New / Old guy

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Hello a new /old guy (former lurker) now seeks aid in parts hunt for 73 Commando project. I need lucas reflector set...rear grab-rail (roadster)... and that plastic thingy that covers the rear taillight bracketry. Having sorted out my ignition bugs, she (this one is female) rumbles beautifully, but with the newfound life and movement...she...decided to blow fuses....repeatedly!!! :evil: So any good ideas where to start hunting the more likely "groundings" that probably have occured. Or are they called positives???? No that can't be right, but then again these are Lucas. Other than "trace the smoke" advice, help would be appreciated :D
Thank you...Bill in Winters CA
51/54 Ariel Sq4
a Slew of Bultacos
Well... the best thing to do would be to rip out that ratty old wiring harness, throw it in the garbage, and completely rewire the bike yourself. While you're at it put on a podtronics, a Boyer, and a dual output coil. And a new ignition switch (non-Lucas). Then throw all that old lucas cr*p in the garbage too. Or sell it on ebay for big bucks :lol:

71 750 Roadster, all stock
Welcome Bill,

One obvious place to look for shorts is the multi-connectors under the tank. These often crack and allow the bullets to come loose. I prefer to replace these with double or single connectors.

Another is inside the headlight shell. Make sure all bullet connectors are fully seated and no metal is left exposed to touch the sides of the bucket.

By the way, is she a 750 or 850?
WOW Debby, you sound pretty passionate about getting rid of all that Lucas stuff!

Bultaco man - if you set down in front of your head light shell with wires exposed, a multi-meter in one hand and a four pack of Boddington's at your feet, you'll find that short. And after four Boddington's you won't care if you don't find it.

My experince has been that a properly cared for Lucas electrical system will provide many miles of good service. Now wiring harnesses that have been butchered by the previous owner should go straight in the garbage can, as passionate Debby suggests. But, I recommend replacing it with an exact replica wiring harness, which is available at most British motorcycle parts supply houses.

Jason Curtiss said:
WOW Debby, you sound pretty passionate about getting rid of all that Lucas stuff!

I'm just repeating some advice given to me. Sound advice, though I haven't acted on it yet. I still have all the stock bits on mine. One of these days I should do it though.

Replacing all the Lucas components allows you to simplify things considerably. Then when you rewire you can use heavier gauge wire, do proper grounding, and get rid of those cheesy Lucas connectors. Sounds good to me although it's a big investment in time and money. But - electrical problems solved! (until the boyer box burns out...)

Welcome Strong leg
Another man with the same disease: I too have a passel of Bultacos.
Get your parts from any of the many US suppliers i.e. Old Brits seems to be recommended a lot or go to the internet for Norvil or Andover Norton. Do get a factory workshop manual and parts book. They will make your life much easier and keep up with this forum you will be amazed what a wealth of information this group has (you've already heard from some).

Debbie, So you like Joe Lucas's work do you?? ehh?

StrongLeg, Looks like your keeping it all on the right side, shifting that is.
MichaelB said:
Debbie, So you like Joe Lucas's work do you?? ehh?

Joe Lucas says "don't go out after dark" :lol:

The components on my bike are all in good working order except the ignition switch. I replaced it with a repop. It's the wiring and connectors that's caused most of my electrical woes. I think a well-done rewire using modern connectors would be a huge improvement. One of these days...

Bill - where is Winters? I grew up in LA and the name sounds familiar but I can't place it.

Old/New guy

Thank you all for entering your wisdom and wit into the electrical frey.
With a cuppa-tea... the finer diner-drink for later, I'm just begining to get the drift of what should be a straight forward "find the short" episode. To answer enquirers... it's (she's) an 850 that is absolutely immaculate and the disguse is good because she's no virgin. She has a Tach that has been broken-glassed and under all that gleaming sheet metal I can tell she has had some painful early experience. Less than 20k show on her clock and with some items dingy and others gleaming I suspect she's a wreck recovery with a good heart just awaiting the kiss from her frog.
Winters CA is located just east of the SF Bay area sorta on the way to Sacramento. Shoot a canon here at 10PM and you wont hit a damm thing cause ...they've all gone to bed. Recently widowed I find that this project gives me hope I could throw my leg across something "easy" and that the glamor of this old girl would tempt me back in the saddle again. Thanks :wink: Bill
Now I remember where Winters is. Near Davis. I've been there! I used to live in the Tahoe area, just down the hill on the NV side. Back then I was into bicycling in a big way. We used to go over the hill to CA for early season riding. Davis was a cool town although quite flat terrain-wise. IIRC there were some nice hills just out of Winters. Nice biking in that area. Probably pretty good motorbiking too.

Debby, homesick


Have you looked at the Northern California Norton Owners Club website?

When you get your Commando running, join us on some rides. I lead a Sierra Passes ride in August starting in Sonora. For 2005 I'm going over Sonora Pass then on to Bodie the state historical ghost town.

One of our founding members, Jerry Kaplan, lives in Davis and I'm not that far away in Brentwood (next to Antioch).
New/Old Guy

A big Thank-You for David of the NCNOC for the invite! I've been lurking the web site that covers the Northern California Club so well. The most frustrating thing about these days of big distances between people and the lack of the old style motorcycle shop or club-house where we used to hang-out is that we do become isolated. Thanks to the internet, I feel it's doing great things to bring people and ideas together. My dear old Norton and I are a grateful pair ...for great advice and some passionate riders that are really fired-up about something that they want to share.
Keep your socks outa' the sprockets...Happy holidays, Bill
P.S. Debbie...This E-Male's is very respectful of your depth and honesty...
but get outa Colorado before the snow get so deep that motorcycles seem completely absurd. A former Winnipeg, Canada resident here that will never look back...except in the time of war :lol:
Whats with the User Name being "taken" when I submit Posts?
It seems I have to invent a new one each time...How strong can a leg get?
Well Bill, I guess your leg is just going to get stronger and stronger. Gotta be a good thing! :)

The logins on this forum are a little funky for some reason. I use Netscape and can only get the logins to "take" if I use the "check messages" login. The other login doesn't seem to work.

Moving - the older I get the less I like Colorado's winters. Have been seriously considering moving back to the coast but there's one small problem - jobs. Have one here, don't have one there. Plus in Cali I wouldn't be able to afford a place with a garage. Working out of a storage unit isn't much fun. DAMHIK.

Maybe when I win the lottery...

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