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Youngest and Oldest

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

  1. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

    Dec 10, 2008
    He-He Sounds about right. Age and all.

    I too got my first bike in 66. It was a Honda Super 65 that I bought from my cousin while my folks were vacationing in Hawaii. They did not approve but they didn't make me get rid of it.

    We had a big hill on a dirt road near my house. If I laid down just right I could get it over 70mph. Just a little faster than my neighbors Bridgestone down the hill -but he could beat me going back up.... Jim
  2. BritTwit


    Aug 25, 2009
    63 years old, but with the mental maturity of an 18 year old. At least that’s what some folks tell me.
    Been in love with Commandos since I first saw a Fastback through the front window of a Triumph shop back in ’69, and have never recovered.
  3. Kvinnhering

    Kvinnhering VIP MEMBER

    Feb 16, 2011
    I am 56 years.
    When I was 10 years I bought my first motorcycle. I remember that both piston rings was broken on it and we could barely start it by pushing it. The brother of my friend was 7 years old and was small enough to be able to run it a few hundred meters at a time.
    Until I was 16 I had several different bikes, 50 to 350 cc. When it was over for a while, I now I would kill me if I continued with more powerful bikes.

    When I turned 43 years I bought motorcycle again. A Ducati Monster 900 which I later change for my first Norton. 750 Fastback -70. This was later change to my Roadster 850 -73 which I now have.
  4. acotrel


    Jun 30, 2012
    I was at Winton Motor Raceway a while back without my bike, just having a look at the practice sessions. There were a couple of young guys there in their 30s with race bikes, whom I started talking to. One of them said to me 'you must think we are crazy doing this'. He was so far from being correct that it was not funny. My feeling was that they were both totally sane - it was a Friday when most people are at work. I'm 74 and I have only one ambition - it is to get out my methanol-fuelled Seeley 850 with the 6 speed box and do an on-board video. I'd like to race it again, but that is probably a bridge too far. During my working life I had the stressful job and the stressful relationship. However I've learned one valuable lesson - sometimes you need to do something just for yourself. Bikes are really good things as long as you become competent. 'Practice makes perfect'. - I get more out of developing my bike than actually racing it. Racing only proves whether my efforts have been effective- or not. Fundamentally my whole life as a scientist has been about development and the bike gives me focus.
    I really like the ideas which crop up on this forum - people such as Jim Comstock and ICRKEN come up with some really inspiring stuff.
  5. pantah_good

    pantah_good VIP MEMBER

    Jul 17, 2015
    I don't understand what's holding you back?
  6. Biscuit


    Sep 10, 2012
    I know exactly what you're talking about. Looking at our ages, I'm betting a lot of us here do. And it's not just Nortons, it's other special bikes too. It's a state of mind. There is, with us, an appreciation of a certain type of machinery that is just not made anymore. Norton being one that can be maintained in top notch stock configuration, modified a bit or tuned to the 10'ths. No matter what road you go down, much is coming out of your own head. A Norton is a commitment. As simple as they may be compared to modern fuel injected sport bikes, if one believes they can buy a perfect, 100% restored example and expect it to behave like a new Hinkley Bonneville, they are mistaken.
    I wish you luck with your Seeley. What a song. At 68 I hope I'm riding at 74, and you at 80. - Pete
  7. rgrigutis


    Dec 27, 2008
    69 here. Got my first Norton and also my first motorcycle about five years ago. '72 combat and mk2a. The '74 has Alton estart and I will keep him to the last. The '74 I got in a trade for an ar15. The bike was in pieces and an interesting puzzle. Still kicking the combat to life and it actually seems easier the older I get. Maybe I'm refining my technique. A small animal jumped into my rear wheel on February 28 this year. As luck would have it I was in a downhill curve at about 60 mph. Managed to slow down a little before I went down on the drive side. Slid about 40 feet. Wearing my Arai, armored coat, boots, and Kevlar jeans, no gloves. Lotta road rash on hands, concussion, high ankle sprain, badly bruised hip. Back on a month later. Only thing wrong with the bike; broke mirror and foot peg. Total led my riding gear. Wear your protective gear! Ride on ! Nominated the small critter that jumped into my wheel for the Butkus award. Too k down a 400 lb bike and a 230 lb rider. He's a man!
  8. Onder


