1977 Norton Commando
Year of manufacture1977
Engine number850 336220
1977 Norton Commando 850 MkIII Interstate
Frame no. 336220
Engine no. 850 336220
It was the Commando's vibration-beating Isolastic frame that enabled Norton Villiers to prolong the life of their ageing parallel twin. Launched in 1967, the Commando used the preceding Featherbed-framed Atlas model's 750cc engine and AMC gearbox, and was an instant hit with the motorcycling public, being voted Motor Cycle News 'Machine of the Year' for five consecutive years. It might have been a little down in top speed compared to rivals such as BSA-Triumph's 750cc triples and Honda's CB750 four, but the Commando more than made up for this minor deficiency with superior mid-range torque and steadier handling. Introduced in 1973, the '850' (actually 829cc) featured a larger bore, through-bolted cylinder block, stronger gearbox casting and an all-metal clutch among a host of other, more minor improvements. The extra capacity provided the 850 with even more mid-range urge, and the model would continue as the sole Commando after 1975 when the MkIII was introduced. An electric starter was the major MkIII innovation, while other upgrades included a rear disc brake, left-side gear lever, right-side rear brake lever and an automatic primary chain tensioner.
One of the last Nortons to leave the Wolverhampton factory, the Commando MkIII Interstate offered here was purchased by Karl-Heinz Kalbfell in 2009. Currently displaying a total of 28,200 kilometres on the odometer, it comes with the 2009 purchase receipt, sundry invoices, and (copy) German Fahrzeugbrief.