1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Restoring Dad's 75 Commando

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Ridincommando, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Ridincommando


    Oct 30, 2018
    New to restoring Norton's. My dad had a 75 commando 850 when I was growing up. He was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's. In all the years and of all the bikes he had, the Norton was the one he still talks about today. I decided I wanted to get his old bike back and restore by spring so the old man can at least take a ride on it one more time before the Parkinson's takes over. I have purchased his original bike back from a relative in Kentucky. The restoration is underway, but I have several questions. Has anyone heard of Norton selling 74 models as 75s? Also, what do the original silencers look like on a 74 and a 75?
    Any pointers for a newbie? Re-chroming places? Is the chrome products at Andover Norton of good quality? Any US options that are more affordable but of good quality?
    nortriubuell, KiwiNeill and Bikes like this.
  2. Pete Komarek

    Pete Komarek

    Sep 8, 2018
    The serial number will tell you if it's a 74 or 75 but does it have E start and a rear disc brake? On my '75 the silencers have a black cap on the back. They are chromed.
  3. Jerry Doe

    Jerry Doe Admin

    May 21, 2003
    Welcome to the forum. That is a great thing you are doing for him. If the parts are not bent up re chroming is a good way to go for cycle parts. Find out where the harley builders get chroming done and look for good reviews obviously. I am not sure where you are, but most large cities have a chrome shop nearby. It might not be worth shipping parts for chroming. Good luck with it.

    Anyone know about the original exhausts? I think all 75s had "black cap" exhausts originally, but not sure.

  4. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2004

    The 850 Mk2 was the standard '74 US market model although some 850 Mk2A (originally, European low noise emission model) were sold in the US.

    850 Mk2 Roadster and Hi-Rider

    850 Mk2 Interstate

    Mk2A Roadster and Interstate. 850 Mk3 Roadster, Interstate and Hi-Rider.

  5. bill


    Jun 1, 2003
    it was not uncommon in some states to title / register a bike as the year it was sold in not the year of manufacture. so a 74 could be titled as a 75 and not be a 75 manufacture. as asked is it electric start and left shift. if so it is a true 75.
  6. Deets55

    Deets55 VIP MEMBER

    Oct 3, 2013
    First, welcome to the forum. It is very impressive project that you are undertaking and I wish you luck.
    You have come to the right place for information. A lot of very knowledgeable and helpful people here. FWIW, if your avatar is a picture of your project it is probably not a 1975. There should be a disc brake in the rear and your picture has a drum. As mentioned another obvious difference is an electric start. A few good sources of information would be Old Britts, Andover Norton and RGM. They all have great web sites that have very detailed pictures on their part pages.
    Most of the time any time you post a question here you will normally have a quick response.
    Good luck again.
  7. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Dec 5, 2017
    Great project! Reminds me of this story:

    KiwiNeill and Schilling like this.
  8. Bikes


    Nov 13, 2012
    Very honorable thing for you to do...will enjoy following your progress and when your Dad gets to ride......
    My Dad had Parkinsons also....and he rode...
  9. brendanq


    Nov 10, 2008
    My commando is registered as a 75 but is a 74, so it is possible.

    Sometimes bikes/Cars don't sell the year they were released so isn't a big deal. Though i have had many people lecture me that the reg is 75 but bike is 74. Not that it matters to me at all :)
  10. Bikes


    Nov 13, 2012
    As far as re chroming and surface finishing....check with your local auto parts stores, they know all the gearheads....also if you know of any hot rod clubs in the area....
    Tell them what you're doing, Im sure they would be happy to help....
  11. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Jan 15, 2008
    I have a 100-point checklist for Norton Commando rebuilds and restorations, I'll see how I can upload it to the forum for everyone's use. (I've emailed it to several members)

    Make sure to start an actual rebuild in the Member Rebuilds section.
    stingingtree and Pete Komarek like this.
  12. Schilling

    Schilling VIP MEMBER

    Jan 15, 2018
    that is the coolest video I have seen in quite a long while !!
    Tornado likes this.
  13. Ridincommando


    Oct 30, 2018
    Thank you to everyone that responded. I appreciate the advice and welcome the suggestions. Turns out the bike is a 74 titled as a 75. It’s a kick start and right shift. She hasn’t been fired up since the 80’s. We installed the Tri-Spark ignition system, installed a new battery and she fired right up! Still loads of work to do. Thanks to L.A.B. for the links. And grandpaul, I’d love the 100 point checklist. I’ll work on getting something in the rebuild section. Thanks Tornado for the video, that’s the outcome I’m hoping for. And it will be even better because dad’s “little girl” is doing the work herself! Thanks Bikes for sharing about your dad. As I’m sure you know, Parkinson’s is an ugly disease. I’m determined to finish this project while pops can still enjoy the final product!
    Tornado likes this.
  14. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Dec 5, 2017
    Good to hear the fire up is a success! I've only had my '74 850 since January '18, and it's my first vintage bike so I got lots of guidance on these forums.
    Your original post asked about chrome and silencers. I've learned engine valve covers, timing and primary covers are usually not chromed like my bike has, but are polished aluminum....which is something you can do with wet/dry 220-1000 grit paper and finally a buffing wheel to get a mirror finish. Just takes a lot of time.
    My bike has original reverse megaphone silencers with quite small mutes welded in the ends.


    Lots of good Norton part seller in US...CNW, OldBritts, EuroJumbalya, Commando Specialties, etc etc. Andover is very good as is RGM and Norvil in UK.
    Not sure how deep into engine/systems you need to go, but just search these forums and post your questions.
    stingingtree likes this.
  15. Ridincommando


    Oct 30, 2018
    Love the bike! I can only hope this final project turns out as nice. I think I'm in good shape with the engine. Right now I'm just struggling with finding the outer gaskets. I don't need the whole set... or maybe it's better to just buy the whole set? Thoughts? Anyone have an opinion on the best place to buy the final drive sprockets?
  16. lazyeye6

    lazyeye6 VIP MEMBER

    Feb 28, 2014
    I have a new 20 tooth gearbox sprocket I bought from Andover Norton which I will not be using. PM to me if interested.

Share This Page