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Old 08-31-2012, 10:47 AM   #16
dilandau
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since you are not planning city driving I'd say most airheads are fine. The big issue I had with mine was the brakes- they are pretty heavy bikes that go pretty fast, and they do not stop quickly. It was fine in the 70s but in 2012 in traffic it can be pretty hairy
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:56 AM   #17
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I went through exactly the same thing a couple of years ago. I wanted a real vintage bike and had it narrowed down to a Commando, Airhead or late 60s/early 70s Triumph.

Decided to go the Airhead route based on more bike for the money, reliability and parts availability.

Bought the nicest 76 R90/6 I could find and added some brand new Krauser cases. With the cases on an R90, you have a very vintage looking bike with a big engine, electric start and practical storage that still looks right on the bike. One of the rare bikes that, in my opinion looks better with luggage. All I have done in the two years I have owned my R90 is change fluids and put gas in it. Runs like a champ.

Also - like someone said, if you do go with a Commando get an 850. I believe they only had electric start the last year though (1975 I think) and I want to say their version of electric start was poorly engineered. When I was looking, I thought a kick start 850 was the best one to get which I think would be a 73 or 74.

Good luck.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:04 AM   #18
lrutt
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75 was the only electric start year for Norton. But.....do not discount any other year. Alton makes a retrofit electric start that is vastly superior to the original, does not require irreversible mods, and includes an improved charging system. When I get too old to kick my 850 Commando, I'll be putting one of those on. Google commando Alton starter and take a look. Great unit.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sox Fan View Post

Also - like someone said, if you do go with a Commando get an 850.

Good luck.
I said it then brought a 1971 Commando Fastback 750.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:48 PM   #20
Rob Farmer
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If you want drama go for a 750 Combat.
A friend of mines had one for 30 years, thrashed it mercilessly, wheelied it, toured on it and it's still going strong today. He did fit superblend mains when he first bought it though.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:52 PM   #21
Rob Farmer
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You can get electric starts for just about any of the old Brits now. Some really neat unobtrusive kits.

BSA A10

[IMG][/IMG]

Alton make a kit for retrofitting to non electric start comandos

http://www.btinternet.com/~hawkshaw..../AltonNES.html

Rob Farmer screwed with this post 09-06-2012 at 10:59 PM
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:46 AM   #22
WU7X
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Have you given any thoughts to a hack?

I started riding at 61 y.o. on a BMW F650GS Dakar, then went to a 1150 RT for a short, very short, time. Now, I'm restoring and driving an '82 R100 with a Squire sidecar. It's been the most fun so far. And from the description of where you plan on riding, a sidecar could come in pretty handy. I plan on using mine for camping and fly fishing activities too.

If you like wrenching, any of the old airheads are pretty easy to work on. And there are lots of parts and advice available on this site and others. For example, I started a writeup on my efforts, and got lots of help from the folks here at ADV.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=754519

Good luck, whatever you decide. Just keep the reports of your efforts, and pics, posted up here so we can all share the enjoyment of your efforts.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:27 AM   #23
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Thanks to all for the insight. While emotionally drawn to Nortons, For practical reasons (parts availability and initial cost of bike), I've started doing a lot of research on the different models of airheads from 1975-1985. Are there any significant reasons to to choose one model over another, other than power? For instance, I've seen any number of R65 models which seem to be cheaper--any reason for that? I won't be carrying passengers, only gear, and very little, if any, interstate travel. Are parts or aftermarket more supportive of certain models versus others? Reliability? As I mentioned, this will be a bike handed down in another (20?) years to be enjoyed further.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:09 PM   #24
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I think the R65 series has sort of a - probably undeserved- reputation for not being as "good" as the others. But there are plenty of people who argue just the opposite.

If I were going to buy an airhead right now, I would look for an r80. It sort of hits the sweet spot for controllable power- good for pretty much any situation.

but really, if you have now decided on a airhead, you should ask in the airhead section of this forum. you will get 400 people telling you a collective 9000 years and 57million miles of experiences.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:05 AM   #25
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Talking

Well, took the plunge. Found a pretty well sorted out R-65. Will pick up in a couple of weeks. I guess I'm now officially out of the nostalgia thread, and into the Airhead one.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:18 AM   #26
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Good on you. The R65 is an underated gem IMO. They are a lot of fun and have no problems with traffic, and will put a silly smile on your face. Keep the RPM's above 3500 on those ... they are supposed to rev higher. You'll get better gas milage. Have no fear on logging roads and other dirt, gravel. They're made for it!

Have fun, and see you in Airheads!

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Originally Posted by paulter View Post
Well, took the plunge. Found a pretty well sorted out R-65. Will pick up in a couple of weeks. I guess I'm now officially out of the nostalgia thread, and into the Airhead one.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:52 AM   #27
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I think you'll be very happy with the R65. I've always thought the deal was they would be a little slower. Beings as you have leanings to travel not in a hurry probably just right. Many of the R65es are in better condition for this same reason.

See you over in Airheads.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:26 PM   #28
dilandau
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I for one, would appreciate some pics! Feed us feed us
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:48 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Rob Farmer View Post
A friend of mines had one for 30 years, thrashed it mercilessly, wheelied it, toured on it and it's still going strong today. He did fit superblend mains when he first bought it though.
I guess the ones mates had were Monday bikes,they were untouched bikes though until ejecting con rods etc.
Bit early but word is the Fastback has arrived at port for shipping to Australia.
It should land in November ready for its first Summer Downunder.

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