Commando Tall Bike

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Jun 3, 2005

Had a lucky escape today pulled out from filling station when a car decided to shoot along the side of me to the next pump, I had to stop quickly while turning causing the bike to nearly end on its side; I managed to keep it upright but only just :oops: This is only the second time in the 5 years that I have owned the bike that this has happened and it is all due to not being able to get both feet on the ground I am 5ft 4in and the bike has 19 in wheels that are new and a Norman Hyde stepped seat.

The person that I bought the bike off owned it for 5 years prior to me and he was also small and sold it for that reason, I have even thought of trying to purchase some platform soled bike boots has anyone got any advice on lowering the commando height or will this be something that will eventually force me to sell the bike as I get older?

Thanks again,

yeah i agree.. give colorado norton a call and see.. they have a white commando they built for a girl, and im not being judgemental, but it seems they lowered it for her because she might not be the tallest gal on the block
Same problem...just I have it a BIT better, 5'6". I have had the same thing happen, stopping in a turn and it just leans too far and being on tip toes anyway.....down she goes. Knew a girl in Canada that did the platform boot thing, and my daughter did that too...Buffalo shoes, if that says anything to you. ... index.html ... index.html

My only concern was as to how she managed to get her foot to the brake without getting it caught...but she rode all over with those shown in the first link, because it was the only way to reach the ground.
Must be a solution though...real low seat maybe, made with a Gel filling, like they do up for race bicycles.......worth the price of getting a custom seat, if it solves the fear of going over everytime somone does something stupid at the gas pumps...
Interested in the platformed boots but the ones in the link are in Germany, I've looked all over the UK but haven't found anything like them.

Don't know if I could lower the seat anymore as it is already a Norman Hyde stepped seat. I won't settle until I am able to reach some solution as I have spent so much money on this bike, just fitted a new Mikuni carb.

I will sit on the bike in the garage and get my son to put spaces under my boots to see roughly how big a heel is needed on a new pair of boots. I haven't the money to have a Commando rebuilt to my spec, I wouldn't hesitate if things had been different.

Commando Tall Bike

The rear shockers are original, they now have a slight oil leak and will have to be replaced. It's a pity there wasn't shorter replacements to go in to try and pull the back end down :wink:

Many thanks,


PS: Nice bike Driggs :D
Why not contact Hagons as they will probably supply you with a shorter pair of shock absorbers?
broken link removed .... 'Made to order shocks'
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If you want to try the platform route...why not talk with the local shoemaker....must be someone who will do up a pair once you get an idea how much you might need to have as a sole.
A shorter pair of shocks would reduce the amount of travel the swingarm would make...would this be a bad thing if you encountered an unexpected/unseen pothole?
Any help by doing an 18 inch rear wheel?
Boots might be the least expensive route, although, I myself , have reservations about how the brake can be used in an emergency...but that may be all just an "adaption" question. My daughter didn't seem bothered by my concerns, and she is only about five foot. Granted, her bike wasn't a Commando. They are rather taller, as we all know.
Sure is a beauty, your bike......don't give up, there must be a solution.......
contacted hagon today about smaller rear shocks. I was told they will manufacture some smaller ones to suit my short leg problem , however after sitting on the bike today with blocks under my feet the amount the shocks will have to be reduced is min 5cm and they will cost £111. 50 a pair i dont know what this will do to the bike under unforseen conditions and handling , has anyone got any experience of this mod being carried out ?another option is a company called Alt Berg in yorkshire uk they make boots to suit your needs these start at about £100 a pair so i have been told, dont yet know what option i will take.

Thanks Neil
Hi Neil,

My intuition says to go with the boots. I can tell you’re apprehensive about modifying the geometry of your Norton and rightly so. I, too, fear that the modifications would upset the bike’s handling characteristics, possibly to the extent of being dangerous. Boots, on the other hand, should pose no safety problems.

Wishing I was in Riverton, Connecticut…

5cm would seem to be a bit too much to shorten the shock length I would think? Maybe 2.5cm shorter? What did Hagons recommend?
The price (£111.50) isn't that much more than a standard pair of their basic road shocks.

Hi Neil,
If you are going for the thicker boots make sure you consider the design. While its good to have some heel difference (keeps your foot from rolling off the kickstarter), excessive heel will hinder your ability to move your feet for shifting and braking.

justa thought,

Rang Altberg today about boots with larger souls and was told they only make standard motorcycle boots, they don't produce them customly.

I have been looking recently at the harley davidson range of boots and they seem to have quite high heels and souls. The only problem is, they are quite expensive.

I agree that 5 cm is alot to take off the rear shocks, I don't think I would like to alter them as much as that. However, Hagen said they would manufacture a pair with whatever I required.

Still not sure what way I will go with this one, will be thinking about this next week on holiday.

Many thanks for all your input,

50mm is a lot but seems to be workable - build # 37 on the CNW website gallery looks to be at least that. Clearance for cornering not so good and no centrestand but it shows what can be done - and they do build their bikes to be ridden, cornering clearance allowed for.
I don't know about the boots, but a shorter frame is available from Norvil in the UK.

2" Shorter Commando Frames £509 + VAT (Where Applicable)
Think You Are Too Short To Ride A Commando? Think AGAIN!!
We Now Have Stocks Of Commando Frames That Are 2" Shorter Than Standard. Our Shorter Frame is 2" Shorter At The Seat Position. When Combined With 18" Wheels Almost Anyone Should Now Be Able To Ride The Commando.
If You Decide To Buy This Frame, You Will Need To Buy 1" Shorter Shocks, A Special Oil Tank & Special Side Panels (These Can Be Ordered From Us As A Special Order Item)
Good luck!
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