head steady

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what is real world solid proof advantage of box style head steady and other more exotic ones over the early flat plate unboxed style? on 72 commando that is..
 
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As LAB infers the flat type breaks and your handling goes to pot from the top of the engine being free, factory fix was the box section version. My 72 750 flat one was unbroken so I got a box section fabricated and welded to the flat one and it now looks and performs like the box section on my 850.
 

Craig

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Alan I have original box style headsteady here .... if you want to try it let me know .... The Dave Taylor style with spring is transformative in a very good way , though.....
Craig
 

baz

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When I was a kid I had a mk2a commando I didn't really know what isolastics were
One night I was hacking down a dual carriageway into a tight lefthander and the bike just bucked and shuddered it seemed to leap off the road any way I needed both lanes to get round that bend
The next day I was looking at the bike and noticed how much the engine moved when I pulled the back wheel about!
I removed the tank and found both the triangular plates that hold the rubber bobbins were bent outwards
Both the bobbin threads were stripped out of the frame,it looked like they may have been ataldited in!!
I re made the plates out of 1/4" thick steel, this was with an interstate steel tank,I had no clearance problems
 
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more modern head steadies like the Dave Taylor are rod linkage and eliminate the head moving side to side, the stock ones are in theory supposed to also eliminate movement but their weakness is that they depend on the condition of the rubber donuts which flex even new

as Craig says the difference is significant, going to a rod linkage type is most noticeable when starting to lean over, the motor does not fall off to that side, it stays put, handling feels more secure and predictable

I had a Dave Taylor and liked it but felt it could be more solidly built, and so bought the CNW version which although pricey is much more
robust in construction making me believe it is a one time good for life purchase
 

baz

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On my current commando I have a norvil type head steady that I made
Also I had never heard of the dave taylor head steady when I made my one also I welded a lug onto the frame to mount it,I didn't like the way the norvil one clamped to the frame
 
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The Commando design is fail-safe, as long as you do not land on your head.
 

cliffa

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When I was a kid I had a mk2a commando I didn't really know what isolastics were
One night I was hacking down a dual carriageway into a tight lefthander and the bike just bucked and shuddered it seemed to leap off the road any way I needed both lanes to get round that bend
The next day I was looking at the bike and noticed how much the engine moved when I pulled the back wheel about!
I removed the tank and found both the triangular plates that hold the rubber bobbins were bent outwards
Both the bobbin threads were stripped out of the frame,it looked like they may have been ataldited in!!
I re made the plates out of 1/4" thick steel, this was with an interstate steel tank,I had no clearance problems
Which is how they got the nickname "Bendy" I guess. (it's not heard so much these days though).
 

Tornado

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I plan to make a DT style headsteady as per some dimensioned images I found over on NOC forums from an owner who built it from alloy angle and rose linkages.
 

baz

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Which is how they got the nickname "Bendy" I guess. (it's not heard so much these days though).
They are definitely bendy if not set up right!
Most owners these days know that the head steady is important as is the isolastics adjustment,the swing arm pin loose in the cradle etc etc
All of these issues very easy to put right then you have a superb handling machine
Wish I knew all this when I was 19 !!!
 

cliffa

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I plan to make a DT style headsteady as per some dimensioned images I found over on NOC forums from an owner who built it from alloy angle and rose linkages.
Yep, that's what I did. Much more rewarding.
 

Tornado

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Any chance of getting a picture posted of these?
Here's the image with dimensions:



And a link to the thread on NOC:

Removed broken link

I believe he used 3/16? Alloy angle but I'm going to 1/4" most likely. 3/8" rose joints.
 
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Craig

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Lots of photos around of DT head steady , I have the optional spring with mine ... remember taking it out of the RGM box and thinking they forgot to cut it in two .... machining was very precise .... once I got spring tension right , it became a much better bike .....
 
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An ignoramous asks: as someone who's never ridden a Commando with a DT-type head steady, and isn't in a position to experiment by just buying/making one and trying … I'd be grateful for an explanation of how it is 'better' than the 'Norvil' style. I remember following Mike Taglieri's experiments donkey's years ago, so maybe I've just forgotten this detail, but … Trouble is, I understand the purpose of the Isolastics to be to stop any appreciable 'sideways' movement by the engine, limiting movement to a vertical plane in line with the length of the bike. And, when I look at the DT head steady, it seems to encourage sideways movement, since the rose joints form a bar that pivots around its attachments at each end: to my understanding, this means that the engine-end of that bar must 'swing' around the head-steady end, since that end is fixed in relation to the frame. So, laterally, the bar 'becomes' shorter and longer as the engine bobs up, down, backwards and forwards. Is that right, and is it simply that the effect is negligible, or what? TIA
 

Craig

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While I have no knowledge of the Norvil head steady .... I did have the boxed style head steady on my ‘72 for several years .... after fooling with isolastic shims over same time I got myself the complete vernier type buffers and adjusters , that was an improvement in making adjustment easier plus the new rubber buffers did seem to smooth things a little better than what I had been using ... after a few more years I installed the DT type HS with spring , at first not much difference , but as I experimented with spring tension eventually found the sweet spot .... I would now compare my Commando with either of my Italian bikes re: smoothness the Norton has been transformed , can drain fuel tank with no numb hand or butt , want to ride it more now than ever , have not noticed any price paid in handling either .... hope this is some help
Craig
 

baz

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An ignoramous asks: as someone who's never ridden a Commando with a DT-type head steady, and isn't in a position to experiment by just buying/making one and trying … I'd be grateful for an explanation of how it is 'better' than the 'Norvil' style. I remember following Mike Taglieri's experiments donkey's years ago, so maybe I've just forgotten this detail, but … Trouble is, I understand the purpose of the Isolastics to be to stop any appreciable 'sideways' movement by the engine, limiting movement to a vertical plane in line with the length of the bike. And, when I look at the DT head steady, it seems to encourage sideways movement, since the rose joints form a bar that pivots around its attachments at each end: to my understanding, this means that the engine-end of that bar must 'swing' around the head-steady end, since that end is fixed in relation to the frame. So, laterally, the bar 'becomes' shorter and longer as the engine bobs up, down, backwards and forwards. Is that right, and is it simply that the effect is negligible, or what? TIA
I too have not tried a commando with the Dave Taylor type head steady
I have a norvil type one
I can only imagine the slight arc the motor must move in must be very small so as not to be noticed?
Lots of people have the DT type one and rate them highly
 

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