Oh, the smiles on our our faces when we see a Norton Commando 850. Despite the recent popularity of vintage motorcycles here in Brooklyn, one manufacturer you don’t often see is Norton. A classic in every respect, these bikes drip vintage cool, and offer a rare version of the vintage British bike…
The Norton Commando, began as a 750cc pre-unit parallel twin, and was first introduced in 1967, continuing in production for the next 10 years. For the first five years of production, the bike won Motor Cycle News “Bike of the Year,” and by 1969 the bike was already having some success at the Isle of Man TT.
The jump to 850cc came in 1973, and although not much faster or more powerful, the engine was less stressed at this [actual] 828cc size. The models were changed a bit, but the basic layout and function were always the same, and this bike cemented itself into the lore of classic, vintage British motorcycling.
With increasing financial troubles, the Norton Motor Company was quickly sinking, and the final versions of the original Commando were made in 1977. The end of an era, and the beginning of a folly of various companies opening and closing, all trying to capitalize on the Norton name (and legend), until the present day.