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Norton Commando

Updated 09/26/19

Norton US License
Plate Brackets

1974 Norton 850
Commando Rebuild

Updated 10/10/19

Used Parts For Sale
Updated 06/09/19

Norton Wiring Diagrams
Updated 07/06/19

1974 Norton Wiring
Updated 08/20/19

Norton Rear
Wheel Lacing

Updated 03/02/19

Norton Front
Wheel Lacing

Updated 02/21/19

1972 Norton 750
Commando Rebuild

Completed 5/15/2019
First Place Norton 5/16/2019

1972 Norton Wiring
Updated 07/22/19

US Flag Tuesday, October 22, 2019

This page is an attempt to identify the Norton Commando models and major changes. Very little of this is from my personal knowledge.  Most of it comes from various public records and has been checked by some members of the Access Norton forum. If you see something wrong or have more to add, please write me! I would like to add any missing models and the colors available for the various models/years.  The first table has the general starting serial numbers and the two right-hand columns list the approximate 750 Commando engine build dates as listed in Mick Duckworth's Norton Commando book that is available from Andover Norton. Note that he lists very specific starting serial numbers that often do not match what others have published - who knows what is correct!  The second table has more details related to the first, the third attempts to give dates for the various models, and the fourth provides carb information. Some of this info comes from Peter Henshaw's book The Norton Commando Bible, but it is not included in the first table because there are several apparent errors in his book related to the first table.  The second table used some of his information.

Unlike BSA, Triumph, etc. who upgraded their models each year and in later years included a "model year" code on their machines, confusion often arises with the Commando because "mark" changes didn't always occur at a particular time of the calendar year or model season. Some marks (Fastback Mk 2, for instance) only lasted a few months which makes it doubly difficult when attempting to apply the usual "model year" designations to Commando mark numbers. Generally, the years here are model years but a lot is open to interpretation.

Keep in mind that factory records were hand written and contrary to what some will lead you to believe, no one has all of them.  In theory the VMCC has them but I know that Andover Norton has at least part of the records and neither has the records for my 1974 850 MK2A.  Also, my 1972 750 was the 25th built on 4 Jan 1972 according to the factory records from Andover Norton, but the frame certification label tag lists Dec 1971 so I assume the final assembly date was 4 Jan 1972 but the frame was finished in Dec 1971.

Model Year CCs Marks Starting Serial MD Serial MD Date
1968 750 First Commando 126125 126125 Feb 1968
1969 750 Either 129500 or 130000
depending on where you look
Mar 1969
Sep 1969
1970 750 134700 135140
Mar 1970
Sep 1970
1971 750 MK II/III 141700 141717
Jan 1971
Mar 1971
May 1971
Oct 1971
1972 750 MK IV 200001 200001 Jan 1972
1973 750 MK V 212278 or 220000, see below. 219999
Mar 1973
Oct 1973
1973 850 MK 1/1A 300000
1974 850 MK 2/2A 307311
1975 850 MK III 325000 Engine
125001 Frame

Engine CCs Marks Year(s) Models For Notes
126125 750   1968 Commando All Engine Prefix 20M3. First Commando. External Tach (Rev Counter) drive. Points in old magneto position.  Later known as MK I or Fastback after other Marks and Models were introduced.  125125 was the Earls Course show model and If I understand right wasn't ridable.
129500 or
750   1969 Fastback, S Type, and R Type All All S Type (First=131257): Engine Prefix 20M3S. Points in timing cover. Integral Tach(Rev Counter) drive.

Fastback/R Type: Continue as 20M3 with the points housing behind the cylinders. R Type basically a Fastback but with what later became known as the Roadster style fuel tank and no tail piece. Fastback converted to 20M3S spec. later in the year. 'R' Type discontinued after only a few months.
134400 750   1969 or 70 Fastback, S Type, and Roadster All All Roadster introduced, S Type discontinued in June (Last=135088), Fastback MK II, Sept. 1970 (139571) to Jan. '71 (141717). According to Peter Henshaw, 135140 was the first Roadster and he says it happened in 1970 at 135140.
141783 750 MK II/III 1971 Fastback, Roadster, SS, Hi-Rider, Fastback LR (steel tank). All All models were MK II except that the Fastback was MK III with new style fork yokes - non adjustable type. 4.10 Front Tire (tyre). Lucas handlebar switches. Center (centre) stand on engine/gearbox mount (was on frame before). SS were in the range 145234-150723
200000 750 MK IV 1972 Fastback, Roadster, Hi-Rider, and Interstate All Breather moved between gearbox plates behind engine (was on left hand end of camshaft before). Engine number prefix discontinued. Optional front disc brake and Combat engine.

The first Combat was 200976 but all were not Combat after that.

There were four service bulletins in 1972 concerning the main bearings: 68, N2/6, N2/9 which introduced the "Superblend", and N2/10 which finalized the "Superblend" bearings - there were all due to problems with the Combat engines and although the fourth change finally fixed the problem; by then, Combat had a bad reputation so they were no longer sold.  In truth, the high performance engines were still sold even into 1973, but they were not called Combat.

