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Norton Commando Models



Fastback, 750ccm Engine, built 1967 - 1973

Although the first Commando was released in late 1967 it was not yet calledFastback. This was the case only with the appearance of the other Commando models. In early Commandos, the frame was found to be weak. This issue was fixed with an additional tube to the steering head. A redesign in 1970 gave the Fastback Mkll the raised peashooter silencer, which replaced the previously usedAtlas type. Only four months later came the Mklll, with several changes, including modified center and side stands and wider front tires. The MkIV, which was released in January 1972 had a front disc brake and turn signals. Production ended in the spring of 1973. The Fastback was never offered with the 828ccmm engine.


Fastback LR, 750ccm Engine, built 1971 - 1972

The Fastback Long Range is a rare variant that was only produced for 2 years from 1971. It is estimated that only 400 exemplars were produced; Most of them were exported to Australia. The machine was virtually identical to the Fastback model of the same era, with the exception of the fuel tank in the Atlas style. The color choice was red or green. The seat corresponded, except of the side-wings, to the regular Fastback.


R Type, 750ccm Engine, built 1969

The "R" was introduced at the same time as the "S" and debuted in March 1969. It was intended for the US market and was styled more like a Street Scrambler. The styling had something of the P11 and the Fastback, and in some ways was a harbinger of the coming Roadster designs. She had a raised handlebars and a small 10 liter tank, and was available in blue or red, and had a conventional Fastback seat. She was very similar also in other respects, to the Fastback. The "R" had, with the exception of the last models, yet the original ignition. The "R" was pretty soon taken out of the product range and today is a very rare machine, which usually can be found only in the United States.


S-Typ, 750ccm Engine, built 1969 - 1971

The "S" was introduced in March 1969. The styling is more attuned to the American than to the British taste: High handlebars, small petrol tank, forks without bellows and a left-sided raised exhaust system. This in turn made the installation of a heat protection for the driver's legs necessary. The exhaust system is slightly shorter than the Fastback, and thus gave the "S" a slightly different performance characteristics. Other features include a quilted surface of the seat and a chrome "crash bar" to the slightly smaller headlights. The "S" was the basis for the Roadster model, which was virtually identical to the "S", except to the exhaust system. According INOA Tech Digest were used for the "S" engine numbers 131257-135088.


SS-Typ, 750ccm Engine, built 1970 - 1971

The "SS" was introduced in 1970, and was produced until 1971. The "SS" was substantially similar to the "S". On the "SS" the exhaust pipe passed on the left- and right side to the back. The INOA Tech Digest says that engine numbers between 145234 to 150723 were used for the "SS".


Production Racer, 750ccm Engine

The production racer in the early 1970s was known for its yellow trim and yellow tanks quickly as "The Yellow Peril". The production racer was assembled in the Performance Store in Thruxton, not far from Andover. The specially for this machine developed parts were sold under the name Norvil. The tuned engine then led to the Combat engine in 1972. The production racer was only produced in small quantities, and an original production racer is a real rarity. Replica versions of these machines are still in production and are available for purchase.


Roadster, 750ccm Engine, built 1969 - 1973. With 850ccm Engine built 1973 - 1977

The Roadster was introduced for the 1970 season and followed the "S" of the previous year and the FastBack of the years before. She took over the styling of the "S" but with a conventional exhaust system, and, along with the Fastback to the main revenue driver of the series. In 1971, a MkII with larger tires and a damper pads in the rear hub was announced. In 1972, the crankcase was changed and a front disc brake was -mounted. This was in the same year, in which the unfortunate Combat engine was installed. The short life of the engine, the total destruction of the main bearings and the solution of the problem are well documented in the literature. 1973 Roadster were equipped with the newly introduced 828ccm engine and in 1975 there were major changes including electric starter, Vernier Isolastic setting, left-sided gear shift and a rear disc brake.


Hi-Rider, 750ccm Engine, built 1971 - 1973. With 850ccm Engine built 1973 - 1975

Another unusual design, such as the "S", which aimed at the American export market. She had a conventional exhaust system but a raised handlebar together with a raised rear seat and a sissy bar.


Interstate, 750ccm Engine, built 1972 - 1973. With 850ccm Engine built 1973 - 1975

The 745ccm Interstate first appeared in 1972 with the "hot" 745ccm Combat engine, along with a short transmission the bike offered excellent acceleration values, but reliability was not a strong point. The Interstate is probably the best-selling of all types Commando. The 828ccm version was introduced in 1973, with a lower compression ratio and better calibration than the previous 745ccm machines with Combat engine. The engine retained the stroke of 89mm, the bore was extended to 77mm. This meant that the cylinders were given a different look because the lower flange and the retaining bolts with nuts were replaced by screws with bolts so that the cylinder head had to be removed first now. Another feature of the larger engine was the reinforcement of the transmission housing around the crankshaft bearing. The main difference from the Roadster was the 24 liter tank. These were made of fiberglass on early Interstates, then later made from steel to meet the British laws. Its capacity was reduced later in the MkllA to 20 liters.


Interpol, 750ccm Engine, built 1970 - 1973. With 850ccm Engine built 1973 - 1976

Designed by Neale Shilton specifically for english- and the police of export markets, the Interpol was a model that was not produced by a friction of an inch. Nevertheless, it was the longest-produced Commando model. It was introduced in 1969 and produced from 1970 to the end of 1976. Based on the standard equipment with some special parts of white paint and additional equipment for the police, including fairing, tank, seat, lights and horns was her trademark. In September 1975, the last form was introduced, which was maintained untill the discontinuationof the model in 1976.


John Player Norton, Engine 850ccm, built 1974 - 1975

The John Player Norton was produced in limited numbers over a period of about two years, and around 200 machines were produced during this period. She took her style and name over from the successful factory racing machines that were sponsored by the well-known tobacco company. Although she looks super fast with their racing trim, dual headlights, laid back Foodpegs and solo seat: Under the trim works a normal standard Commando engine. This prompted an unfriendly contemporaries statement that the JPN is a sheep in wolf's clothing. For customers who really wanted to go racing, the factory had a very small number of 750 cc Ready-to-Race short stroke engines with a 77mm bore and stroke of 80.4mm. JPN with this engine are even rarer than the already rare John Player Norton with normal 850 cc engine. Since there were far more people who are enthusiastic for JPN than machines were available, it is perhaps not surprising that many have done everything, to convert their standard Commando by mounting the readily available parts in a special JPN. The result of this is that there are probably more copies available than real JPN.


Mklll Electric Start, 850ccm Engine, built 1975 - 1978

There have been numerous changes when the Mklll was introduced in 1975: A rear disc brake, the front disc brake was moved to the left side. An electric starter was on the back of the primary drive and the shift and brake pedals were switched to meet the American import regulation requirements. Vernier adjuster of Isolastic system were finally introduced after being developed in 1967 but not included in the production. Production ceased in 1977, although still a small charge in 1978 was created.