    May 11, 2010
    Healing rate of 74 year old bones if he falls down?
  9. aceaceca


    Dec 18, 2004
    GREAT READING. I will be 68 in a month. I started on a Briggs and Stratton motorized Schwinn paper boy bike. Talk about freedom and speed (40mph) in undeveloped Houston in 1960. Upgraded to a Wester Flyer Doodlebug that was a real show piece with a Whizzer tank and a floor mat on the foot board. I sold it for a grand $60 back in the day. Migrated to Los Angeles after high school in 1966. Finished college in 1970 so I was 22 yrs old. Went to England to get a Triumph Bonneville. None to be had. All were exported. Got a brand new flake blue Commando with rack for $900. My brother got a yellow one. Purchased it from a small cottage dealer in North Finchely, London. Rode around UK and continent and then shipped bikes to New York. Got free passage on the M.S. Rotterdam by working in the ships magazine. Rode to Houston and then to L.A. Sold bike a year or so later for $900. Over the years I have owned and ridden 3 other Norton's. Had an Interstate for a while, then a 73 Commando, but my love is my 71 Commando that I have kept mostly original and never taken apart. She is a goer. I finally got my beloved Triumph. She is a 1970 T120RT. However, not the bike the old Norton is. She sits because she is quite valuable, being one of only 250 made, and mine converted on the west coast in Duarte,CA. I did try to go modern. I purchased a R1150RTP Beemer police bike. I was quite frankly unimpressed with the bike. I rode it for 2 years and then sold it to a young fellow who was just accepted to the Highway Patrol Motor program. I don't ride much anymore. Maybe I have had my fill of it. I admire all the oldsters on here that are still enthusiastic about maintaining and riding their Norton's and other bikes as well. Carry on then https://goo.gl/photos/46FHNex3R7KiLwWE6
  10. Nater_Potater

    Nater_Potater VIP MEMBER

    Apr 7, 2013
    What kind of Pandora's box have I opened? This stuff is great!!! I hoped for some response, but, crap! Keep it up! I noticed Mr. Comnoz made a comment, but failed to disclose his age...

    I have a way-cool graph showing the spread so far, but, as the internet gremlins would have it, Photobucket is "momentarily" down. For bragging rights, 56 through 64 are in the pack with 1 to 3 hits, but 65 pulls way ahead with 6! Keep 'em coming. Just to help bracket the whole mess, we have theocean at the one end at 28, with texasSlick at 75! Jealous of both of you guys, both for so many years ahead of you, and still riding when convention says otherwise. It's kind of like taking naps; when you're young, they force you to take one when you don't want to. Then when you're and "adult", you want to take a nap, but they won't let you! I say, keep riding, and take a nap when you damn well feel like it!

  11. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

    Dec 10, 2008
    I'm 60. Jim

    [Come on Ken, you can take the lead so far.]
  12. Brooking 850

    Brooking 850 VIP MEMBER

    Oct 3, 2011
    Im 62, been riding bikes since 12 years old , first Norton at 16 years old.
    I currently own 2 x 1973 Roadster 850's , one of which is a race bike.
    The road bike is no trailer queen, did a 350 km ride a few weeks ago, features here in this video.
    It was posted by a someone unknown to me , mine is the only old fart Commando amongst a group of 30 , shame no exhaust note from it!!!
    Apologies for the music!!
    Regards Mike

