Commando Top Speed? (2010)

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Yes!

Getting back to box stock Commandos, I have owned six of them.

Going only by the supplied speedometer, the fastest I ever saw was around 115mph. At sea level, and with the 21 tooth countershaft sprocked 850.

It was back in 1975, at sea level, and I weighed all of 130 pounds.
 
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No, this thread started off as to whether a JPN Racer could do 155 mph.

But since the Race Commandos and JPN bikes started out as VERY heavily based on the road bikes, its all relevant.. And good fun....

BTW, for those that don't believe a 500cc bike could do 187 mph at MIRA, here is a Guzzi pic to illustrate how low it is. With the rider all tucked in, how could he not go fast.

The Norton Kneeler is below it.
Nortons didn't say much about it.

Although a bystander made a comment when someone was trying to get aboard, which will go down in history ?
"This Norton really is unapproachable"

Thanks to Mortons Media for the images.

With the rider all tucked in, how could he not go fast.



"This Norton really is unapproachable"
 
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I can't tell about the fairing but have 1st contact with Norman White to explain this line in the site in the 2nd post of the subject line.

http://www.saskma.com/content/view/175/61/
The winner will get to ride the 170 mph bike on February 12th 2006 at the Classic Festival, which is taking place over the weekend of February 10th, 11th, 12th February.
 
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Aerodynamic bodywork certainly means far higher top speeds are possible, with quite low rear wheel BHP figures. However it can be taken as read that anyone who claims an un-faired bike with less than 150BHP at the wheel is going to do 170mph, should perhaps be looking at a career in politics!
 
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Carbonfibre said:
Aerodynamic bodywork certainly means far higher top speeds are possible, with quite low rear wheel BHP figures. However it can be taken as read that anyone who claims an un-faired bike with less than 150BHP at the wheel is going to do 170mph, should perhaps be looking at a career in politics!

Who said an unfaired Commando would do 170mph??
 
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I found a test of a Ducati Monster 620 (in 2002) to compare with a standard Commando — both of which have similar power outputs and are unfaired.

http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/model_eval/Du ... 20ie_2.pdf

It produced 54 hp, as dyno tested. It achieved a quarter mile time of 12.52 secs and a terminal speed of 104.24 mph, very similar to the 750 Commando tested by Cycle in 1973 (see my earlier post). The top speed was measured at 116 mph. I'd say anything above this on a Commando would mean it had been tweaked...
 
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daveh said:
I found a test of a Ducati Monster 620 (in 2002) to compare with a standard Commando — both of which have similar power outputs and are unfaired.

http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/model_eval/Du ... 20ie_2.pdf

It produced 54 hp, as dyno tested. It achieved a quarter mile time of 12.52 secs and a terminal speed of 104.24 mph, very similar to the 750 Commando tested by Cycle in 1973 (see my earlier post). The top speed was measured at 116 mph. I'd say anything above this on a Commando would mean it had been tweaked...

Funny you should say that.........when one of the magazines was doing a test of a 750 commando they only got about 105mph from it. They took the head off, brought it to Jim Boughen who tidied up the porting, and put the head back on. They told the magazine that the bike had some electrical problem.....and the next day it went through the speed trap at 123 mph!!! some electrical problem eh ?? :)
 
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Seeley920 said:
Funny you should say that.........when one of the magazines was doing a test of a 750 commando they only got about 105mph from it. They took the head off, brought it to Jim Boughen who tidied up the porting, and put the head back on. They told the magazine that the bike had some electrical problem.....and the next day it went through the speed trap at 123 mph!!! some electrical problem eh ?? :)
John — 123 mph is amazingly quick for a standard Commando. Was this test back in the day?

Bike magazine tested a Trident T160 and a Commando 850 Mark 3 in 1975 and were amazed at the speed trap figures for the Trident — 126 mph!! They quoted a bhp figure of 58 for both bikes, although these were almost certainly not measured at the rear wheel but were factory-quoted figures. The Commando Mark 3 managed 111 mph. Both machines had annular discharge silencers.

Sometimes, factories gave magazines machines that had been 'fettled'. Hmm...

