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57nortonmodel77
57nortonmodel77
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Norton Commando head steady #402574
11/08/11 12:42 am
11/08/11 12:42 am
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 54
Burnaby B C
J
Jim H Offline OP
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Jim H  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 54
Burnaby B C
"Norton Head Steadies" What are the pros or cons of installing one? Do they help eliminate or increase vibrations? The two rubber bungs on the pre MK3 appear to be a little wimpy and do little to stabilize the top of the motor. The Dave Taylor unit with the adjustable spring looks impressive, certainly looks like it might be an improvement over the 2 rubber muffler mount bungs. I would love some feedback positive or negative. I have installed Vernier adjustable front and rear isolastic units on my 74 Norton Commando and thought maybe I should look into a head steady.

Thanks Jim

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Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H] #402648
11/08/11 9:37 am
11/08/11 9:37 am
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,655
Norfolk, UK
L.A.B. Online content
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L.A.B.  Online Content
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Posts: 3,655
Norfolk, UK
I suggest you go to the accessnorton website forum and search "headsteady" or "head stady" as that will bring up literally hundreds of results which will give you plenty of information.

Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H] #402693
11/08/11 4:30 pm
11/08/11 4:30 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,959
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Offline
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GrandPaul  Offline
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
The taylor unit is in the "better" range of available units. A good value.

I recommend a front steady as well, there are bolt-on units available.

The ultimate setup also incorporates a rear/lower rod joint unit. What this does is limit ALL of the three iso units range of motion to strictly fore/aft - up/down, and eliminates ALL side-to-side play.

The top steady is just the first (albeit very significant) step in addressing the isolastic system's allowance of the swingarm to have "free range" out back.


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: GrandPaul] #402695
11/08/11 3:35 pm
11/08/11 3:35 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,959
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Offline
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Musings / ramblings...

I'd love to see a massive fixed jig with a Commando solidly bolted in place by the frame, with a video made of the rear wheel being forced through the entire range of motion of the standard isolastic system.

That must be an impressive figure-of-eight!

On a related note, the swingarm spindle root tube welded into the transmission cradle can typically become wallowed out, allowing significant undesireable swingarm play. The late Heinz Kegler designed a simple set of drill and bolt-on clamps that cure this issue once and for all time on a typical Commando. They are still being made and are highly recommended (new swingarm bushings DO NOT address this issue).

Last edited by GrandPaul; 11/08/11 3:36 pm.

GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H] #403115
11/10/11 8:39 pm
11/10/11 8:39 pm
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 625
Winter Springs, FL
Tom Sanders Offline
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Tom Sanders  Offline
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Winter Springs, FL
I've been using the dave taylor model for 3-4 years. I'm quite happy with it.

I have used Norvil isolastic unit I'll sell for cheap.


LONG LIVE LOCKTITE

74 Roadster 880cc
1962 Norton 650SS
75 Ducati 860GT
1968 Commando Fastback SN 126157
1975 Honda CB400f AHRMA racer #842
email addy: sargehopp@gmail.com
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H] #403243
11/11/11 12:11 pm
11/11/11 12:11 pm
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,161
Netherlands
Peter R Offline

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Peter R  Offline

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Netherlands
Another vote for the Dave T headsteady. After having used a Norvil steady for many years, I noticed a significant improvement in handling after I fitted the Dave T headsteady.

The Dave T headsteady may need some re-work when fitted to one of the Italian made (read Metric) frames.


Peter.
1974 Commando 850
1972 Trident T150T
1961 Goldie DBD34
1969 Benelli 250 sport special
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Peter R] #403291
11/11/11 3:11 pm
11/11/11 3:11 pm
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,110
Ottawa, Canada
gREgg-K Offline

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gREgg-K  Offline

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Ottawa, Canada
Originally Posted By: Peter R
<SNIP>

The Dave T headsteady may need some re-work when fitted to one of the Italian made (read Metric) frames.


True. I fitted a Dave T steady recently to a 1973 Commando, and found the frame clamp to be too loose. Milling about 0.010" off each face of the clamp allowed it to grip the tube properly.

.. Gregg


Spyder Integrated Technologies
Lucas, BTH, & Miller Magneto & Dynamo Restoration
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magneto@spyder-it.com
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: gREgg-K] #416868
02/04/12 5:32 am
02/04/12 5:32 am
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 13
California, USA
D
dmat Offline
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Posts: 13
California, USA
How much increase was there in the vibration?


75' 850 Commando
67' Bonnie (on the lift being restored)
Honda CB160, CB350, SL100
BMW K1200LT
KTM 450 & 950 Adventure
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H] #416950
02/04/12 5:36 pm
02/04/12 5:36 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,584
Springfield Nebraska
Richrd Offline
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Richrd  Offline
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Springfield Nebraska
my experience with rod end type steadies on two different bikes was that there is not much difference. unless you're running the corners way to hard to be legal you won't notice any improvement.

The best thing to improve handling on a pre mk3 is fit a set of Windy's swingarm collars.


Rich (member ThreeMustGetBeers)
"It's not always about going fast. Sometimes it's nice to slow down" (Wendy E.2016)

69 bonney
72 commando
75 commando interstate
06 Suzu..Suzu.. uh appliance
couple of beesas a ducati
and the Snake Bike
and a Honda?
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H] #417457
02/07/12 5:43 pm
02/07/12 5:43 pm
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 625
Winter Springs, FL
Tom Sanders Offline
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Tom Sanders  Offline
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Winter Springs, FL
Amen to the swing arm collars. I would not run without them.


