Is anybody out there using the upgraded head steady from either Norvil or OldBritts? I'm considering upgrading and would like some impressions on each one.
I prefer the look of the OldBritts one but I'm not sure what to make of it having only ONE isolastic bush inside of it. The Norvil uses two bushes, but The overall constuction doesn't look as nice/solid. It also appears as if it may weigh a bit more than the OldBritts version.
Putting the up grade on sometimes makes the bike shake harder. I have seen people put them on and take them off again.Befofe you buy invest some time and read this article to fully understand what this can do for you. http://www.vintagenet.com/phantom/wsc.html The stage one mods are minimal and well worth the time. The steel one as opposed to the stainless one is easyer to machine. Many people here in Michigan have modified these head steadys at the iso on the top to make them work right. norbsa
norbsa 1960 TR6 1963 Super Rocket 1965 650 Star 1966 441 1968 Thunderbolt 1969 Twinkle 250 1972 Fastback 1974 Roadster 1970 S.S Way too many BSA's not named http://decentcycles.com
Re: Commando Head Steady Upgrade#62391 04/15/0410:28 pm04/15/0410:28 pm
I have the Fairspares (now Norvil-england) headsteadies on my 72 combat and 75 E-start. My combat is very smooth with all vibrations gone by 1800 rpm. The 75 E-start is another thing. It is horrible. I think that there is much more to this solastic thing than most people realize. The early rubbers were small and very compliant, while the later ones are harder. http://www.gis.net/~dynodave/images/frontiso.jpg I am going to study this area more in the future. In the mean time I am going to stay away from the new "magic" adjustable ISO's. We have locally tried to drill 3/8" holes through them to soften them back up, more similar to the early deflection rate. The results will be in later this year.
dynodave BSA 3 1961-1963 Ducati 3 1992-2002 Norton many 1951-1975 87 Serv-Equip 100HP MC brake dynamometer,
Re: Commando Head Steady Upgrade#62392 04/20/0412:44 am04/20/0412:44 am
Hey guys tanks for the info. Norbsa, I think I went cross-eyed reading all that. Incredible stuff-I don't thin I'll have the energy to go through all of that, but you've given me some good things to look for.
Dave, when I rebuilt my isolastics I got rubbers from two sources - and I see what you mean. One set was completely softer than the other. Right or wrong I ended up putting in the stiffer ones only because I kept the orginal 69 spacer in the rear (which only allowed for two instead of three bushes) I'm sure I'll get chastised for that but it seems to working ok. I looked all over for the "Metalastik" ones but didn't have any luck.
Being a machinist by trade I'm contemplating building something of my own. Maybe a cross between the Norvil and Oldbritts type. Or maybe I'll get lazy and just settle for smuggling a Norvil one back from the UK when I'm over there in a couple weeks....I hate paying all that shipping!
Re: Commando Head Steady Upgrade#62393 04/25/042:08 am04/25/042:08 am
This was a new area for me. Even as a Norton mechanic in the early 70s I never did anything but check the end gap. They remained a complete mystery until recently.
I installed one of the stainless units on a rebuild going on in our shop. It was very well made and a breeze to install. However, it struck me that the entire unit has to be replaced if it goes bad. I also found that the front unit supplied to me was about .060" too long to fit in the frame. I'm not sure if this was the powder coat paint job or what. Sure was a pain having to lift the engine back out to rectify.
On my personal bike I opted for stock units. More pieces, but simpler to work with overall I thought.
BTW, they suggested the Lucas rubber lube for installation, then charged a heafty price. I just used Pam vegtable cooking spray.
Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
RF Whatley Cornelia, GA
"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
Re: Commando Head Steady Upgrade#62394 12/27/041:04 pm12/27/041:04 pm
I have not ridden enough other Commandos to offer any comparison but I can speak to a couple of issues with my head steady.
The transverse isolastic tube is welded to the head mounting plate (via two brackets) at the front bottom side only. This uneven welding around the circumference of the tube caused the tube to shrink slightly at the welded side, bowing the tube into a slight banana shape. Thus, the two ends of the tube were not parallel to each other and the length of the tube at the upper rear was longer than the length of the tube at the lower front. If the clearance was set by measuring the gap at the upper rear, the lower front clearance was too large. Conversely, setting the gap from the lower front would result in no clearance, or too small of a clearance, at the upper rear.
I ended up making a small sanding jig to sand the ends of the tube until they were parallel to each other so that the clearance around the circumference of the tube would be consistent. I now have a small lathe and would probably use that to true the tube ends if the situation presented itself today.
Did it make a difference? I don't honestly know if the head steady would have worked just as well in the real world even if the desired clearance was established at less than a third of the circumference of the tube and the clearance at the other two thirds was larger than desired. I also do not know if this was unique to my head steady or common to this Norvil part. It certainly would have been nice if the tube ends had been parallel before the head steady was shipped to me.
Use this as you wish. I only note that if your head steady is like mine was, when setting the isolastic clearance, be sure to measure the clearance at multiple points around the circumference of the tube. Otherwise, you could end up in a situation where there is no clearance at one circumferential portion of the tube and the head steady is essentially "locked", even though your clearance measured at another circumferential portion of the tube was exactly as desired.
