Rear-ended on my Norton today

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Jul 10, 2004
After lunch today I took my Norton out for a brief spin to the local BMW dealer to look at tank bags. At a rural/suburban intersection I stopped at a stop sign, then moved ahead a few feet for a better look. A strange sensation as my bike lurched ahead about 10' - I managed to keep it up and came to a stop. The driver in the car behind me saw me start to move out and hit the gas. He claimed that he was looking at the break in the traffic and assumed I was out of the way.

I stopped yelling at the driver just long enough to summon the police so that I'd have a proper report. (then I continued) The officer was totally cordial, gave me the report #, but was mostly dazzled with the Norton. I told him it was older than he was; actually he was 3 when the Norton was manufactured. No ticket was issued to the driver of the car. He was careless, no doubt, but I don't know what triggers the issuance of a ticket in this situation. I've already been in touch with the driver's insurance agent - they even suggested I might go back to my own carrier for the collision coverage. I suppose if I had called for an ambulance they might have not suggested that? My left muffler really tore up this guy's Toyota - ripped out the turn signal assembly and busted open the winshield washer tank, fluid all over the place. Some justice, anyway?

My beautiful '72 cafe racer suffered a slightly bent rear fender, license plate, and the left muffler mount is a bit skewed. I was able to restart it and ride home. Of course, on my route home, another clown made a left in front of me, I screamed at him and continued on my way.

Went over to my Chiropractor to let him just feel around my lower back. Just a little tight, should be fine.

I don't think anything actually need replacing, just some minor "panel beating".

Stuart Ostroff - - VERY lucky today.
Lucky indeed. It's these little incidents that make us feel our mortality.
Glad your O.K.

Look on the bright side - you are relatively unhurt. The mechanical things can be fixed.

As for the accident you never really know what is bent until you start fixing and replacing things. I was knocked off my Norton last year in a very low speed accident. Initially I could only see scratched mufflers and broken turn signals.

Later I found scratched headers, buckled headlight shell, scratched front mudguard, scratched levers, bent footpeg etc ... :cry: :oops:

I still feel lucky that it was nothing worse than a sore shoulder.

Sorry to hear about your mishap but it sounds like you and the bike will be ok so that's good.

I got hit in my car like that a few years ago. We were sitting at a red light and some kid in an old beater plowed into us. Claimed his brakes failed :roll:
The police impounded his car and towed it away.

These days I watch the rear view mirror and try to have an escape route planned. Hopefully if it ever happens again I can zip out of the way and let the creep crash into the car in front of me. Easier to do on the bike than the car!


Several years ago I, too, was rear ended at a stoplight. Fortunately I was in an MGB, as there would have been some serious damage / injury had I been on a motorcycle.

Because of that incident, I’m now a “nervous Nelly” when parked at a stoplight on a motorcycle. If I spot someone driving up in my rearview mirror, I keep an eye on them and flash my brake lights repeatedly in an effort to make myself more visible.

Glad to hear you escaped injury!

Be carefull with the insurance companies. Today they will write off even the most minor accident due to liability. Also make sure you check all of the alignment for frame, wheels etc. Any accident that pushed you and the bikle 10' from a stop could easily twist or bend the fairly light gauge tubing on the frame especially if the impact was at an angle.

The other day I was thumbing through a Harley parts catalog,,, (Father forgive me I have....oops wrong time) and saw some nice looking led tailights for you know whats. Anyway has anyone seen any super bright led tailights that would fit a Norton. They would be a tremendous modification since they wouldn't be damaged by vibration and draw a lot less juice. Add the pulsing flasher on braking like the Beemer guys have and old Normie the Norton will be in the 21st century. Amen.

62, see we bought ten at one time and changed ten bikes into the century cheaper. Draw the third the amps of the old tail light. I don't think it would have helped Stuart though that false start to get a better look thing will catch out the cell phone drivers every time. norbsa
Watch my back!

:roll: I have always been a "mirror watcher". But I slipped in this instance as I was more focused on getting a clear view before pulling out. Now I know - once you start moving, don't stop!

On my BMW LT I have a pair of the LED rapid-flashing stop lights which are mounted below my tail light, just above the license plate. But that bike also has a "high-mount" brake light mounted into the luggage rack above the top box - very noticeable. The Norton is so low and compact - but I have a nice tail bag on the back of the seat and I may mount a brake light on its top rear somehow.

Thanks everyone for concern and comments. I should be meeting with the adjustor today or tomorrow and as long as they are willing to pay for the replacment of everything back there which was touched, and my labor to do the repair, we'll get this behind us. If any hesitation on their part, I have an attorney who is drooling (he's only pissed off that I didn't leave the scene in an ambulance). I thought about it just after the hit, but I didn't feel like pissing away the rest of the day, and having my Norton removed by some bozo tow truck driver. Second morning after, still just a little sore. I'll be fine.

