Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Bikes, Oct 11, 2018.
Its has that so ugly it's kinda cool look. Haven't seen one except in pics since the 70's.
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.....;-)
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.
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.
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!!!
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
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.
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.
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 …
It could have been worse they could of used a t160 frame!!!!
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
Young, yes. Irresponsible, not often. Maybe that’s why I will turn 74 Friday.
Well happy birthday for Friday Jim
This recent article states the HiRider was commercially helpful to Norton, with 44% sales increase West of Mississippi when it came out.
With ads like this, I can see why....
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.
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.
Great for the long straight roads in the US - useless if you want to go round corners
... the bikes were not much better