SELLER SAYS: 1974 Norton Commando 850 Mark II for sale (Mk IIa in Europe). Excellent condition. Red with matching frame and engine numbers. 6,957kms. Subject to an extensive rebuild, this Norton runs and rides exceptionally well. This is my 850 Interstate. I bought it as a defunct project from the last owner and completed the rebuild. This involved first oversize bores, pistons and rings and first undersize crank grind and shell bearings. She is totally stock apart from Hagon rear shocks, an XS650 reed-valve crank breather and re-positioned ignition switch. The reed valve and ignition switch mods can be easily completely reversed if authenticity is essential. The details of the rebuild are documented on line in the thread “Interstate Cafe” at advrider dot com. The bike is currently not registered, but is eligible for club registration (club registration is NOT transferable). The bike is also roadworthy, but has no current RWC – though this may be negotiated. Contact David on 0439 102 994 (Corinella, Vic)
EDITOR TERLICK SAYS: Norton’s much-loved Commando is one of those bikes which has somehow become more and more desirable, the older it got. Arguably Britain’s greatest response to the arrival of Japanese bikes en-masse in the early 1970s, the 850 Commando did everything that England wanted it to do — except stop buyers from flocking to Hondas. Fast, well-made, reliable and good handling, the final incarnation of the original Commando (I’m ignoring the modern ones), the 850 even boasted an electric start (which even worked most of the time). Today, the Commando’s popularity comes from a bunch of factors including relative rarity (much harder to find than a Triumph Bonneville), its place in history as England’s fightback against the Japanese, and the fact that they have enough performance and reliability to be genuine prospects as regular-ride classics in the 21st Century. And, of course, they’re beautiful. This bike of David’s looks like a marvellous example. You can read more about the Norton Commando story here.