1972 Norton

Price: US $5,550.01
Item location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Make: Norton
Year: 1972
Mileage: 13,556
Color: Black
Engine size: 750
Vehicle Title: Clear

1972 Norton Commando. Complete No Expense Spared Restoration. Runs As New

Engine Number: 208444. Frame Number: 208444

1972 Norton Commando. Complete No Expense Spared Restoration. Runs As New

Engine Number: 208444. Frame Number: 208444

In the late 1960?s and 1970?s. the Norton motorcycle company turned out some of the fastest and best handling bikes in the world.   And with all of the competition between the manufactures. the bikes were getting wilder with each new model introduction?

The condition of this machine is restored.   Everything from the frame to the fenders has been restored. re-built. and/or re-finished.  

I believe I am the fourth owner from new but can?t be positive.   This machine has been a part of my collection and has been ridden occasionally after the restoration was completed.   The bike is stored in a temperature controlled environment (my office) throughout the entire year.  

When I purchased the Norton. the restoration had just been completed.   All of the major engine. transmission. and braking components are operational.  

The tires are in very nice condition and are the correct type and size (Dunlop Roadmaster TT100s) for the Norton.   The brakes have also been checked recently for safety. front and rear.  

The engine and transmission were re-built and restored to the original factory specifications and are in excellent interior condition.   A Boyer ignition has been installed making the bike very easy to start.   A new battery was also installed when the bike was restored.  

The bike is stored in a temperature controlled environment (my office) throughout the entire year.  

The paint was applied when restored in the factory correct color with the correct graphics and paint scheme applied.  

The seat has been correctly restored down to the pan. which is also correct and restored.  

The Commando on the road is very easy to handle. and rides down the road tight. with no shakes. shimmies. or rattles.   It shifts and accelerates smoothly and holds the road as it should with the new tires installed.  

There is absolutely nothing that needs to be done to this machine to ride. show. and enjoy it.   The new owner will have a top quality restoration that can be ridden and enjoyed as well as shown at any vintage motorcycle show.   I also have a video of the Norton starting. running. and riding.   If you're interested in seeing it. please contact me and I will email it to you.  

I am always looking for new machines to add to my collection and love talking shop about bikes. so if you have something interesting. please let me know.


The description of this motorcycle is written to the best of my knowledge.   However. I am by no means an expert on vintage Norton motorcycles.   Please don?t hesitate to ask for more photos and. if possible. come and look in person before the auction ends.   ALL SALES ARE FINAL!  If you have any questions. please contact me before the auction ends.

If you have any questions. please contact me.   If you live close to Chicago. I encourage you to come and inspect the Motorcycle in person!

In an effort to protect the eBay user information and to help ensure the authenticity of correspondence between sellers and bidders. eBay?s new listing format does NOT display any bidder information.   Nevertheless. I STRONGLY encourage bidders to contact me directly to answer questions or to verify correspondence.   Seller reserves the right to not accept bids or sell the vehicle to anyone with a zero or negative eBay feedback rating.

This motorcycle is being sold as is. where is with no warranty. expressed. written or implied unless there is a warranty in effect from the factory.   The seller shall not be responsible for the correct description. authenticity. genuineness. or defects herein. and makes no warranty in connection therewith.   No allowance or set aside will be made on account of any incorrectness. imperfection. defect or damage.   Any descriptions or representations are for identification purposes only and are not to be construed as a warranty of any type.   It is the responsibility of the buyer to have thoroughly inspected the motorcycle and to have satisfied himself or herself as to the condition and value and to bid based upon that judgment solely.   The seller shall and will make every reasonable effort to disclose any known defects associated with this motorcycle at the buyer's request PRIOR to the close of sale.   Seller assumes no responsibility for any statements regardless of any oral statements about the item.

Please remember that your bid constitutes a legally binding contract to purchase this item.   If you require an inspection. have it done prior to bidding.   I strongly encourage all bidders to inspect the motorcycle personally or enlist the services of a professional inspector prior to placing a bid.   After the sale. inspections are not recognized as a contingency to completing your obligation to your winning bid.   If there are any questions regarding the above terms. please e-mail prior to bidding.

Please do not waste my time or yours bidding on an item you do not intend to pay for.   If you bid on this part and win. you are expected to pay for the Motorcycle and pick it up in a timely manner!

