1974 norton commando 850 MKIIA interstate
Delivered New in 1974 in a Crate to an Aircraft Carrier off of Thailand, 3800 Original Miles, Concours Quality, Ground-up Restoration, Matching Numbers, Perfect to Ride, 2 Owners from New
This 1974 Norton Commando MKIIA Interstate was purchased new in 1974 by a US Navy seaman. He bought the bike at the NEX store (Navy retail store) where he was stationed. The Norton was delivered to him crated from the factory to his then residence, an aircraft carrier in the pacific ocean off of Thailand.
The owner and his friends uncrated the Norton and assembled it. The motorcycle travelled with the seaman and his wife around the world during his Navy career for the next 20 years. It served as his mode of transportation while in different ports of call. They rode the bike sparingly though, only accumulating about 2800 miles on it. He retired in the late 90s and the bike sat for several years before he decided that the bike should get a full restoration.
The bike's motor was rebuilt by a Norton specialist in Indiana using only the best components, including Superblend bearings. The frame was powder coated, the rims were chromed, stainless steel spokes purchased, etc.
The original owner then sold it to a heart surgeon in Michigan, who related the story of the bike to me, and who completed the ground-up restoration. He bought it with the rebuilt motor and fresh isolastics installed. Wiring had been partially completed. The fuel tank and side covers were painted by his painter.
He added an electronic ignition and Podtronics along with a Mikuni carb for reliability and performance. A stainless front brake rotor and stainless steel brake line were fitted for superior stopping power. Front master cylinder was rebuilt. An adjustable front steering damper was fitted. The stainless steel fenders were professionally polished to a mirror finish. An anti-wet-sumping valve was fitted. The mileage on the motorcycle now are the cumulative miles on the motorcycle since new, with approximately 1000 miles since the restoration. 3800 miles from new, according to the previous owner.
The heart surgeon who I bought the bike from is a longtime britbike enthusiast (and Vincent owner) who has been restoring one british bike a year for the last 30 years. He restores his bikes to brand new and does some of the most stunning restorations I've ever seen.
The bike rides as well as it looks. It has fantastic power and very crisp and immediate throttle response through the Mikuni. It starts easily and settles into a nice idle. It has the best brakes of any Commando I've ridden with the stainless line. Handling is tight and direct, shifting has a positive and clean action. All electrics, lights, horn, etc work properly. It was just fitted with a brand new set of Dunlop K81s.
You could score extremely high at a concours with this bike. I've sold 10 Commandos in the last year, this bike is among the very best. Certainly has the most interesting story of any bike I've had.
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