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Rivet counter question about the Candy Apple colour scheme

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by johnm, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. johnm

    johnm VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Dear All,

    After many years of running out of fuel with my pathetically small Roadster tank I bit the bullet and bought an Interstate tank ("new" made in India but it looks OK), steel side-covers and seat.

    Tank and sidecovers unpainted.

    The seat is made by Leightons and it came from RGM. So far so good. The Norton logo at the back of the seat is in gold.

    Now the rivet counter question.

    I want to paint it Candy Apple Red but the powers that be say the 850 pin stripping etc should be in silver - and the seat logo should be silver too. I understand gold is the 750 trim colour.

    Silver is the 850.

    But you can't get the seats in silver as far as I can research so I'm going to use gold I think. I kind of prefer it anyway.

    But can anyone tell me if gold labeling and pinstriping was ever original for a Candy Apple Red 1974 850 Interstate ?

    I warned you it was a rivet counter thread !!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  2. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    My '74 850 came in black livery with gold pin stripes. So yes to answer your question. Seat logo also gold.
    Mine is a Roadster. It's yours so it comes in any color anyway.
     
    nortriubuell likes this.
  3. johnm

    johnm VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Sorry.

    What I meant to say was the Candy Apple Red colour and gold labeling and pinstriping ever original for a 1974 850 Interstate.

    I know the black scheme had gold labels and pinstripe because that's exactly what my 74 850 Roadster has and I can find an example in the 1974 sales brochure. But the Candy Apple Red colour labeling etc is not clear in the brochures I have seen.
     
  4. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Only new one I ever saw had white which had a very nice contrast with the candy apple red & silver base.
     
    johnm likes this.
  5. Mic

    Mic

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2018
    No it was not gold with the candy apple red in 74
     
    johnm likes this.
  6. Mic

    Mic

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2018
     
  7. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Someone just sold an Interstate seat in the Classifieds and the logo on the back panel was gold.

    That being said, when I redid the logo on the Titanic's seat, I did it in silver to match the livery.
     
  8. johnm

    johnm VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Thanks for the comments. Yes I think this must be correct.

    I would like to be original but I already have the gold logo seat and like the gold pinstriping so may go that way.

    The rest of the bike is not original anyway !!
     
  9. Onder

    Onder

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    My 74 850 Roadster has candy red tank, silver pins and gold logo on rear of seat.
     
  10. johnm

    johnm VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Could that be original or a new seat ?
     
  11. MCP

    MCP

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    I have a 1974 Roadster 850 too, was originally red and had silver pins; has a gold Norton logo on the seat. Original 100%.
     
    HRD and johnm like this.
  12. batrider

    batrider

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Past threads indicate that gold will soon fade to silver.
     
    johnm likes this.
  13. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    I'd be curious as to which vendor you bought it from? Have you tested the tank with fluid or pressure?
     
  14. johnm

    johnm VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Thanks that is very useful to know.
     
  15. johnm

    johnm VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    The tank came from British Only Motorcycle and Parts in the US. It is an Indian made tank.

    I was comfortable to buy it because a friend of mine ex British Spares in NZ had dealt with British Only and said they were reliable. I also talked to Scott on the phone and he inspected it before me and told me the quality was reasonable. I had also talked in the past with Don in the Philippines and he said he had found some Indian Interstate tanks that were OK.

    Basically the message is that its risky. 20 % are OK and the rest can be pretty bad but I felt in this case I could rely on the vendor.

    So far I have only very quickly offered it up to the bike. There is a fair bit on this site about getting mounting rubbers etc right and I'm just starting the fettling !!! I also have to match it up with an Interstate seat and sidecovers. At this stage there seems to be an issue with the taps. They splay out too far and are not vertical but I think this will be easily solved.

    Once I have everything fitted up then I will test the tank. Maybe with pressure. Very low pressure - it is very easy to ruin a tank with pressure. And also with a full tank. I have guys here who can build a tank from scratch (at a very high price) but at least I can get them to repair any issues if it leaks or needs modifying.

    I am in no hurry but will report back on any issues.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  16. Brooking 850

    Brooking 850 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    johnm likes this.
  17. Onder

    Onder

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Im pretty sure my seat is original. Im the second owner. Feb 74 build date. USA bike MkII.
     
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  18. johnm

    johnm VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008

    OK. Perhaps when I get this finished I will report it in a different thread with a more relevant title.

    Tank progress.

    I should try photos but for the time being -

    - The tank has a good shape from above and is even and symetrical.
    - It is the right lenght and fits well with the Leighton Interstate seat and steel sidecovers sold by RGM
    - It has minor rust inside and I will give it a good clean and perhaps rust kill before testing
    - I will test it after the work described below is completed.
    - The petrol cap fitting closes with a new Andover Norton cap from British Spares - but the spring return that flips it up is fouling. So I can close the lid but it will no open up fully again. I think it will need a little modifying and bending of the fitting. Not a big issue but it certainly doesn't work from out of the box.
    - Petrol taps location and angle. These are definitely wrong. There is no way the standard fuel pipe fitting will work and if you extended the pipes long enough it would look horrible. There is a seam joint along the bottom of the tank and the correct location for the taps is where this seam is. The taps have been moved further out which means not only are they too wide but also they are splayed outward by the curve of bottom of the tank. Plus the seam on one side actually fouls the tap lever so you cant turn it on. I know a brilliant engineer who will fix this for me - not cheap but I expected I would need to do some work anyway. He is rather unusual in that has a real mechanical engineering university degree but is also a toolmaker/body builder/ fitter. So he can do the calculus and the machining. Has built and been a mechanic for world super bikes. There are very few people like that. In his 70s but fit as.
    - I compared the tunnel area of the tank to my original steel 1974 roadster tank. It is a bit tighter and will need modifying to clear cables and wiring in the head steady area. I could do this myself with a bit of heating and tapping but will leave it again to my friendly engineer.
    - Front area around the steering head and mounting brackets. This was the bit that concerned me most because while the taps are a nuisance cutting into the steering head area of a tank is more of a challenge. The base of the tank where the mounting studs screw in is not exactly the same each side. The studs are in the correct location however. After some muttering about modifying original frames I removed about 5 mm from the end of the frame mounting brackets and now there is plenty of clearance both sides. Until the work is completed opening up the tunnel area I will not be certain but I think there will be enough clearance each side of the steering head. At present it is not sitting centrally because the tunnel has insufficient clearance around the cables and wiring on the right hand side.

    So in summary I happy with the shape. The underneath has clearance issues but should be fixable. I will check for leaks after all the fettling is done.

    I'd give the tank a 7 out of 10 overall and a 9 out of 10 in the bits you can see.I agree with the reasonable assessment made by Scott at British Only and think that in the end I will have a good tank.

    But all this does beg the question. Why is it so easy to buy good quality new Roadster tanks - made in India and Taiwan - but so difficult to buy good new Interstate tanks ? There is a market I'm sure because I have friends looking for them and every name vendor I contacted - Andover, RGM etc - said they cannot source good Interstate tanks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
    nortriubuell and p400 like this.
  19. Anglophile

    Anglophile

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Does the tank have internal baffles like the original? That would definitely add to the cost of a reproduction.
     
  20. p400

    p400 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2014
    Anyone have a Norton brochure from 1974 ?
    This is 1975 Interstate.
    Candy red and silver is very traditional Norton paint scheme.
    Gold Norton seat tail logo also traditional.


    Page4PaintSchemes.jpg
     

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