At last it’s finished (Andy’s Commando refurbishment)

I received the email blow from my mate Andy whose been doing some work on his lovely Norton Commando.

Finished it on Sat, rode it yesterday, after sorting out a couple of minor glitches, I can report that this incarnation rides like a modern bike. The throttle is light as a feather, as is the clutch. Vibration is non-existent, the gear ratios are excellent, and…………it IDLES!!!

I’m so impressed, I thought I’d take a couple of snaps before the pipes discolour.

All I need to do now is get some miles on it.

Post rebuild pics of the Commando

I suggested to Andy that he send me a summary of whats been done so that I could post it here for all to see. Below is his account.

Jules,     The whole exercise started as an attempt to cure persistent oil leaks, I coated the inside of the crankcases with an oil resistant paint that cost $70.00 for 400ml, and took two months to obtain.

Whilst waiting, I had the piston skirts Teflon coated and the crowns ceramic coated, bringing the piston clearance back to 3.5 thou,  fitted gapless rings, new 2S camshaft and a Mikuni single carb conversion.

Drive train has been shouted a belt drive primary, radial bearing for the clutch release, a close ratio gear set, new sprockets and chain, new Stainless vernier adjustable isolastics.

Suspension got new progressive fork springs, new Hagon rear suspension units.

A pair of nice Magura levers made the bars look pretty, and anything that wasn’t already stainless got converted (brake cable clevis’s, cable adjusters, lever pivots etc)

I also got my claws on a new petrol tank made with ethanol resistant resin, as mine has a patch of de-lamination happening, (although very slowly). Haven’t fitted the tank yet as I want to line it first.

Some weeks ago in Andy’s shed

Some older pics and movies of this Commando – Hot New Years Day 2008 and more recently on Pashnit New Years Day 2011 or even some video here.

Well done mate! Now it’s a better bike to ride and still looks like a great example of a late 1960’s Norton.

Inland run to Ararat

Awoke to a magnificent Spring day, just right for riding. All the pics below feature lots of blue sky. This was long overdue after a very wet week, Melbourne having had some fierce storms on Thursday..

Our route

larger version HERE

Lunch stop. I should have photographed our visors. The air was thick with insects, so much so that a stop was needed each hour just to clean our visors enough to be able to see.Snake Valley 1914-1918 war memorial. Every other small town memorial I’ve seen has a statue of a soldier – this one is different.

Nice old place opposite the memorial.

Wind farm turbines between Beaufort and Ararat

Marty waiting patiently while I took some shots

Challicum HillsI think I’ve mentioned before that I love riding this motorcycle!

It was uncharacteristic for us to head inland on a day like this, but I’m glad that we did. I wore my textile gear just to see how breathable it was on a warm day as I plan to take textile rather than leather gear to NZ in February. The initial impression was that it breathes OK, I certainly didn’t feel like I was in a plastic bag as I’ve done in the past with non Gor-Tex lined stuff.

The whole trip was 417 kms. A great day out.


Spring in the Otways – lots of bugs & bad asphalt

After a week of miserable weather we finally got a sensational Spring day – around 30C (86F) and blue skies. We took our typical Otways run and it was a treat to be riding in such warm conditions.

Larger route map HERE

The riding was so good that I hardly took any pics. The countryside is just lush, green and alive with bugs and birds. It’s actually hard to imagine that prior to last year we had a decade of drought. However, I really have to comment on the appalling state of the many of the roads and more particularly the road repairs – unbelievably amateurish looking patches with fine screenings about the edges! This is a major tourist route to the 12 Apostles and the Otways National Park in southern Australia and the road conditions are an embarrassment.

I took just two pics today. One was of the ZX14 before I left to meet up with Marty (look at those roses).

The other was of a great looking Harley at the gas station in Apollo Bay, ridden by a nice young woman from Echuca (Vic) on her first run on the Great Ocean Road. She said her buddy also had a white HD as well.

Ride safe ladies and enjoy your weekend.

We stopped for a break at the microbrewery at Forrest and bumped into an old work colleague whom we hadn’t seen for many years, which just added to a grand day’s riding. Yes Di, we did see you sampling those beers!