Commando Shock upgrade

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Feb 19, 2009
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New member here. Great site gentlemen!! I haven't had time to check out the tremendous amount of material, so forgive me if this is an old thread. I am in need of upgrading the worn out shocks on my one owner '69 Fastback. I am looking for a little adjustability and am considering the Hagon 2810s. Anyone have any experience with them or suggestions for other replacements. Thanks in advance for your input........... :D
I have a pair of Ikons on mine (73 850 Mk.I). I like them a lot. I believe they're considered better, but are more expensive, than Hagons.
Thanks Brian........Did you got the 76 series with spring pre load or can their 7610 model with rebound damping be fitted to the Commando?
I don't remember, and I can't locate the receipt - I'm sure I have it somewhere but of course when you look for it...

The shocks do not have adjustable damping, if that helps answer the question.

I'll check online quickly and see if I can find them.
Well, that was easy.

Mine must be the 78 Series, as the 7610s have adjustable damping.

I bought whatever Ikon's online application list said was right for my bike. Worth checking to see if you could find 7610s that would fit, though, as the lack of adjustable damping is the only thing I disappointed about with respect to my shocks. I didn't notice that when I ordered - silly me, thought all shocks had that these days - but not the 76s, apparently.

YSS makes a nice set of choices, Penski is in the game, Koni used to play, Hagon offers options, I believe that Olins has a set...

Keep in mind that the basic design of the Norton, as dear as it is, doesn't come close to modern suspension. The isolastic feature alone kills off much of the handeling potential. And don't forget that radial ZRs were only offered on the VR 920, that never made production. Also, when you feel a non-folding foot peg start to bite the tarmac, you better be tight on the apex or have good insurance.

Most Norton owners haven't changed their fork oil and wouldn't kmow what the term "sag" means, not an indicment, a fact.

If your Isos are new (and properly adjusted), your fork is tight and has fresh oil you can get real value in a new set of shocks, but you don't need to spend a lot, unless you like the look----What Iam trying to say, put bluntly, is that the only difference between Good, Better and Best is, mostly, price.

The Norton is a superb example of classic machinery, It offers the one of the smoothest rides in the industry (even now) and also offers a rewarding set of endless machanical challenges...
You may want to take a look at NJB Shocks

Norman Blakemore has a shock called TrikShox that has a spherical bearing in the eye that might work a treat on our Commandos. The fact that the swing arm and the frame tweek out of alignment due to the Isos doing their job makes it imperative that the rear shocks be able to take this movement in stride without transferring the stress to the frame. the factory workshop manual cautions against binding at the top shock mount or the movement may crack the frame. I'm looking into this for my own MK III. The shocks look comparable to Hagons and I'm sure can be had in a variety of configurations and spring weights and lengths.

Scooter :idea:
I have NJB's on my Victors, rate them very highly, you can ring up and discuss your requirements and have them built up to suit for no extra cost other than the4 part cost. Have orginal Koni's for the Commandos and they are a big improvement on the worn out Girlings they came with.
PrinterTim, What kind of press do ya have? I run a Heidelberg GTOZP. As for shocks you might want to take a look at the Works shocks, Real nice shocks. Built to suit your needs. And a great group of people to work with.
Commando Shock upgrade
Hortons Norton said:
PrinterTim, What kind of press do ya have? I run a Heidelberg GTOZP. As for shocks you might want to take a look at the Works shocks, Real nice shocks. Built to suit your needs. And a great group of people to work with.
Commando Shock upgrade

Horton, are those Works Performance? Which model is on there? The ultralights??? I recall checking with them a few years ago and came up empty but it seems there are some options on the site. I'd buy a set right now and be done with it. Where they problematic to fit or did they just pop right on? I have as MKIII so I assume fitment should be the same.

I heard Progressive Suspension units needed a lot of fussing to fit. I ended up with Hagons but really want something better.

Never seen Ohlin's for a Commando. I e-mailed Maxton (twice) but they never ever e-mail me back. All I get is an answer stating there is no dealer in N. America but I never even asked that question.

It would be nice to have some sort of list as I really want an excellent set of rear shocks.
Hortons Norton said:
Yea Coco they bolt right on and the nice thing is they have the pivot mounts so they won't bind. You could call them or go online and see them, They are kinda pricey but well made. ... street.pdf

Thanks. I'll call them asap.

So, which model are yours (I'll asume black trackers)? Did you go with the stock 12.75" length?

Looking at their PDF guide, there seems to be a note mentioning modification to swingarm is necessary when using a rear disc brake, which is what I have on the MKIII.

I definitely do not want to mod the swingarm as it has a fresh powdercoat job.
Horton, nice racy shocks, but apart from the pre load can you adjust the damping as well? That's what I like about the IKON/HNW shocks: easy adjustable damping at the top by fingertip. These are not the regular IKON Norton Commando shocks but a special set-up available by
Commando Shock upgrade
Sorry Coco I didn't see that the Mk III needed that, Nortonspeed the ones I have were set up custom to my weight and riding style when I ordered them, But you can order them with ARS which would allow you to have that feature. And you can also order then with the single rate spring too.
Hey Guys,

I sure appreciate all of the input and suggestions. I don't have internet at the house so have fallen behind in the reply department.

Roadscholar: Thanks for the suggestions I will do some more searching. I refuse to grow up and still have several modern sport bikes and a bike for track days so do understand sag and such and I do try to keep the old girl pretty well maintained. I renewed the ISos about 4K miles ago, so think I could benefit from a little damping adjustability in the rear. I totally agree about the Norton being the best!

Nortonspeed, Scooter62, Kommando: Thanks for your helpful input, also.

HortonsNorton: I run a little in-house sheet fed print shop for the Christian Motorcyclists Association. We have a couple of Ryobi 3200s and an old Multi 1250 set up for envelopes. Strictly old school and low tech!
I have a set of adjustable damping Hagons on my 850.
I also have a pair of non adjustable damping Hagons on my Triton.
In my opinion Hagons are underdamped on both bikes, even on the max setting. Too bouncy.
I will not be buying them again.
Reading and learning, since I am just on re-entry to the Norton world. This thread raises a question for me that I haven't seen much on. What are you guys using for fasteners? The pics look like there are some nice SS bolts with nyloc nuts on 'em. How much of your bike are you keeping BSW and how much are you converting over to something else?
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