Archive for the ‘Norton Commando’ Category

The annual British Motorcycle Meet put on by the BSA Owners Club of New England is on May 21 2017 this year in Lancaster MA at the Bolton Fairgrounds

Click here for the website>>>http://britishmcmeet.com/britishmeet/index.html

 

British MC Meet 2017

 

 

 

 

 

I haven’t posted in well, forever but this should break some ice. Or something.

We all know this guy, or maybe it’s me?

Well, the last big projects have been completed and here’s the result.

The new seat foam and cover was the last step after bleeding the front brake. It took about two hours (!) to get the seat the way I wanted it. Just an FYI ; heat is your friend here along with some patience. It’s chilly enough in my garage that the cover really needed some persuading to fit without showing wrinkles etc. Probably my best seat job yet.

Apologies to Milton

Anyway, after raking leaves and fixing household stuff I got to put in a few hours on the mighty Norton.

I slapped on a set of tires, polished the front hub (thanks to a Mother’s mini ball), cleaned up the front and rear rims, respoked the rear wheel because the originals were just too corroded and nasty looking, replaced the rear brake shoes, painted the brake drum and then had coffee. Just kidding, it took a few days of puttering around but overall went pretty smooth. I hate changing tires by hand but at least it got done and I didn’t have to go through the hassle of dropping off and picking up the wheels which adds in a few days and a few bucks which I can spend elsewhere. I used stainless spokes for the rear just because they’re easy to clean. Not original but I do lean to practicality under duress.

Like Barry Sheene said: “I spent most of my money on drink, birds and motorcycles, the rest I just wasted”.

I still have to fill and bleed the front brakes, add the chain and figure out a decent battery hold down. The original setup lets the battery float around too much for me.

Thanksgiving morning, a perfect time to work on motorcycles!

Well, I had an hour or two so I figured why not see if the barn find runs?

Believe it or not, she started first kick! After some fiddling with the carbs a little it ran pretty much the way a Commando should bar some exhaust smoke. After sitting for 20 years or so I think the rings may be a little gummed up, as the smoking has dissipated after a few more heat cycles. It’s running way too rich so I think the next job is to install some fresh needles and needle jets. Normal vibration and use tends to rattle them about and open up the clearances so it’s my first tuning step.

Have a look at the video and enjoy some turkey!

Had a little time for some “garage therapy” this weekend so I figured I’d wrap up some little jobs on the Norton.

Ya gotta hand it to Norton when it comes to Commando clutches. Without trying too hard you can swap out a set of clutch plates in half an hour. Try that on ANY BMW. (bikes made weird)

Anyway, after the new Barnett clutch I adjusted the primary chain after finding a screwy bodge on the adjuster. Easy fix but the only evidence I’ve found of any service (normal or otherwise) on the bike. Then I polished the cover which went easier than expected. A light sanding and about a half hour on the wheel and it looks fantastic.

I used a chromed exhaust plate for an ignition switch mount. Might change it at a later date but it looks pretty good for now.

I also polished the brake caliper and test fit all the parts. I’m not going to add brake fluid until I rebuild the front forks.

All in all, a nice bit of progress.

 

Even when you’re working on a bike that really is in excellent shape, it needs to have the perishable parts renewed. All rubber related items such as caliper seals, master cylinder seals, tires, etc perish over time.

The aforementioned brakesĀ  were in remarkably good shape with little overall corrosion. Indeed, if parts weren’t readily available, the pistons could have been cleaned up and reinstalled. However in the interest of self preservation I felt it prudent to cast caution to the wind and in turn cast the old parts into the nearest trash bin. Same goes for the old rubber brake hose; after 35 years I gave it eternal rest.

I pulled the carbs, disassembled them and gave them a bath in some Evapo-Rust to give it a good test. More than happy with the stuff, as it gives the crappy alloy a like new finish and removed most of the old gunk with a good rinsing under water. Top Marks.

Also I found a bit of a Unicorn: it has a 1/4 turn throttle which Norton offered but I had never seen before. The only reason I mention it is because I couldn’t figure out why a new standard throttle cable wasn’t fitting. The 1/4 turn throttle uses a different cable which luckily is available. Just when you think you’ve seen it all…..