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A journey ........


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Today I took my bike out for our first run together in about 16 years having just completed a long and protracted restoration.




It’s a 1975 Norton Commando 850 Mk 3 that I bought back in 1992 and used for pleasure and the daily commute to work (school) including three years with my oldest son on the back when he was a student at the school.  When my second son also joined us in 2003 it was time to reluctantly buy a car and the bike, now in need of a bit of significant TLC and with funds being tight, was consigned to the back of the garage with intention of probably using it as an eventual retirement project.  The Admiral suggested selling it – no chance!


Fast forward to December 2015.  ‘Christmas’ isn’t the only C word in the house.  Won’t go into details but for several months I had the dubious pleasure of driving to St Luke’s in Guildford every week for treatment.  On this journey I was often passed by various classic bikes heading in the opposite direction.  The majority were heading over to ‘Jack’s Place’, a café in Bagshot popular with many groups of bikers who regularly meet up in the car park on a Wednesday.  Wearing little more than a hospital gown and lying on a table while the hospital equipment did its ‘thing’ I made the decision not to wait for retirement but to get my bike back on the road and, among other things, to get myself over to Jacks and join in the fun.


The restoration required the bike to be striped right down and then repaired, fettled and re-assembled as funds permitted. It’s taken nearly four years, two long periods in hospital and a change from full time to part time employment. Mechanically the bike is now as good as ever if not better. There’s still some cosmetic work to do and she remains a work in progress. But today, grinning from ear to ear …




……. we made it to Jacks.

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Absolutely beautiful...Enjoy it and ride it!!!!   I was a Triumph (67 Triumph Trophy 500)   (72 Triumph Daytona 500)  and BSA lightning owner for quite some time.  Also had fun restoring to MFG condition with original parts.    I miss it a great deal.   Sadly I gave all of my bikes to my brothers, who proceeded to absolutely ruin them.   Live and learn.  My Baby......






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Love that Triumph, Chuck!

My route to the Commando started with learning to ride in a field on a Norton 500T trials bike at the age of 13. My first 'proper' bike on the road was an early Norton ES2 500cc single (plunger frame) and I went to college on a Norton 19S 600cc single complete with Swallow side-car. Three years later I returned from Teacher training on a Norton Dominator 88 with a Steib side-car which quickly became a solo machine.  After a brief fling with a Honda 400/4 the big 850 came into my life. Sadly all the previous bikes had to be sold on to meet the needs of a growing family - it makes me wince when I see how much they sell for now!

Eldest son has his eye on the beast now - but he'll have a long wait. And yes, the Commando is now being regularly ridden.... happy days.

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Oh that was a battle I also had to get through, the boss was not a 'happy bunny' at the prospect of me getting back on two wheels. But, as has been quoted on this site before, it's often easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, and now she's now bemoaning the fact that I treated myself to a single seat from Corbin in California and replaced the old double seat. Sometimes you just can't win ....

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I never got past a Triumph 3TA (guy in a car hit me and took my leg off 😞 ) However the one bike I really lusted after was the Triton. Our local bike shop was building one for shipment to the States and had it on display in their window. I (along with many others) would spend hours standing outside and drooling. Anyone not familiar with it may enlighten themselves here https://www.facebook.com/TritonMotorcycles/



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I had a Kawasaki 350 (ah! The smell of 2-stroke!) that could beat any 500 4-stroke you cared to name - at least burning off at the lights. But I lusted after the Kawasaki 500 3-pot (also a 2-stroke). I rode one once - it scared the hell out of me, but that just made lust for it more . . . (Hey! I was young and stupid. Now I'm old and stupid).



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22 minutes ago, Louie da fly said:

(Hey! I was young and stupid. Now I'm old and stupid).

I suspect that I may fit that description as well Steve.

In my case I could not drive a two stroke without cracking up. The WING-DING-DING-DING noise every time I down shifted would always make me break out laughing! Loved the performance and even the sound but I was never able to stop the giggles!

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