new owner saying hello and a few daft questions :)

Not open for further replies.
Jan 5, 2010
hi there
just purchased a 1972 750 commando and searched and found this great site
i will upload a picture or 2 in the next few days

its not been on the road for 3 yrs but its all there and needs minor attention like oil , new battery and a check over

daft question but where should the horn attatch to? ive found it sitting loose next to the battery and cant see where it should fix to , the wires are fairly short and im not even sure its the origianl horn either

also regarding gearbox oil , ive read i can replace the original, SAE 50w with some EP 80 or 90 hypoil? is that ok

also the clutch is really heavy, you need at least 3 fingers to pull it up,is this normal as ive never had a bike this old b4 ! :)


Re: new owner saying hello and a daft questions :)

Hi Matt and welcome to many hours of enjoyment??
The original horn fits between the gearbox plates and is a right pain in the arse to fit and remove, on most of my bikes I have a Jap 12V horn fitted in either the Battery compartment or just behind the battery compartment.
Gearbox oil SHOULD be EP90 (80 / 90 will be fine) But certainly not SAE50, that should be in the engine (See oil threads for a multitude of opinions on that one!)
The clutch, hmmmm depends how strong you are, some would say a three finger clutch is OK, I'm afraid its a mans bike with a mans clutch (although my less than 10 stone girlfriend manages OK) . Lube the cable and make sure it's routed well (no sharp bends) Ride and enjoy!! I had a Laverda Jota for a while, that was a 10 finger clutch and brought tears to my eyes in the town!
There are various things you can do to make the clutch lighter but for now see how you get on with it
Welcome to the club!!
Re: new owner saying hello and a daft questions :)

hi there
thanks for the reply

the horn is in the battery compartment,sitting loose but it works so i may just leave that where it is then

sorry i did mean the gearbox oil not the engine ! ive got some of that ep oil i will use that then

regarding the engine oil , it does say SAE 50 but i guess a good multigrade would be fine?

not sure if i should use the 10 / 40 or 20 / 50 mineral or semi sythetic though?

i will search through the forum and see what i can find

thank you

Re: new owner saying hello and a daft questions :)


On the clutch read Be sure you have the correct thickness and add a plain plate if needed . The clutch should not be a pain on a commando .

And put some grease at the lever, it makes wonders, and increases the cable life because the terminal will turn more easily in the lever.
Re: new owner saying hello and a daft questions :)

hello matt and welcome to the forum!

for the engine oil i would recommend a mineralic sae 20W50.
cause of a few reasons.
i do a few thousand kms a year and use my commando for every days purpose [got no car] and always with sae troubles!
some recommend to use only 50 monograde.
but i haven`t recognized any negative thing when i use 20W50.
and the great bonus: you can get the multigrade at any petrolstation in any country.
you can hardly find monogrades at petrolstations or regular motorcycle shops.

have a nice day!
Re: new owner saying hello and a daft questions :)

Welcome, Matt.

Welcome Mat?

hee hee

"Same Day Service" is the name of the game around here, when questions are asked.
Re: new owner saying hello and a daft questions :)

Among all the other things you will be checking, verifying, and updating, this is a good time to buy a clutch spring depressor, get familiar with it,
remove the outer primary cover, depress the clutch spring, remove the circlip, and take out the clutch plates, clean real good, and reassemble.
check the primary chain tension for the right slack, button it up and put in fresh primary oil so the chain stays lubed.
good time to obtain a workshop manual!
Re: new owner saying hello and a daft questions :)

Matt - Welcome to the forum and Norton ownership. Regarding the clutch, as others have said above, there are numerous threads here (do a quick search) and sights like Old Brits, who give some good pointers to check. My advice would be to pull the side cover and remove the clutch stack (you'll need a removal tool as Highdesert suggests) and check to see if your clutch plates are stuck together. I got a Norton several months ago that had not been running for years. The clutch was very heavy but after I disassembled it, I could see why. All the plates had to be separated with a screwdriver!
Please share your questions and experiences on getting your bike on the road, it helps all of us.