I welcome ALL international bidders and am happy to assist with making shipping arrangements.   I can also arrange crating for shipment on my end for a nominal extra charge.   If you are an international buyer. I understand it can take some time to arrange shipping. so I do not mind keeping the motorcycle for a longer period of time until pick up.   Please contact me before the sale ends. if possible. to discuss the specifics.

Thanks for your interest!

For more on the Norton motorcycle company and the Norton Commando. please read on past the photos?

History of the Norton Commando:

The Norton Commando is a motorcycle that even today. 46 years after it was first introduced. lives on as one of the most iconic British motorcycles of the 20th century. The story of the conception of the Commando has all the hallmarks of a feel-good Hollywood film ? a small team of engineers with a minimal budget. limited resources and an outdated engine set about creating a motorcycle that would go on to become. for many in the ??60s. ??70s and today. the most desirable motorcycle in the world.

All this despite the pre-unit construction (for those unfamiliar with pre-unit. it just means that the transmission and engine are two separate parts. rather than unit construction where they?re both part of the same case). the relatively antiquated Atlas engine and a budget significantly below that of its arch rivals.

The Norton Commando is a British Norton-Villiers motorcycle with an OHV pre-unit parallel-twin engine. launched by the Norton Motorcycle company in 1967. Initially a nominal 750 cc displacement. actually 745 cc (45. 5 cu in). in 1973 it became an 850 cc. actually 828 cc (50. 5 cu in). It has a hemi-type head. as all ohv Norton engines have had since the early 1920s.

During its ten years in production. the Commando was popular all over the world. In the United Kingdom it won the Motor Cycle News "Machine of the Year" award for five successive years from 1968-1972. Given that its engine was an old pre-unit design. even Norton's chairman. Dennis Poore. expressed surprise at the Commando's remarkable success.


The origins of the Norton Commando can be traced back to the late 1940s when the 497 cc (30. 3 cu in) Norton Model 7 Twin was designed by Bert Hopwood. The twin-cylinder design evolved into the 600 cc and then 650 cc Dominator and 750 cc Atlas before being launched as the 750 cc Commando in 1967.

As well as having a radical new frame. the Commando's engine (which was mounted vertically in earlier models) was tilted forward. This was relatively easy as the engine was "pre-unit". that is. the gearbox was not integral with the crankcase. and the change gave three benefits: (i) the center of gravity was moved further forward; (ii) this allowed more space behind the carburetors for the airbox; and (iii) it gave an attractive raked appearance to the motorcycle.

Isolastic system:

One of the most famous features of the Commando was the use of an Isolastic system to reduce engine vibrations being transferred to the frame and subsequently to the rider. In layman?s terms. the Isolastic system was an engine mounting system using rubber bushings that had to be carefully calibrated. once perfected they significantly reduced vibrations caused by the 750 and later the 850 Commando. This reduction in vibration improved the bike?s handling and reduced rider fatigue. specifically in the hands and wrists.

This revolutionary part of the Commando. compared to earlier Norton models. was developed by former Rolls-Royce engineer Dr. Stefan Bauer. He believed the classic Norton Featherbed frame design went against all engineering principles. so Bauer designed his frame around a single 2. 25 in (57 mm) top tube. Bauer tried to free the Commando from classic twin vibration problems. which had severely increased as the volume of the basic engine design expanded from the 500 cc of Edward Turner's 1938 Triumph Speed Twin. He. with Norton-Villiers Chief Engineer Bernard Hooper and assistant Bob Trigg. decided that the engine. gearbox and swing-arm assembly were to be bolted together and isolated from the frame by special rubber mountings.

This eliminated the extreme vibration problems that were apparent in other models in the range. as it effectively separated the rider from the engine. Named the Isolastic anti-vibration system. the system's patent document listed Hooper as the lead inventor. Although the Isolastic system did reduce vibration. maintaining the required free play in the engine mountings at the correct level was crucial to its success. Too little play brought the vibration back; too much. and the result was poor handling.


Mk1 750 cc

The Norton Commando was introduced in 1967 at the Earls Court Show. The first production machines completed in April 1968 had bending frame problems. removed with the introduction of an improved frame in January 1969.

The original model. called the 'Fastback' was joined by the scrambler style 'S Type' which had a high level left-side exhaust and a 2. 5-gallon (11 L) fuel tank. The first Commandos had a twin-leading-shoe front drum brake.

