Nortoon Commando Dating ID

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Jun 1, 2005
After reading the post from Snagger about bike ID I have a like question. My engine # is 318101, upper ID plate # is 9 73 which I assume is manufactured Sep 73, the lower # is SR 61109. I bought the bike for a 73 Norton Commando 850. I had contacted NOC, he said this was a bit puzzling but that the engine was a 74 manufacture, any help would be appreciated.
SR may mean Service Replacement, the engine number and frame number stamped on the plate matched at that point. It was not until the MK3 that the frame and engine number did not match, but there was an interim period where a seperate frame number was stamped on the frame but not on the plate that did not match the engine number or the number stamped on the plate. My frame is a 73 build 74 model year, the frame plate number and engine number is 310410, but next to the plate on the frame is a non-matching number as per the MK3 frame numbers. I believe this may signify an Italian made frame, any one got any other ideas.
machine dating

Go back to the NOC website
Click on "Library & Records" tab.

Neville Hinton was the leader of the factory records project getting all the hand written pages transcribed into an excel spreadsheet. Commando records weren't as complete as previous models, but they can tell you date of manufacture, model type and original color. You may have to joine the NOC to get this information - it's 15 pounds per year.

Sep '73 build would likely make your machine a '74 model year, however there could have been an overlap of '73 & '74 production going on at the same time.
Kommando and naturally all other readers.....
this question of one number on the frame and another on the frame plate.....when I resistered my bike in the German system, as opposed to having it with the us forces registered, the inspector who looked at the bike noticed that there was no number stamped in the frame, anywhere. I don't think the bike had to have a number stamped into the frame for stateside bikes, but German law requires a number in the frame inself and just a plate with a number in it doesn't count for much. After all....if this wasn't required, and you decided to to steal a bike, a quick removal of the old data plate and replacement with a new plate with the number of your choice, would give you a legal, but in actuallity, stolen bike in about 5 minutes worth of work.
So the Germans require a number stamped in the frame and if it doesn't have one because it originated from some other land with other laws and requirements, and to the Germans, the data plate isn't worth diddly...there has to be a solution....and the nice fellow stamped a big long number into my bike frame, on the steering head next to the data plate. I had all the paperwork to prove years worth of ownership, and an American title for the bike he accepted it as not being stolen and gave it a number generated by the German system that does those things...a big, long, ugly, unoriginal number.
My bike lost the "legal" association with the number the factory gave it when they built it...all paperwork now goes by this new number. Whether this explains what is the situation with your bike, I can't say, but it could be a simular story....maybe Italy does the same sort of thing....
Thanks for all the feedback, I did mail the NOC.UK on 16 May 05. Mr. Hinton sent an email back in just a matter of hours, I will quote below.

"318101 would be a 1974 model, other machines like 318127 had 8/74 near enough for 9/74. You have given 9/73 as a stamping, a bit puzzling that? I don't have actual records for any 850 commandos." N. Hinton.

He also sent an info sheet on how to get a new ID plate with your old records. Nice fellow.

I bought the machine off Ebay before I even thought about matching #'s etc, it is cosmetically nice looking and runs good, hopefully even better next week as I ordered a Mikuna single conversion kit yesterday. I am joining the INOC and the Greater Atlanta club and look forward to being in the company of some great folks.
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