Also, with this head steady, there is very little clearance to reach the third (center) head mounting bolt because of the transverse isolastic tube. I had to grind down the short end of the appropriate allen wrench to be able insert the wrench into the head of the bolt and to tighten this bolt.
One last note. This head steady uses a clamp that mounts to the small longitudinal frame brace tube. Two side plates mount between this frame clamp and the isolastics. Be sure to check the clearance between the gas tank and the two transverse bolts that mount the plates to the frame clamp. My Roadster tank tunnel was narrow in that area and I had to grind down the heads of the transverse bolts to provide clearance between the bolts and the tank.
Re: Commando Head Steady Upgrade#62396 01/25/051:27 am01/25/051:27 am
If you went over to the yahoo/ inoa elist, in the archives you would find plenty on this subject.
including pics and info on how to make a rod end (taylor type) and a simpler puck type head steady as well as a comparison of the four types. ] if you can't find that, email me of list and I'll try to copy them to you.
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
Re: Commando Head Steady Upgrade#62397 01/25/0511:13 am01/25/0511:13 am
I was waiting to figure out the cost of making a rod end head steady and have come with a sale price of $100.00 us. I looked at all of the others out there and did not like any of them except the rod end style. after looking at the dave taylor I was not happy with it either. the top piece was just clamped around the one frame tube and could rotate along with the part on the head with its tall stand off could flex. mine is all aluminuim and is a bolt on ass. it uses the two holes that the origanal rubbers screwed into (cant rotate) and 3/8 rod ends (40,000psi tensel) I also have a BOLT ON KIT for the front mount so you no longer have to keep the mount properly adjusted (also $100.00)and found that it has tightend up the handling.
windy 72 combat switchbackcreek.com
Re: Commando Head Steady Upgrade#62398 01/28/0510:56 pm01/28/0510:56 pm
I have one of the Taylor headsteadies on my MK2. It doesn't add any vibration and one of the good side effects is that it frees up a lot of space under the tank for wires and cables and such. I think it's the way to go.
Re: Commando Head Steady Upgrade#62399 01/28/0511:01 pm01/28/0511:01 pm
I have the Norvil unit on my fastback. It works as intended. It will allow a lot of vibes through at low RPM, but everything smooths out at cruising speeds. One trait that I did notice though is that if the bike is up on the centerstand with the engine running, when you blip the throttle you'll hear a sort of shuddering vibration sound that's not there with a stock head steady.
my taylor also incorporates the spring tensioner. i have installed one on my rebuild but have not ridden yet. i did try one on my brothers and liked the result very much. also alleviated problem of frame mounts that were bunged up before i got the bike.
1948 indian chief 1937, 1939, 1962 norton es2 1950 triumph trw 1970 triumph bonneville 1975 norton commando 1972 bmw r75/5 various projects
Re: Commando Head Steady Upgrade#62403 01/09/074:59 pm01/09/074:59 pm
Panic , This thread is about head steady upgrade , right ? Some use a norvil type , other a taylor type . Your explanation of the lateral movement in the taylor head steady is correct , but purely theorethical . (Sadly , as usual , you deleted your post ). The movement of the cyl.head in the vertical plane is about 1 mm max. when riding . This makes the lateral movement induced by the arc effect inmesurably small . certainly only a fraction of the lateral movement due to normal frame flex . When I suggest a 3rd solution , with no moving parts , cheap ad easy to make for anybody with basic metal working skills , it is not to boost my ego . Maybe some fellow Norton rider could see something in it . Do you have a problem with that ? I thought this forum is about exchanging ideas and helping each other finding solutions . Suggesting I have no knowledge of motorcycles or physics is insulting . It is also incorrect , although , unlike some , I claim no guru status . (It will be a long time before I get over 2000 posts ). If I am wrong I'll be happy to admit it , but I'm not going to apologise , kneel before the Wise One , or delete my posts .
The word you are looking for is ... RAMIFICATIONS. I.E. If you alter one thing it will have an effect elsewhere.An effect that may or may not improve things. As the Commando was only a stop gap model thrown together to keep them in business while new models to compete with the Japs were designed developed and put into production I doubt much development went into the isolastics. Mr Hayward is probably selling various different ones so owners can play with and 'tune' them ...just as he did/does Triumph shock absorber 'rubbers'..as if any owner has got the test gear or facilities to determine the effects of changing them..... MIND you mind over matter is a wonderful thing..I remember a gent bringing in to a well known 'tuner' his Goldy crank for balancing. It was going to cost £12..thats how long ago it was. The 'tuner took the crank, shoved it up between centres, clocked it, dropped it on a lump of wood, clocked it again and then drilled two holes in the flywheel opposite each other The owner picked it up the following Saturday and a week later came in saying how wonderful it was.
Wonderful stuff stainless steel, especially where vibration is present and hasnt been allowed for!!
Re: Commando Head Steady Upgrade#62406 01/10/073:55 pm01/10/073:55 pm