1971 Norton 750cc Commando Roadster

Winning Bid: $12,000.00

Engine no. 20M3S149833
Frame no. 149833

Location: Ventura, California

Item condition: Used

Auction finished

Reserve price has been met



1971 Norton 750cc Commando Roadster

The Commando’s vibration-beating Isolastic frame enabled Norton Villiers to successfully prolong the life of their hugely successful parallel twin. The futuristic, boldly styled 750 Commando Fastback was announced at that Earls Court London Show in 1967, the Commando used the preceding Featherbed-framed Atlas model’s 745cc engine and AMC gearbox, and was an instant hit with the motorcycling public, being voted Motor Cycle News ‘Machine of the Year’ for five consecutive years. It might have been a little down on top speed compared to rivals such as BSA-Triumph’s 750cc triples and Honda’s CB750 four, but the Commando more than made up for this minor deficiency with superior mid-range torque and steadier handling.

The motorbike offered

The 1971 Norton 750cc Commando offered here is a matching numbers example produced in July of 1971. Subject to a ground-up restoration in the hands of a very gifted amateur restorer. ClassicAvenue.com has sold numerous bikes from this shop and the work is always exemplary and consistent. The focus is on rideability as much as show quality presentation.

Starting with a verified straight frame, freshly powder-coated, the matching numbers engine was installed. A nut-and-bolt rebuild by Dean Collinson included crank grind w/new shells, bearings, seals, rod bolts, pistons, and rings. Walnut shell blasted head for new valves, guides, springs, etc. Dean also went through the gearbox installing all new bearings and seals. The mixture comes from a new 32mm Mikuni Carb correctly jetted with manifold for easy starting and idling. Ignition is a new Pazon electronic ignition system w/new single dual output Harley style coil. A new high output alternator was also fitted along with a brand new wiring loom.

Then to the cycle parts. The frame was treated to updated isolastics using far more modern and effective materials. The bike rolls on new 19” front and rear with brushed stainless spokes and nipples, with all new bearings. Rebuilt front forks with new fork legs and seals and new shocks at the rear take care of suspension duties, while fully refinished and rebuilt original brakes are responsible for stopping. The bike has new stainless fenders and expertly applied fresh paint to the metal tank and side panels in the very attractive green with gold logos. All black parts on the bike were freshly powder-coated. All chrome parts were rechromed. All aluminum parts were polished. And all the hardware is CAD plated. A new center & side stand were installed and the originally clocks were fully rebuilt.

The resulting bike, while certainly staggering in appearance must be ridden to be truly appreciated. It starts easily, idles perfectly smoothly and with a fantastically strong engine note, pulls like a train. It is fast and utterly smooth with negligible vibration through the bars and footrests. Most notable is the clutch and the gear shift actions, which feel like a modern Japanese bike – buttery smooth. On test ride, I had to check I had actually changed gear – the action was almost unnoticeable. Fine handling with no erroneous noises or squeaks, the bike instills immediate confidence and is a joy on the open country lanes with a perfect deep and throaty musical accompaniment.

The bike was built to be a thing of beauty, but a thing of beauty to be ridden. Not a bike to disappoint and worthy of any collection.


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