’74 Norton Commando 850
I have been involved with vintage motorcycles since before they were vintage and over the years (decades) I have seen the cycles of popularity ebb and flow between era’s, styles and brands along with the prices that follow each change. There have however, been a few constants in the values of vintage motorcycles, the most consistent are the British motorcycles. As with all brands, no matter where they are from, some models are in higher demand than others, but for some reason motorcycles made in the UK seem less affected by this. Aficionado’s of vintage Brit bikes have their favorite brands yes, and some with particular model likes but for the most part, I have found that if you like Norton’s, a good Fastback will appeal to you as much as a Commando. The exception to that thought is the ill-conceived Norton Hi Rider, whoever came up with that was surely sent to the nearest pub to drown away the fact that he was fired. Vintage English motorcycles are very steady when it comes to holding and increasing in value, some a little better than others, and such it is with Norton motorcycles.
Norton’s seem to have a fairly high ‘cool’ factor. They are great looking, great riding and sound wonderful. Have you ever ridden up to a stoplight and next to you is a Norton idling away with the motor shaking like crazy but the rest of the motorcycle is as calm as can be? The beauty of the ‘Isolastic’ motor mounts. There are so many cool little things about Norton’s; the upswept reverse cone mufflers, the beautiful tank shape, the ‘Y’ shape engine side cover, that lovely tilted motor and of course, legendary Norton handling . Over the years Norton’s have had their issues…like all motorcycle brands, but they are still immensely desirable. And desirability usually comes along with a high price tag. This particular Norton I found is no exception.
On ebay this morning I found a nice 1974 Norton Commando 850. The mileage is low, and corrosion is at a minimum, for a thirty six year old motorcycle. The owner stored it for a while so it is currently not running…like about 2/3 of my collection?! It is in generally nice condition, needs a few parts and some TLC but it is a good place to start. Like I said before, Norton’s are very desirable today and therefore commando (a bad pun there but I couldn’t help myself…sorry) some lofty prices. Is this one priced a little too far out there? Well, maybe, but if you really want a Norton that can be made rideable rather easily and quickly, give this Nice ’74 a look. Click on the pic’s for more pictures and some added description.