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Norton Commando Gallery

With the introduction of the Commando Norton sought to address one of the problems associated with large capacity parallel twins, vibration. By isolating the engine, gearbox, primary drive and swinging arm from the main frame with adjustable rubber mounts vibrations were not passed to the rider. The "isolastic" system proved successful, although in its early form it required careful adjustment and regular maintaince to work effectively. The engine was derived from the Atlas unit canted forwards at a slight angle which required modifications to the oil pick up. The initial version was equipped with a twin leading shoe front brake and a seat unit with a fastback tail section. By the early seventies the range had expanded to include a "Street Scrambler", Roadster and a "chopperesque" variant with high ape hanger handlebars and a saddle incorporating a back rest. The Roadster was easily the most popular with good looks and performance to match.

The Commando, a fast and refined version of Norton's parallel twin, was introduced in the late 1960s. Early models were of 750cc capacity and were good for 120mph. 1973 saw an improved 828cc version with rubber-mounted engine to combat vibration. Aimed at the US market and intended to take on the Japanese competition, the 1975-launched Mk3 had an electric starter and discs brakes front and rear. By 1977, however, the NVT Wolverhampton factory was in Official Receiver hands and Commando production finally ended.

Bike Image Description
Norton Commando Norton Commando

One of the first great British 750 twins.....maybe the best

  • Engine - air-cooled 745cc OHV vertical twin
  • Horsepower - 58bhp @ 7000rpm
  • Top Speed - 110-120 mph
  • Brakes - drum/drum (later disc/disc)
  • Frame - tubular steel cradle, Isolastic engine mounts
  • Transmission - 4 speed
  • Launched - 1967-1976
  • Picture kindly provided by

    Norton Commando Mk1

    Norton Commando 750 SS Norton Commando SS  
    Norton Commando 850 Norton Commando 850  
    Norton 850 Commando Norton 850 Commando  
    Norton 850cc Commando Classic Racer 1960 Feather Bed frame Classic Racer 1960 Feather Bed frame confirmed as built in 1960 by the Norton Owners club
    1968 Norton Commando Fastback  1968 Norton Commando Fastback

    Launched in 1967 the Commando was quite a sensation; at last a big British twin that did not trouble the rider with uncomfortable vibration.

    More Norton Commando Fastback info..

    1969 Norton Commando S, 750cc  1969 Norton Commando S, 750cc
    1969 Norton Commando S, 750cc  1969 Norton Commando S, 750cc The 'S' Type was introduced at the same time as the 'R' and made its debut in March 1969. The styling is of a type more to American tastes than traditional British with the fitting of high bars, not a very large petrol tank, ungaitered forks, and a high exhaust system with both pipes on the left hand side of the machine. A shield was a necessary fitment over the pipes for the protection of riders. The exhaust line being a little shorter than that of the Fastback, gave the 'S' Type slightly different power characteristics. Other distinguishing features are a quilted finish to the dual seat and a chromed 'crash bar' around a smaller styled headlamp. The 'S' Type was also the first Commando to have the points driven directly from the end of the camshaft and hence the rev counter drive, which used to be in that position on the twins, moved around towards the front of the engine. The 'S' Type was the basis for the Roadster model which was virtually identical except for a low level exhaust. The INOA Tech Digest states that the 'S' Types fell within the range of Engine Nos. from 131257 to 135088. Some sources cite a factory release suggesting that dealers replace the 'S' Type exhausts with the more commonly found Atlas ones used on the early Commandos.
    1969 Norton Commando Fastback 1969 Norton Commando Fastback
    1969 Norton Commando Dunstall 1969 Norton Commando Dunstall Purposful racerm everything lightened. 810 dunstall barrel and reworked dunstall head, oil cooler , mk4 3029 dunstall street cams, larger oil pump
    1970 Norton Commando 750 S Norton Commando 750 S
    1971 Norton Commando Racers 1971 Norton Commando Racers
    1971 Norton Commando
    Norton Commando

    This particular machine was built during 1971 and exported to Italy. It was subsequently purchased Norvil Motorcycles Ltd as a basket case and rebuilt by Les Emery at Norvil between 2004 and 2005.

