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Hi rider question

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Bikes, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Niagara850

    Niagara850

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Its has that so ugly it's kinda cool look. Haven't seen one except in pics since the 70's.
     
  2. Bikes

    Bikes

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Im not a fan of the hi rider either..however, in the pile of parts I got with my 850 there is a set....no markings on them ,12” high.....figured they'd be worth huge money to someone wanting a hi rider......so....Ill wake up shortly.....;-)
     
  3. Dutch

    Dutch

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    I was riding motorcycles when the Hi Rider came out - didn't care for the style then - but if I was at a show/race/gathering of Norton's and spied one, that would be the first one I'd go to.
    I think it's cool they had the balls to try it.
     
  4. NortonMKIIA850

    NortonMKIIA850

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    As far as that goes, one might say Norton was ten years or so ahead of the game – I remember shuddering at the Japanese factory 'custom' models that suddenly seemed to be everywhere in the '80s. Yeah, take a superb but everyday engine, or the worst, most gutless one, and stick it in an ugly bike that's meant to make its owner, who knows next to nothing about bikes and riding, feel cool … not. What a rip-off. For a while, working as a motorcycle courier, I was stuck with a 'custom' CX500. For zipping around London all day, the bars were too wide, the suspension too soggy, and the fuel tank much too small. And out of town the ride was awful. The only thing it was good for, I discovered, was larking around in a meadow at night with about four people clinging on. After a few beers, of course. That was fun. But otherwise it was terrible. And this kind of bike is still with us. Nasty things IMHO – I've nothing against custom bikes per se, it's more that the word 'custom' becomes meaningless when most such bikes are not 'custom' at all; and the factory ones always did and do look built to a low budget.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  5. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    I agree with all of the above especially about the Japanese so called "custom" bikes
    But don't forget the triumph hurricane was out at about the same time as the highrider
    I think at that time in Britain motorcycle manufacturers would have built just about anything that they thought would sell
    Even the Italians were getting in on the act with the fantic chopper!!!
     
  6. trident sam

    trident sam

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    I was working in a bike shop ( @77) when we took delivery of a new CX 500 in the crate, it must have been one of the first here.
    I was all for sealing the crate back up and sending it back to Japan, I'd never seen anything so hideous in my life .
    Proves what I know , they sold millions of em :)

    sam
     
    NortonMKIIA850 likes this.
  7. trident sam

    trident sam

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Maybe only a cynical beggar like me would think that the Hurricane was a good way of getting rid of the remaining @1200 Rocket 3 frames and motors that were left when production stopped.
    sam
     
    NortonMKIIA850 likes this.
  8. NortonMKIIA850

    NortonMKIIA850

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Ah yes, the Fantic chopper – I remember that! What a waste of metal … But yes I'd forgotten the X75, that was a work of art, and didn't look cheap at all! I was lucky enough to see one up close a year or so ago, maybe not very practical but beautiful.
     
  9. NortonMKIIA850

    NortonMKIIA850

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Yeah, the 'plastic maggot'! The 'standard' CX500 made for a great courier bike, with one big limitation, and it was fine out of town. No wonder so many were sold, pig-ugly though they were. (Wait a minute, pigs aren't ugly … Anyway!) Its only problem for the rider was its high centre of gravity. If you've ever dropped one, you'll know what I mean, plus it was a bit unnerving in a sense – everything felt a bit too far off the ground. Really I'm an inch or two too short in the leg for my Commando, but it doesn't give me that nervy feeling. I've never ridden a penny-farthing, but …
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  10. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    It could have been worse they could of used a t160 frame!!!!
     
  11. trident sam

    trident sam

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Yes, and it could have been even better if they had used the Rocket 3 frame for the T160 like Les Williams wanted.
    In my opinion the R3 was a much better frame, just needed the centre stand ground clearance sorting out as it was awful
     
    baz likes this.
  12. JimC

    JimC

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007

    Young, yes. Irresponsible, not often. Maybe that’s why I will turn 74 Friday.
     
  13. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Well happy birthday for Friday Jim
     
  14. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Eljahara and NortonMKIIA850 like this.
  15. NortonMKIIA850

    NortonMKIIA850

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Yes indeed! :)
     
  16. dynodave

    dynodave

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    In 1996 I had a work related pinched nerve in my upper back. I was not able to ride at all on a bike with a lean forward position. My riding solution was to do the HiRider conversion to my combat... Drum brake, seat, sissy bar, tank and most important was the handlebars.
    Absolutely saved my riding season. Still ran like a combat.
    I like the interstate package best but have put the HiRider package in moth balls in case I need it some day. Yeah the seat sucks.
     
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  17. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    At the risk of being accused of defending the hideousness, the HiRider was on trend at the time...the chopper crazy was in full swing...and each and every one was equally hideous IMHO. I feel the same regarding bell bottom jeans, tie-dye and mullets.
     
    Niagara850 likes this.
  18. 84ok

    84ok

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
  19. Eljahara

    Eljahara VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Great for the long straight roads in the US - useless if you want to go round corners
     
  20. Eljahara

    Eljahara VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    ... the bikes were not much better
     

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