1974 Norton 850 Commando from United Kingdom


For the riding I do, Canada to the tip of Baha, the best bike built


Rebuilt engine at 125,000 for the fun and reliability.

And at 200,000 for bigger bore .060 over.

General Comments:

I lay down on the machine. My feet crossed over the tail light. Very comfortable. Steer with my lean, hands on the shocks.

Runs circles around Harlie's. But they can out pull me on straight lines.

New seat in 1976 from Woods Custom Seats, Sacramento CA.

Too much primary chain stretch until it settles in.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2011

22nd Aug 2011, 13:03

Hi, I'd sure like to communicate with you about your Norton as I am looking at buying a 1974 850 Commando. My email is MWRIGHT888@gmail.com



12th Jan 2015, 00:39

I had a Norton/Matchless scrambler with the P-11 (750) engine. I put Dunstall pistons, Dunstall cam and Dunstall pipes on it. Cool bike, no battery or turn signals, just a Lucas mag and head light / tail light. No ignition switch or keys, just a kill switch for the mag on the handlebar.

Went like a bat out of... but every time I stopped for gas, I had to tighten several bolts.

Starting cold was pretty simple, but if the engine was warm, the kick back could be crippling.

If they only made simple bikes like that again.

7th Nov 2015, 18:06

I just purchased an '74 850 and will be restoring it this winter. I am perplexed as to whether I want to restore it to its original build (it was one of the last bikes to come off the line (so I am told - before they started 'kitting' the remnants )) and it was painted white with a blue and red stripe - I think Norton called it the Americana - versus buying a set of rear-sets and clip ons, a solo seat and adopting the traditional black and gold paint or even the silver. Decisions, decisions. One thing is for sure, the Lucas ignition system will have to go. There will be no risking the "Prince of Darkness" for me.