LONG LIVE LOCKTITE

74 Roadster 880cc
1962 Norton 650SS
75 Ducati 860GT
1968 Commando Fastback SN 126157
1975 Honda CB400f AHRMA racer #842
email addy: sargehopp@gmail.com
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H] #417476
02/07/12 8:02 pm
02/07/12 8:02 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 888
Annapolis, MD
Dennis B, R.I.P. Offline
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Dennis B, R.I.P.  Offline
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Annapolis, MD
Hi All
What are swing-arm collars? are these anything like gussets?
I don't think I've ever heard of them.
Can anyone direct me to a link with info?
TIA
Cheers
Dennis B


Member # 182
'73 750 Commando
'72 Combat Commando
'71 Triumph Blazer
'69 Victors
'68 Starfire
'51 Royal Enfield 250 'S'

Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H] #417494
02/07/12 11:12 pm
02/07/12 11:12 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,584
Springfield Nebraska
Richrd Offline
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Springfield Nebraska
tech term I believe is "split shaft collar". the common norton set up was made by Heinze Kegler, now deceased.

They are now made and are available thru Windy. (Bill50cal)

They mount on the swingarm, a hole is drilled thru the swingarm tube and a bolt is inserted that bears on the s/a spindle and takes up the slack.

On the typical Commando, not all the left to right movement of the rear wheel is due to the isos, some is the play in the swingarm, and in my opinion this is most of the vague feeling you get in corners.

The MK3 has a modified swingarm with cotters to take up the slack.

Hey Bob, you need a pair of these too!


Rich (member ThreeMustGetBeers)
"It's not always about going fast. Sometimes it's nice to slow down" (Wendy E.2016)

69 bonney
72 commando
75 commando interstate
06 Suzu..Suzu.. uh appliance
couple of beesas a ducati
and the Snake Bike
and a Honda?
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Dennis B, R.I.P.] #417501
02/07/12 11:27 pm
02/07/12 11:27 pm
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,655
Norfolk, UK
L.A.B. Online content
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L.A.B.  Online Content
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Posts: 3,655
Norfolk, UK
Originally Posted By: Dennis B
What are swing-arm collars? are these anything like gussets?
I don't think I've ever heard of them.
Can anyone direct me to a link with info?


http://www.nortonfastback.com/html/mods.html

Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: L.A.B.] #417514
02/08/12 12:27 am
02/08/12 12:27 am
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 37
St. Petersburg, Florida
cmessenk Offline
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St. Petersburg, Florida
I run with the DT headsteady AND the Kegler swingarm fix (installed by Windy / bill50cal)...transformed my bike.

Last edited by cmessenk; 02/08/12 12:27 am.

Chip
'72 Combat
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H] #417523
02/08/12 1:08 am
02/08/12 1:08 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 888
Annapolis, MD
Dennis B, R.I.P. Offline
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Dennis B, R.I.P.  Offline
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Thanks Rich, L.A.B. & Chip
the link was very helpful, I do have the two nuts welded setup
Cheers
Dennis B


Member # 182
'73 750 Commando
'72 Combat Commando
'71 Triumph Blazer
'69 Victors
'68 Starfire
'51 Royal Enfield 250 'S'

Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Dennis B, R.I.P.] #417566
02/08/12 10:07 am
02/08/12 10:07 am
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,161
Netherlands
Peter R Offline

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Peter R  Offline

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Netherlands
The two welded nuts will work fine, no need to replace these for the collars.


Peter.
1974 Commando 850
1972 Trident T150T
1961 Goldie DBD34
1969 Benelli 250 sport special
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Richrd] #417597
02/08/12 2:59 pm
02/08/12 2:59 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,959
Laredo (South) Texas, USA
GrandPaul Offline
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GrandPaul  Offline
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Laredo (South) Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: Richrd
tech term I believe is "split shaft collar"... They mount on the swingarm, a hole is drilled thru the swingarm tube and a bolt is inserted that bears on the s/a spindle and takes up the slack.


I believe you mean they mount on the tranny cradle spindle tube...

Last edited by GrandPaul; 02/08/12 3:00 pm.

GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Richrd] #417695
02/09/12 2:18 am
02/09/12 2:18 am
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 432
Kensington, New Hampshire, USA
Howard Inough Offline
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Kensington, New Hampshire, USA
I sure do need these. I had the mag base and long travel indicator set up today evaluating what I have. Binned the indicator in favor of the tape measure. Richrd, are the replacement iso parts any better from brand or another? I assume I want the MKIII style threaded adjust kit?


1974 Norton Commando 850
1973 Yamaha TX750
1975 Yamaha DT400B
1984 Yamaha RZ350
2007 Triumph Tiger 1050
2014 Triumph Rocket III
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H] #417728
02/09/12 1:05 pm
02/09/12 1:05 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,584
Springfield Nebraska
Richrd Offline
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Richrd  Offline
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Springfield Nebraska
bob, email at ya


Rich (member ThreeMustGetBeers)
"It's not always about going fast. Sometimes it's nice to slow down" (Wendy E.2016)

69 bonney
72 commando
75 commando interstate
06 Suzu..Suzu.. uh appliance
couple of beesas a ducati
and the Snake Bike
and a Honda?
Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Peter R] #419511
02/19/12 6:41 am
02/19/12 6:41 am
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 223
Portland, Oregon
swooshdave Offline
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Portland, Oregon
Originally Posted By: Peter R
The two welded nuts will work fine, no need to replace these for the collars.


If you have a welder...

Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H] #421939
03/02/12 12:21 am
03/02/12 12:21 am
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 291
Omaha, NE, USA
Paul Sammut Offline
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Paul Sammut  Offline
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Omaha, NE, USA
In answer to the Taylor head-steady question - I guess I will differ from others. I found that it increased vibration too much and I reverted to the original set-up and am much happier.

Paul.


Paul

'74 Commando
'15 R1200 GS Adv
'51 Vincent Rapide
'58 Ariel Square Four

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