It's not if but when 1968 Commando frame

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Apr 7, 2004
Well it took some time but if you have a 68 frame keep an eye on these points.
It's not if but when 1968 Commando frame

Miles unknown but it was raced a bit in early life. The 750motor replaced with an 850. No ones life was endangered cracks appeared and we were looking for them. It was the ride on a trailer to the shop that really opened things up. The customer found a nice 70 frame a few years ago heeding our warning about running this on the road.I posted it because you hear about this but rarely see it. Be warned they will all break if ridden for sure. BDM yes it sat many years unused in the span between father and son. Now to be reborn and rode again.
it's a real tribute to whoever did the re-design that this is so bad & the replcement is so good! :D
F_Magna said:
it's a real tribute to whoever did the re-design that this is so bad & the replcement is so good!

That person being Ken Sprayson of Reynolds Tubing.
Broken Norton Frame

Just yesterday there was an 850 frame forsale on Craigslist Providence RI
I know nothing about it but after seeing the broken frame here, :eek: some one may need it.
Bruce MacGregor
I took the first ride on my 68 Fastback two weeks ago after a long winter hibernation.
After a few kilometres the bike all of a sudden started to wobble at a low speed (40-60 Km /h ).
I went back home and found the left lower frame tube was cracked and the right one too. Both about 80 % cracked.
After dismantling the gas tank I also found the main frame tube was  90 % cracked.
The bike had almost been divided into two parts!
Can somebody give me an idea how to repair and also strengthen the frame?
I have a good friend that built his own dragracing bikes who will do the welding job and the reinforcement.
What I understand, later Commandos have a much better construction of the cylinder head connection to the frame.
Good grief Laobent you are one lucky fella.
Don't push your luck anymore buy a later frame and all the other bits to mount a mainstand etc. Only an 'anorak' will notice.

cash said:
Good grief Laobent you are one lucky fella.
Don't push your luck anymore buy a later frame and all the other bits to mount a mainstand etc. Only an 'anorak' will notice.


Hear Hear !

I don't believe that Nortons ever repaired them. Even under warranty they were replaced. If there had been a recall system in place at that time then there probably wouldn't be any left now.

They were replaced in the first instance by a similar frame which differed, I believe, only in that short headstock gusset was replaced by a tube triangulating with the top tube near the headsteady mount.
yes I think it was my lucky day!!!!!!!!!!!!
But how to find a used frame in good shape and to a reasonable cost?
I still believe it possible to repair the frame. My idea is to strip of the frame . Check for more cracks by using ultrasonic and red penetrant .
Replace part of the damage tubes, make reinforcement , sandblast and finally re-paint the frame black.
If you do repair your original frame, you will still be left with the fundamental weakness of these early frames.

Second hand frames do turn up but as you say, condition is not guaranteed. New frames are still made. Les Emery at Norvil motorcycles lists them at £583. I don't know what the costs are to you of repairing your frame but if you get someone else to do it, it won't be much less than that and you will have to ensure alignment etc. plus you will have a 40 year old frame which has endured serious fatigue.
There is a poster on Brtit iron who has a new frame, his old parts won't fit and Regal who supplied it to Norvil say all their stock has the same dimensions. So 2nd hand seems safest at present, until its sorted out.
I have noted that frames appear reasonably frequently on e-bay. They seem to go for about $200 in the US and you should expect to pay about $100 shipping. I myself bought one about a year ago on Ebay USA for $120 and I'm very pleased with it. I note that both earlier (with frame mounted swingarm, but with strengthening strut) and later models of frame seem to be available.
Sometimes it's seen as poor taste posting items for sale on forums like this one but I'm hoping this is seen more as trying to help, given the nature of this thread. I do have an excellent spare frame, unused for at least 1/2 its life complete with a matching no's case half. Although I don't have the no's handy' I remember it having no's 1303xx with the case being 20m3 with no's matching the frame ('69 with points behind the cyls)? I don't mind if it sits until I find the time (and ambition) to start yet another project but if anyone if really needs one, I think I'd let it go?
laobent, I would scarf this up quickly as it is a perfect fit for all your parts. Very nice of you to offer it by the way.
Prior to the frame cracking has anyone reenforced this area during a restoration, and how?

The point of the post is that it will break no matter, just a question of when if running the bike. Get a 69 frame.
68 norton frame

I have seen this type of damage before and if I'm not mistaken the Norton company when still in business had a recall issued on these defective frames at that time. How some have stayed in circulation is a mystery to me because if you had one of these frames you would have gone to the dealer ship for a complete frame change.I had a 68 frame with same damage and this is what I was told. Doxford
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