Restored 1974 Norton Commando


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Model850 Commando
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Belonged since the 1980s to a professional motorcycle mechanic from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I tried to track the previous history through the Alberta Motor Vehicle Branch, but failed because of privacy laws. That gentleman died around 2002. His partner inherited the bike and kept it in dry, heated, storage in Vancouver until I bought it in September 2013. It had not run for more than ten years. According to his partner, the owner ‘did a ground up restoration’ in 2000-2001. My only proof is a Polaroid photo of the bike with the head off, and that the bike runs beautifully. That photo is dated ‘March 01’. Lucas AB11 electronic ignition installed. Everything works. 

A friend of mine judges British motorcycles at Vancouver’s large All British Field Meet.  He assesses my bike as a notch below ‘concourse’ on the Hagerty Insurance scale.  The reason it is not ‘concourse’ is because there are non-original elements to the bike, such as the LED lighting and the single Mikuni carb.  He is, admittedly, a good friend 🙂  I have tons of photos of the restoration, so let me know if you have anything specific you want to see.

My price is not written in stone, but this is a helluva bike, so please:  no lowball offers.  It wastes my and your time.  PLEASE NOTE:  THE PRICE IS US DOLLARS.

I live just inside the Canadian border on the West Coast, north of Seattle, in the town of White Rock.  Importing the bike to the US is easy and, according to American border officials, “takes twenty minutes”.  After you pay me our agreed price for the bike, we go to my local insurance agent where you receive the title document, now in your name.  I give you a bill of sale.  You take the title, bill of sale, and your new bike to the border, register it there, and its done. 

 Since I’ve owned the bike, I have: 

 • New Avon tires and tubes. 
• New stainless spokes, front and back. 
• New Ferrodo front brake pads. Rear pads were fine. 
• Installed RGM (from England) front brake master cylinder sleeve kit allowing the original brake caliper, but with modern stopping power. 
 • New front brake hose. 
• Front suspension entirely stripped, overhauled, and new seals. 
• New Mikuni VM 34 carburetor. 
• New intake manifold. 
• New throttle cable. 
• New K&N filter. 
• New battery. 
• New plugs and high tension leads. 
• Exhaust with balancing pipe replaced with single pipes. The old exhaust comes with the bike. It is cracked. 
• Cleaned and sealed tank with KBS kit (impervious to ethanol). 
• Tank and side covers painted gloss black, base/clear with Glasurit. 
• ‘Norton’, ‘850 Commando’, and pinstripes done in 24-carat gold leaf before Glasurit clear coat. 
• Frame masked and painted with two-pac automotive paint. 
• Daytime running light replaced by LED strip running around inside of headlight rim. Not visible unless under close inspection. 
 • Turn signals replaced with LED modules and new flasher unit with ‘beeper’. 
 • Tail/brake light converted to LED using original housing to keep stock look. 
 • Engine cases, aluminum, and stainless parts polished. 
• Removed chrome grab rail at the rear of the seat. It comes with the bike. 
• Speedometer recalibrated—though it turned out not to need it. 
• Speedo and tachometer lighted by LED. 
• Powder coated cross trees silver. 
• Powder coated brake master cylinder and clutch lever housing satin black. 
• Front fender stanchions powder coated silver. 
• Tachometer and speedometer buckets powder coated satin black. 
• Most visible bolts/nuts replaced with stainless Allen head bolts. 
• Original tool roll, I believe missing one item. 
• New period-correct hand grips.