My Norton is snortin!!!

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Apr 15, 2004
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I got my bike all back together with the new swingarm spindle and rejetted carbs today. And license/registration so I could do some real riding - woohoo! It's running very well and the back end feels nice and tight with its new spindle. Jetting seems to be pretty good too. I adjusted the idle doing the one-cylinder-at-a-time method and it has a nice steady smooth idle now.

There's still a few nagging issues to deal with but it's a runner! Today was its first real ride since getting the bike 6 weeks ago. And that blue metalflake tank actually looks pretty good. I took it to the gas station for the very first time and shot a bunch of digital pics too.

Too cool!!! :D

71 750 Roadster.
snortin norton

Hi Debby,

I didn't see any responses yet, congratulations! The little nagging problems will go away, just stay after them.
Woo-Hoo!!! Way to go Debby.

It sure feels good riding what you put together doesn't it :lol:

Pics! Pics! Pics!
Yes it is a very nice feeling knowing that you got the thing going with your own hard work. I must say Nortons can be quite challenging to work on too.

Will get some pics up soon...


Ok, here's the pics showing the bike with its blue tank and black panels. Am planning to put the black tank back on when I have it refurb'd but the blue is starting to grow on me. If I can score some matching side panels maybe I'll keep him blue for a while...

My Norton is snortin!!!

And in the interest of quicker page loads, here's links to a couple more:

PO had the bike restored about 10 years ago and it still looks great. It has some mechanical issues to sort out though. And I just bought some disk brake parts off ebay so that drum brake might be going bye-bye one of these days...


Your bike looks great! All the aluminum brackets and engine covers look nicely polished!

Are you making any headway on the leaky petcock problem?

Hi Jason,

No progress on the petcock yet. It's hard to find time to work on it during the week. I live in an apartment complex and keep the bike in a storage unit across town. That makes it difficult to get anything done during the week. Maybe tonight or tomorrow I can sneak away a little early.

Am hoping to get a house with a garage in the fall but my employer isn't doing so well financially. So right now I'm waiting to see if I'm going to get laid off again :/

Debby, From looking at the pictures I see a potential problem. It has to do with your throttle cable routing. Stock cables have the adjuster in a bad spot and the route you have going is making it worse. Try this and see if it doesn't work better. Undo the cable from the hand grip and reroutre the cable to the left side of the right fork leg as your sitting on the bike. Have it come thru so that it's supported by the spacer between the head light and the headlight support bracket. ( over the top) Now when you rehook it to the grip have the cable go over the top of the front brake lever. Now the cable is supported better and not as likley to get bound up or caught up on things you pass by. You may also try turning your right side insturment a little to the left so that the cable can fit between the headlight ear and the headlight as well. norbsa
throttle cable routing

Hi Norbsa,

Getting the cable out of harms way is probably a good idea. With the stock Amal throttle and cable, making the bend to go around the forks tends to bind the action. As with all the cables on a Commando the straightest route is the best. The original path as on Debby's machine is the best routing for best action for original parts.

To route the way you suggest it might be better to use a different throttle that has a 90 degree bend using a metal tube or modifying the Amal adding the same type tube. I think it's still too many short radii for smooth action.
Yes, binding on the clutch and throttle cables was indeed a problem. I discovered clutch cable routing makes a huge difference on the stiffness of the clutch release. With my first attempt at routing the cable I could barely pull the clutch lever in. Now it's smooth and easy :)

PO had tall bars (9 inch rise) on the bike and I switched to euro bars, keeping the same cables. That is quite a long loop on the throttle cable; looks like it's just asking to snag something doesn't it? Certainly wouldn't work for a dirt bike. But the throttle action is smooth and light. Perhaps I should get the shorter euro cables...

Debby, I have bought lots of cables through the years and the stock ones are not built right. If you can get hooked up with a good supplyer it's easy to build your own. The cable I use is real thin and so is it's housing. It's made by barrnet and has a red nylon liner in the black housing. When you make your own you can keep the adjusters located under the tank were there's a straight run they don't need constant adjustment anyway. This thin cable will bend twice as tight a radias as stock cable and not bind. The best benefit is at the top of the carbs were much less force is put to the slides in the carbs than stock cable. You will need to learn to silver solder but it's not hard. For the short time it would take to try my alternate route I think that if it did work you would have a safer mortorcycle. If it dosen't work put it back, no parts needed. norbsa
Hi Debby,

Nice lookin machine!! I agree with the polishing job. Sweet!

I might as well put my 2 pennies in. How about a very small black zip-tie holding your throttle cable to the speedo cable. Should get the big loop out of the way w/o adding anything kinky 8) (sorry).

I've made a few of my own cables for my racer, but it involved a minor investment in barrels, ferules, etc. Most cable parts come in packages of 10-25 from any of the big catalogs. Also, the naked cable and covering come in spools, adn in different widths. Quite easy to do though. I soldered my ends with a Butane or Propane torch and adequate flux which I wipe off with alcohol when done. Haven't had a one come apart.

Here's a trick to cutting cable. Solder a small area where you plan to cut. Then when you cut, those nasty strands stay put ... and it's already pre-tinned.
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