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What is a Norton Super Commando?

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by MexicoMike, May 13, 2019.

  1. MexicoMike


    Jan 31, 2010
    I was walking into Lowes wearing my Norton T-Shirt and a guy walking out stopped me to ask if I really owned a Norton. When I responded that I had a 73 850, he said he had an 850 SuperCommando [caps are mine]. I had never heard of such a thing but I just responded, "That's really neat!" Is (was) there such a thing as an 850 "SuperCommando?"
  2. gtiller

    gtiller VIP MEMBER

    Nov 5, 2012
    I wonder if he could be referring to the SS - a lot of people (including owners) assumed it stood for Super Sport as opposed to Street Scrambler.
  3. Jdub


    Dec 1, 2018
  4. L.A.B.

    L.A.B. Moderator VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2004
  5. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    May 26, 2010
    MichaelB and Fast Eddie like this.
  6. MexicoMike


    Jan 31, 2010
    Yep, the ad makes me miss my Commando, which I won't see again until December. :( And that's even though it isn't the superComando model! :)
  7. lazyeye6


    Feb 28, 2014
    Aren't all Commandos "Super Commandos"?
  8. Myford


    Oct 23, 2009
    How so Mike?
  9. Brithit


    Feb 22, 2005
    I usually get the guy who "had one that would do 140 in third gear" "had to lay mine down to keep from going under a train" or "knows where there is a whole barn full of them." But my favorite was a guy looking at my mere 850, telling me his "dad had one, but it was a thousand"
  10. jbruney


    Jan 5, 2019
    Or the rare and elusive 1200cc 160bhp. I've met many ST experts...Shock the next one and inform them that it's not really even 850cc., but a miniscule 828.
  11. Bob Z.

    Bob Z.

    Mar 30, 2012
    This is the Cycle magazine cover that sold me on my first Norton.
    Superbike definitely.
  12. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    When I was searching for a Vincent in 2003, I had this typical dream of locating a barn find at a cheap price then restoring it to perfection.
    I heard a rumour that there definitely was a non running Vincent somewhere in 100 Mile House , BC.
    I tracked it down and found someone who knew the owner and had seen it 10 years earlier when it ran. Apparently it was " way faster than any modern bike"
    It took some searching to find the owner as he had retired and moved.
    His story was at least as good as the Vincent that was " faster than any modern bike"
    It turned out that the Vincent was actually a Norton Commando, but not just any Commando. It was a rare " Interstate" model which the owner explained was built for extreme high speed by Norton with all special internal parts and super high gearing. So it was super as well.
    He told me that when riding it fast one early morning in Nova Scotia, he went thru a radar trap and was pulled over.
    He claimed this was before metrification of Canadian speeds, so the ticket was for MPH.
    He said his speed was 152 MPH and his wife was asleep on the back of the bike at the time.
    I don't think even our Hobot could outdo that!
    As entertaining as all of that was , I decided to give up the search for a barn find and instead purchase a well fettled bike that was actually for sale.

    Craig and o0norton0o like this.
  13. Esmerela

    Esmerela VIP MEMBER

    Jan 9, 2017
    As the best old journalist would say

    "One should never let the truth get in the way of a good story";)
    worntorn likes this.
  14. johnm

    johnm VIP MEMBER

    Feb 26, 2008
    I may have told this story before but my favourite was the guy who absolutely insisted his bog standard AJS 350 pushrod was really a OHC 7R and worth zillions !
  15. gortnipper

    gortnipper VIP MEMBER

    Nov 11, 2013
    That was Mark Twain.
  16. robs ss

    robs ss VIP MEMBER

    Aug 16, 2016
    Yep - I think Samuel Clemens had a Super Commando!
    worntorn and gortnipper like this.
  17. jbruney


    Jan 5, 2019
    I'm willing to settle for superb...I really have no need for super at my age because I can't see worth a damn and my reflexes operate by telegraph or smoke signal.
  18. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Aug 25, 2009
    An 850 Commando with a Drouin supercharger.
  19. MexicoMike


    Jan 31, 2010
    We are leaving for the UK on May 21 and will be there (Bath) for 5 months. We return in Nov to the US (Texas) and then head back to Mexico (where the bike is) in mid Dec. Might be buying bikes in the UK but no decision re that at the moment.
  20. acotrel


    Jun 30, 2012
    I never believed in Norton Commandos and as a result my Seeley 850 sat untried for about 20 years. When I first raced it, because of previous experience, I had set it up in a certain way. What really amazes me is how good it actually is with a dose of methanol and a bit of tuning. But with the wide ratio box, it was useless because of the heavy crank. The problem with the heavy crank, is it's tendency to maintain it's revs. However with a close box, that can be used to advantage when you race-change up through the gears. When you peak it out then step in the gear change while easing-off, you lose almost no revs, so it accelerates faster. With a lighter crank, it would probably be worse but wide ratios might not be such a problem.

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