on buing a ’70/’71 Norton Commando 750 S? Which year of manufacture should I prefer? I know that this specific model was discontinued by the end of 1971. I also know that the ’71 Model featured a cush drive rear hub.

I want a nice clean 750 S with tls drumbrake in tangerine. Fortunately it is possible that I can have it build entirely from scratch. The workshop in charge of this project is renown for outstanding pieces of work, top notch. Hence the price... (ca. $ 11k ).

Should I prefer a 1970 model over a ’71 model or vice versa? I know I am not absolutely keen on the Lucas switchgear, as I would prefer a very lean, sporty look.
I just love the style of an S! Those left-sided twin pipes look so cool. It’s very rare model
which makes it even more precious to me.

Thanks for any advice, help, comment and recommendation!
Commando Type S

Hi Matt,

Actually the Type S Commando was produced in the '69 and '70 model ranges only. In '71 Norton made a limited number of SS models (street scrambler). The '71 has a high pipe on each side rather than two on the left side. There is really no difference between '69 and '70 Type S models. The Type S has a silver tail light fairing rather than the usual black. If you see this it's likely the real thing. The lack of this, however doesn't mean it isn't genuine.

If a "rare" genuine model is important to you, the Type S can be found. You will need to varify it's origin with the NOC in England. They have the factory records and will be able to give you model and original color based on the engine/frame number.
Hi Matt - welcome back!

I owned a '69 S type and had problems with the silencers. It seems the weight of the exhaust system coupled with a hokey support bracket arrangement caused the silencers to crack around their mounting stud.

Perhaps the silencers and mounting hardware changed in subsequent years. Other Forum members can probably expound on this issue and provide advice on the best year for an S type.

Hi Matt,

Good to hear from you again! Just to play the devil's advocate, what about doing whatever is necessary to fix the 72? That might be cheaper than buying another Commando, which more likely than not will have plenty of problems also.

I agree with you, the S model looks really cool. But I'd imagine those upswept pipes might pretty bad about burning your leg??? (Don't know, have never ridden one).

I've had a lot of problems with my 71 Roadster. Was tempted to sell it and buy an 850. But I've pretty much decided I'd just be trading one set of problems for another and wouldn't really be any better off in the long run.

good luck,
Hi folks!

Thank you for your replies!

@ Jason: I have heard of those problems with cracking silencers on the SS-type Commandos... dunno about the S-type’s twin silencers exceeding on the left. As I am very fortunate to have my bike build by a professional rebuilder I reckon they know about the twists and tweaks. But it is a good point to keep an eye on that, cheers pal! They will also do the running in (ca. 400 miles), so in case of any problems they will fix it. If things bed in properly, it will be alright. As a matter of fact this beauty will set me back about $ 11.000, so all I expect will be no less than top notch...

@ Debs: I am reading all about your probs with your Commando in this forum... but you are getting there somehow. If I was you I would stick with your 750 and get it fixed at a professional work shop. It is such a beauty!
Lovely blue colour with nice clean, lean looks.
Invest, say, $ 500 - 1000 and it’s going to be a fantastic bike. It is different with my ’72 Norton: the dealer is playing some nitty-gritty on me. Said the engine and gearbox is a complete overhaul. I have ridden it about 100 miles (if that) and everything failed... carbs, gearbox, valves, electrics. Looks like they did sweet bollocks. Before I bought it, I took it out for a test ride (as you do) and it worked fine. They now tried to fix it several times. Did not work. Remember, it is a dealer who sold me that bike...! I am NOT happy either with the bike nor dealer! And I spend about $ 7500 for the bike. At least you could expect a bike in running order for that amount of money, couldn’t you?

Now I want a professionally rebuilt 1970 Commando 750 S. As Jason said, there are no real alterations between ’69/’70 models (I am born in 1970 as well).
I have ridden a friend’s ’69 Commando 750 S before and I must say that the bike is very cometitive though it is 35 years old. He has had it built from the same guys who will build mine. Driving it made me realize the potential of a well sorted Commando. Handling, engine power (measured 61 bhp) and roadholding was absolutely stunning!!!!
I have ridden all sorts of bikes, but nothing could compare to that feeling when I rode that Norton... and I wanted one even ten years ago.

Any more tips on a 750 S?
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