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Commando Top Speed? (2010)

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by highdesert, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. britbike220

    britbike220

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    :lol: :lol: energy bursts :lol: :lol:
     
  2. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    If I could ever understand what Hobot writes I could join in the fun, but I can't :wink:
     
  3. daveh

    daveh

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Ken, 141 mph at Daytona from a 750 with 62 hp would appear to undermine some of the wilder performance claims for standard street Commandos. Do you think there was more to come if you had a longer straight and higher gearing? Was the bike unfaired, as at Bonneville?
     
  4. Mark

    Mark

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
  5. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008

    Hey, that's great. You interested in working on a design for the new Comstock Engineering t-shirt? Jim
     
  6. lcrken

    lcrken VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    The bike was unfaired at Daytona. This is a picture of it the way it was sest up when I raced it back in the '80s. When I first ran it at Daytona in 1985, it still had the stock Commando chain primary, so this picture is a bit later. Not a very good photo, but the best I have from back then.

    [​IMG]

    It was geared tall for the high speeds at Daytona, and was pulling 7200 rpm on the banking. I don't think a longer straight would have made any difference. That's all the speed there was to be had from the bike. That was actually a very good top speed for the class at the time. It was the best time I got during the practice sessions, and the only one I had over 140. I might have had help from a little tail wind too, but I don't recall. We did regularly have a bit of wind at Daytona, and it would change direction quickly.

    At the same event, I was pitted near was a guy from Florida racing an un-faired Commando with a 920 engine who was doing quite well. His name was Dwayne something. He was a well-known Florida Norton tuner and racer, but I can't recall his last name right now. He was leading his class and looked to win, when he was black flagged because his rear brake caliper bracket had failed, and the caliper was hanging down. He thought they should have let him keep going, and was really mad about it. I talked to him quite a bit during the week, and he said he had been timed at just over 150 mph. From watching him run, I could believe his numbers, but have no records to prove it. His engine had all the trick tuning bits for the time, and he had spent a lot of time in his shop with flow bench and dyno developing Nortons. He ran without a fairing because he said it didn't add anything until over 150 mph or so. He said he had tried fairings on the bike, and it wasn't any faster with them. He was an interesting guy.

    Ken
     
  7. norbsa48503

    norbsa48503

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Ken that had to be this guy who use to help my old friend BritBodger RIP who wrote this:
    And finally must mention the late Dwayne Williams of Florida USA who ported a couple of Triumph heads for me. He was an acknowledged Norton tuner who managed a recorded 148 mph thru' the speed trap at Daytona on his 850 Norton in the late 70's and was written-up in Classic Bike I believe it was. Some folks now dispute the 148mph but his Nortons were undeniably fast!
    I don't know if you had ever raced with Mike Smith of Michigan who said that 140 was it for top speed for the commando down hill with the wind.
     
  8. katescottageiom

    katescottageiom

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Ken, I am sure you are refering to The late "D" waine Williams of Lakeland Fl. I lived in Sanford in the early 70's
    and am very familiar with him and his work. I still have a couple of his reworked heads. He came off at the Birmingham track
    a couple of years ago and that was the end of it. A very real character he was, and always willing to share his tuning wisdom.
    jt
     
  9. Holmeslice

    Holmeslice VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009

    That must've been Dwaine Williams - founder of the Battle of the Twins series as well as the Florida Gran Prix Riders Union. Dwaine was quite a character, often opinionated and stubborn, but my did he do some great things with Nortons, and for racing in general. He could always be seen in the paddock with his autistic daughter, Chrissie, in tow. They were inseparable, and each needed one another. Sadly, in 2008 Dwaine died in a freak accident in our Formula 750 race at Barber. Twisted and ironic, as he'd raced his entire life at some of the most dangerous makeshift "tracks", only to hit the ARMCO on the inside(!) of a turn at one of our supposed safest tracks in the country. Tragic indeed.
     
  10. JimC

    JimC

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Mark, if you build it (T-shirt) they will come (buy). I know I will.
     
  11. Mark

    Mark

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    be my guest and take the idea.
    It was just a quick cut and paste in windows paint.
    I'm sure that someone out there with skills could actually do a pretty neat job at it - way better than I ever could.
     
  12. lcrken

    lcrken VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    That was him. I'll have to hunt up the Classic Bike story, if I can. When I met him at Daytona in 1985 he was running a 920 cc engine, not an 850. I remember because I had brought my 920 Production Racer and we had some discussions about building a good 920. I had intended to race the PR, and just brought the 750 as a backup. When I had problems with the PR, AMA let me switch my entry to the smaller displacement class, and I ran the 750.

    I remember Mike Smith from my early AHRMA days. I think his speed assessment is about right for most of the 750 race Commandos I've encountered, maybe even a bit generous.

    One of the more surprising variables that affect top speed is rider positioning. I found at Bonneville that the difference on my featherbed between being really well tucked in, with head down and knees and elbows against the tank, and the same position but not quite as tight, was 7 mph. That's a lot of difference. It's pretty hard to get that small on a Commando with standard bars.

