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Aftermarket head steadys

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by richmont, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. richmont

    richmont

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    I know this has been asked before, but what are everyone,s thoughts on aftermarket head steadys ? Looks to me that CNW has about the best idea. 2 or 3 Dave Taylor's ? I would like to hear from those that have used any of these
     
  2. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    I have a Norvil unit on ebay right now. Bought it thru this forum, never mounted (although I bought it used).

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/113707310374

    If you want it, I'll pull the auction, as it doesn't have bids yet...

    Only other one I HAVE used is Dave Taylor's - excellent.
     
  3. lazyeye6

    lazyeye6 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    I mounted a Dave Taylor head steady a few months ago. I think it had a minimal effect on vibration, but as advised, cornering under power is a lot sharper. Not as good as a featherbed, but better than the rubber isolators of a Commando. It’s been a long wet winter so I might need more miles to fully evaluate it. I don’t race, and am not that aggressive a rider.
     
  4. acadian

    acadian VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Been running a DT steady for 6 years now, just finished replacing the ball joints for the third time, this is with regular maintenance and oiling, not faulting the unit but I think given the nature of the joints, you will have to replace them periodically. Properly set up (equal free movement on both joints), the unit does its job. I also don't believe any head steady unit can be expected to minimize vibes unless equipped with the suspension spring (which mine is).

    All that said, I just placed an order for one of Jim Comstock's units, it's much more robust (sealed and larger heim joints), and though pricey I figured I've put so much money into my suspension and front end that it's worth it
     
  5. 1up3down

    1up3down

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    I have had a CNW (Comstock) head steady for six years now.
    It is indeed robust as acadian says and mine has not required any attention.
    I had a Dave Taylor prior to the CNW, it worked ok I just did not feel it was a long term, lifetime, head steady.
     
  6. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    cNw gets my vote too.
     
  7. Fullauto

    Fullauto VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Jim Comstock/CNW headsteady 50,000 miles, no issues. Gave a precision feel to the steering.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
  8. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Comstock/CNW headsteady. elegant, robust, effective,... thanks Jim.
     
  9. Onder

    Onder

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    I went with Jim's. Worth the money.
     
    Kvinnhering and Fullauto like this.
  10. richmont

    richmont

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2018
    Thanks to all that responded to my question. Particularly the individual who offered one up. I guess I will just have to wait until I get a chance to do more than short trips. Would I sound like the old geezer I am rapidly becoming if I said I may be more confused now ? LOL That would have been Grand Paul
     
  11. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Comstock/CNW: Expensive but worth every penny. Sealed ball joints and should last forever, at least longer than any of us. Bolts to top Isolastic frame mount. (Currently out of stock?)
    Dave Taylor: Less expensive, if you ride a ton you may wear them out. I never liked that it just clamped around the frame tube.
    Homemade: Similar to Dave Taylor but a fraction of the price. Bolts to top Isolastic frame mount. https://www.accessnorton.com/NortonCommando/the-keith1069-headsteady.5489/ (Sorry about the missing images)
    Production Racer/Old Britts: (http://www.oldbritts.com/ob_4179.html) Not a ball joint mount. Probably the most expensive option.
     
  12. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    I’ve not seen the oldbrits one before, I like the look of that, it’s a proper 3rd iso mount and will thus help take the weight of the engine.

    Nice idea and nicely executed, as far as I can see from the pics that is.
     
  13. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Still relies on friction. And is heavy. And not cheap. The spring on the Dave Taylor works better that the engine resting on the isolates rubbers.
     
  14. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    The Old Britts unit is QUITE different from the PR unit.

    This is the Norvil / PR that I have - It uses the existing lower frame tube mount point PLUS it's own clamp-on second mount point.

    Here is the e-bay listing for it - http://www.ebay.com/itm/113707310374
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  15. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Is the PR one an adjustable isolastic? I just lumped those together as they aren’t rod ends.
     
  16. ZFD

    ZFD

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Been using the Proddy Racer type headsteadies since 1978 on all my Commandos, road and race. It works. Expensive? Probably more than a few Home Depot ball joints but then it is far more substantial and, yes, it can be adjusted.
    Expense never seems to be a criterion for a lot of advertized modifications the necessity of which escapes me and that do neither improve function nor address any inherent problem.
     
  17. CanukNortonNut

    CanukNortonNut

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    I have been using the production racer type which I bought from Fair Spares back in the 80's but you must ensure that the bolts don't touch the inside of your fuel tank. I buzzed two chaffing cracks on two roadster tanks before I figured it out. I also use the Dave Taylor with the MrkIII spring and have put over 45000 miles on with it. I re oil the joints before the spring run or when ever I have the tank off. Still on the original joints, just had one issue where the spring broke at the small "U" shape on one side. Bought another, installed and kept riding. for those who had troubles with the various commando frame tube sizes, If it is loose then add a small shim from a pop can under the clamp. I used a leaded seal top from a bottle of red wine. Each to his own.
    Cheers,
    Thomas
     
  18. Matchless

    Matchless

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    On the 920 I'm using the Jim Comstock type from CNW, along with the bracket & adjustable valve spring under the front mount, which I copied from Jim. The set up works perfectly.

    Martyn.
     
  19. KiwiNeill

    KiwiNeill

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    I also have the stainless PR/Fair Spares third iso mount type, bought when they were £78.00, I adjust the front and rear iso mounts then the head steady, great piece of kit that works perfectly, looks right and I only replaced the shims last year because I fitted new main isos. Rubbers were still tight in the housing. Never had any problems with bolts hitting my Interstate tank.

    After having many problems with my old RH4 head I left the head steady off briefly as I was removing the head regularly, the bike handled OK but once the (road) pace went up, especially fast sweepers and bumpy A roads it wasn,t as settled or steady but nothing alarming.
    Refitting the head steady tightened up the steering and handling back to vice free normality, just ride and forget about it, solo or fully loaded.
    Easily one of my best buys.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  20. ZFD

    ZFD

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Our head steady was slimmed down against the original 1969 drawing executed by Peter Williams by Tim Seifert. The only petrol tanks that are too narrow for this, as we recently found out, are the Taiwanese Roadster tanks. https://andover-norton.co.uk/en/shop-details/16979
     

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