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Old 08-28-2012, 06:04 AM   #1
paulter OP
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Nostalgia

I've been bitten by the nostalgia bug and looking to get an older (70's) bike. I used to have a Norton Commando when in college (in the 70's) and wouldn't mind another. Electric start, though. Anyway, models of interest: BMW airheads, the /series--models to avoid, things to look for? Same with Norton, but choices are limited because of electric start. My plan is to hang onto bike until I can no longer ride, then pass it on to my nephew who has a healthy appreciation for tradition and functional works of art. Funds are not really limited, but I appreciate value. Thanks for any insight.

Walt
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:29 AM   #2
crampfan
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Did anyone ever make electric start Norton's a reality? Because I had two with that thing that looked like an electric starter but all the button did was kill the battery.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:34 AM   #3
daveoneshot
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Ya, get an airhead and restore it....we need new blood.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:00 AM   #4
dilandau
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Where do you live and what sort of riding? city streets, freeway, traffic, or open country, twists, gravel, long or short trips etc etc. any chance of getting parts locally?

to me these become the main factors in what bike to ride.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
paulter OP
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I live in the western foothills of Maine. In a rural area with a lot of secondary roads. I ride for the pleasure of riding, not for the thrill--if that makes any kind of sense. I do quite a bit of camping, and a fair amount (like a lot!) of fly fishing. At first I figured that a GS would be perfect, but then thought that a period piece would bring memories to the forefront. I do backpack, so if I need to get really remote, I can do it. I also have a CT 110 which I bought new in 1981, so I can always set up a base camp and putt along single track if necessary. That's why the GS became more secondary. For some reason, the 75/series has appealed to me. Covers the time frame (mid 70's) that I'm interested in, and seems to be a sedate ride. I like to stop and smell the roses .
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:16 PM   #6
Voltaire
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I have a Commando and an Airhead....the airhead is more practical but the Norton is more fun.
the Electric start can be made good apparenty and you can get Shorai battery that put out lots of omph.
My Norton is a Combat and is pretty easy to start as gone are the points.......
Check out this site for all the Commando stuff you will ever need http://www.accessnorton.com/
I sold a modern Triumph Thruxton, very good bikes, a bit bland but not bad.
Everyday rider is a 1983 R65....have fun with your decision.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
zoo mob
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Get an airhead.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:04 PM   #8
retiredgentleman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulter View Post
I've been bitten by the nostalgia bug and looking to get an older (70's) bike. I used to have a Norton Commando when in college (in the 70's) and wouldn't mind another. Electric start, though. Anyway, models of interest: BMW airheads, the /series--models to avoid, things to look for? Same with Norton, but choices are limited because of electric start. My plan is to hang onto bike until I can no longer ride, then pass it on to my nephew who has a healthy appreciation for tradition and functional works of art. Funds are not really limited, but I appreciate value. Thanks for any insight.

Walt
This is a pic of my 1978 XS650 SE. I've been using electric start for the last 6 years. Never had to kick start yet. I've added a few modifications...........Pamco Ignition (solid state), Accel coil, solid state regulator, modern rectifier, Brembo 4 piston calipers front and rear,LED tail light etc. It will go anywhere you want to go. Very reliable and fun to ride. Parts are readily available and a large following on the internet at sites such as XS650.COM.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:49 AM   #9
ADV8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulter View Post
Norton Commando...

Walt
Norton Commando 850.

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Old 08-30-2012, 05:13 PM   #10
dilandau
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fairly convincing video for a norton! But if you are leaning airhead also consider its sexier Italian cousin: Moto Guzzi.

get yourself a nice set up T3- rock solid, dead simple and intuitive to work on,plenty of baggage options, great for both long haul highway and twists.



after I clean up my current stock of bikes a bit, im thinking of getting one myself (if i can find one).
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:41 PM   #11
ADV8
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Don't forget the Eldorado.
Here is my original 1973.

A nice 76 T3 went for $2500 on eBay this week. (in storage since 1999)
The Norton in the video sold for over $15000.

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Les .. 1968 Husqvarna MF250 and MF360 - 1971 Norton Commando Fastback - 1973 Kawasaki H2A - 1973 Ducati 750 GT - 1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado - 1974 Kawasaki H2B - 1974 Triumph TR5T Trophy Trail - 1981 Ducati 900 SD - 1986 Husqvarna 400 WR - 1998 Suzuki TL1000S - 1998 Suzuki TL1000S - 2007 Ducati Hypermotard 1100S - 2008 Suzuki DR780.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:49 AM   #12
Nick in PRC.
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Ambassador/Eldorado all the way.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:34 AM   #13
paulter OP
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Very handsome Guzzis. They were also on my short list. Reason I'm leaning toward the airheads is availability of the different models. Hence the question regarding weaknesses of the various models, or which model/year to avoid. I envision the bike to be kept in the family for decades and can see my nephew thinking it to be cool to ride on a bike that was state of the art a hundred years ago.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:42 AM   #14
ADV8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulter View Post
Very handsome Guzzis. They were also on my short list. Reason I'm leaning toward the airheads is availability of the different models. Hence the question regarding weaknesses of the various models, or which model/year to avoid. I envision the bike to be kept in the family for decades and can see my nephew thinking it to be cool to ride on a bike that was state of the art a hundred years ago.
If you mean Commando's then the later the better (850)
Stronger engine cases and con rods etc.
If you want drama go for a 750 Combat.
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Les .. 1968 Husqvarna MF250 and MF360 - 1971 Norton Commando Fastback - 1973 Kawasaki H2A - 1973 Ducati 750 GT - 1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado - 1974 Kawasaki H2B - 1974 Triumph TR5T Trophy Trail - 1981 Ducati 900 SD - 1986 Husqvarna 400 WR - 1998 Suzuki TL1000S - 1998 Suzuki TL1000S - 2007 Ducati Hypermotard 1100S - 2008 Suzuki DR780.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:50 AM   #15
Kurt V
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Be tough to go wrong with either a /5 or /6 Beemer. Lots of them to choose from. $2500 will get you a good bike. $3500 will get you a very good bike. Tons of parts availability, good rider network. And they look cool!
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