I just bought a rebuild kit and all new aluminum internals for my forks. As other posters mentioned all the parts are available new.
I thought about Ceriani or Marzocchi but could not find any on-line retailers or any information for that matter, so I just bought new guts for my stock forks. I will attempt my first rebuild in a week or so and it doesn't seem like that hard of a job to do.
Yes, the bike is a 72 850 Commando. I would like to find a set of nice used complete fork assemblies. The tubes that I have are scratched up. I was trying to keep costs down and didn't really want to pay the price for new. Thanks again for any info.
If you are trying to keep costs down, you can often find new or used lengthened tubes from the chopper-era that can be cut down in a lathe. If it is a used set this will provide new surface area for the bushings and give new life to them. I have picked up brand new 6 or 8 inch extended tubes at swap meets for less than $40 a pair. A friend with a lathe cuts down to length from the lower end and turns down the end for the steel bush and clip. Cross drill the end and you have a set of stock length tubes.
Buy new bronze and steel bushes and a set of seals and you should be good to go. Caution! Do not buy DomiRacer blister packed bushes and seals. These bushes will need to be fitted and reamed or the forks will seize. I'd stay with genuine Norton bushes unless you are willing to spend the time reaming or possibly turning them down in a lathe.
The reason I asked the "bitsa" question is that all 850's had disc brakes but no 850's were built in '72. In 1972 they supplied Commando's (750's) with either drum or disc. The tubes, bushings, and seals are the same, disc or drum, but the lower legs are both different.
Welcome Metrogirl. If you are not stuck on originality,you might check out the Betor roadrace forks available through Britech. They had an ad In Walnecks for $399.00 for gas forks, and triple tree. I have no experience with modern Betors, but I am running Betors(liberated from a Bultaco Pursang) on my old Triumph desert sled,and they work great.
Congradulations on your first posting, for starting what should prove to be an interesting discussion. Will we decide your bike is actually a '73 850, or a '72 with a punched out engine? Maybe a '72 with a '73 engine, or a 750 with 850 badges? An early production '73, sold in '72, and somehow originally titled as a '72? Could it be that those wackey guys at Norton built a one-off 850 in '72, so that in would throw the faithfull into a tizzy fit 35 years later? :lol:
Anyway, it should be fun!
An easy way to tell a 750 from an 850, even from several feet away,without checking any numbers, or any such drudgery, is that the 750 has a big flange around the base of the cylinders, with nuts holding the cylinder to the case,where the 850 has internal through studs,all the way to the top of the heads, to affix head and cylinder to the case as a unit.