Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Norton Commando 850

Thu, April 1st, 2010

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1973–77 Norton Commando 850
A Norton Commando that's been properly tuned and 'fettled' can run with an fuel-injected 1200 Sportster, courtesy of the 1970's total lack of emissions regulations.
The Isolastic rubber mounts may have made things more comfy for the rider, but they demand rigorous maintenance to ward off that 'hinge in the middle' feeling. Even when adjusted properly, skinny 19-inch rims, rigid footpegs and ancient suspension make approaching the edge of the envelope a dicey proposition.
The Norton 850 Roadster is one of the most classically proportioned motorcycles ever.
They can be kept in fairly reliable riding condition, but only with constant attention by someone who doesn't mind a day in the workshop for every day on the road.
Having the Venus de Milo or a B-24 Liberator in your garage wouldn't be at all practical; the Commando 850 is like having both.
Heart votes 5; head votes 1.
A Norton 850 is not so much a motorcycle as a force of nature. Like a tornado, you should run from it, but you're just as apt to be fascinated by it.