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The ton plus 10, what could be the problem?

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by motorson, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. worntorn

    worntorn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Test of a home market Combat Interestate by Motorcyclist Magazine of the UK in September 1972 lists overall gear ratio in top at 4.84 to one.
    I believe this correlates to a 19 tooth cs.

    Cycle Guide in the US lists the same 4.84 ratio in their US Combat test. Modern Cycle of the US lists the same 4 84 ratio and gives us the info that this bike has a 19 tooth cs.

    A test of another UK home market Combat Interstate by Motorcycle Mechanics, also done in September 1972 states " even with the 19 tooth gearbox sprocket the Interstate does not like going over 6500 rpm"

    All of the Combats tested in the Norton Commando Ultimate Portfolio , whether UK market or US, list 19 tooth as the as supplied gearbox sprocket.


    Glen
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  2. Nortoniggy

    Nortoniggy

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Mine had a 19 tooth when I bought it new. Am sure they all did. Changed to a 21 after a year or so. Acceleration was good but it got a bit buzzy on a 200 mile blast up the M6 to Scotland from the Midlands.
     
  3. oldmikew

    oldmikew

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2015
    Glen yes it does indeed correrlate to a 19th sprocket.. I have always thought the Interstate had a 21tooth . Was told this at the 1972 Jan show.. Possibly it was changed during the year? Wish I could find my old motorbike mags so easily.
    I thought Motocyclist Magaa zine was American but nomatter . Certainly Motorcycle Mechanics was a UK publication
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  4. worntorn

    worntorn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Hi Mike

    Looks like they went back to the 21 tooth on the 850 models and stayed with that.
    The later non Combat 750 might also have been fitted with a 21 tooth
    I guess someone realized that the 19 tooth sprocket, while it would help with acceleration, was a negative for keeping the engine together.

    My mistake, as you say, Motorcyclist is a US publication.


    Glen
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  5. WZ507

    WZ507 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Yes of course, 5252 rpm is the universal x-over for all torque/HP derivations, and I hope I didn’t suggest it being anything more or less than that.

    I was simply calling attention to the fact that from the plots and gear ratios provided, the shift recovery point put the 4th gear engine rpm at ~ 6000, where the engine could not provide the power to sustain the speed of 110 mph. It was reported that it could however sustain a speed of 105 mph, where the engine could support the selected gearing. Serendipitously or otherwise, this happened at ~ 5300 rpm, where with a stock 850 the torque starts to rapidly go south and the HP remains essentially constant with increasing rpm, thus I was hoping to convey that this same scenario might play out here, especially with the advanced cam timing, where torque would be expected to peak earlier and then drop off.
     
  6. worntorn

    worntorn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Sorry, my misread.

    Does seem that the 22 tooth is a bit tall for this bike, if max top end is the goal.
    If relaxed cruising is the goal, the 22 tooth is the way to go, except it will raise the "gone smooth" speed point a bit.

    Which brings up another point often discussed here. There have been claims that original Commandos were smooth right down to 2,000 rpm.
    Again and again in these period tests it is mentioned that the bikes shake considerably in the 2 to 3 thousand Rev range then go magically smooth at 3 k.
    Test dates right back to 68.

    Glen
     
  7. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I use a near-standard 850 cam which is advanced 12 degrees ahead of standard, the motor will go straight through the top of the rev-range if I let it, regardless of the gearing. The main thing which will stop a motor from revving out, is the exhaust system. Any restriction usually takes the top off. I think the Exup system used on modern bikes might be there to keep the noise down while more drastic cam timings are used.
     
  8. WZ507

    WZ507 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    What is the intake centerline set at when it is 12 degrees advanced?
     
