This is a discussion on Is this sacrilegious? Looking for guidance within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I'm fixin to pick up a nice, running, Norton Commando for 1700 bucks. My intent was to pick this thing up and cafe it. But ...
I'm fixin to pick up a nice, running, Norton Commando for 1700 bucks. My intent was to pick this thing up and cafe it. But the more I look and search, the more I think I should leave this bike alone and try to flip it for cash. I started out looking for a beater bike to work on and cafe from there, but this thing came alone. I already have a triumph chop project that's coming to an end, and wanted something I could throw together real quick and ride before winter hits. Any suggestions? Am I just being a puss?
Just kidding, I personally really like cafe bikes and Norton look really tuff in the right trim, but that's just my opinion.
Do whatever feels most evil.
If you do it will rarely be the wrong decision.
Don't do it. Too many special tools, too many damn different bolt sizes, everyhting is expensive, and it'll always leak oil, and ya gotta fix the oil breather. Crazy bike. flip it. sold mine. If you're sort of insane, keep it. If ya wanna keep your sanity, GET RID OF IT.
Nortons are the hardest bikes in the world to work on. They always leak, and will never run correctly for you. I'll take it off your hands, so you can get a nice cheap Honda, or maybe another Triunph to cafe. Let me know, and I'll come by with a truck so you won't have to look at it any more.
Seriously, I feel Nortons are one of the best classic bikes. Smooth runners and great to cafe. Many have suffered from bad owners over the years, but parts are readily available and they run great when properly set up.
1969 Norton Commando
1968 BSA 441 VS
1970 BSA 441 VS (possibly ready to cafe)
1974 BMW R90/6
The ultimate practical classic bike, IMHO. I have had three Nortons, and nothing else, but I have ridden a few others. I am completely sold on them, but you must be willing to do a bit of wrenching, if the bike has not been already sorted out properly (and even then, to keep it that way). Remember, the last ones that rolled off the production floor in any numbers were in 1975, and that could mean thirty years of neglect, or thirty years of loving care and maintenance. You can build an entire bike from parts that are manufactured today, and the parts are cheaper than the comparable Oriental bits. They sound better than just about any bike ever made, look like a leopard waiting to pounce, and go as fast as any but the sportbike junkies would want to go. I mean, a average Commando can still get well over the ton, and one that has had it's chassis gone over, and has a fresh engine with the modern main bearings and a good set of carbs will probably get up to it's original top speed of 120 or more, but that's faster than I want to go. They are glorious machines, but they're not for everyone. If pushbutton plastic thrills without touching a wrench is what you want, a Norton is not for you. cheers, Gary