Archive for April, 2008

Norton Commando Upgrades

Posted: April 16, 2008 in motorcycles
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List of things most Commando owners should think about when trying to make their bike more reliable.

1. Change the oil more than once every 5 years. I mean how expensive is a few quarts of oil?? I’m always curious when I take apart an old bike and the oil is like a tar pit.

2. Install a Boyer Bransden ignition kit. Regardless of what the Luddites out there would have you believe, they work. Yes the battery has to be in good nick but you always maintain your bike fastidiously so that’s not an issue now is it?

3. I know it’s not a fun job, but check the Isolastic engine mounts and adjust/repair as necessary. This is a major part of the Commando gestalt so make it right. There’s plenty of info out there on the web so look it up. Or email me and I’ll forward some sites. Best bet is to update them to the MarkIII vernier adjusters. By the time you’re done farting around with the shim set up you’ll know what I mean.

4. Buy a new battery.

4A. Get a new wiring harness and fix all those bad ground connections. The ground side is just as important as the plus side. No one pays much attention to making sure the ground lugs are clean and make a good mechanical connection.

5. Install Barnett clutch plates. They’re pretty cheap and they work wet or dry.

I’m currently putting on  my asbestos shorts because I know I’ll get a post from someone who’s brother -in- law’s cousins friend installed a Boyer kit and it never worked right. See solution #4 above.

Norton Accessories

Posted: April 9, 2008 in Uncategorized
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As you may or may not know by now, we sell Norton Commando parts and accessories. We currently source goods from all over the world. You in back : yes some of it comes from China. The good news is that we also have a few items made in the good old USA! Maybe some of our best stuff too.

Not sure where I’m going with this other than pointing out that it’s a global market no matter what business you’re in. We’ve stuck a toe in the Chinese water and generally it’s been a little disappointing. As a source they haven’t been nearly so aggressive on price as I would have expected. Some items are cheaper to buy but the quality leaves a little to be desired. It’s pretty obvious that the widest gaps on pricing are for things and services that have become taboo industries in the US. Chrome plating and other treatments using a variety of toxic chemicals are obviously still not on the Asian hit list. Global Warming? Dirty air? Toxic Waste dumps? Being green is still a luxury that the West can afford, there’s money to be made and impediments to the grand plan get cast aside. 

 

Ok; I’m taking a new tack. It could be bold faced self aggrandizement or just good business; I guess I’ll find out.

We sell parts and accessories for Norton Commando motorcycles for the most part, and other British bikes.

Back in the day, Norton stood head and shoulders above the mainstream motorcycles for a variety of reasons and arguably they  still do. Nortons were made with better materials than a stodgy, trying to overachieve BSA for instance; and had equal or better styling than Triumph.  Made in fairly small numbers compared to their Asian counterparts they have however stood the test of time and remain a respected viable marque. About the time a BSA has shaken off half it’s parts and headed for main bearing failure, a Commando is hitting it’s stride and has accellerated over the horizon. Triumph is the logical competititor but really doesn’t have the legs of a good running Commando. The buzz of vibration on a T120 eventually will numb even the most ardent defender.

So, that’s why were selling Norton parts. It’s a bloody good bike that will keep up with modern traffic. Within limits.

Hey, they were the first stock bike to turn a 12 second quarter mile. Barely, but hey they did it.

And they look marvelous. No bike in the world is worth buying if you don’t really like seeing it sitting there in your garage. Leaking oil.