  9. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    If you are talking about the inlet cam, the opening point is 65 degrees BTDC instead of 53 degrees, the closing point is too early. But the exhaust opening is about 94 degrees BBDC. The exhaust noise is very loud but with the 2 into 1 pipe, it seems to work very well. The big thing about the 2 into 1 pipe, is the tailpipe must have the same cross-sectional area as the sum of the two header pipes or you will go backwards. - You cannot do this with a road bike , you will break the noise laws. With any cam you probably need to try advancing or retarding it, if you change your exhaust system.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  10. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    My 74 850 motor has alway had a 19 tooth sprocket since new and have always kept with the 19 tooth front sprocket, but with the work done to my motor it revs a lot higher than a stock motor, from new the stock motor would valve bounce at 6,500 rpm but with the cam and all work it revs freely to 8,000 and more it you let it but we all know what happens if you do.
    One of the weakest points on a Norton motor is the main oil seal area, well thats where mine failed from over reving it, but that was a long time ago when young and no brains with doing burn outs, so much wear and tear from my early days of stupidity, look after these motors and they will give good reliable service, mine was a everyday ride for 38 years with a lot of miles on it, its now semi retired like me but I still love taking it out when I am not mucking around with it.

    Ashley
     
  11. WZ507

    WZ507 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    The opening numbers you provided sound very much like a bone stock Commando cam, as those numbers don’t suggest at all that the cam is advanced, rather, that it is slightly retarded relative to the standard Commando cam.
    Stock Commando cam profile.jpg
     
  12. Steves

    Steves

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
  13. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    The exhaust opening in an 850 Commando engine is usually 82 degrees BBDC, NOT 94. The Combat 750 inlet opening is 59 degrees BTDC, not 65. In the 850, it is 53 degrees BTDC.
     
  14. Fullauto

    Fullauto VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    In answer to the original question, there is nothing wrong with your Commando. Your performance sounds typical of the breed, based on my Commando experience over four decades, with an average rider in normal riding gear, rather than skin tight leathers. The problem lies in believing factory and media hype, uncalibrated speedos and over enthusiastic owners.
     
    Craig and motorson like this.
  15. ewgoforth

    ewgoforth

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    My experience with an early 850 is and a 21 is that it would pull 6500 rpm in top around 110mph, but that's a bit over the peak hp at 6200. I haven't done a true top speed run in a few years, but I'm pretty sure you pick up a mph or two with a 22T or maybe a 23T sprocket.

    From memory of the chart in the INOA Tech Digest:
    with a 21, 119*65/70=110.5
    with a 22, 122*64/70=111.5

    Compare this to the 850 power curve shown in the Duckworth book.

    With a 750 that pulls hard to 7000 this wouldn't be true.
     
  16. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Yep I agree
     
  17. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    I had a 23 gearbox sprocket on an 850 it was a performance killer I soon dropped it back to 21
     
  18. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    so in real life with much experience here .... roughly how fast should a '72 Commando be going at 5000 RPM ..... standard size tires both ends K81 4:10 X19" , stock rear sprocket , with 21 tooth counter shaft sprocket , 180lb rider ..... Big Thanks !!! for anyone skilled at the math and takes time to answer .... I have downloaded a speedo app on phone and am curious but still a couple wks out from actual test , due to weather and road conditions here ....
     
    Dano likes this.
  19. ashman

    ashman

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Why is it so important to know about how fast your Norton will go, each bike will be different, tuning plays a big part, whats been done to the motor or how much weight has been saved how heavy is the rider it all plays a big part in high speed running, in my younger days riding flat out was the normal thing to do but now more older and wiser its not important to me, my 850 Featherbed is so much lighter than my old stock Commando, it has a lot of good things done to the motor its built for reving hard and handling at any speeds, it will happerly cruise in top gear all day from 60 mph to 90 mph all day while traveling with the stock gearing and when I need to take it over the ton it does it easy without any problems.
    In the 60s, 70s as well the 80s was all about going flat out to prove your manhood, to prove who had the fastest bike around, but now I have nothing to prove, I know what my bikes can do , how they perform, there are a lot more people on the roads these day who are out to kill you with all the distraction that life brings to the moden world, to me down low torque is more inportant than high speed flat out runs.

    Ashley
     
  20. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Thanks, surprisingly have heard that all before .... not sure how state of tune affects this question though as 5000RPM can be maintained no problem .... I had my original speedo repaired several years ago and it bounces a bit .... after all the talk ‘bout speeding and the resulting tickets thought I would ask those more knowledgeable how I was doing at 5000RPM .... maybe save myself a few dollars plus just kinda nice to know how true the speedo is .... really didn’t mean to stir anything up ... just an ask , that it ....
     
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