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Retiring the Norton...and a question

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by MexicoMike, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. MexicoMike


    Jan 31, 2010
    I have decided to retire my Commando from normal riding. Other than some special event, like a local Gentleman' Ride or specific Britt-Bike thing, I won't be using it any more for regular rides.

    So it will get to relax while my R9T takes on the riding duties here in Mexico. I'll take the Norton back to the US at some point though I'm not sure what I'll do with it there - same thing, I guess, special events, etc.

    Frankly, I've gotten where I appreciate/prefer the capability/convenience/power of machines built in the few years...and the lack of any of those 'lovable' ;) eccentricities.

    Do other Norton owners here use their Norton as their normal riding motorcycle (as I did until a few days ago) or is the Norton a "special use" bike?
    xbacksideslider and nortriubuell like this.
  2. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    May 13, 2007
    I've only had one motorcycle for the last 45 years, and have no desire to own another. It's a rider, and a show bike too.
    cash, nortriubuell, Chris and 5 others like this.
  3. Beach

    Beach VIP MEMBER

    Aug 27, 2013
    My newest bike is my 1974 Commando, and it shares daily rider duties with my 1948 Harley panhead.
    nortriubuell likes this.
  4. know_fear


    Apr 29, 2007
    My everyday ride is a classic. An '85 BMW K100RS. My Commando is my "wrenching" bike.
    JimC likes this.
  5. lazyeye6


    Feb 28, 2014
    My Yamaha FZ09 has been my daily rider for the past 2 years. My Commando is now being transitioned to ownership by my
    nephew as I teach him about it's care and feeding. I ride it now only a couple of times a month. I need things to be "easier"
    in order to keep riding at my age.
  6. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Dec 20, 2005
    My everyday rides are either the Ducati ST3s or Moto Guzzi Griso both ‘07 so getting old in some circles , Duc has abs and bags etc. .... the ‘72 Commando has been my preferred nice weather Sunday ride for last 20 years , bought it as a daily commuter , after the resto it is my baby ,reserved for those glorious sunny-day rides , still lots of attention/service lavished but rarely more than 500 miles a year now , the Italians are setup for me both extremely comfortable, good handling and fast .... so they get the most kms put on, usually 15k split between them yearly ....
  7. edgefinder


    Aug 28, 2012
    Most all my bikes have been for competition. mx, cross country, then roadrace. I like smaller displacement bikes and had a few sportbikes street legal but they are a waste of time for transportation, best for twisty roads in the middle of nowhere. The Commando is a good all around bike for me. I can run errands on it or hall ass on back roads.
    But now I have a craving for an old british triple
    xbacksideslider likes this.
  8. trident sam

    trident sam

    Oct 23, 2012
    I use my Commando and T160 all the time, have 400 Honda for errands, but mostly the old Brits. When I had the 961, I just wanted to be on my 850, I guess it's a disease :)
  9. ninja


    Oct 10, 2017
    I use my Commando as often as I can, weather permitting, other than that I use my 1980 Yamaha XT250 for whizzing around, bring on the spring.
  10. lcrken

    lcrken VIP MEMBER

    Mar 15, 2009
    The bike I ride most often is my 2014 961 Commando, but the 2009 Triumph Speed Triple R that I recently bought is trying to seduce me away. The original Commandos mostly get ridden for rallies and club rides, and occasionally for local Sunday rides with friends. If I ever finish the MK3 project, I expect to be riding it fairly often. But for regular use, it is pretty tempting to take one of the modern bikes. As much as I love my old Nortons, there's a lot to be said for riding a modern bike. Seems to me like there's plenty of room for both in my life.

  11. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Dec 20, 2005
    One thing I have discovered , is it is twins or singles for me .... have tried a couple 4’s which were great bikes , just seem to fall out with them ..... something ‘bout a simple machine just seems right , for me anyway .... have never owned a triple though ....
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  12. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    May 13, 2007
    I put a boatload of time and money into my 850 this last year to make it more rideable. Handling mods, e-start, LED's etc. In my opinion it's better now than the day I rode it from the dealer's lot. Other than a sport tourer with hard bags and fairing there's nothing I've ever wanted from a bike that the Commando doesn't give me. No room in the shed for another, and I don't need one.
    cash likes this.
  13. dynodave


