I f you were buying a Commando

Not open for further replies.
Apr 7, 2004
He's my description of a bike I have to sell on eBay Sunday. Submitted for your review Should I re-word anything?

1974 850Norton Commando
This one has been fixed up over the years I have had it. I made it into a Fastback touring bike. The Fastback model was not sold in the U.S. after 1971 or so, because it used a fiberglass tank being outlawed near that time .This model shouldn’t have been discontinued in the US but fixed like this bike has been fixed.
The list of things done is long: having owned or loved a Norton will help to understand some of the modifications. The changes were done one at a time and tested to be sure of the suitability of each. I have a 750 I will be keeping for life, but this one was for my son to drive and he wants a custom 441 single now so this must fund the new ride.

Chrome rims by Central Wheel, Cad plated spokes - 19 on the front, 18 on the back for wider tire selection. The nipples are nickel plated brass.
New stainless steel front fender and S.S. stays are fitted. S.S. caliper pistons with new seals, and a new S.S. brake line with Teflon inner from Rocky Point Cycle.
The Norton master cylinder has the RGM 13mm conversion done by them. The disk rotor was ground and drilled by DBR. The Platinum pads are fitted, and it stops like a modern bike. Lever action is two fingers on the clutch and the brake.

The front end is all freshened up, has the Fauth fork kit with six inches of travel (stock was 4 1/2) fluid stops at each end. Using Progressive springs and Leak Proof seals, alloy quick fill fork cap bolts. S.S. front axle and nut.
Has an oil filled oil pressure gage in a Fauth mount with a fly screen and the Norton logo by Steve Dale (BritGaskets) to keep the bugs off the powder coated gage cups. Speedometer and tachometer gages have just 4,200 miles on them since the rebuild by Nisonger.
S.S. mirror stems from Norvil with the cast H.D. truncated oval “tinted for night” mirrors.
The gas tank was custom made by Ross Thomson from an Atlas steel tank. His work is excellent: the tank is lined with Por-15. The logos are painted on with clear urethane over the top: you can’t feel them. The green matches the Gel coat on the rear tail piece.
The horn and headlight are operated by relays made for me by Eastern Beaver Co. unseen under the tank. The system uses real motorcycle duty relays. These take the amperage strain off the handle bar switches and provide a direct fused link to the battery. The horn is loud and the light is bright.
There is a Fauth wire kit on the Mark Three Boyer coil plate to avoid breakage there. Black Dana dual output single coil. Brand new black AGM Battery 14 Amp hr is fitted. I used a custom made bracket that is ISO mounted for the Tympanium rectifier and Zenor unit.
At the tail light I fitted the “bulbs that last forever” light array.
This bike runs a Norvil primary belt drive system. The inner cover has the Fauth modification for venting the dry primary. It’s hard to see, and works well.
The transmission has the dual adjusters mounted facing forwards on the cradle for easy adjustments; this keeps the transmission straight for longer belt life.
Motor is vented with a “Krank vent” valve to the oil tank.
The head is the RH4 (32mm intakes), good threads for the George Scholtz S.S. exhaust nuts. The drilled through intake rocker shafts do away with the oil cross over line. All the other top end oil lines are S.S. braided units.

The 36MM Mikuni has a U. F.O. (Ultimate Flow Optimizer) fitted as well as a dial-A-jet. This puts the pull back in the motor and it still gets 57 MPG at 55 MPH, if you can keep it going that slow.
The exhaust system is black chrome made by Paul Bryant’s “Viking Exhaust” (1 5/8 size). These ran me about 1,325.00 U.S. and I waited a long time so you won’t have to. Black with green is really the only choice, don’t you think?
Because the tank’s origin is Atlas, it’s shorter than the Fastback, so the seat is customized to fill the gap making it a nice two up ride. Looks like a Fastback but you can take a passenger along (what a concept).
The early Doug’s Norton bags still sport the Colorado Norton Works tag. They were made for Fastbacks.

