British Project: 1972 Norton Commando 750

It’s probably an awkward time to talk about the British Invasion a few days after Independence Day, but neither the whites of their eyes or the mops on their heads (what some people said about The Beatles, the other British invasion) can hold a candle to a 1972 Norton Commando 750. The seller has this project bike posted here on eBay in Lutz, Florida and the current bid price is $1,255.

Norton has an interesting and somewhat convoluted and confusing history. Associated Motor Cycles (AMC) was a company that was founded in 1938 and they made AJS and Matchless motorcycles. They acquired three more companies, one of which was Norton, but the company ended up folding in 1966, at least partially due to the flood of Japanese motorcycles on the world market. Later that year, the company that owned Villiers – Manganese Bronze Holdings – bought AMC and Norton-Villiers was born.

The sage continues. In 1972, the British government offered to help another related concern which was failing, BSA-Triumph, merge with Norton-Villiers and the result of that merger created Norton-Villiers-Triumph (NVT). Back to Norton and this Norton Commando 750, in particular. Norton-Villiers made the Commando 750 from 1967 for the 1968 model year through 1977 – through 1972 with Norton-Villiers and after that with NVT – and it was quite a bike. Actually, it still is.

You can see that this particular example needs a full restoration. There is a lot of corrosion showing on most of the metal parts and pieces and this seller deserves a gold ribbon for providing dozens of fantastic photos, both overall images and details. Very well done, seller! The company made several versions from a big-tank Interstate, the Hi-Rider, the Fastback, to a model that became known as simply the Commando: the Roadster.

The seller says that this bike has been sitting for a long time and you can see that almost everything will need to be restored. The engine is an overhead-valve 745-cc parallel-twin which had 58-hp at 6,800 RPM. The seller says that the kick starter doesn’t engage which is unfortunate but the next owner will want to dissasemble the whole bike anyway. Have any of you owned a Norton Commando?

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    A “Snortin’ Norton”, eh? That’s a 1st for BFs, thanks to the master. A Norton, to me, was like a Triumph/BSA on steroids. There was the Royal Enfield or Vincent, even more obscure than the Norton, but Norton, it seemed, was simply the best the Brits had to offer. Saw a couple of Nortons in “Harleytown”, it was one of the makes Harley riders allowed to be seen with, and for good reason. Harley riders, that are usually pretty patriotic, know full well, the importance of Britain in WW2. Brothers in arms, as it were. We owe them a lot, and don’t you forget it.
    I’d love to have this, thinking, maybe one more bike, after that dismal DRZ, and a vintage “Limey” ( it’s okay, Limey is okay) would be the ticket. Heck, I have a “drain pan” and a continuity tester,,very cool find.

    Like 13
    • Jimbosidecar

      “continuity tester” another words a smoke detector?

      Like 2
  2. Harvey Member

    Had one and am sorry I ever sold it!This is what I think of when I hear the word motorcycle.Not the thing to travel cross country on,just around the county.One of my current projects is a 67 Matchless G15 mk2 that has the Norton engine,hope to be riding it this season:-)

    Like 9
  3. Derek

    I was spoiled for a 750 parallel twin; my first big bike – after a couple of 250 strokers – was a Laverda 750SF. I had shots of Nortons, Triumphs and BSAs thereafter and none of them came close to the Laverda – apart from one BSA A10 that had been very carefully built! Most of them would shake your eyeballs out of your head.

    Like 2
  4. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Definitely worth saving this one. Kick start gear probably broke ’cause the engine is locked up. A few days of Marvels oil in the spark plug holes might free it up. What a great ride the 750 Commando was…perfectly balanced bike

    Like 6
  5. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Laverda 750SF is a GREAT bike! Loved the sound of my friend’s 750…though the exhaust pipe angle pointing right at my face I can’t say made me comfortable…lol…all I kept thinking was if he swallowed a plug and the shattered bits spit out the exhaust I’d be wearing them.

    Gave me great motivation to keep my 900ss in front of him

    Sadly, he sold that and got a Jota…which killed him one day

    Like 1
  6. Chris In Australia

    The biggest band of all time is The Beatles. Not Beetles. Rant ends.

    Like 12
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Gaaa! #$% autocorrect, my apologies, thanks for catching that, Chris!

      Like 1
  7. Jerry Murray

    Had a 75 Hi-Rider

    Like 1
  8. roy weaver

    owned one of the first 750, when villers had new stampiengs end to end. we had two in group, rode cross country twice with no problems,outside of jax florida the other three were a new harley, two 750 hondas, we opened up to see which bike was top end better, my norton was the fastest of the five, harley was not broke in, burned the engine to a crisp.my friend cut the quarter in under 10 on his, never found out his modifications, he weighed 100 soaking wet though.when i retired from navy i sold it, regret it ever since. they did eat valve guides but every 6k had them replaced, no problem.

    Like 1
  9. Gator Member

    Had one for about a year, until my loving Uncle decided I should go spend a year or so in Southeast Asia. I loved that bike. And the ladies loved it too!

    Like 1
  10. MLK

    Have owned a 750 for 45 yrs.

    Like 1
    • Jimbosidecar

      You wouldn’t happen to be from Boulder City would you. The only person I personally knew owned a Norton for that perios of time was from there

  11. Kenn

    Never heard of push-starting a bike? So I imagine the engine is locked up.

  12. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update, this one sold for $2,481.

    Like 1

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