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#402574 - 11/08/11 12:42 am Norton Commando head steady  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 54
Jim H Offline
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Jim H  Offline
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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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#402648 - 11/08/11 9:37 am Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H]  
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L.A.B. Online content
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L.A.B.  Online Content
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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.

#402693 - 11/08/11 4:30 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H]  
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GrandPaul Online content
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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"
#402695 - 11/08/11 3:35 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: GrandPaul]  
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GrandPaul Online content
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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"
#403115 - 11/10/11 8:39 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H]  
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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
#403243 - 11/11/11 12:11 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H]  
Joined: Nov 2009
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Peter R Online content
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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
#403291 - 11/11/11 3:11 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Peter R]  
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gREgg-K Online content
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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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#416868 - 02/04/12 5:32 am Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: gREgg-K]  
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dmat Offline
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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
#416950 - 02/04/12 5:36 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,479
Richrd Online content
Richrd  Online Content


Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,479
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
#417457 - 02/07/12 5:43 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H]  
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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
#417476 - 02/07/12 8:02 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H]  
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Dennis B Online content
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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'

#417494 - 02/07/12 11:12 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,479
Richrd Online content
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Posts: 2,479
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
#417501 - 02/07/12 11:27 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Dennis B]  
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L.A.B. Online content
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L.A.B.  Online Content
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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

#417514 - 02/08/12 12:27 am Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: L.A.B.]  
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cmessenk Offline
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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
#417523 - 02/08/12 1:08 am Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H]  
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Dennis B Online content
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Dennis B  Online Content
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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'

#417566 - 02/08/12 10:07 am Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Dennis B]  
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Peter R Online content
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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
#417597 - 02/08/12 2:59 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Richrd]  
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GrandPaul Online content
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GrandPaul  Online Content
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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"
#417695 - 02/09/12 2:18 am Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Richrd]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 415
Howard Inough Offline
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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?

#417728 - 02/09/12 1:05 pm Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,479
Richrd Online content
Richrd  Online Content


Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,479
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
#419511 - 02/19/12 6:41 am Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Peter R]  
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 223
swooshdave Offline
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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...

#421939 - 03/02/12 12:21 am Re: Norton Commando head steady [Re: Jim H]  
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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
'75 T160 Trident
'15 R1200 GS Adv
'51 Vincent Rapide

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