Newbie questions 71 Commando

Feb 2, 2009
I just purchased a 71 Commando and will rebuild. No experience with British bikes but have rebuilt many vintage Honda CB's

Trying the search engine for the forum did not help me too well. I am sorry if I missed things and these are tired questions.

1/ Any good sites on how to re-lace and true wheels?

2/ My instruments are mounted on a plate but I see there are individual instrument holders. Does this plate on which my instruments are held look stock? See: ... 2298227042

3/ Any Ontario members on this forum?

Cheers and thanks for any help

Mike Tettenborn
Hi Mike , Welcome to the forum. Your instrument mounts don't look stock from this angle. They normally sit with the faces flush with the fork tube nuts and are not so high up. Are those air valves on top of the fork tubes?
It's been modified.
The forks are also non-Commando.

Here's what they should look like. Notice the fender stays. ... m=11&pos=0

On Commandos the clocks are held individually at the top of the forks.

Newbie questions  71 Commando
Mike just because it's not stock doesn't mean it's bad someone did a bit of work how about some closer pics.
I agree. They may be better. (Wouldn't take much :wink: )

I was just trying point out it was non stock.
spedo and holder


Here are some pics of the 69/70 spedo and the holder, the tach holder is exactly the same. Picture of the holder is a bottom view.


Newbie questions  71 Commando

Newbie questions  71 Commando
Those look like Ceriani forks, which are good and sought after units, however I would be concerned about the spring tension as these forks are often taken off old Harley/Aermachi 250 and 350 singles which I suspect are a bit lighter than a Norton.
Any good sites on how to re-lace and true wheels?
Here's a reasonably good article.

My advice is to go slow and make sure you understand the lacing pattern and which length and bend spoke goes where. Your first attempt can be frustrating, but it gets easier.
Truing is similar. Make small changes at a time and realize that to make larger changes you will often need to loosen the opposite side.
If you aren't able or willing to take the time, you will be money ahead to send the wheel out to a professional.
I used to lace my own wheel on Jags and bikes but I am not very skilled and found it extremely time consuming. I take it over to Wheelworks in Hayward now, and he laces them for me for $60 which I find is money well spent.
If your lacing the back wheel on a norton, thats pretty straight forward. If your lacing your front you nmight be in for a challenge.

Here is some advice take all your spokes, clasp them in your hands, in a vertical position on a flat surface, pic out the longest that will be 10, those will go on your far left as your sitting on the bike, then it just goes sequence to the shortest to your right.

Good luck.
Many thanks for all the replys.

I have found out that the front is not stock. I will try and bring it back to stock but will take my time and search for deals on all the parts. Will need forks complete and the cluster holders.

As for lacing the wheels I will leave that to a pro.. Will do all the cleaning and polishing but will hand the final assembly to someone with experience.

I do appreciate all the help and will come here often for advise.

You may want to consider converting to a front disc brake. If your front end is Ceriani they may be awesome and worth keeping but if they are too light you still may get enough for them to purchase what you need to convert back to stock.

Norton came out with the disc front brake in 72 and it is a better system than the drum brakes. Some modifications on the caliper make it more better.
I would say the master cylinder is in more need of a mod than the caliper.
Thanks Ron, that's what I'd meant to say. Is there such thing as too much coffee?
If your lacing your front you nmight be in for a challenge

I agree the disc brake wheels are tougher, but the drum brake front hub is no more difficult than the rear.
I highly recommend Walridge Motors near London, Ont. as a source for parts and good advice. They can get your wheels built as well. Another good Ontario source is F&R Cyclelogic.
Have you joined the Ontario Norton Owners? Good club with lots of knowledgeable and helpful members.

Mike Waldridge is great, has ALL parts for Nortons,But if you want to save a few bucks, tell him to send by reg mail, he sends priority post costs more, Ont Norton guys are great, met them at TO bike show, one of them makes a crank for Commando,s at 90 degrees, how to cam it well!!!!, not a new idea, Bert Hopwood thought of it, but the powers that be said no! typical British Blinker managment