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#831583 11/30/20 5:36 pm
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Hi all,
is there any way I could tell if my junkyard bike was originally sold as a Hi-Rider or was converted to one at a later time, please? The engine number is: 314001 and frame I.D. plate is not there. I know that makes (the engine, at least) it a 1974 850 Commando but was wondering if the factory kept records. The bike (a real mess) came with the small headlight, Hi-Rider tank and seat, but no handlebars, side panels or sissybar.
Though I hated the Hi-Riders when they came out (actually, I still don't like them) I'd like to restore the bike to be similar to it's original guise. I most likely will sell it once restored and wonder whether there is a market, any more, for the Hi-Rider. A conundrum!


Paul

'74 Commando - Interstate
"74 Commando - Hi-Rider, possibly
'65 Atlas, mostly anyway
'15 R1200 GS Adv
'51 Vincent Rapide
'58 Ariel Square Four
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Paul Sammut #831589 11/30/20 6:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Paul Sammut
The engine number is: 314001 and frame I.D. plate is not there. I know that makes (the engine, at least) it a 1974 850 Commando but was wondering if the factory kept records.

Well, yes, they did but the factory records between 305549 and 317848 no longer exist.

https://andover-norton.co.uk/en/factory-records/

Last edited by L.A.B.; 11/30/20 7:27 pm.
Paul Sammut #831590 11/30/20 6:18 pm
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The small head light may be the strongest evidence. Otherwise it is whatever model you want it to be. The frame part# is usually on the LH front tank mount. 73-74 -75 were each different
http://atlanticgreen.com/commandoframes.htm
How about the tranny # on top?


dynodave
BSA 3 1961-1963
Ducati 3 1992-2002
Norton many 1951-1975
87 Serv-Equip 100HP MC brake dynamometer,
Paul Sammut #831623 11/30/20 10:57 pm
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The HiRider used the same sidecovers as the 850 Roadster used.
Pinstriped the same too.

But the HiRider sidecovers would be the same colour/color as the HiRider tank.
Which came in a limited selection of colours.
Black, or yellow or tangerine, from memory ?

A sample of a 74 850.
(Dunno whats happened to the aircleaner.)
[url]https://i1.wp.com/www.bike-urious.com/wp-content/uploads/Norton-Commando-Hi-Rider-Right-Side-2.jpg[/url

Paul Sammut #831707 12/01/20 4:37 am
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Thank you. The gearbox number is the same as the engine number. The frame part # is 064140, which, according to your table, Dave, would make it a ‘73 frame (with engine and gearbox from ‘74)
The tank is matt black (with a pleasant rust brown interior) so I’ve no idea what the original colour would’ve been.


Paul

'74 Commando - Interstate
"74 Commando - Hi-Rider, possibly
'65 Atlas, mostly anyway
'15 R1200 GS Adv
'51 Vincent Rapide
'58 Ariel Square Four
Paul Sammut #831711 12/01/20 4:55 am
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Seems odd you'd have a 73 frame with a 74 engine/gearbox ?

There is nothing underneath the tank to show the original colour ?
Particularly under the stack of rubber tank mounts area.
Or under the matt black ?

At least if you have a steel tank its likely to be the original.
They were fibreglass for most of the 750 era.

Paul Sammut #831719 12/01/20 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by Paul Sammut
The frame part # is 064140, which, according to your table, Dave, would make it a ‘73 frame (with engine and gearbox from ‘74)
The tank is matt black (with a pleasant rust brown interior) so I’ve no idea what the original colour would’ve been.

The 064140 frame appears to have continued into Mk2/Mk2A (or '1974' if you like) production so could be the original frame.