Production of the machine was initially complex and located across different parts of England. with the engines produced in Wolverhampton. frames in Manchester. while components and final assembly was at Burrage Grove. Plumstead. In late 1968 Plumstead works was subject to a Greater London Council compulsory purchase order. and closed in July 1969.

With assistance of a Government subsidy. the assembly line was moved to North Way. Andover; with the Test Department in an aircraft hangar on Thruxton Airfield. Frame manufacturing was transferred to Wolverhampton. where a second production line produced about 80 complete machines each week. Components and complete engines and gearboxes were also shipped overnight. from Wolverhampton to the Andover assembly line.

Other Models:

The production racer. featuring a tuned engine. front disc brake and finished in bright yellow. was known as the 'Yellow Peril'. In March to June 1970 the updated S called the 'Roadster' had the 750 cc engine. low-level exhaust. upward-angled silencers with reverse cones. September 1970 saw the introduction of the classic 'Fastback Mk2'. which had alloy levers with modified stands and chain guards. The ??Street Scrambler? and the ??Hi Rider? were launched in May 1971. with the ??Fastback Long Range? with increased fuel tank capacity from July 1971.

The ??Combat? engine was introduced in January 1972 saw the appearance of the ??Mk4 Fastback?. updated ??Roadster? and the ??750 Interstate?. The ??Combat? delivered 65 brake horsepower (48 kW) at 6500 rpm with a 10:1 compression ratio. but the stressed 750 cc twin proved less than reliable at the time. but more collectible today with certain engine improvements.  

The last of the 750 series. the MkV was produced from November 1972 to mid-1973 as a 1973 model and featured improved crank bearings and the standard grind camshaft. Compression was reduced to 9. 4:1.

750 vs 850 vs Combat:

The major engine options you?ll be faced with are the original 750. the later 850 or the higher-performance and slightly temperamental Combat. Now. opinions vary quite significantly on this issue so I?ll try to outline the benefits of each as fairly as possible.

The 750 is the original engine. and once it?s set up properly it?ll run like a dream and propel you to speeds in excess of 110mph. Spares will be easy to find as the majority of Commando engines are 750s.

The 850 has almost exactly the same power output as the 750 due to the fact that it has a reduced compression ratio. this later engine benefitted from a series of evolutionary advances and they?re probably the most reliable of the Commando engines (if all other factors are equal).

The Combat is the engine you should choose if you want higher performance and you know how to pull and engine to bits and put it back together again. It is possible to build a Combat engine into a reliable daily runner but as a general rule. you might be better off with one of the above engines if reliability is more important to you than a performance boost.

Right Shifter vs Left Shifter:

Pre-1975 Commandos had right hand side gear shifters. this was switched over to the left side in 1975 to comply with the American market ? long the biggest market for British performance motorcycles. The right side shifter is fine once you get used to it. but until you adapt you?ll be tapping what you think is the rear brake and changing up a gear.

Which Model?

When looking for your Commando. you?ll have to decide whether you want the Roadster. Hi-Rider. Super Scrambler. Interstate. John Player Special. Fastback or Fastback LR model. It?s probably worth having second and third options as many of them are rare or just don?t come up for sale very often. I?ve always been a fan of the Interstate 850 and the Super Scramber. but these are very popular choices. You?ll want to do some reading and find the model that you?ll be most happy spending time with because you?re going to get to know every part of her over time.


The fact that you?re even considering buying an old Commando means that you?re probably not afraid of a little oil. a little work and a little bit of character in your motorcycle. Some Commando owners swear that their bike has moods and can instantly tell the difference when their bike is having a good day versus a bad day. you?ll also probably never meet a Commando owner who hasn?t done most. if not all. of the maintenance that the bike requires.

At the end of the day. when you arrive anywhere on a Norton Commando you?ll find that everyone wants to talk to you. ask you questions and share stories about the old British bike they owned once too.

No matter where you go in the world the community of men and women that surround the Commando are genuinely fantastic people. parts are often sold at very low ??friends?? prices and there are a series of websites like the Access Norton forums full of kind hearted souls who?ll offer tips. tricks and advice.

Interestingly. there?s a company called Norvil that still make parts for original Commandos. meaning you can buy literally any part of the bike you need. fresh out of the factory without having to take a risk on a questionable used or refurbished part ? this has made Commando ownership an order of magnitude easier to manage for many.

?Thanks to James McBride and Silodrome for the information above?


Also published at eBay.com