The end of the 60’s was kind of a turning point in the world of motorcycling. British and European bikes were falling behind the Japanese manufacturers in terms of technological and mechanical innovations. In 1967, Norton-Villiers (ex-Associated Motor Cycles) released the mighty Norton Commando 750 and created a few specific Commando models until the last year of sale in 1978, which were comprised of unused parts from the 1975 model.
In this evolution of models, the two first years were the easiest to comprehend, with only two models sold by the British manufacturer. In 1969, the “S” model was released, essentially aiming for the American market. This S model came in addition to the 1968 original model, which was often called the Fastback. 1969 is considered to be one of the best years for Commandos thanks to mechanical improvements that solved some teething issues in 1968. 1969 was also a winning year for the Commando which, despite being not officially engaged in racing, was used for competitions like the Isle of Man TT where Paul Smart (yes, the same legend that’s usually associated with Ducati) finished 2nd. The parallel twin of 746cc developed 58hp and could push the 430lbs bike to approximately 115mph. Using the same engine base as the prior flagship model of Norton, the Atlas, the motor was not revolutionary but still performed well and helped the Commando earn the title of “Machine of the Year” by Motorcycle News from 1968 to 1972. Even the construction of the bike was kind of outdated being designated as “pre-unit”. This means that the transmission and the engine were built separately and then brought together. For more information about the Commandos, check out these stories on Motorcycle Classics and Silodrome.
The bike presented here is an original fastback from 1969. The original British Racing Green paint with patina seems beautiful. The seller, Big D Cycle, claims that all the rubber bushings of the Isolastic system have been replaced and updated and that the top end has been rebuilt. The bike is supposed to be running perfectly and all the electrics are said to work. The only part that does not look original is the exhaust but it still preserves the British look of the bike.
Find this Norton Commando in Dallas, Texas with an unmet opening bid of $11,500