See Mk2A, example 311032 in the link, below (Mk2/2A production commencing after 307311) so does the frame have the '850 F1xxxxx' serial number and/or 5-digit (001xx) number as they would give an approximate indication of the production date?:

https://www.accessnorton.com/NortonCommando/frame-plate-orientation-survey.31855/post-505428

Paul Sammut #831749 12/01/20 5:07 pm
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It seems the 73-74 issue is more the early 73 with it's PN. Then the "upgraded" frame configuration called 74 with it's own PN .
Strict year frame to year bike, by VIN/SN matching does not appear to be that clear cut a transition. same as imperial or metric are randomly mixed.
However the imperial frames seem to mostly all have left gusset R### dates but I can't say I remember seeing a left gusset date on the metric ones.


dynodave
BSA 3 1961-1963
Ducati 3 1992-2002
Norton many 1951-1975
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Paul Sammut #831758 12/01/20 6:18 pm
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A frame part number changeover control would be fraught using 2 suppliers, one local and the other in Northern Italy. They would have to time their changeover differently so that the frames coming in the door at the Norton factory from both suppliers changed at the same time. If the PN change only affected the frame and not any attached parts then running both down the same line would not cause a problem in the factory or what spares were needed once sold and being repaired.

Paul Sammut #831766 12/01/20 6:47 pm
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How much more is there from 73 other than the 74 anti droop-rear loop BRACE is there? Can't think of any...
The 75 had the different MKIII anti droop loop brace too but all MKIII also had a different steering lock tab making it a MKIII PN.


dynodave
BSA 3 1961-1963
Ducati 3 1992-2002
Norton many 1951-1975
87 Serv-Equip 100HP MC brake dynamometer,
Dave Comeau #831772 12/01/20 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Comeau
It seems the 73-74 issue is more the early 73 with it's PN. Then the "upgraded" frame configuration called 74 with it's own PN .

What was that 'upgraded frame configuration'? I was under the impression for some time that the change of frame part number was due to the extended inner shock gusset plates but it seems that was not the case as many 064140 frames also have the extended inner shock plates.

Edit: One possible difference between 064140 and 065404 is the plate for the steering lock?




Originally Posted by Dave Comeau
However the imperial frames seem to mostly all have left gusset R### dates but I can't say I remember seeing a left gusset date on the metric ones.

As far as I'm aware the left gusset plate date stamp is only found on later 750 frames, not 850 (unless anyone has evidence to the contrary?) therefore, most likely were of UK (Reynolds) manufacture.

Last edited by L.A.B.; 12/01/20 11:07 pm.
Paul Sammut #831782 12/01/20 9:53 pm
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Thanks for the interesting discussion.
The engine number places it's manufacture in January, 1974, so that it is not too surprising - to me, anyway - that the engine and gearbox find themselves in a '73 frame.
The remnants of the rivets on the headstock indicate the ID plate was towards the right of the headstock - any significance? Also, I can make out part or all of another number stamped on the left side of the headstock - 0216. Not sure what that indicates, either, but I'm constantly amazed at the knowledge displayed on this forum so I hope to learn a little more.
Kind regards,


Paul

'74 Commando - Interstate
"74 Commando - Hi-Rider, possibly
'65 Atlas, mostly anyway
'15 R1200 GS Adv
'51 Vincent Rapide
'58 Ariel Square Four
Paul Sammut #831785 12/01/20 10:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Paul Sammut
The engine number places it's manufacture in January, 1974, so that it is not too surprising - to me, anyway - that the engine and gearbox find themselves in a '73 frame.

The 064140 frame appears to have continued into '1974' so I suggest you don't think of it as a '1973' frame.


Originally Posted by Paul Sammut
The remnants of the rivets on the headstock indicate the ID plate was towards the right of the headstock - any significance?

That suggests it's probably an Italian (Verlicchi) frame. Is the spine tube 60mm O/D?


Originally Posted by Paul Sammut
Also, I can make out part or all of another number stamped on the left side of the headstock - 0216. Not sure what that indicates,

Are you sure it isn't (0)0126 as that would be somewhere near what I'd expect?

