1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Youngest and Oldest

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by Nater_Potater, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. Nater_Potater

    Nater_Potater VIP MEMBER

    Apr 7, 2013
    I've been seeing a number of posts lately from people new to either this website, and/or Nortons in general. Invariably, some mention is made about either their age, how they remember Nortons as a kid, or something along those lines.

    In this light, I'd like to start this post just to see how old and how young we are as a group. I'll start:

    56 years old

    My wife's grandfather has been bugging her lately to sell him her street bike, as he needs something else to do. He's 95, and could probably handle it just fine, based on everything else he does. I can only hope I'll be half that spry...

  2. laurentdom


    Nov 30, 2012
    Hi Nathan and All,

    I'm 65 now, riding as much as possible my second Norton (750cc Commando engine in F'bed chassis) bought in 2009. 1st one (1959 88 Dominator) was bought 47 years ago and shared with my brother.

    BTW, many thanks to this forum, a bunch of helpful and expert people!

  3. drones76


    Aug 1, 2011
    51. First bike was about 6 years ago. A year or so later, the Norton was my third. I have MBS Multiple Bike Syndrome. I either have or have had in those 6 years a couple Honda Goldwings, some old twin Japanese bikes, a couple singles, a moped, and now a 1999 Valkyrie for distance. I enjoy the wrenching almost as much as riding.

    As far as a memory goes, the first motorcycle I remember was my brother's 1972 Blue and White, Honda CB100. I came across one on Craigslist last year and drove 2 hours south and hit an atm on the way. It had a few minor issues but was mostly all there. Got it running and showed it to my brother when he came to visit. He was pretty thrilled when he saw it.

    The Norton is my pride and joy mostly because it is and will always be the coolest bike I will own. Just got the replacement bush from Old Britts a few days ago. Gotta get that back in there and put the gearbox back together to get her back on the road.
  4. fiatfan

    fiatfan VIP MEMBER

    Aug 9, 2015
    According to my drivers licence I´m 62, my body starts to match up to that, but not my mind! Bought my Norton back in -74, it was a -70 model. Sold it in -84, bought it back last summer. Been driving a number of other bikes in the meantime, but this will probably be the last bike I´ll own.
  5. Deets55

    Deets55 VIP MEMBER

    Oct 3, 2013
    61 yrs old
    I was in California in 1976 and saw a Commando on a show room floor and fell in love with it. I swore I would own one some day. When I got back to New Jersey I actually bought a Trident instead. Happen to glance in the "for sale" section one day and there was a 1975 Commando listed. I was in New Jersey, the bike was in Philadelphia. That happened 1989. It took awhile, but I finally got one.
  6. JimNH


    Jan 4, 2014
    64; I've had much faster bikes, better handling bikes, and certainly better stopping bikes but none have brought a smile to my face as my Commando.
  7. pantah_good

    pantah_good VIP MEMBER

    Jul 17, 2015
    Now 72, been riding since I was 15.
  8. Onder


    May 11, 2010
    65. Started riding age 17 on the road with a powerful Honda S-90. Well, a clapped out one actually.
    Only bike bought new was a 70 BSA 250. Rolling hand grenade. 71 BSA Lightning next. Then a 73
    Trident which I rode for 15 years. In the 80s got a 72 Commando. 6k miles 800 bucks. Looked pretty
    good too. Liked the iso system but it wasnt as powerful as the Trident esp as that was punched out to
    850. Had some Bonnevilles and a Royal Enfield along the way, nice except too much vibration.
    Went to BMW R90s for a while great bike except horrible handling finally scared me enough to sell it at age 42.
    No bikes for the next 20 years, concentrated on making some money.
    Age 62 saw a 74 Commando on offer grabbed it. Full overhaul, money poured in was totally nuts. Then had to
    have another 73 Trident, more money. And yes one more to round out the 'have to have one again'
    thing a bought a Enfield Interceptor Series II. The money into that, well THAT is totally INSANE.

    So here I am. The Commando and Trident are both on the road and I can choose either one.
    More often take the Trident. Heavier, longer, feels more secure. Easier to start too!

