Commando Newbie here, got some questions

Not open for further replies.
Jul 24, 2005
Hey guys, I recently got my(its really my mom's bike but she hasnt touched it in 5 or 6 years) 750 commando fastback running over the summerbreak. I am only 13 but I am very mature as well as mechanicaly inclined, seems how my father is an MMI graduate, and owns a harley, so I have seen him work on that plenty, and he also owns 72 Norton Roadster , which needs a wiring harness stuffed in it, but aside from all that I have a few questions. I don't know about how the clutch is supposed to perform, I have dumped the clutch at 3 grand in 1st gear, just one time to see what it will do, and i guess it slips or something because the rpm's didnt drop much and the bike took off slowly, is it supposed to be like this or should the tire have churped and rocketed me off like a bat outta hell???? Also if i change from a (lazy) 1st to 2nd, and jump on the throttle almost as soon as i let the clutch completely out, it slips for like 2 or 3 seconds while i am still on the throttle, and then engages, shouldnt I be able to hammer on the throttle as soon as the clutch is out from a gear change, or is this how its supposed to act?? If I am cruising at 3 grand in 2nd gear, and then go wide open it slips again, untill i let off the gas. I have already adjusted the clutch per Norton owners manual, but I read a post on this board that said it was better to only go 1/2 turn out once you feel the clutch pushrod, or something like that? Could that be part of the slippage, or does everything need to be cleaned thoroughly?? Sorry for the long post :(
seems the best way to get this question answered is to ask your dad or mom. Being both experienced riders, they will know just how to handle this and what to do about it. Let us know what they say......
That clutch abuse young man!

Stop that clutch abuse right now, youngfellermelad !

Seriously, don't go playing with the clutch unless you have first read up on it in a decent manual. You will need a diaphragm spring removal tool.

There could be a few things causing the problem. Yes, the adjustment could be out, the cable could even be binding, or the problem might just lie on the gearbox side of things with the actuator and the retainer being amiss.

Norton clutches are famous for getting slippery, fading, hanging up, wobbling, all sorts of problems but they can all be fixed usually easily and cheaply, too. If you need to clean the plates, don't go sneaking a cigarette near the lacquer thinner!

Why not get the book off the shelf, flip to the section on the clutch and tranny, sit down and sort through with your father, ask lots of questions and work it out together. Your old man will probably teach you a lot and you will join the ranks of "those having sorted a Norton clutch" at a very young age. Your Norton future will be brighter than Lucas ever thought possible and when you can legally ride that bike you will feel proud of having spent the time to get the knowledge to work on it and understand it.
Have fun!
Thanks for the advice guys, I think I will order a full manual fon the bike since I am quite sure there will be many other little problems I will run across. As for the clutch removal tool, my dad made one himself, so I have access to one of those, if need be. Would running kerosene in the primary for a very short time hurt anything, and if it wouldnt damage anything, is it anywhere near as effective as actually taking apart all the clutch plates to clean them? Also, is there a noticable performance increase between running 87 octane, and 91 or 93 octane, because I have put in regular, since we were out of premium( my gas guzzler honda 250 dirtbike is to blame for that, 32 MPG!! ) the norton has not been knocking or anyhting so i havent changed over to premium yet. P.S. its a combat engine
Do yourself a favour and buy the Norton CD . It covers the service manual , parts manual and has lots of pictures. Add a Haynes and Clymer manual to your library and you should be set. The I.O.N.A. tech digest will help you with mods that have been tried and proven over the last many years.

Kerosene will not clean the clutch plates Take the clutch apart and have a good look at the plates for wear . Worn plates may be your problem. When you have re-assembled everything fill the primary with transmission fluid. This goes a long way to help prevent clutch plates from sticking. The lubrication is only required for the chain and the tranny fluid will do just fine.

This Norton is not a toy so i would suggest that adult supervision be required.
hey there...see clutch issus,clutch woes, and primary drive alignment on page one of the forum not in a typing mood today and all of the stuff is coverd in these will need several manuals because each one has a different approach to any problem just ask anyone who has tried to set up the timing[only a brit could conceive transmission timing] of the transmission...good luck
Like many other things in life which are "worth it", there are no shortcuts or easy solutions for Norton "clutchitis" (thanks Barry). That primary cover is going to have to come off.

Most likely, that clutch has become soiled in transmission oil. This happens and is part of owning a Norton. Once you have the diaphragm spring out, get yourself some brake cleaner and a piece of ScotchBright, then clean all of the plates. While you are in there check the clutch basket bearing, you should be able to wiggle it back and forth about an 1/8", any more than that, the bearing, etc is toast. Check to see that the nut in the center of the clutch hub is tight, if not, it is possible that the circlip behind the clutch hub has sheared. This means that the whole primary has to be disassembled and you will need a puller for engine sprocket. See your manual.

Once you have everything back together, fill the primary with 200cc's of automatic transmision fluid. Do not over fill it, or you will be starting all over again. Remember, the Norton clutch is suppose to operate DRY.

The great thing about this kind of maintenance is that it's more about elbow grease than $$$$$!

I take it your bike is a '72 (from your handle). If original, it will have fiber plate clutch. This, IMHO, is the clutch to have. They are very smooth and they don't eat clutch hubs like the bronze plates do. The only upgrades I would do is to add one of Dyno Daves clutch push rod seals, maybe add an extra steel plate to reduce the lever pull (if required), and when the hub/basket bearing goes, replace it with a 6007 2RS (leave the seals in place).

It is good to see someone taking an interest in such a revered motorcycle at such a young age. You will no doubt have more questions as you go. Keep them coming. Most manuals will tell you how to take stuff apart and put it back together, but are virtually useless in helping you diagnose the problem in the first place. This is where the forum comes in.

Good Luck!!

Not open for further replies.