When “Easy Rider” exponentially increased the popularity of choppers around the world, it was inevitable that certain businesses would try to ride the wave. What was surprising was that one of those companies was Norton, who created the “Hi-Rider” variant of the Commando to counteract the popularity of big Japanese motorcycles like the Honda CB750. It looked silly – in a ’74 review, Cycle magazine called it “hilarious” – but time heals all wounds and now there are riders who like it simply because of how rare and absurd it was.
There is indeed a charm to this bike if you’re a fan of ugly ducklings – some consider this to be the first mass-produced custom bike. 1971 was the first year of the production run, and it lasted through 1975. It featured a 2.3 gallon fuel tank, raised handlebars, and a curved seat that made it just about impossible to have a passenger on the back. For more information on this odd factory custom, check out this article on Motorcycle Classics.
Not many Hi-Riders have remained original, as many examples were converted to more traditional Commando styles by riders that had functioning eyes. This example is said to be in “wonderful condition” thanks to recent work that includes a carb service, front brake rebuild, and new fork seals. Noted flaws include “some dings on inner front mudguard” and wear on the seat. The seller notes that the tank may not be original, but it was how he acquired the bike and it has “great patina” and “the correct look”.
Find this Hi-Rider for sale in West Palm Beach, Florida for $8,500 here at Burn Up Company.