2021 Shannons Summer Timed Online Auction

1973 Norton Commando MkII A Motorcycle


Tuesday 23rd February 8.32pm AEDT*




Engine Twin-cylinder, 828cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Colour Candy Apple Red
Trim Black


This lot is no longer available

Regarded by many as the finest British twin of its era, the Commando was introduced at Earls Court (London) 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.  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 and in which the pre-unit engine was mounted in a canted position.  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 front forks which lacked any shrouds or gaiters.  Production of the 750 Commando evolved through the late 1960s and into the early 1970s, with the final Mark V appearing in 1972, before the new 850cc was launched the following year.  By that time, Norton-Villiers had merged with BSA to become the Norton-Villiers-Triumph Company and the first product of this new conglomerate was the 850, using an 828cc engine in 1974’s Interstate Mark IIA model.  Right from the start the Commando had tasted success on the track, 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.  By the late 1970s, the Japanese had made such inroads into the European and American markets that the Norton name disappeared altogether.