How about we start a list?

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Of the typical things that newbies will face as Norton owners this Spring?
Think of it as community service without the ankle bracelet.

Wet sumping is an oxymoron. Has anyone ever had "dry sumping"?
This will confound and puzzle you and trick you into topping things up to the point where sage club members will buy shares in oil companies.

Boyer wires will always seperate at the crimp connectors.
This will always happen in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, in the pouring rain on your way home from a club meeting. Somebody will always stop and start with Lucas jokes when Boyer ones would be more appropriate and they will be riding a Harley or a Jap bike.

Never let a bike mechanic younger than 40 years of age even touch your Commando. They will have no clue as to postive earth electrics and can't set up a TLS front brake to save their souls. Or yours. If you do, be sure to hire a lawyer for the "Diaphragm Clutch Spring" defense when you go to trial.

A loose rectifier touching the frame or fender will give that dreaded "Red Light On" syndrome. You will find it only after having tested, re-soldered, and gotten divorced.

You will never have enough loctite. Though you might make the mistake of thinking "they are all the same" and having to hire a gorilla to remove fittings later. "Does not release with hand tools" takes on a whole new meaning at the side of the road, in the dark, when it is raining, yeah, you know the rest of that song...

You will regret having laughed at the guy who had cut two rubber bands from old inner tubes and slipped them over his speedo and tach. Especially when something is hanging off... in the dark, when it is raining, etc....

You will understand why ear plugs are used by riders with open pea shooters after riding for 200 miles. What, speak up, I can't hear you!

You will learn that rebuilding the Norton forks is dead nuts simple, but not until you remember to "ream" the bushes a little.

You will learn that putting oil into the swingarm is damn near impossible even if you have fingers that are two feet long.

You will learn to not buy cheapo gas taps, especially when the neoprene inner begins to slip and leads to all manner of problems from starting to cutting out to poor performance. Avoid ones that say "Proudly made by child labor in Calcutta".

The nice shiny alloy seat holders that spin on so well, will strip with regularity as you snug them down.

Small cracks in anything but the gas tank are nothing to really worry about. Until they become big cracks.

You will learn that the old adage that "timing is everything" comes into play when kicking over a Combat while keeping your leg locked. You will limp more than James Caan on a cold, rainy night (bet you thought I couldn't get that phrase in again).

Though your primary chaincase appears oil tight, some anal retentive idiot club member (who mostly owns Triumphs) will run a finger under it and cluck a tsk, tsk and wave a finger wet with tranny oil at you during a club meeting in front of everyone. You will also learn to leave a charged capicator lying around for him to absently pick up and examine as payback.

You will learn how important it is to shim an alternator for proper air gap and yes, cue the "dark and rainy night" phrase again!

But most of all, you will find that a properly set up Norton Commando will be one of the most memorable bike you will ever own and your better half will give you warm embraces and get all moist when you lean into the first corner and experience Norton handling. She will also pay homage to your new found mechanical talent by asking you to fix everything from her hair dryer (positive ground heh,heh,heh) to the toaster oven.

Now, how is that for starters?
Well said.
The moral here is to avoid Dark, rainy nights.
Well lucky me, a new commando owner living 12 miles or so from Las Vegas. We have niether dark nights nor rainy nights, I'm home free. :D
I'll erase my double post and use the space to say: that is a wonderful little piece of writing, I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Commando750, you are scaring me... absolutely brilliant article you posted here!!!!!

Gimme more!

Matt from Hamburg, Germany

Thanks, Matt. Let me ponder the tach drive leak and clutch mysteries and post something on those, oh, and maybe exhaust "nuts".

Everyone remembers two things, their first sight of a "Norton Girl" ad in a magazine and their first Commando. Things usually get a little blurry after those.
Good post, I am sure most of us that do our own work on our nortons can relate to the "fixes" you have covered.

"But most of all, you will find that a properly set up Norton Commando will be one of the most memorable bike you will ever own and your better half will give you warm embraces and get all moist when you lean into the first corner and experience Norton handling."

So true & as you say, that is the part that makes up for all the work a properly setup Norton needs.

Those new 2005 Triumph Sprints & Daytonas look pretty good.
What does anyone else think about them ?
I do love my Nortons but hell it would be nice to get on one of those new Triumphs & just go anywhere without worrying about the "dark & rainy nights" that seem to happen at the worst possible moments.

Just imagine, no more jap & other riders pulling up next to you & telling you that your bike has no tail light or "Do you know you have an oil leak & it is all over your back wheel ?" The thing is we all usually know the pitfalls of owning a norton & no one is going to tell us anything we haven't learned about them.

As one good friend of mine said, "What would we do with our spare time if we didn't have a norton to work on ?"

Nortons Rule ! Long Live the Norton Motorcycle !
Until we all die & the only nortons people see are in a museum that is.

Until that day arrives, let's keep on riding a living legend.
Under 40, eh?

Yes, brilliant. However, I do take exception to the under 40 thing. Not all of us X'ers are totally illiterate to positive ground, right foot shift, ticklers, and kick starters (these are aspects of my Norton that I call theft deterants). :P :P

Just remember which generation is going to be funding your pensions before you go disrespecting us. :D


Well, I have been told!

No dissing against those under 40, my apologies.
However it does seem that a Darwinian force is in play, as obviously you know how to set up the TLS front brake as you have survived Norton ownership so far.
And by the way, thanks for funding my retirement when it happens, who says those old pharts over 45 are not grateful!
That "theft detterent" deal is not so much positive ground as truly positive thinking, and one of the best lines I have heard in a long time, thanks for that one. Ingenious! :D
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