Re: new owner saying hello and a daft questions :)

Hello and welcome to a great forum Matt,
I too pilot a '72. A '72 combat in yellow regalia.
Us '72 guys got to stick together we are a unique year :?
Got a great bike to ride once you get familar w/ her.
I have freshened up mine over 4 years and will field any '72 specific questions.
Also there are some really experienced Nortoneers here as well.
I use Castrol 40 wt straight and change it at the end of each riding season.
This has equated to approx. 600 miles a season.
It's cheap prevention. Castrol 40 wt is avail at most auto parts outlets.
Drain the sump as well, lil plug on bottom of engine case. I run an anti sump valve.
I know there are a million opinions on these. I start my bike and look for oil return
before I take off anyway just because.
Anti-sump worked last winter well. I went out to bike in April.
It had sat since the previous November.
The oil in the tank had dropped a mere bit.
I didn't have to drain out the sump at the start of riding season. :D
A shop manual is a must as these were do it yourself designed machines.
The Clymer book that covers Norton,BSA,Triumph in one manual I have found to be the easiest
read and keeps it simple. The factory manual is good but assumes you know what your doing.
And lastly remember the only dumb question is the one you were too shy to ask.
It's a shame to break something valuable on these bikes in this day and age w/ the internet a keystroke away.
I've been receiving excellent helpful advise from other riders now for over a year.
Let the experience transform you :roll:
hi all thank you for the welcomes and the detailed replies

had a couple of hours to spare tonight so spent some time on the bike

few more things i need to find out :)

the ignition switch seems to click both left and right, it goes 2 clicks to the right and the side lights come on,and the plugs are sparking when removed,the key can be taken out at any point? and the ignition only seems to be live at the 2nd click
is this normal

also the oil tank is empty so its drained down into the sump,i spun the engine over with the plugs removed by hand and its pumping up into the header tank but no where near enough to start it,do i need to drain the sump- i was planning on changing the oil anyhow,ive read about these anti drain valve so maybe i need to look into this

still have to drain the oil stale fuel out yet although i managed to unsieze the reserve fuel tap and get the sticking leaking carb to stop pouring out fuel by giving it a tap on the side,i guess the float was stuck and free off th front caliper

last time it was running was probably 2-3 yrs ago so shouldnt be too bad im hoping-also the engine was rebuilt 10000 miles ago as the bike came from a good friend he assures me the engine ran fine :) i hope ! :)
Matt, nice to hear you're getting into it. With the key, thats normal. Centre is OFF & REMOVE. 1st click right is IGNITION, 2nd click right is IGNITION & LIGHTS
The left click is PARK LIGHTS. With the standard headlamp switch, when you turn the key to right 2nd click, you also have to flick the headlamp switch.
Remember too, the polarity of the electrics is POSITIVE EARTH (similar to all British bikes of this era) Don't let some ignoramus tell you otherwise. If your carbs are the stock Amal Concentric 932, then a damn good clean out is on the cards if the bike has been standing for several years. Look up "Bushmans carb tuning" on the site or Google, that is a very good guide to sorting out the Amals.

Also tell us if it has a electronic ignition system - look inside the small circular cover on (the right hand)timing side case, if there are no conventional breaker points and no auto advance, but instead a simple plastic back plate with 2 tiny copper wired blocks opposite each other and a metal 2 arm spinner in the middle, then you have probably got a Boyer Electronic Igntion fitted which is a pretty good thing, but it does need top condition battery grunt at 12V DC all the time.

"2nd click right is IGNITION & LIGHTS
The left click is PARK LIGHTS. With the standard headlamp switch, when you turn the key to right 2nd click, you also have to flick the headlamp switch."

hmm theres something not quite right then i think

1 click to the left was giving me notihing,1 click to the right also nothing and brake light wasnt working
2nd click was giving front and rear lights and ignition
also theres 2 lights on top of the headlight red and green i think but neither of these light up

i was thinking i might need to clean the carbs but its not been left for too long so hoping i might get away with it :)
and your right it is positive earth and it already has electronic iginition,not sure of the brand,i was planning on popping back round my friends house and finding out more at the weekend i hope

the batts pretty dead so i was running it on a small trickle charger just to test the electrics
A fresh set of Barnett clutch plates is rather reasonable and insures smooth operation. Get with a service manual and go through the clutch assy. You never know what may have been done in the past. This way proper adjustment can be verified. This is not a big job, but it is so important to a good operational exrerience. A teflon lined clutch cable is also out there from Rocky Point Cycle and others. I think if you take the time to go through this, you will have 1 to 2 finger clutch. Oh and by the way, I also use ATF in the primary. Your just lubing the chain after all.
Not open for further replies.