1974 Norton Commando 850 walkaround. The Norton Commando is a classic british motorcycle that was produced by Norton-Villiers between 1967 and 1977. Today it’s considered a staple of British motorcycling, and a piece of motorcycle history.
The Norton Commando gained notoriety from all over the world, and was so highly regarded as to win Motorcycle Cycle News’ Machine of the Year award for five consecutive years between 1968 and 1972.
While the Commando initially started out as a 750cc (really 745cc) motorcycle, in 1973 it was bumped up to 850cc (actually 828cc, but whatever).
I towed this Norton Commando 850 for a new friend who’s owned it for the last twenty years. He’s not had any need for repairs over that time except for finding a way to better secure his exhaust pipes. This Commando represents one of the last of the famous British Twins.
Here’s a walk-around video of it.
Click the little unmute button in the bottom left corner to unmute the video.
Note the 1 – N – 2 – 3 gear label, right side foot shifter, poor condition air filter, rear brake rod behind the chain, original paint, and more.
DISCUSS: If you had to keep only one bike, between your own motorcycle, and this Norton, what would you choose? Let me know in the Comments section.
The Norton Commando was a powerful, well handling bike that was considered one of the highest performing motorcycles of its time. Unfortunately it appeared at the same time that the Honda CB750 in-line 4 cylinder bike bumped Japan up into the large motorcycle segment. Norton could not compete with the power, smoothness and reliability of the CB750 and the company eventually faded. It is a classic however and especially for British motorcycle aficionados, it holds a special place. I ride 15-20,000 miles per year on a Harley and the Norton would not be a good substitution for me for comfort or reliability.