The transmission has been overhauled with a new updated roller on the lay shaft. Shifter seal still weeps once in a while. The main chain and its sprockets have been converted to the 520 size and an X-ring chain is fitted. After four thousand miles, no adjustment is needed and no mess. The frame was gusseted for extra support of the rear loop before the powder coating and the swing arm modification was done.
The ISO’s have been upgraded to the adjustable vernier type.
The powder coated chain guard is the early 1969 type with full coverage and better looks. A pair of Progressive shocks with black springs of course.
The oil pump was just lapped in to stop the wet sumping and build the idle pressure up to snuff. It has the Kelly Cork auto cam chain adjuster and a new chain to boot. New main oil pressure seal fitted. Has the Norton oil filter fitted with the converter for easy oil filter finding at the auto stores.
It has a proper Fastback rear fender (black). Custom made S.S. ignition switch bracket to suit the larger Fastback covers. You will note that the side cover logos say 750. They came from my 750 when I got aluminum ones for that bike. You will have to live with it as is or sand off the clear urethane to the gold lettering and re-do the logo. Or just keep it a sleeper for non Norton folks LOL. This bike is kind of quick for an 850 with stock crank, pistons, and cam
The blinkers are genuine Lucas items not reproductions.
The lever choke and throttle cables are Fauth’s hand made light weight nylon lined jobs.
Life time silicone rocker gaskets and the oil tank modification is done. Did I mention that you might need to know a bit about Commando’s? And to top it all off the S.S. rear brake pedal return spring. Did I forget any thing? I don’t know - just ask.
I f you were buying a Commando

I f you were buying a Commando
your description seems absolutely thorough (change 'petal' to 'pedal ").... AND it's an absolutely stunning bike!
If you were buying a commando

Absolutely spot on, (change pedal spelling),it is a real shame that you have to part with the bike Greg, I understand why, I hope that whoever wins the bidding has a genuine love of Norton motorcycles and respects what you have done. good luck. James
I'm sorry to hear you have to sell the bike, Greg. It looks and sounds great. The description is much more detailed than most bikes on ebay, so hopefully it will attract quality bidders.

I'd buy it myself but I'm getting a little overextended with these things!

I wish I had the funds to buy it.

Since I don't, I intend to print out a copy of your text and use it as instructions as to how to further sort out my own.

Good luck selling it, you should have no problem finding a good home for this beauty. And the lucky sod that gets it will cherish it no doubt!
It's listed now 140224509335
The price will be what the market will bare. But not less than my reserve.
I have another bike on there you folks might get a grin out of 140224483655
norbsa48503 said:
The 36MM Mikuni has a U. F.O. (Ultimate Flow Optimizer) fitted as well as a dial-A-jet. This puts the pull back in the motor and it still gets 57 MPG at 55 MPH, if you can keep it going that slow.

That bike looks amazing.

I am interested in the UFO and dial a jet??? Never heard of that, care to explain? I have a 36mm as well.
From an old post: If you can't tune what you have now don't try this.

If your single Mikuni is giving out at the top end here’s a fix.

-To hot up a Mikuni, not if you lack patience.
Start with a 36mm any bigger is a waste of time I tried a 40mm not
good. Get the carb jetted to work as well as you can. Then add the UFO. So a buddy is into snow machines and he's reading these ads “turn your round slide Mikuni into flat slide performance "So we buy this thirdly dollar piece of plastic that fits in the bottom of the slide smoothing out the recess there. It's called a "UFO" ultimate flow optimizer.
Well now the air is undisturbed going in so follow the directions and than some, all the way down to a 15 pilot jet or she chucks black smoke. The spray tube needs to be carefully drilled per instructions, Oh now the slide won't return to idle so file form plastic so it will. Fettle, adjust again and again. Oh my god it's working. So good is the response that the wimpy Mikuni spring cant hold her at a study idle seems the air rushing in is lifting the slide. So add an old Amal spring inside the Mikuni spring, there "thanks" Stan at Rocky Point for that one. Still getting 57 MPG at 55-60 MPH three years later.
Please don't ask your mechanic to do this for you because he doesn’t have the time and you don't have the beans. Norbsa48503
Thanks for the clarification on the 34 mm carb update. Who sells it?
Sorry that your son wants another ride. I am available for adoption if the bike comes with. :wink:
He wants to sell it to buy a BSA 441??? :shock: :shock: :shock:

You should disown him!

I am sorry it should have read 36MM carb for an 850 a 34MM works well on 750's though. The boy is 23 and rides quite well. 150lbs and six foot one. When we find the tight twisty roads he is in his prime think about Commando torque and 100 lbs less wt on the bike. Once you hit the curves he is gone. Can't blame him really I was 23 once.
Not open for further replies.