1974 Norton 850 Commando Interstate Motorcycle
The origins of the Norton Commando can be traced back to the late 1940s when the 497 cc Norton Model 7 Twin, designed by Bert Hopwood and initially an export only model. The twin cylinder design evolved into the 650 cc Norton Dominator and 750 cc Norton Atlas before being launched as the 750 cc Commando in 1967. The key to the Commando’s success was the Isolastic frame designed by Dr Stefan Brauer, with rubber damping eliminating the vibrations that plagued so many other designs. The first 850 cc machines were introduced in April 1973. The 'Roadster', 'Hi Rider' and the 'Interstate' all began to use a new 828cc engine, which had similar power to the 750 cc models but were less stressed. March 1975 saw the launch of the 850cc MK3 Commando and for the first time was fitted with an electric starter. The range of models was reduced to just two machines, the Mk.3 Interstate and the Roadster, both with a left side gear change, right foot brake and rear disc brake to comply with United States vehicle regulations. The specification remained unchanged until October 1977 when the last machines were made.