Newbie finds a Norton- Now What?

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May 24, 2007
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Been lurking here for a week or so trying to get up to speed on Nortons.

I'll be honest and tell y'all I haven't rode a bike in many a year. I have been restoring old Alfa's and Mustangs for a while now and would like to try my hand restoring a bike. I restore them for the love of it and haven't sold a restored car yet.

I've come across a 1970 Commando (I think it's an 'S' originally) close by with many Dunstall parts. According to the current owner, he bought it from the original owner about 6-7 years ago, road it for a couple years, then has let it sit in his garage. He claims the original owner bought the bike with the Dunstall parts installed thus no extra parts. These include the infamous dual disk front end, cafe handle bars, rear mounted foot pegs, relocated shift and brake levers, small plastic ft fender, smaller cafe tank and Dunstall megaphones. (All Dunstall to the best of my knowledge) I do not know of any engine mods done internally, if at all. It does have a Mikuni single carb but does have the original Amals in a box.

Since the motor hasn't been run in a couple years, I was reluctent to fire it up without a thorough inspection, but it did turn over with no problem.

I would like to purchase this bike ($3000) and restore but I'm not sure what direction to head. The cafe style is not what I'm after so I would like to return the bike to close to original from the factory. By doing this I don't know if it will hurt the value of the bike if I ever sell since it did come with so many Dunstall parts.

So that's it. I guess my question is, which way should I turn?

Thanks!

Tad
Alabama USA
 
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Apr 7, 2004
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Buy it tune it sell it get a good stocker. You won't lose out you will get your feet wet and you will learn to love rear sets.
 
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Or you could buy it, put it back to stock, and sell the Dunstall bits on ebay. That stuff usually brings good money.

Either way, it sounds like a good purchase for the price.

Debby
 
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Well I went ahead and bought the bike today.

Looking forward to making good use of the search and post tabs to get a handle on my purchase. I'm really fired up and am looking forward to taking it for a spin ASAP.

My plan is to put some stock handlebars and regular footpegs on to get started. That's after I get it fired up, it hasn't been started in some time.

Any tips on getting it started after sitting a year or so?

Thanks,
Tad
 
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Congrats!

Be prepared to spend some cash. I am a relatively new Norton owner too and I've been baptised by fire. But I started to upgrade things, polish this and that, remove stuff ect. and am now completely obsessed with my Commando.

You're probably not as sick as I am but it could happen.
 
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Coco said:
Be prepared to spend some cash.

Indeed, it's best to think of the purchase price as a down payment.

Congratulations, and good luck with your new project!

Debby
 
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I'm as sick as they come so I know I'll fit right in.

I am well aware of the time and expense that will entail this project. I am as prepared as anyone can be in that respect. The first thing on my agenda is to get it running and go from there.
 
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tadslc said:
I'm as sick as they come so I know I'll fit right in.

I am well aware of the time and expense that will entail this project. I am as prepared as anyone can be in that respect. The first thing on my agenda is to get it running and go from there.

I'm sure a new set of bars and the proper foot controls won't set you back much. It is the tank that will cost you to put back to stock. fenders and such can come cheaply on ebay.

I would keep the dual discs though, but I've never used a Dunstall set up myself.
 
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Some basic rules of thumb starting a old new bike.
Drain and refill all the oils, Engine, Trans,primary and fork are all different.
The wire connections will have all corroded pull, clean ,grease, tighten.
The auto advance unit will need a clean and lube maybe new springs.
Pull the carbs and the gas tank clean fresh gas lines
Pull the oil tank and clean the bottom. Check all rubber lines.
Put new high pressure lines to the rocker feed at this time.
Be sure to strobe time the bike before any long rides.
This just a short list before you start the bike.
The most important being buy the parts and work shop manuals before you do any real work.

.
 
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