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Educate me about aftermarket spoke kits you have used?

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Jdub, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Jdub


    Dec 1, 2018
    I have a Mk2 whose 19"wheels I will be rebuilding to 19" aluminium rims. Current setup is Dunlop MC275 front using .300 nipples threaded for 9g (left) and 8g (right), and rear hub with a Jones 91 0033 rim built to butted 10g/8g spokes into .250 nipples with 10g threading. I am mindful that Norton increased the spoke gauge for the 850 and want to match that approach from my current Jones rear wheel setup.

    To do this, I have a few questions for the group:
    = What pre-packaged spoke kits worked for you? For example, Buchanan's front spoke kit is a perfect matchup, and rear is 8g to .281 (essentially our .300) - has Buchanan's kit worked well for anyone reading this?
    = Is your preference for the rear to use the OEM 5727-5729 spokes as referenced in the Supplemental Mk2/2a parts book?
    = I am assuming the holes in the front spool hub and rear hub never changed, and can handle up to an 8g spoke (even though the front, left uses a 9g). Am I correct in this assumption (never found a new hub reference to match rims, spokes changes as seen in the Supplement).

    Finally, educate me on what alum. rims you went with if you would. I understand rims are typically drilled to customer request - any issues with nipple fit to drilled holes? Angle of hole to required dishing (esp. w/ front rim, right side)?

    Huge thanks! This is a thorny topic and I combed the site for everything I could find on this topic - this site has a LOT of great information!

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  2. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Jul 25, 2009
    For my 850 Mk2, I bought a set of stock rims in near perfect condition from another member here to use with my stock hubs. I bought spoke sets from Walridge. I was disappointed to discover that those spoke sets had cut threads. Somebody was making these for Walridge to custom order and cutting their own threads in the spokes. Because of this I became aware that Buchanan spokes have rolled threads. The Walridge spoke sets were purchased as part of their annual sale and the price was nice but a false economy in my opinion. Not only does the cut thread offer a weak spot in the spoke but you have to be careful to make sure the tension isn't from the spoke bottoming out on the nipple.

    I also discovered that when I called Buchanan on the phone that they put me in touch with a technician in the shop who answered all of my questions about building my wheels with their spoke sets. So because of this I will always buy my spokes and rims from Buchanan and will follow their advice on what gauge and nipple size to use. I would strongly consider sending them the hubs and letting them build the wheel.

    As for what rims to select, I have no advice other than moving to wider than stock to give the tire of your choice the proper rim width. This will be the next evolution on any of my bikes. I like the look of the stock rims, but I will one day replace them and will hang my clean stock rims on the wall, to preserve for the guy who wants to go back to stock.
    Jackson5 likes this.
  3. Lineslinger

    Lineslinger VIP MEMBER

    Feb 26, 2017
    I also purchased polished stainless replacement spokes from Buchanan front and rear.
    Technical support was off the charts no matter what the question or how many calls placed.
    That kind of customer service will always bring me back.
  4. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2004
    I assume that's a typo as you have it correct below "left uses a 9g"?

    10g threading?

    It seems so on some later Mk2/2A models and if you check your Mk2/2A supplement the (40) rear wheel spoke nipples are part 063207 (9 SWG x .300") which required a different rim (065730) to suit the larger nipples.


    Unfortunately, many of the Mk2/2A supplement parts have been largely ignored so those (065727/5728/5729) spokes and the 065730 rim aren't usually available from Norton parts suppliers.

    No change of front disc hub '72 - '74 (as the front spoke gauges/nipples remained the same) however, the rear hub listed in the Mk2/2A supplement does have a different part number (065726) to the previous hub (062063).
  5. MexicoMike


    Jan 31, 2010
    I used Buchanan sets when I removed the wider 18" wheels that were on my 850 when I bought it and put OEM 19" wheels on. The Buchanan set worked perfectly as expected.
  6. Torontonian


    Dec 28, 2009
    Not much to offer here except I think the stock steel spokes are stronger than S.S. Many years riding on galvanized steel stock spokes without concerns. The only spoke I've ever broken was when I decided to go S.S. and one (rear) broke on a bump. Good luck and pay attention to offset.
  7. Jdub


    Dec 1, 2018
    Thanks to all, and yes L.A.B. on both corrections to my post (now edited to match). Keep mistaking that those rear spokes are double-butted 8/10/8. Years in a bicycle shop brings some baggage with it.

    I wonder what changed in the "newer" rear hub? Also, I wonder if the Jones rim was used to mate a .250 nipple ID to the smaller spoke holes available in that rim and not in the MC275? I will be running the Avon 100/90H19 Roadrunner Universal so assume any of the aluminum rims can handle this width.

    Questions, questions! Glad to hear that Buchanan's is as good as I remember. Thanks again for all of your replies. I am probably 2 months out on getting this done so appreciate any additional comments you may have.
  8. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2004
    I don't know. Maybe it was due to the change of spokes perhaps being 9g and not 8/9g (instead of the previous 8/10g)?

    The Dunlop MC275 rim is only suitable for the front disc wheel due to the small disc hub diameter, narrow width and the considerable offset.

    The Dunlop .250" nipple hole front and rear drum brake rim was MB41.
    The Mk2/2A .300" Dunlop drum rear rim was MC286.

    It seems likely there were equivalent Jones rims for both Dunlop MB41 and MC286.
    Your Jones 91 0033 rim apparently being the .250" version. Edit: Other Jones 91 0033 rims also reported as having .250" nipple holes in at least one previous discussion.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  9. kommando


    May 7, 2005
    For stainless spokes I always go 1 gauge up over the steel originals if possible. On the holes go for the size that resists pull through the most.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  10. Danno


    Feb 7, 2010
    Years ago, I put an 18" rear rim (Mk III disc brake hub) on the SS clone and used stock spokes cut 1/2" and re-threaded using cut threads. I was warned about the weakness of cut threads vs. rolled threads and told the shop would not stand behind their work. The wheel is still on the bike and I've never had an issue with the spokes.
  11. C317414


    Dec 17, 2017
    When the stock spokes on my 850 Commando started corroding I took the wheels to Buchanan and had them re-lace them with their stainless spokes. They did a great job. It's been over 20 years now. They still look good, the wheels are still true, and the spoke have not tightened at all.

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