Peter Henshaw note for 1972: "Engine numbers jump to 200000 and are no longer consecutive."
220000 750 MK V 1973 Roadster, Interstate, and Hi-Rider All All black instrument cases. "Square" rear light (really rectangular). Disc brakes on all but Hi-Rider. Superblend bearings standard.  1973 normally had silver barrels.  Also, a few MK V had 230xxx and 235xxx serial numbers

Note: According to the parts book 212278 and later were built to MK V spec.  However, 220000 appears to be the official beginning of MkV production so either could be considered correct.

Peter Henshaw says: "230935 Probably last Commando 750"
300000 850 MK 1 1973 Roadster, Interstate, and Hi-Rider All Balanced exhaust system. Front disc brake standard.  Silver barrels
306591 850 MK IA 1973 Roadster and Interstate Europe Not sure whether Silver or Black barrels. Large black plastic air box. Peripheral discharge mufflers (silencers).  The point of the A version was reduced noise.
307311 850 MK 2 1974 Roadster, Interstate, and Hi-Rider USA Black barrel. Old type mufflers (silencers) and air filter
307311 850 MK 2A 1974 Roadster, Interstate, JPN Europe Black barrels. Large black plastic air box. Peripheral discharge mufflers (silencers).  Some MK 2A were eventually sold in the US and some were imported to the US used (Mine Was).  The JPNs sold in the US were essentially MK 2As. The point of the A version was reduced noise.
325001 850 MK III 1975 Roadster, Interstate, and Hi-Rider All Electric start. Left shift. Rear disc brake.  New handlebar switches and central ignition console. Peter Henshaw says that the last production bike was 336539.

Starting around May 1975, the number stamped into the frame matched the engine and certification plate serial number in most cases.

CCs Model Marks Start End
750 Original Commando Apr-68 Mar-69
750 Fastback Mar-69 Aug-70
750 R Mar-69 Sep-69
750 S Mar-69 Jun-70
750 Roadster Mar-70 Dec-70
750 Fastback II Sep-70 Dec-70
750 Roadster II Jan-71 Dec-71
750 Fastback III Jan-71 Dec-71
750 SS Mar-71 Oct-71
750 Fastback III Long Range Apr-71 Dec-71
750 PR Apr-71 Oct-73
750 Hi-Rider May-71 Dec-71
750 Fastback IV Jan-72 Mar-73
750 Hi-Rider IV Jan-72 Feb-73
750 Roadster IV Jan-72 Feb-73
750 Fastback IV Long Range Jan-72 Feb-73
750 Interstate Jan-72 Feb-73
750 Hi-Rider V Mar-73 Oct-73
750 Interstate V Mar-73 Oct-73
750 Roadster V Mar-73 Oct-73
850 Hi-Rider 1 Apr-73 Dec-73
850 Interstate 1 Apr-73 Dec-73
850 Roadster 1 Apr-73 Dec-73
850 Interstate 1A Sep-73 Feb-74
850 Roadster 1A Sep-73 Feb-74
850 JPN * Nov-73 Feb-75
850 Hi-Rider 2 Jan-74 Feb-75
850 Interstate 2/2A Jan-74 Feb-75
850 Roadster 2/2A Jan-74 Feb-75
850 Interstate 3 Feb-75 Sep-77
850 Roadster 3 Feb-75 Sep-77
850 Hi-Rider 3 Mar-75 **
* The JPNs were based on the MK2A, but were a separate model.
** Not sure when production ended.

This table attempts to list the carbs that were used for each Commando version. Click the Details link for specifics on the carbs.

Years Model Engine Right Left PACK
1968 Commando 750cc R930/26 L930/27 133 Details
1969 Commando 750cc R930/30 L930/31   Details
1970 Commando 750cc R930/46 L930/47 135 Details
1970-1971 Commando 750cc R930/63 R930/64   Details
1971-1972 Commando 750cc R930/68 L930/69 111 Details
1972-1973 Commando 750cc R930/82 L930/83 139 Details
1972 Commando Combat 750cc R932/19 L932/20 140 Details
1973 Commando 750cc R932/26 L932/27 112 Details
1973-1974 Commando Mk 1/Mk 2 850cc R932/29 L932/30 136 Details
1973 (1) Commando Roadster 850cc R932/29 L932/30 136 Details
1973-1974 (3) Commando Mk 1A/Mk 2A 850cc R932/31 L932/32 137 Details
1973 (1)(3) Commando Interstate 850cc R932/31 L932/32 137 Details
1974 (2) Commando Mk 2A 850cc R932/33 L932/34 113 Details
1975 (2) Commando Mk 2A 850cc R932/33 L932/34 113 Details
1974 (1) Commando Mk 2 850cc R932/35 L932/36 138 Details
1974 and later Commando Roadster MKIII 850cc R932/42 L932/43 114 Details

(1) The Roadster and Interstate had different pipes in 1974 for both the 2 & 2A
(2) The Amal catalog is wrong because 33/34 cannot be 220 and 230 main jets. When ordered by ACK or PACK number, they have 220 main jets.
(3) Note that several models used this for 1973/1974

When ordering carbs from Amal, you can order by "ACK" or "PACK" number. "ACK" is standard carbs and "PACK" is premier.

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