    Hmmm. Think Ill take the Commando out for a spin before supper.
  9. Nater_Potater

    Nater_Potater VIP MEMBER

    Apr 7, 2013
    Great response for only being there two hours! The OCD side of me has these numbers in an Excel sheet to display the age spread/population.

    My first "street bike" was the ubiquitous '72 Honda Trail 90. It would do 55mph by drafting and turning off the headlight.

    Keep 'em coming, guys!

  10. Rod R

    Rod R

    Dec 25, 2008
    Sixty-one years of age here. Currently have a 75' Interstate, 75' Roadster in JPN colors, and a 72' Roadster. (And, I am plagued with not one, but two, Norton Electras.)

    As a child, a friend of my father's raced Nortons, quite successfully. So, I was exposed at an early age, but never owned one until about 94'. First bike was in 78', a 72' Yamaha DT250. I still have it. Next bike was 14 years later. Fast forward about 125 bikes and here I am. Most of the bikes are still in the stable, only a small percentage are museum pieces. Plenty of projects staged for my retirement, which is imminent.

    Fabulous website, if the information is not here, you don't need it to own and operate a Commando.
  11. 1up3down


    Jan 12, 2011
    66 here

    Commandos Bought new

    1971 Highrider

    1972 Combat Roadster

    1973 850 Roadster

    1975 John Player Mark3

    and my present Norton, bought used 24 years ago, 1973 850 Roadster
  12. texasSlick

    texasSlick VIP MEMBER

    Jan 2, 2013
    Don't snicker guys .... I am 75. Most folks take me for 65.

    My first bike was a nearly new (1800 miles) Atlas. When the 1963's came out advertising 8 more hp, I just had to have one. Still have it! It's not concours, but still nice.

    Every now and then I think about starting an 850 ES project.

  13. bwolfie

    bwolfie VIP MEMBER

    Sep 21, 2010
    OK, let me bring the average down a bit, 39.
    My first Norton was given to me by a family friend who found it in a house he got back on a land contract. There was also a Gyro Copter I got. That was January of 1996, (I was 18) I still have it, and 2 others right now, and about a dozen more have passed on thru. Plus many parts and pieces. And parts I make, and things I fix..... Have had other road bikes since I was 12, a few Honda CB360's, fun to ride in the wet grass.
  14. acotrel


    Jun 30, 2012
    I am 74 and still have the urge to road race at least one more time to prove my Seeley 850. I first had bikes of my when I was 15, prior to that I helped my uncle rebuild his 1953 Triumph Thunderbird. My first bikes were a 250cc girder forked model 6 side-valve Triumph and a war model 500cc Indian Scout. When I turned 18, I got the Indian registered and rode it on the road for a year. Over the next 9 years I had about 6 Triumph 650s and 1 T100 - most here hotted up to the max. I broke a few crankshafts. When I turned 27, I realised that if I kept riding on the road, I would soon die. So I went road racing with a 500cc Triumph engine featherbed. Over 12 years, I only won one race and I crashed everywhere. I did not race between about 1983 to about 2003 when I won a couple of races on the Seeley which I had built back in the early 80s and had never raced, because I never believed in the commando motor. The bike has turned out to be surprisingly good - enough to win races. I have yet to use it with the 6 speed CR gearbox. Next time I take it out, I will have on-board camera and I will post the video on this forum, so you can see what it is like. It is fast and direct and it really suits my mentality.
  15. trident sam

    trident sam

    Oct 23, 2012
    I'm 57, and I guess about the last generation who actually remembers the original British bike industry producing them !
    As a youngster 13 or so I was obsessed with Triumph Tridents racing success, I just had to have one.
    Anyway, at 18 got a Kawasaki triple 250, passed test and bought a Triumph T150v and proceeded over the next 3 years to totally wear it out, when I eventually sold it , it was absolutely knackered.
    Then came a 72 Combat 750, still the only bike I really regret selling to this day.
    Subsequently had another 5 Commandos , 2 of which I still own, along with 6 Trident T160s again 2 of which I still own along with a T140v and a BSA Victor special.
    I've had many other bikes , Laverda, GSXR1100 x 2 , BSA R 3 and various commuter bikes.
    My most used bike is my 75 mk 3 Interstate ,it's pretty well sorted and reliable, no show piece at all but I love it .
    I don't own a car, just a work van and my bikes, any long journey is always taken either on the Norton, or the 990cc T160 I've had for 30years.
  16. BillT


    Jan 27, 2008
    I'm also 57.