The debate continues...!

Dave
 
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Hi Dave,

Yes it was 1973. MCN had a 750 and an 850 which were supposed to give identical top speeds, but the 750 was down on power, so they took it away on the pretext of an ignition problem and sorted the cylinder head, then brought it back (I think) to MIRA where a lot of the speed testing was done at the time! Actually, Peter Williams refers to it in his autobiography!

Jim used to work in the AMC race shop and also prepared Commandso for Gus Kuhn (I have an 850 head that Jim did) and he certainly knew his stuff!!
 
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Norton Villiers claimed that with a 22 tooth gearbox sprocket fitted, most Commandos should be able to do in the region of 125 mph - under "optimal conditions".
(23 and 24 teeth are available - too tall for most road use)
19 teeth were fitted to many out of the showroom - max = ~110 mph then...

Motorcycle Mechanics got 120 mph out of the 750 Interstate they tested.
Cycle World got 131 mph out of the Production Racer - half fairing.
Motorcycle Mechanics got 124 out of the Commnado S
Cycle World got 114 @ 7250 from the Fastback 750 (so didn't have a 22 tooth sprocket, since thats beyond max rpm).

With a smaller gearbox sprocket, as many were out of the showroom, obviously it will be less. And with cowboy bars or black cap mufflers or a pillion, no chance...

Norton Commando Gold Portfolio book - reprinted roadtests.

P.S. Happy New Year !!
 
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Interesting that no one posting on this thread is aware of the fact that bikes provided for media "test" purposes, would in many cases be fitted with specially built motors, that could not be compared to stock bikes bought from a dealer!

This is something that made an enormous amount of difference to Brit bikes with motors based often on 40 year old designs, with a few trick parts and careful setting up making big difference to performance, and obviously increasing subsequent sales potential.
 
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Carbonfibre said:
Interesting that no one posting on this thread is aware of the fact that bikes provided for media "test" purposes, would in many cases be fitted with specially built motors, that could not be compared to stock bikes bought from a dealer!
daveh said:
Sometimes, factories gave magazines machines that had been 'fettled'. Hmm...
 
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In real world terms I would imagine no motorcycle manufacturer was providing test bikes in the 1970s, that were not modified or altered in many ways from the stock bikes.

This would be especially so in the case of UK factories, who were attempting to compete against the Japanese with bikes that were in most cases based around 40 yr old designs, and made on machine tools that often dated back to WW2!

The decimation of the British motorcycle industry largely through greed and mismanagement, is something thats happened to much of the rest of UK manufacturing, and had it not happened the UK rather than the Japanese may well have been building the very best motorcycles available today!
 
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Carbonfibre said:
In real world terms I would imagine no motorcycle manufacturer was providing test bikes in the 1970s, that were not modified or altered in many ways from the stock bikes.
Is this based on any personal experience, or just repeating anecdotal or speculative reports ?

While this certainly could be the case in the UK, some of the previously quoted road tests in the USA and Australia were not factory owned bikes, but supplied from local dealers or even privately owned. In one of the UK tests, it was noted the bike vibrated and leaked oil, and was below par and was returned to the supplier. The replacement wasn't much better !! They didn't note the speed - since such bike are often quite fast ? !!

The previously quoted test of the Commando 750 Production Racer (half fairing) in the USA was pictured on 2 different racetracks - the first was stated to be too short to get an idea of the top speed (137 mph was quoted on the 2nd track, 24 tooth gearbox sprocket). While this also obviously is a tuned bike, this is exactly as Norton Villiers quoted it was.

One of the earlier Fastback 750 bikes tested also noted in the article that 3 ranges of tuning options were available, to eventually bring Commandos up to Proddy Racing Spec. The list reads like a description (and beyond) of the later Combat spec - cam, high compression pistons, bigger valves, special valve springs, spark plugs, special exhausts and mufflers, a range of gearbox sprockets.
 
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202 km/hr = ~125 mph.
Obviously a specially tuned factory bike, since everyone knows that Commandos can't do 100 mph....

Or about what the factory says they would do....

Nice find.

marinatlas said:
 
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