    Ken
     
  13. Carbonfibre

    Carbonfibre

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010

    From your posts on here it would seem that any half reasonable rider on a 10 year old 600 four, would leave you for dead in a very short while! Its very very easy to BS on chat forums, but when it comes down to hard fact an old Brit twin with "modifications" which almost certainly mean less rear wheel BHP than a stocker, is only ever going to top 160mph in boasts on chat forums, and is never likely to achieve this on a race track.
     
  14. Mark

    Mark

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    carbonfibre:
    This is the interweb. By now you should know to take things with a grain of salt.
    Do Hobots posts really bother you that much?
    I just think of his claims (the parts that I can understand) as high tech - bench racing.
    Fish stories.

    How about you post some of your claimed motorcycling accomplishments so we can all flame on you for a while?

    ........... and one more time:
    There is No Such Thing as rear wheel BHP.
     
  15. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    I haven't been keeping up on this thread...but then I never thought it would go 26 pages. If I'd known that I was missing out on a hit series when it started I might have tried to catch more of it. I doubt I will go back and read all 26 pages now. Instead, I think it is story time...

    Years ago when I moved to my present location in Tee Harbor, Alaska I was keen to explore the local waters and exploit them for whatever bounty they might provide. I disovered a location where I could anchor in the lee of an island and on the outgoing tide let my line work in the current as it washed out past a deep water reef. I could sit and catch halibut there, but I always put down salmon gear because I knew that someday a big king salmon would come out of that spot. I fished it for years and got to know exactly when in the tide the current would turn to properly work the gear and whether the conditions of wind and tide were favorable for the effort.

    Finally one day, as I was sat dozing in the afternoon sun, my rod bent double with the tip nearly touching the water and then went immediately slack. Stunned I grabbed the rod from the holder and by instinct started reeling like mad. Before I could wind the slack out of the line, the water broke right next to the boat as a large dark back broke the surface. It was so wide that I litterally said out loud..."Oh sh!t...its a porpoise". At that moment the fish rolled slightly revealing a silvered side and took off in a flash for the horizon, leaving a wake like a torpedo. It had come from 120 feet deep in a moment and despite my reeling like crazy it had built a lot of slack in the line, now it was travelling at high speed toward a rendevouz with a tight line. I decided to slacken the drag and attempt to control the shock with my thumb. It was futile, when the fish hit the end of the line it snapped with the sound of a rifle shot. I figure it was doing about 60 by the time it got there and there was no way I was going to control it.

    That fish has haunted me ever since. I am convinced, based on the width of its back and length/girth tables that it weighed above 70 lbs. I even dream about it sometimes. It is both a nightmare and a pleasent memory. I still fish in that spot, hoping for lightning to strike again. Now I am ready with a more limber rod with slow action and strong backbone, mounted with a lever drag reel with a full diamter drag...just in case.

    And that my friends is no bullshit.
     
  16. pete.v

    pete.v

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Retracted!
     
  17. britbike220

    britbike220

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    I seriously don't remember seeing any member new or seasoned asking a question or seeking advice where they were ultimately pushed in a negative direction. Pretty much anyone and everyone that asks for help receives a generous amount of good advice here. There are enough people with enough experience to help guide conversation in a positive direction. Unfortunately there is always one or two people that see no good in anyone or anything and seem to make it their mission to make good, informative and fun threads miserable.
     
  18. Carbonfibre

    Carbonfibre

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    If members of the forum feel that posting BS is something likely to help someone with a serious question to ask, then I am sure this can be accommodated only too easily.
     
  19. Hortons Norton

    Hortons Norton

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    I love fishing stories, We were on the Gordo banks in Baja California slow trolling live tuna, I figured this will have to one big ass fish to swallow this bait as it must have weighed 5 Lbs. when all of a sudden the line started to play out. I didn't want to set the hook too soon as I knew it would take some time to swallow this bait. The skipper kept saying wait wait until it seemed like forever, When I did set the hook it was like a freight train on the other end. I was only fishing with 60lb. test and this thing was way bigger than what I was ready for, It took a few jumps and then decided to sound. It then turned into a tug of war that lasted over an hour and when we finally landed it and got it back to the dock it weighed 332 pounds. I know how it feels to lose fish as I have had battles with many a Marlin only to lose them after hours of hard work. Keep working your spot as sooner or later you will get that bugger, Don't give up. :wink: Picture available upon request!
     
  20. 72Combat

    72Combat

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    I'm new here but I enjoy reading hobots threads...( can't say I understand most of them but hey...)
    I bet his accent would be cool to listen to ( compared to my Kiwi drone.... :roll: )
    How about a vid of hobit an miss Peel..... bit of Advengers music in the background...

    I'm going to post up pics when I pick up my Combat next Friday.... bit of New Zealand scenery.
     

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