Stuart....lucky least not hurt by the fellow.
I had it happen too one time, but this fellow, with which, I had already had a "difference of opinion" with on the Autobahn, got in back of me at the red light just off the exit ramp and set his bumper on my rear and gave me a shove into the cross traffic......scared me so bad I just popped the clutch and shot out into the intersection and luckily didn't get hit. I also really watch at a red light now...and if I have an altercation with some nut, I try to avoid him getting too near days of kicking car doors in are hopefully over with, but years ago, I used to be good at it, if they got too close......I used to have a short temper for such things.
Got passed one time in England by an oriental gentleman and his wife and kids. I was in the high speed lane and while I was passing another auto, he decided to pass it too, between me and the auto I was already passing. He was busy yacking with his wife with his head turned towards her and he got so close to me that he was squeezing me over into the guard rail. I couldn't give gas, too little room on the sides, braking too, was too close and he just drove along beside me about six inches from my mirror, like a fool. He wasn't going but a mile or two faster than me and didn't seem to realize I was even there beside him. Being his window was down there occured to me to be only one stupid I hit him in the face with my hand. He slammed on his brakes, and I got free from the problem. At the next rest stop, I was shaking like a leaf and went into the restaurant to get a cola. The fellow comes to the door, with his family behind him to get something too, to eat. I must have though, made my point, because upon seeing me, he stuck both arms out to the side, stopped his wife and kids, started jabbering in some language and herded his family straight back to the car. Like all I did at that time, it was a stupid thing to do, hitting him in the face. He could have reacted differently and killed me......
Good luck with the repairs...
I am always afraid of this occurence too. I just saw a nice rear light (a Vespa older model) and I will try to install it. Would like to have LEDs too. By the way I cannot find, any other website for LED?
I have a BulbsThat Last4Ever LED lamp assembly in the 564 style tailight on my Commando and am happy with it. Definately brighter than stock, little power consumption and nearly vibration proof. The lpigtail leads are a little small and I had one break at the solder joint for the bullet connector but after fixing that, everything has been fine. Unfortunately, their website says they have discontinued this model.

Took a look at this website for LED tailight conversions. Must say...good idea. Never stopped to think there might be a solution to the fact that when I put my foot on the brake, the headlight noticably dims......will keep it in mind when I can get the cash up.
Any good replacement/improvement for the headlight situation? Mine is still the old type, and I'm not sure the alternator will put up with a halogen type bulb replacement, and the vehicle laws here might not allow a change too. They are very conservative about allowing aftermarket inprovments, even if they are for the better/safer.

So....anyone got experience in making the headlight shine better? I could go for having one that allows me to feel I might stand a chance of seeing the deer behind the next bush, if you know what I mean.....
ME TOO !! @£€[#&?&£$%¤#!!

This is my first season being the proud owner of a Mk3 Interstate. - In fact, this is my first season on a bike all together, and the headlines of the story so far go something like this:

Brought the bike back (to Denmark) from UK by the end of Mach, paid (outrageously high) import tax, rode the bike only a couple of times due to - out the ordinary - rainy Danish spring time, and some electrical problems too. Finally comes the first day that smells like summer (Friday 13th - I’m not kidding), and that day I ride the bike to work. After work I take it to my parents to show them my new “baby”, and on my way back home I get rammed from behind by a car, as I am entering a round-about. @£€{[}?&%¤#…… I my self, landed some 2-3 meters in front of the bike, miraculously though almost flat on my back, and is perfectly ok now. Unfortunately the bike is not so good…… :eek:( Besides the standard scratches (and a broken brake pedal) from laying down on the right side, the rear top loop of the frame is bend up, so the seat wont fit. Now I’m just holding my breath, waiting for the repair shop to tell me, that the rest of the frame is ok, and that the bike will get back to normal. Expecting the verdict on Friday…

So until Friday, I just need you guys to tell me that the Commando is one tough cookie, and everything will be alright…

…And I’m definitely going to investigate the LED tail light possibilities…

A couple of “before” photos and one “after”.
Niel, That is one sweet looking Mark III. That is ride to be proud of.
I do prefer the before pix. Hopefully it's O.K.

Sorry to learn of your misfortune.

Beautiful '75; I'm sure it can be repaired to as good-as-new!

You too!


So sorry to hear that you are also the victim of one of those dangerous car drivers! The dork who hit me got out of his car and stared at his smashed grill, like he had no idea how it happened. Car drivers are simply out of touch with reality. At least this guy wasn't on his phone - I would have shoved it down his throat. If two weeks have already passed I guess you know if you are (physically) OK. That's the MOST important thing.

Hopefully the rear loop took the brunt of the impact and the rest of the frame is OK. I found that my left muffler too the major hit, its mounting plates were bend, but most everything else was OK. I replaced the mufflers, straightened out the mount plates, smoothed out the license plate, etc. And last week-end I rode the Norton more than 300 miles. Went out to western MD from my home near Phila, to a British and Euro Motorcycle Day. Was a fantastic ride!

Good luck with the repairs. Take your time and get back on that bike, and enjoy it. Best regards, Stuart Ostroff
The good news is that the rear loop is a known weak point, its unlikely any damage would have been transmitted and it should be an easy repair too. Think of it as a crumple zone.
after hearing from order is already in for an LED rearlight....a little voice said "listen to it now!".....for once in my life, I listened to it...

I will be changing my bald rear tire today too.....
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