Are you sure there's no *850*F1xxxxx* number on the RH side of the headstock adjacent to where the plate would've been (2nd photo in the link, below)?

https://www.accessnorton.com/NortonCommando/fake-numbers.12465/
(00125 on the LH side in the first photo is genuine but the 20M3Sxxxxx number isn't. Frame part number appears to be ??40)

Last edited by L.A.B.; 12/01/20 10:37 pm.
Paul Sammut #831788 12/01/20 10:57 pm
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Once again, LAB, you are correct. I had to do some sanding on the headstock and, indeed, it revealed the number 00126 on the left hand side. On the right, I have uncovered: 850 F 007315 - at least that is what I can make it out to be.
Also correct in that the spine tube is 60mm in diameter.

Rohan - I do have a steel tank (hence the rusty interior). I've sanded parts of the tank and beneath the matt black is a maroonish undercoat (definitely not orange or yellow) and bare steel. That also goes for under the mounting rubbers and the fuel taps, so no hints.


Paul

'74 Commando - Interstate
"74 Commando - Hi-Rider, possibly
'65 Atlas, mostly anyway
'15 R1200 GS Adv
'51 Vincent Rapide
'58 Ariel Square Four
Paul Sammut #831790 12/01/20 11:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Paul Sammut
Once again, LAB, you are correct. I had to do some sanding on the headstock and, indeed, it revealed the number 00126 on the left hand side. On the right, I have uncovered: 850 F 007315 - at least that is what I can make it out to be.

If it was 850 F107xxx then it would be about right for 00126.

Paul Sammut #831798 12/02/20 12:26 am
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It looks much more like a "0" than a "1" but I'll keep cleaning it up.
Thanks


Paul

'74 Commando - Interstate
"74 Commando - Hi-Rider, possibly
'65 Atlas, mostly anyway
'15 R1200 GS Adv
'51 Vincent Rapide
'58 Ariel Square Four
Paul Sammut #831877 12/02/20 12:42 pm
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extended inner shock gusset plates = anti droop-rear loop BRACE laughing

As far as I'm aware the left gusset plate date stamp is only found on later 750 frames, not 850 (unless anyone has evidence to the contrary?) therefore, most likely were of UK (Reynolds) manufacture.
Realize you had this lined out.
I have many imperial R stamped frames, one MKIII dated R2 75. I have not bothered to dismantle the plate off all my frames.

I own one high# 200k bike with metric frame

from the parts books?
4140 (73), 5404 (74) and 5632 (75E-Start)

I have one very low # 73 850 metric frame with no frame part # with inner gusset/brackets


dynodave
BSA 3 1961-1963
Ducati 3 1992-2002
Norton many 1951-1975
87 Serv-Equip 100HP MC brake dynamometer,
Dave Comeau #831911 12/02/20 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Comeau
from the parts books?
4140 (73), 5404 (74) and 5632 (75E-Start)

Yes, "from the parts books" although 064140 obviously did continue beyond 307311 (if you regard 307312 as the beginning of '1974' production?) because examples with later serial numbers have been seen or mentioned at AccessNorton etc. Late Mk2As (and Mk2s?) can have Mk3 frames.

However, what the actual difference is, or what the 065404 "upgrade" you mention was (apparently not the longer inner shock plates or steering lock plate) remains unanswered.

Last edited by L.A.B.; 12/02/20 7:10 pm.
Paul Sammut #831947 12/02/20 8:53 pm
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Yes at this point the 73-74 difference evaporates and would need a 100% micrometer inspection to possibly discover the difference as it is not easily visible.
I do own all 3 but it is not likely a close look will happen very soon. Is there not a factory record of this change/upgrade?
Material wall thickness?


dynodave
BSA 3 1961-1963
Ducati 3 1992-2002
Norton many 1951-1975
87 Serv-Equip 100HP MC brake dynamometer,
Dave Comeau #831951 12/02/20 9:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Comeau
Is there not a factory record of this change/upgrade?

Not that I know of.


Moderated by  Dave Comeau 

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