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Youngest and Oldest

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

  1. Brithit

    Brithit

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    I'm 62, bought my first mc, a Kawasaki dirt bike, at age 15. Within a half hour of getting it home, I was picked up by the police for no license, or plate. They made me push it home. Since then, I've owned over 50 bikes, a great deal of them were either Brit or BMWs. Among brands I've owned are Norton (5) Meriden Triumph (5) Velocette (3), Matchless (1), AJS (1), Panther (1), Sunbeam (Marston, not the twin 1), and somewhere around 7-8 BMWs. Met a lot of good people and had a lot of good adventures along the way with these oldies. Currently also ride a Hinckley Bonneville, and BMW R1150R. Modern stuff entertains me in different ways, I try to keep something newish around. I plan on riding until the bitter end. Whenever that may be. My Son is currently riding my former 72 Combat, and a new Thruxton. All of my old stuff will hopefully end up with him someday.
     
  2. solarmoose

    solarmoose VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    64. Had a Norton MkIII since 1978, still ride it. now a second Mk III and a '57 Model 77.
     
  3. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    55 here, and i have been riding norton commandos since 1979 amongst many other bikes but always come back to nortons the one i have now is the best ever cheers baz
     
  4. frankdamp

    frankdamp

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    I'll shift the median a bit to the right, since I'll be 75 this coming September. I haven't owned a motorcycle since coming to the US to work for Boeing in 1968 -haven't ridden on the street here either. I had some diffculty with driving on the other side, even when sitting on the left side of the car, so I figured being on a single-track vehicle would be too hazardous. I didn't want my wife to open the door to a grim-faced State Trooper one day

    Lots of bikes in England before we emigrated. I started off at 17, with a new 1958 Vespa Clubman 150. I was still living with Mom & Dad and Mom would not consider allowing a motorcycle. Little did she know how dangerous a Vespa with 8" wheels and skinny tires really was. Switched to a car (a 1938 Austin 7 - 20 HP on a good day and cable brakes that needed half a mile to stop from 50 mph!).

    Back to bikes in 1961 with a '60 Ariel Leader 250. With the body panels, it looked enough like a scooter to fool Mom. 1963 brought a '55 BSA A7, then 1964 brought a wife to whom I'm still married. Back to a car which was so corroded I was certain the body would fall apart on the way to work, but it blew the engine first. Off to the knacker's yard. Next was a Heinkel 3-wheel bubble car. Still had that when I started at N-V, but they loaned me a beater 650SS for the 45-mile commute and I was still riding it the day I quit to emigrate.

    Started riding in earnest as a test engineer at N-V, fisrtly on the Commando prototypes, then the first AJS Stormer. I reckon about 20,000 miles on the Commando, 5 or 6 days a week and about 450 miles a day, including high-speed endurance testing at the Motor Industries Assocaition test track. 100 miles an hour 8 hours a day with rider changes every two tankfuls.
     
  5. MS850

    MS850

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015

    yeah me too, but back then it was pricey to develop camera film (film--- another one of those words youngins' don't know). My old '70 commando the only pic I found was the back of the bike loaded with gear.

    And FYI those are Player's cigarettes in my pocket. No stangers to Canuck's, Aussie and Britts.



    [​IMG]
     
  6. pkeithkelly

    pkeithkelly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    59 (for another 5 weeks at least)

    1st Norton was a 1967 (68?) 650 SS that I bought in the fall of 1975 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. It was in rough shape, and according to the seller, it had recently been brought to Canada by a guy who was working in Rhodesia, where it had supposedly been a police bike.

    I rode it hard, took it apart, put it together again, and sold it after a few years of watching parts vibrate off along the roadway.

    Have also owned old Triumphs, a Beemer, a Ducati, Hondas, and currently a Mark 3 Commando and a 2007 Fat Boy.

    The Fat Boy now has 80,000 trouble-free miles, while the Commando has 29,000 (and definitely not trouble-free, as we all know).

    Don't see any reason i won't be riding another 15 years, hopefully. Love it!
     
  7. gortnipper

    gortnipper VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Awesome! Myou grandma was also a hoot, and she flared me a short term loan to cover some of the costs for my 2nd (current) C'do. So I took her out of her retirement home and around the block a few times fast. She had an ear to ear grin. Wish I had pics of that.
     
  8. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    One thing which amazes me about bikes is that the first thing which got me going was the adrenalin rush. These days I don't have it and the attraction is technical interest - developing the machine and proving it. I think a lot of guys my age retire then have nothing to keep them going. I do several things - I work with a camera and videos, shit-stir on political forums and I still play motorcycles. My enemy is my laziness - I've recently joined an exercise class. The last time I took the Seeley out, I was buggered by the time I had loaded the tools and the bike onto the trailer. And I then stuffed around like an old moll. I know I could drop dead while riding the Seeley - would that really be a bad way to depart ? None of us live forever, so do it while you are young enough to really enjoy it. The Seeley appeals to my sense of humour - it is really good shit.
     
