2021 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction
1972 Norton Commando 750cc Solo Motorcycle
|Engine||Twin cylinder, 745cc|
This lot is no longer available
Regarded by many pundits as the finest British twin of the era, the Commando was introduced at Earls Court in 1967 and proved a worthy flagship for Norton-Villiers over the next decade. Well received by the press and public alike, the Commando took out Motorcycle News “Machine of the Year” award five years in succession. Powered by an air-cooled parallel twin whose origins can be traced back to the Bert Hopwood-designed Model 7 of the late 1940s, the Commando replaced the 750 Atlas, with an entirely new frame design, in which the pre-unit engine was mounted in a canted position. Key to the Commando’s success was an entirely new Isolastic frame designed by Dr Stefan Brauer, with rubber damping eliminating the vibrations that plagued so many other frames of the day. The earliest Mark 1 Commandos had a twin leading-shoe front drum brake and were sold in two models, the original 'Fastback' and 'S-type', the latter being a scrambler-style bike with high exhaust, smaller fuel tank and the front forks lacking any shrouds or gaiters. Production of the 750 Commando evolved through the late 1960s and into the early 1970s – the range for 1971 expanded to six models including the updated Fastback and Fastback LR (with a larger tank), Roadster, Production Racer (with full fairing), Hi-Rider (aimed at the American market) and rarely seen Street Scrambler. The Commando enjoyed success on the track right from the outset, initially with privateers running in production classes but later with the works team using more highly developed versions, including Peter Williams’ victory on a John Player-sponsored Norton in the Formula 750 Isle of Man TT in 1973.