    My first bike was a '70 BSA Lightning, in 1979, which was a disaster for me - 1 day running, one week down. Loved it when it ran though.

    Bought a 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Maxim (dealer demo bike), had that bike for 30 years - sold to make room for my G15 (I never rode it anymore, anyway)
    Bought an '06 Speed Triple - another dealer demo bike with about 200 miles on it - sold it with 40-something thousand to make room for my G80

    Got my Commando in January, 2008 as a complete basket case - hadn't been on the road since at least 1981. I've put about 20K on it since

    Got my P11 in 2010 - again as a complete basket case - it's gone about 6K miles since its re-birth

    Got the G15 in 2013, thanks to taking the Ranger to a show. Was told about this bike, and that the owner wanted $600 for it - too expensive for the condition it was in. I may never get my money back out of it, but it is back on the road

    The G15 led to the G80. Again, at a show, someone told me about his deceased Uncle's Matchless. Bike is an unrestored, original machine. All I did was carefully go through the bike and service it. Would love to find a basket case, as this baby is staying unrestored.

    My current job is keeping me from spending the time I'd like to in the garage (and on the road), but hopefully that will change.
  17. MikeM


    Jun 1, 2011
    61 been riding since 15.
    I had my eye on this Commando for the last 30 years that my buddy owned it.
  18. 84ok


    Aug 10, 2014
    57, first bike was a 74 back ~ 77 for a few years in the sudbury ont area,

    ran across a couple of other nortons there at that time & there was even a dealership in nearby azilda

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=azilda&b ... BSgA&dpr=1

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=azilda&b ... 0Q_AUICCgC

    firth's was big in toronto

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=1857+Dan ... e&ie=UTF-8


    what's there today
    https://www.google.ca/maps/uv?hl=en&pb= ... UQpx8IZDAK

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=firth%27 ... &ie=UTF-8#
  19. theocean


    Nov 16, 2013
    I'm 28. Probably why i have to ask stupid questions on this forum and have to use the search function so much when i'm working on the bike, haha!

    If my memory serves correctly...the first two winters i owned my Norton ('73 750 Roadster) it stayed in the living room and this last winter it was in the garage because it was together, running and mobile. And also because with the norton making regular rips up and down the street it helped me get first choice at my neighbor's '52 Harley Davidson K model project which took all the living room area and will be next on the list after tweeking the norton a bit more. So, if my super-duper public school math is right i got the norton at 25 from another neighbor who had chopperized it in the 70s and let it sit for the last 20+ years. It's kinda funny too because one day my neighbor was doing some storm clean up and i came home from work in my '65 chevy impala SS that I've had since I was 15, and he said he had the same car back in the day and wish he had kept it. I said, Yea, I get those comments/stories all the time from my dad/uncles/etc who had GTO's, boss mustangs, shelby's, triumphs and bmw's, etc., when they were young and all wished they had kept them so i'll probably never sell it. Then he said, Well at least i still have the Norton. I said, O cool, you have a Norton! I have been researching/looking for an older triumph or a hinkley bonnie or thruxton to work on. And he said, Well take the Norton!! I bought it from him a couple months later. So the old chevy got me the norton and the norton got my the old harley. It's wonderful that most people are much more willing and happy to sell something that they are passionate for or emotionally attached to when they can see it's going to a good home and be used like how they use to use it or had planned on using it. I know i will be the same way if/when i have to sell a prized possesion.
  20. gortnipper

    gortnipper VIP MEMBER

    Nov 11, 2013
    I am 52 11/12ths. Been riding since I was 17.

    First Commando at 23. Sold at 25. Dumb.

    2nd C'do at 26. Had it since.

    Resto-modding it now - muttster-long-slow-resto-mod-t24529.html and just spent a bunch of money on new SKF bearings from the supplier here and a bunch of seals and gaskets and rubber bits and 04-* and 06-* and $$ ...