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Master Cylinder - Handlebar Controls

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Cheesehead Commando, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Cheesehead Commando

    Cheesehead Commando

    Dec 2, 2008
    Hi All -

    A number of years ago I was able to source a set of MkIII handlebar controls to retro-fit on my ‘74 MkII 850 Commando. All good. I then decided to have the master cylinder re-bored (13 mil?) to improve the function and feel of the front brake. Not good.

    It appears that process has caused the lever to extend to an uncomfortable, and nearly dangerous distance from my fingers. The reach required to grab the lever is much too great. I am now concerned that the work I had completed to improve braking has made it worse.

    Has anyone had a similar issue when having the cylinder re-bored? Any suggested fixes?

    While we are at it... is it possible that Andover makes stock replacement switchgear for the MkII? I would prefer to go back to the original setup if possible. If not, what are others doing to replace broken or unusable switchgear, including master cylinder?

    Thanks for any help you can provide!!
  2. kommando


    May 7, 2005
    is it possible that Andover makes stock replacement switchgear for the MkII?

    No, the 169A switches are not currently in production

    As for the reach of the lever you should be able to replace the lever with an alternative that has a different configuration at the stop in the lever housing or change the lever housing by drilling and tapping for a grub screw and locking nut to make the reach adjustable.
  3. bluto


    Jul 15, 2010
    My 73 had a resleeved MC and it would seize when parked in the sun on a hot day, would have to relieve the pressure at the caliper and cool the MC before riding...posted that here and learned others had experienced the same problem. Rather than try and fix it I opted to buy the MC "madass" sells and that has worked well as it bolts up to the stock switchgear (the adjustable lever in the photo was added by me, the MC came with a standard lever)


  4. Cheesehead Commando

    Cheesehead Commando

    Dec 2, 2008
    Thanks for the help, guys!

    I may try that fix to the current lever. However, I am also interested in obtaining that m/c being sold by “madass”. How do I contact him?
  5. tomspro

    tomspro VIP MEMBER

    Jan 25, 2014
  6. Onder


    May 11, 2010
    My 74 850 has stock lever and bored massa cylinder. No problems with hang up at all. I have smallish hands and no difficulty with reaching and
    using two fingers.
  7. B+Bogus


    Jun 28, 2009
    The RGM version has an adjustable pushrod between the lever and piston so can be tweaked
    Cheesehead Commando likes this.
  8. Torontonian


    Dec 28, 2009
    My brake lever rested so far away from a full hand full grab that I stopped driving it out of 2 finger fear that a serious stop could result in a bad scenario. That was when I purchased The MK 111 in Ottawa and drove it carefully home to Toronto. It's Grimeca or A.P. racing master cylinder , not sure yet , I'll ask at the next rally I attend. Huge A.P. floating disc.
    After studying options , I removed the lever itself and incrementally filed down the aluminum tab that presses against the piston , being very careful to maintain the original profile of actuation. A one way street , too much removed and you can't go back. Works quite well now and I can grab with 4 fingers not just the previous 2. Something to consider.
    Cheesehead Commando likes this.
  9. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Dec 5, 2017
    Yes, there are mods you can make to the oem lever to have it sit closer to the bar. Madass's re-sleeving kit actualyl comes with three different thickness caps to slip over the MC pushrod end to fine tune the throw of the lever. Even then, some filing of the lever end(s) were necessary in my case to get it all working right.
    I do like his full MC kit. in hind sight might have gone that direction if starting over.
    Cheesehead Commando likes this.
  10. Cheesehead Commando

    Cheesehead Commando

    Dec 2, 2008
    Great stuff, everyone. I don’t feel so all alone on this issue anymore! Will think over the options, hoping that madass has an adaptor for the MkIII switchgear as well.
  11. madass140

    madass140 VIP MEMBER

    Nov 6, 2011
    no sorry, cant help with the MK3 situation. most just resleeve the MK3 mastercylinder
  12. NorCat


    Feb 26, 2015
    Madass sleeve kit keeps Mk3 controls just looking original and works very well if you don't have enough he can supply you with the rest of the complete kit he has developed or fit an other kit available to increse braking power from other sources .
  13. Phil Myers

    Phil Myers

    Jul 1, 2018
    Worntorn posted a great piece on how to adapt mk3 switchgear to the madass master cylinder..
  14. NorComCycles


    Aug 23, 2012
    It is impossible for "that process" to cause the lever to extend. The lever is stopped by it's own design. Whether or not something else was done to cause it (grinding/filing on the lever) is another matter, but it would have had to have been something else.
    kommando likes this.
  15. cliffa


    May 26, 2013
  16. 84ok


    Aug 10, 2014
  17. Robert_Norton


    Dec 21, 2008
    jimbo likes this.
  18. jimbo

    jimbo VIP MEMBER

    Sep 25, 2004

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