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Cult bike Norton Commando 750 Roadster

1967 a real superbike

Norton rose to its former size one last time and in 1967 created the Norton Commando 750 Roadster, a real superbike. Oh, had the English known back then how many dreams were about this motorcycle.

Pampered by the glory days of the British Commonwealth, when comfortably produced goods made big cash in an isolated market, England’s motorcycle builders were not really fit for the US scene of the 1960s. Not so with the Berliner brothers, New York motorcycle dealers with importer agreements for Zundapp, Matchless, Ducati and Norton. You pointed your finger at them NOTOrton Atlas and called them old-fashioned. Which was true. And in comparison with the chic Triumph Bonneville, even with the BSA A 65, it was at a disadvantage. Above all, to Berliner’s disadvantage, because Norton’s reputation still had a strong ring to it that the brothers could have sold en masse. They wanted a new, stylish Norton top model.

Cult bike Norton Commando 750 Roadster

1967 a real superbike

1967 at the Ear’s Court Show in London


The brushless roadster,

The buffers allow strong fidgeting up and down, but only 0.25 millimeters to the side. There are true legends about how to properly distance these rubbers; if you look at it soberly, everything – as with most legends – is only half as bad. The principle, however, is quite convincing: while idling, the fork pumps up and down, the twin trembles in the frame structure, but the vibrations remain manageable and the stability is always sufficient.

In contrast to the Atlas, the engine was tilted slightly forward so that the desired flat line could be achieved. In 1967 the Commando was on the Earl’s Court Show in London. With a playful tail and in colors that matched the Californian “Summer of Love” – the Berliners had done a great job of convincing them.

And in the first year they received almost all of these later so-called Fastback Commandos. Shortly afterwards even a scrambler variant with a raised exhaust. Europeans, on the other hand, favored the classically rounded roadsters, which were produced from 1970, as interstates with a 24-liter tank suitable for touring. But no matter what dress this Norton comes in, its engine always determines every rendezvous, no matter how short.

The parallel twin pulls away with the ruthlessness of a gunslinger, converting the slightest movement on the throttle into irresistible acceleration and powerful noise. In each of its four superbly shiftable gears, preferably from 2500 to 3000 turns. A really big show, and unique even among great peers. It works just as wonderfully the other way round when the long-stroke helps with braking and angrily roars down the speed ladder. An engine from the machine age, fortunately, it is taken that way today. And not wasted on the autobahn or getting bread rolls.

Data and additional information


A real fine specimen, the Fastback.

750 roadster
Engine: two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine
Displacement: 745 cm³
Output: 41 kW (56 hp) at 6600 rpm, 66 Nm at 5300 rpm
Four-speed gearbox, double loop frame made of tubular steel with an elastically suspended assembly of subframe, engine, transmission and swing arm, weight with a full tank of 203 kg, front tires 3.00 H 19, rear 3.50 H 19, tank capacity 11 liters, top speed approx. h in 5.4 sec.

Unfortunately there is no German monograph on Norton Commando. But at least English are available, for example by Matthew Vale “Norton Commando. The complete Story "(ISBN 978-1-84797-238-5) for 26.90 euros and by Mick Duckworth" Norton Commando (978-1-84425-021-9) for 31.10 euros.

Thanks to the tireless work of Joe Seiffert from Norton Motors GmbH in Gilching, Bavaria, the spare parts situation is very relaxed not only for Commando, but also for a number of Norton. A list of renowned specialists can also be found on his website

Market situation
If you don’t buy a Commando from a trustworthy specialist, you should take a knowledgeable advisor with you to view it. A usable base must not cost more than 4000 euros, whereas well-preserved and fully serviceable pieces quickly devour more than double that amount. Show Condition costs extra, and the Fastbacks, which were often ridiculed at the beginning, are now particularly popular.

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