    May 28, 2003
    I've ridden/gone between my 72 combat and my 75 MKIII rolling research vessel . Ducati 92 907IE and 02 Monster S-4 untouched for over 10 years. Main goal is to get a few featherbeds roadworthy before I loose any interest in bikes and go back to work on my 67 Lotus Elan which has been apart since 95. The lotus has appreciated to around $45k and worth more than all 28 bikes put together.
    xbacksideslider and nortriubuell like this.
  14. marshg246

    marshg246 VIP MEMBER

    Jul 12, 2015
    All my bikes are British and all are 1974 or older. I alternate between a 74 850 Commando Roadster and a 74 Triumph Trident. Until recently, I never started a motorcycle with a button. The only reason I have now is that I'm working on a MKIII.
    Cheesehead Commando likes this.
  15. Chuck_Wagon


    May 12, 2011
    I only have 5 Nortons :)
    The one I use as my daily rider is the one I bought in the spring of 1975, I'll ride it until I can't anymore or die.
    The other 4 have been sitting dismantled in my basement for years, just in the last 6 months have I been setting up my basement for a rebuilding shop.
    nortriubuell, Craig and maylar like this.
  16. RoadScholar

    RoadScholar VIP MEMBER

    Dec 28, 2008
    My annual mileage has dwindled quite a bit over the last 3 years. The Norton I'm about to finish will be my last and should be around long after I'm high-balling with all the motorcyclists who got to the perfect road before me.

    My wife complains about the number of bikes that I have; I simply tell her that, like her shoe collection, the more you have the longer they last; a statement that is loosing its "shut-up" power...

    This spring I plan to start selling off some of my rolling stock; my goal is to get down to 1 each of a Norton, a Triumph, a BSA and a BMW airhead. I have all the candidates, just need the time to get them done right.

    I will, to some degree, miss the '011 Victory Vegas 8 Ball; with some new firmware, pipes and air cleaner, it dynos at 119 RWHP and 101 lb/ft of torque, not a cruiser, but a blaster. The '00 W650 is a sweetheart and I will screen potential buyers, the R90S is my 2 wheeled business jet, but needs someone who will ride it.

    xbacksideslider and nortriubuell like this.
  17. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    My Commando has accidentally become (almost only) a track day and occasional use ‘toy’. This wasn’t my intention at all, and I intend / hope to put it to more general use again.

    I have other old bangers though and do more riding on old uns than new uns.

    As others have said, a modern bike is nice sometimes, I’m currently very much enjoying my Duc Monster.

    But I do still avoid dull / boring bikes like the plague. All of my bikes are twins apart from one, which is a single.

    I’ve not owned a ‘modern’ multi for over 20 years... which thinking about it, means I’ve not owned a really modern one at all !
    xbacksideslider and nortriubuell like this.
  18. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

    Dec 10, 2008
    I discovered a long time ago that I had a problem with my throttle hand. Whatever bike I rode I eventually ended up using everything it has.

    That brought me to the conclusion that if I was riding a fast modern bike regularly I would end up loosing one of the big L's. The big L's being License, Liberty or Life.

    So I guess I am stuck with the Norton. No Regrets.:D
  19. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Dec 20, 2005
    My ST3 has abs and FI , as modern as it gets , no ?
  20. Richard Tool

    Richard Tool

    Aug 3, 2019
    I don’t really have a “ regular use” bike . For distance/ touring I have a 2007 Honda ST 1300 . Like many unfortunately, the big trips have been few and far between. I have not ridden my Commando in 8 years or more as I started to tear it down for rebuild shortly be for Superstorm Sandy hit us - life got in the way for a few years but it should be back on the road this summer. Most of my riding is split between my ES2 and my Honda GB 500 . You know how this goes - the newest toy gets most of the attention for a while till time banks the burning lust fire and then it’s just love. When the Commando gets rolling again I’m sure it will get most of my attention for a bit.
    Were I to sell any the ST 1300 would be the first to go - I simply don’t ride it much but when I do I fall in love with it all over again. I bought it new and have pampered it but sadly it has so little resale value that it makes sense just to keep it around.
    I’m nuts about the GB 500 . It is such a blast to get it rolling and try to keep it up there by staying off the brakes . I forget which racer said it - Dick Mann maybe ? - “ It is more fun to ride a slow bike really fast than it is to ride a fast bike slow “ . Plus, the GB is the most cold blooded bike I have ever had . It loves to be hot so I can enjoy it on those really hot summer days when the ES 2 would be cranky.
    I don’t think I will ever part with the ES 2 - my heirs will have to figure that one out.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020

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