NEW old norton owner!!!

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Jun 3, 2006
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Hi ladies and gent's, my name is Rerun, I'm from the rio grande valley in deep south Texas and I just purchased a 1973 norton commando 750. It's not presently running but I'm pretty mechanical about bikes and should have it running the mean streets in no time, I would like to know how far I can go in customizing this beast and where to find tech tip's for motor tuning and repairs. This bike was garaged for about 12 years and not ran for 7 , it has 15000 original miles and only 20 after it's was last over hauled , the bike kicks thru and isn't rusty (except the tank from gas left in it for 7 years)any help or input as to where I could find a desirable tank( I'd like to go the cruiser route) would be greatly needed.
thanks ahead for all the help..
 
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Rerun, There are a number of simple things you can do to get the most out of your Norton and make it more reliable. These include uprated charging and ignition systems, suspension modifications, brakes etc etc. In terms of performance enhancements there are quicker camshafts, different compression ratios and all the usual tricks. Nortons are quite well catered for in this area because they are still campaigned enthusiastically in classic-racing. I suggest that you get the bike running first, you may well be pleasantly surprised with the standard performance and can then make an informed decission on what else is needed if anything and also have a reference point from which to judge the benefits of any modifications.

Regarding going the cruiser route, be very careful if you opt to put forward mounted pegs on it. The front down-tubes are thin-walled and many frames have been ruined when these get crushed with the fitment of these type of pegs simply bolted to the frame.

For a quick enhancement of your Norton knowledge you could do worse than trawl through the many pages of previous postings on this site, most of the problem areas are mentioned and lots of parts suppliers and workshops are recommended. I myself suggest that you get hold of the Clymer manual for Classic British bikes. It is being reprinted and contains technical and service information on BSA, Triumph and Norton in seperate sections and is one of the most udeful manuals I have in my library.

Try E-bay for a new tank, expect to pay $200= for a decent roadster tank, but a 'High Rider' tank will be less (smaller fuel capacity) and an 'Interstate' (much larger) will probably be more.
Good luck
 
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Thanks for the input I have been in the garage all day tinkering and a friend who is into triumphs told me he thinks this is older than I believed, according to him the engine and trans were not together untill the early 70's this one is in 2 seperate parts, joined together by the primary, also is the shifting suppose to be reversed with 1st gear up and the remaining gears down?
 

L.A.B.

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The Commando always had separate engine and transmission (gearbox) joined by the primary case.

Only the left foot shift 1975 model 850 MkIII had one down-three up gear selection although it is possible to reverse the shift pattern.

A check of the engine/frame numbers should verify the year.
 
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my frame has a ser.# beginning with 2200-- and the shift is on the right with 1st up and the rest down. the plate on the neck says 1972 but it is titled as a 1973. all three areas are matched numbers, frame tranny and engine. I have been trying to find a photo or two that will tell me what it is suppose to look like when it was original, would like to see original handle bars and paint choices.THANKS
 
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The Commando model was available in a range of configurations over the years from 'Fastback, R-type', 'S-type', 'Roadster, 'SS', 'High Rider', 'Interstate', Production racer etc. The basic bike is the same just the seat, tank and handlebars in most instances are different. If you are a stickler for originality yours being a 72 would have been available in only some of these guises. Since it seems that you need at least a new tank you can build the model that suits your preference. Why not do a 'Google Images' search on what standard 1972 Nortons look like and what other owners do to theirs. Jerry has some nice photos on this site as well.
 

L.A.B.

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A serial number of 220XXX would indicate that it is a 1973 750 MkV (Mark five) model, these were (as far as records show) built from March 73-on, although it would appear from information given by other forum users that some '220000' bikes sent to the US were made earlier than that date.

And would most likely have been built as either a 'Roadster', 'Interstate' or 'Hi-Rider' model.
 
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Dec 5, 2005
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I am restoring a Oct 1972 built 750, Engine/Frame commencing 2200xxx. The bike was imported to Aus from the USA. It is in Roadster guise, with black tank and side panels with gold lettering and black instrument clusters. In an attempt to restore the bike to original factory colours, the biggest challenge was ascertaining the correct colour for the cylinder barrells. From enquiries to this forum I learnt that this model had silver barrells . However, it appears that some of this model that were sent to the USA by the factory had barrells painted black. The reason for this is obscure. Perhaps it was the "parts bin mentallity" that existed at that time, with the use of leftover combat barrells that were painted black.
 
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