    Image provided by

    1972 Norton Commando 750 Roadster 1972 Norton Commando 750 Roadster The Roadster was introduced for the 1970 season and followed the 'S' Type of the previous year and the Fastback before that. It took its styling from the 'S' Type but with a conventional exhaust system and together with the Fastback became the mainstay of the range. In 1971, a Mk.ll was announced, this having larger section tyres and a cush drive in the rear hub. In 1972, modified crankcase castings were used, and a disc front brake was fitted. This was the same year in which the ill fated Combat engine made its appearance. The short working life of this engine, usually resulting in the total destruction of the main bearings, and the solution to the problem are well documented in the literature and the problem was overcome by the time the 1974 machines came along. The 1973 Roadsters were fitted with the newly introduced 828cc engine and in 1975, there were major changes including electric start, vernier isolastic adjustment, left side gearchange, and a rear disc brake.
    1972 Gus Kuhn Norton Commando Gus Kuhn Norton Commando
    1972 Norton Commando 750 Combat 1972 Norton Commando 750 Combat
    1972 Norton Commando Combat 1972 Norton Commando Combat 750cc.
    1972 Norton Egli Commando 750 1972 Norton Egli Commando 750

    Beautiful 1972 Norton Egli Commando in stunning condition. This exceptional bike is mounted on an Egli Racing chassis (which was initially destined to accommodate a Vincent 1000cc engine).

    This bike comes equipped with a dry clutch, 4 cam Ceriani front brakes, Ceriani GP fork, and 2 exhausts.

    1972 Norton Commando 750cc Roadster NORTON COMMANDO 750cc 1972 Roadster
    1973 Norton Commando 850 Roadster 1973 Norton Commando 850 Roadster Norton Commando road test
    1973 Norton 750 Commando Norton 750 Commando  
    1973 Norton Commando Roadster 850 1973 Norton Commando Roadster 850 Picture provided courtesey of
    1973 Norton Commando 850cc MkII Roadster NORTON COMMANDO 850cc 1973 MkII Roadster


    More Norton Commando Roadster info..


    1974 Norton Commando 850 1974 Norton Commando 850 Norton Commando 850 road test
    1974 Norton 850 Commando 1974 Norton 850 Commando Bike was a special construction using a 1974 850 Comando. Pretty much all brackets and non-engine bits have been chrome plated. The frame is silver powder coated. BMW R90S fairing.
    1974 Norton Commando 850 Roadster MkIIA 1974 Norton Commando 850 Roadster MkIIA
    Norton Commando John Player Race Copy - 1975
    Norton Commando John Player Race Copy - 1975 850cc in white with twin headlight faring registered 1975.
    1975 Norton Commando Mk2A Norton Commando Mk2A 850 Interstate.
    1975 Norton Commando Mk3 Norton Commando Mk3  
    1976 Norton Commando 1976 Norton Commando  
    1977 850 Mk111 Norton Commando Interstate 1977 850 Mk111 Norton Commando Interstate

    The Commando was MCN “Bike of the Year” for several years in the seventies and was one of the last great British Marques to stand against the Japanese invasion! The amazing 850 (actually 828cc) engine had, by this time, had most of it’s earlier problems resolved and the bike came with updated disc braking, bearings, charging system etc. as well as the infamous electric starter and with the gearchange/foot-brake swopped to follow the American/Japanese standard of a left-sided gearchange.

    Image provided kindly by

    1977 Norton Commando 850 Interstate 1977 Norton Commando 850 Interstate

    MkIII - Fully Functioning Electric Start.

    The Interstate has the larger, more rounded petrol tank and side panels and a broader seat and was described as the “Tourer”.

    1979 Norton Commando Production Racer Norton Commando Production Racer All the new parts are genuine and have been supplied in the main by Norvil.
    • The frame, engine plates and swing arm are nickel plated, Most of the rest is polished alloy or stainless.
    • New forks
    • AP Racing Front disc and Caliper
    • New Full Exhaust System
    • Flanged Alloy wheels and stainless spokes
    • New Bearings throughout
    • Belt drive primary with vented cover
    • Larger tank
    • Boyer electronic ingnition
    • Boyer powerbox
    • New, adjustable isolastics
    • Twin Amal 32mm concentric carbs on rubber manifolds

    Norton Commando 750 Production Racer Norton Production Racer The original Production Racer of the early 1970s quickly became known as ‘The Yellow Peril’ on account of its yellow fairing, petrol tank and seat. It was assembled in the performance shop at Thruxton, just a short way from the Andover factory. Fully kitted out for production class racing, the special parts used on the machine were sold under the Norvil brand name. The tuned up engine led to the hot Combat unit being used on the regular road bikes in 1972 with often unfortunate results. The Production Racer was not produced in great numbers and genuine examples are quite rare. Replica versions of these machines are still being manufactured and are available for purchase.

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