  9. DogT

    DogT VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    I know there are older guys than I out there, but I'm really winding down at 72, coming 73 later this year. Everything to me now is a real chore, including motivation. I've probably had the Norton out 4 times in the last 2 years, it not only scares me now, but it's getting to the point where I can't pick it up and it's even hard to get on the center stand. Body is just not what it used to be, had herniated disks and heart failure, but nothing major so far, I've recovered from them.

    That said, I'm still taking care of 55 acres which includes maybe 20+ acres of pasture which I still mow with the JD 3 times a year and can still walk up the 200' hill a few times a day, the wife (49 years now) keeps pushing me, but I'm really getting tired of all the responsibilities. But I know I have to keep moving, if you sit down, it's over. Hate to say it, but I've been considering selling the bike for about 2 years now. I'm glad I had it and was able to put it back in shape. I hope someone that appreciates it gets it.

    Buck up!
     
  10. gortnipper

    gortnipper VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Well you will be happy to see that this one fetched $22k NZD recently https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/listin ... 1080996415
     
  11. MS850

    MS850

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    DogT, you absolutely right, keep moving. I stopped riding on the street for awhile before I had kids, I found myself worrying about things other than the road. Recently I told a group I wont ride with them again, I was able to keep up but at a pace that I'm not comfortable with anymore. My wife says what are you going to do if you cant ride anymore, Ill be the pit crew for my grandson, he's two now. :D
    Dont sell the bike, its great garage art.
     
  12. Nater_Potater

    Nater_Potater

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Absolutely! Once the knee goes, it's an e-start. After that, Lord only knows. I'll ride until it hurts more than the pleasure the old girl brings me.

    Garage, my foot! It's going in the living room, where she belongs. The wife already knows that's happening, and is actually good with it. I definitely married the right one. I sometimes wonder if she feels she made the right choice when it comes to husbands...

    Nathan
     
  13. Nater_Potater

    Nater_Potater

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Well, the chart continues to show an obvious, expected trend.
    We now have a tie for "first place": texasSlick, and now frankdamp. There's hope yet for us! Your stories give me hope for at least another 20 years.
    [​IMG]

    We're well into page 7; great stuff, guys! The history among the crew is fantastic. Please keep it coming.

    Nathan
     
  14. MS850

    MS850

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    I went to a car show last week, thats about the same age averages for 60's muscle car owners., damn baby boomers.
    Great thread. 8)
     
  15. rx7171

    rx7171 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    68
    Had an Indian until I sold it when I went to college in 1966. Had to have a car.
    By the time I graduated in 1972 I had taken a fancy to a Commando but needed to get a job, got married, had kids etc until nine years ago I decided with kids done with school and married I could get back to that Commando.
    Wanted a restoration project since I found working on that Indian was half the fun of having a bike.
    Found a garage find 72 Combat that had last run in 77. Pretty rough but nothing compared to some of the resurrections shown here.
    Pulled her all down and painted the frame then got diagnosed with stage III melanoma.
    Bike sat while I was treated since I really felt like crap and didn't have the energy. And if I was going to die soon why bother.
    After about a year and treatment over I felt fine and since in remission I figured I should get on with it.
    Put her back together with the inevitable setbacks and since then I've put almost 11,000 miles on her with very few problems.
    After eight years and still in remission finishing the bike was a good move.
     
  16. rx7171

    rx7171 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    How about selling some of the land and keeping the bike. Less work on one side and more fun on the other. :lol:
     
  17. gortnipper

    gortnipper VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Awesome story. Carpe Diem!
     
  18. DogT

    DogT VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    I'd like to do that but the wife won't hear of it. It does keep me moving. I've always told myself that I'd ride until I couldn't start the bike, no e-start. But like this week, just working on the sickle bar for a couple days has one of my arms in a bind, probably bursitis, and things like that really slow me down.

    I don't know if she'd let me keep it in the living room, there's room, but for sure I could keep it in my man cave.
     
  19. texasSlick

    texasSlick VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    FRANKDAMP IS ONLY 74!! When he turns 75 in Dec., I will be 76. I claim the OFIFP Award (Old Fart In First Place).

    Slick

    PS: Nathan, I will be watching to ensure the histogram reflects a proper adjustment. :D I do not intend to forfeit my OFIFP Award without a fart, ... er, I mean a fight (spellcheck did that). :D
     
  20. Mark

    Mark

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    52
    got my first mini bike when I was 7, been riding every since.
     
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