Help with an inherited Commando

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Apr 18, 2007
My father passed away in November of 1995. He has left me a 72 Commando. He and I spent countless hours restoring the bike after his friend was killed in an accident on it. I was in my teens at the time and really don't remember the simple things about the bike. I need to know what I should do when I get it to make sure I don't ruin anything by starting it. Obviously the fuel needs to be drained, but do these bike require a lead additive, what is the best oil to use etc... I guess I need a "checklist" of what I need to do once I get it. I know that dad said it was a Combat, he rode it daily for 15 years; taking it down yearly as a hobby to make sure it was perfect all the time. Thanks for any advice!
Nathan, It sounds like you have a real heirloom there and one that is worth cherishing both for sentimental reasons and for the simple fact that this is an exciting bike to own and ride.
If the bike has sat for some time you would be well advised to drain the oils before doing anything else. Nortons tend to 'wet-sump' when left for any length of time - This means that all of the oil that normally resides in the oil tank finds it's way into the bottom of the engine and sometimes through the crank seal into the primary (clutch) case. Drain the oil from the plug at the bottom of the crankcase and the primary case and then fill up the oil tank to the appropriate mark; Note that the oil level needs to be checked with the engine at normal operating temperature and actually running. The primary case needs oil as well and many Norton owners run ATF in here to good effect. The carbs may need removal and a thorough cleaning if the bike has sat with fuel in them for a lengthy period, the fuel evaporates but leaves gums and resins that can block jets and small orifices.
I'm sure you will get good advise as necessary from the many knowledgeable enthusiasts on this site.

Good luck
A short list maybe others will post what I leave behind. Drain all the oils motor ,trans, forks. Change the filter if fitted if not fitted fit one now for sure. Pull the oil tank and clean the life out of it this was the filter before filters were put on the bikes. Disassemble and clean the carbs buy yourself a .016 drill bit and glue the shank into a red plastic spray tube for drilling of the pilot jets. Buy new nettles and nettle jets. Fresh rubber lines for the balance tube in between the carbs , gas lines, new cables, Top end gaskets.
Wiring is a project in itself all new female bullet connectors from British wiring ,a new new ing. switch only thirty bucks , pull the handle bar switches apart for cleaning and maintainable pieces there in. Add ground wires (RED) from rectifier to battery,battery to head light, head to rectifier, coil to rectifier. New AGM battery dry cell. Pull the zener diode and clean well add dielectric grease also all the bullet connectors could use a little of this. Check the points wires replace most of the time. New solid copper spark plug wires with NGK non resistor caps and fresh plugs of course.

New tires and tubes, go through the brakes, wheel bearings, clutch plates, clean the gas tank out. Write back if it don't run after all this and we will help ya out.
Thank you for your advice; I'm sure when I get the bike, I will need some more help. It's great to know that there are so many people willing to share their knowledge. Thanks again!
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