The 1973 Norton 850cc Commando 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 far superior handling. Initially offered as a 750, the capacity was increased to 850cc for 1973 for even more midrange torque, and with stronger gearbox and clutch and a plethora of minor improvements.
The ‘73 Commando offered here is beautifully presented restored example from a small, multi-Norton Southern California collection. An enthusiast of the marque, the previous owner purchased the matching-numbers bike in fully restored condition, with rebuilt engine and all cycle parts. Cosmetically, the bike is in similar condition with excellent paint on the steel tank and side panels, chrome and polished parts, with only minor rust on the spokes of the front wheel in detraction.
The 1973 Norton 850cc Commando is in excellent running condition. The engine is smooth and powerful, as it shifts smoothly and handles superbly. Brakes, suspension and all electrical systems work perfectly. The bike is accompanied by a file of service records and parts receipts and clean, clear title.