New guy here.

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Jun 23, 2004
New to the list. Just started looking around for Norton stuff on the web. My 73 850 has been stashed away in pieces for about 20 years. I'm going to try putting it together over the next few months. Probably won't have time to do much this summer, but as the year progresses, I hope to as well.
Rode this bike home from the bar where I bought it from a guy who needed money. I seem to recall paying $250 for it but I can't be positive.
Rode it a few times and tore it down. Then something else shiny caught my eye and it's been hanging out ever since.
I bought a lot of new parts from a Norton shop still in business in Sacramento, California, where I lived at the time. Picked up a few other parts over the years from swap meets and such.
I got a used wiring harness on Ebay a while back and just saw someone selling new ones there. Anyone know anything about "britbikeparts" on EBay?. Or who is making new wiring harnesses?
I also just purchased a headlight bucket and ears, but they haven't arrived yet.
Looking for a cylinder head now. The original is functional, but ugly. Couple fins broken and the right side exhaust port has been heli-arc welded to repair stripped threads.
I'll be reading through the posts here, looking for part sources and hope to pick up some information and tips.
Matt in Vancouver WA
'73 850 Commando

Hi Matt,

The shop in Sacramento was originally Hall-Burdett, then was sold and became Barber Brothers for several years. I saw Mr. Burdett three years ago at the Dixom AHMA swapmeet. Parts for your Commando are readily available and cheap compared to modern motorcycles. You missed out on the Cycle Hub in Portland as Cliff sold out finally.

Some sources for Commando parts on the west coast:
Ken Armann (408) 626-0061

Internet shopping in England: (Norton Owners Club)

There's a Northwest Norton Owners Club in the Seattle area
Visit the Northern California Norton Owners Club at

Keep in mind the INOA rally is in Selmac, Oregon in 2005. A good excuse to get the Commando working before then.

INOA website:
Thanks David.
Great information.
Hall-Burdett. I was going nuts trying to remember that name
I never missed Cycle Hub. The Sandy Bandit my Dad calls him. Dad was riding Triumphs in the forties and fifties. CH that reputation back then. Twelve years ago he wanted $300 for a headlight bucket. Just the bucket, no anything else. I passed.
Do you know where the inventory went? Is it still on Sandy or has it changed locations? Guess I should cruise Hollywood and see what's up. I haven't kept up on The Brit Bike scene for quite a while, but I've heard all sorts of outrageous stories about the guy. Turned down lots of money for the bikes he had in there, threw guys out of the store, the original Soup Nazi, yadda yadda. Sounded like a lot of bar room BS to me, but I'm sure there's some nuggets of truth in there somewhere.
Thanks for the links. I'll check into the NOC.
Matt in Vancouver Wa
Cycle Hub!! Wow! What a place! I visited Portland several years ago on business and took the opportunity to find Cliff Majhors, the "Sandy Bandit". Talk about instant time warp. I got there before they opened and Cliff had to move 9 motorcycles before he could get to the counter.

He told me stories of 7 semi's full of NOS parts that he would have to inventory some day. I was looking for a few parts to finish the restoration on my '59 Bonnie at the time and although Cliff had them, he wanted more than the bike was worth for them. I remember he had an original '59 Bonnie tank in original paint.. $1500 with no hesitation. Since I had a few hours to kill before my flight, he showed me pictures of all the old flat trackers he knew or sponsored or whatever. Then he gave me a "tour". Crawling over stacks of NOS parts, complete motorcycles in every condition. Six Triumph TT's in a row! He pulls open a cabinet and it's fille with NOS Triumph mufflers. He eventually sold me the parts I needed at a reasonable price, about 1/3 what he originally quoted.

A couple fellows have purchased the inventory and they confirm the truckload of parts. Check out their website at . The pictures of the shop alone are worth the time!
Norton Parts on the west coast

Hi Matt,

Cliff's reputation for the most part is deserved. Some opinions are harsher and tend to come from the "bargain hunter" whom Cliff actively encouraged to leave the premisses. Doing business at the Cycle Hub had to be on Cliff's terms. More than 10 years ago he had price tags on many of the Brit motorcycles on the floor. They were all in the number of onces of gold he would take to part with the machines. He wasn't kinding...Canadian leaf, S African or gold bars. Ron I'm amazed you bargained with him and escaped with your life. Usually if you didn't pay the asking amount the price went up.

Back to retail Norton parts on the west coast, Raber's in San Jose is the largest surviving source. He has consolidated inventories from closed shops over the last 20 years. Recently parts from Dewey's in Seattle and possibly Poke's Cycle also from Seattle have found a home here. I don't think he got much from Cycle Hub as the two guys Ron L mentioned have that inventory.

Fair Spares America is a fellow clubman and friend, Phil Radford. He started as Les Emory's American outlet from the spinoff of the NOC's spares scheme in the 80s. No shop here, just mail order. Les has renamed his company Norvil from my first post.

From another post from Dave Comeau, aka Dyno Dave, if you want a Lucas RITA ignition for your Commando, better get it quick as they are now out of production. Contact Euro Spares in Seattle. The RITA is the best electronic ignition solution for the Commando. I had a Boyer on my '72 750 combat for 5 years and finally switched.
You know David, I didn't even bargain with Cliff. After spending a couple hours listening to him tell stories of the days of old, he asked me if I still wanted the parts. When I didn't reply immediately, he quoted me a price of X dollars which was much less than his earlier quote. I guess he just enjoyed telling his stories.
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