What year and where to obtain parts

Anonymous

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Recently purchased what is to be a 1973 Norton Commando 750 cc. Serial #212321. Is this really a 73 or is it a 72? Are there any distinguishing features that I could look for to help identify year Also looking to restore this, anyone know where to obtain parts? Live in northern Illinois.
Any help would be appreciated.
 

Ron L

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Chuck,
Your Commando is a 1972 build year (might not have been titled until 1973). The serial number is supposedly after the last Combat was built, but you should check the top of the cylinder head near the exhaust rocker boxes for a "C" stamped there. This would indicate the Combat model with its higher compression and hotter cam.
There are a number of good parts suppliers for the Commando both mail order/internet and local. I recommend joining the INOA as their newsletter contains many advertisements from Norton shops.

Ron L
 

ILLF8ED

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What year

Chuck,

Roy Bacon is the most published author of Norton books and he has always indicated 220,000 was the beginning of the '73 750 Commando model year. Roy got his information from the Norton Owners Club in England who have access to the original factory build records. On their website http://www.noc.co.uk you can get in touch with them and inquire about build date based on your VIN. This is a service for NOC members, though and they will ask you to join at 15 pounds per year.

The Northern California Norton Owners Club was the first US Branch of the NOC and today is the only US branch. The Chicago Norton Owners are no longer the other branch, but maintain an affiliation with the NOC and might be a good local contact for you.
 

MichaelB

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The 73's had black clock holders, steel tank and larger tailight.
The 72's had silver clock holders, fiberglass tank smaller tailight.
Your numbers indicate a late 72 that introduced the larger tailight.
Source: www.norvilmotorcycle.co.uk/
 

ILLF8ED

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model years and factory numbers

You have to be a little careful when stating absolutes when it comes to Norton Commando numbering and model years. I have a list from the NOC that states 150500 was the last 1971 Commando number. I also have a copy of one page of the factory records for Oct - Nov 1971. The numbers run from 151673 to 151703 between Oct 8 and Nov 3. My first Norton was a '72 combat roadster 201123 that was stamped as built Oct '71. What this means is Norton was still building 15xxxx engines/frames at the same time they were building the new 200xxx so called '72 models. The question is, when they got sold were the 151xxx titled as '71 or '72. A more accurate description might be 15xxxx is a Mk3 750 and 200xxx is a Mk4 as long as we're talking roadsters. The fastback Mk series was different than the roadsters and the Interstates came later. Mk5 750 roadsters and interstates started at 220xxx at which time the fastback was no longer in production unless someone knows of an exception....always possible.
 

MichaelB

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Hi David:
Of course you are correct. When I was typing the post, a little birdie was telling me I shouldn't be so absolute. My previous description really should be labeled Mark IV & Mark V, and even that is not for certain. The only thing for certain on a Norton is NOTHING is for certain.
 
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