  13. Fullauto

    Fullauto VIP MEMBER

    Apr 13, 2009
    I'm 60. My first Norton was bought at 19, a '74 MK11. It had a Combat cam and a two into one exhaust. Went like the clappers. The only bike I regretted selling and I've had plenty. Bought my current '73 MK1 850 ten years ago. After a full resto, I've had it back a short while and done 2000 miles on it. Never to be sold. Although a CNW electric leg is on the cards.
  14. Reggie


    Jul 24, 2006
    I'm 58, and have had a Norton Commando nearly all my adult life. In 1980, my then girlfriend now wife, bought me my first Commando using her savings for £420. Because of this, I recognised immediately that I ought to stay with this woman for the rest of my life 8) 8) :lol: :lol: .
    Two of my school friends had Commandos, and the style of the Commando with the forward canted engine and the upswept pipes and the fantastic anti-social noise that they made hooked me and I have remained addicted.

    My wife still rides with me on 75% of my rides and never complains when I (regularly) give it the beans. We have just had a holiday in Italy and took the Commando. Picture is of the Norton and my wife just before hitting 2509 metres at Timm Lsjoch on the Italian / Austrian border.

  15. travelerjerry


    Jul 24, 2003
    Can you see the gauges with the tank bag on? Like the front mud flap. :)
  16. zefer

    zefer VIP MEMBER

    Mar 18, 2013
    I just turned 60 and have been on a motorized 2 wheel vehicle since I was 6,so 54 years of continuous riding,up till I was 17 it was all dirt bike/ trails completion all in the woods.I brought home a 71 750 roadster at the age of 17 and have had at least one norton in my garage ever since !! Thanks to some great and innovative people who put time and
    Money into continually improving these bikes.... More and more older
    Guys are still riding thier Nortons longer,I am having the new CNW E start conversion done on my 750 so I can continue to own and ride my norton .Matt should be wrapping it up soon and getting it
    Sent back east.... So that's my "senior " Norton contribution
  17. debby


    Apr 15, 2004
    I'm 59. Grew up in a motorcycle family, started riding when I was 12. My first bike was a Honda Super 90 with a straight pipe and a big overlay sprocket for the dirt. Got my first Norton when I was 18. It was a graduation present from my dad. I foolishly sold it in 1981, thinking that I wouldn't be able to get parts any more with Norton having gone under. I never would have imagined back then that these bikes would still be on the road!

    I've had my current 750 for 12 years now and the 850 for 8 or 9. I've owned a lot of bikes over the years but the Nortons are still my favorites. Well, I like my 900 Monster a lot too.

    Seems like we're all "of a certain age" here!

  18. Nater_Potater

    Nater_Potater VIP MEMBER

    Apr 7, 2013
    Physically or mentally? I'm sure there are those around us (outside of the circle) who would say "mental"... As for that "certain" age, feast your eyes below:

    Honestly, the results aren't too surprizing. How old were most of us in the late Sixties/early Seventies? It makes sense that we'd gravitate towards what was the sexiest thing out there during our late teens/early twenties.

    I am so thankful that there's people out there who strive to supply the ranks with the parts and services to keep these old birds alive. My hat's off to all of you!

    Keep the ages/stories coming, and I'll update the chart as the population grows.

  19. freefly103


    Apr 17, 2013
    51. First bike at about 10 years old - a Honda Z50 with centrifugal clutch. My brother and I used to go tearing across paddocks late at night in country West Australia chasing rabbits. Don't know how we didn't come to grief. First Norton acquired in 2013, a 1970 750 Roadster, imported by air freight from South Carolina to Libya where I worked at the time. The Health and Safety Officer wouldn't allow me to ride it around Tripoli as he figured that some one would probably try and shoot me and steal the bike. I rode it a few times any way. Have 4 bikes in the garage including a 2011 Fatboy. First preference is always the Roadster. Puts a smile on my face.
  20. Brly


    Dec 3, 2009
    31 here. Had a Honda CB360 for a couple years in my early twenties and then got my '74 850 about 5 years ago. Only two bikes I've ever owned.