1974 Norton Commando Interstate MkII For Sale

The Norton Commando is one of the most sought-after and iconic British motorcycles of the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Never produced in same numbers as Triumphs with similar performance, it’s always had a bit more cache than its more common counterparts and certainly features an evocative name, inspiring images of adventure and derring-do.

In 1974, the Commando came in two flavors: the “Roadster” and the “Interstate.”  The Interstate model was pitched as a touring bike, and featured raised bars for a more comfortable riding position, but was otherwise difficult to distinguish from the Roadster.

1974 Norton Commando Interstate

The 1974 Mk2 Interstate could be considered the last “real” Commando: launched in 1975, the Mk3 had the shifter moved to the left side to conform to anticipated US regulations, vastly reducing shift-feel and featured an electric start for the first time, in addition to the kick start.   It appears to have been a wise choice to retain the kick start on the Commando: the Brit-bike clichés applied to this device and the electric starter was notorious for quickly draining the battery.

Luckily, the bike for sale was built the year prior and lacks this blasphemous accessory: just use your leg to kick it over.  The seller claims it starts on the first kick.

While an earlier Norton Commando might be a bit more desirable, you really aren’t likely to find a prettier example for sale.  Or maybe it’s just the gallery of sparkly images that’s distracting me.  It’s always nice to find an eBay listing with tons of clearly-written details about the machine and well-shot, well-chosen photos that show the bike off to good effect.

1974 Norton Commando Interstate1974 Norton Commando Interstate

1974 Norton Commando Interstate

From the original listing:

This is your chance to own an original, unmolested Norton Interstate model with a documented 5,815 original miles. This bike is as it came from the factory, everything is there and in great shape and no modifications were ever done to wiring, frame or paint. No after market pieces are on the bike, only original Norvil parts as supplied for Norton. And of course it’s a matching number motorcycle.  This bike was sold new in San Jose, California in 1975.  Second owner bought the bike in 1988 as the title shows, with the bike having 5,000 miles on it. He rode it from 1988 to 1993 and put 580 miles on the bike.  It has sat in a heated garage for the past 16 years and never ridden in that time. I cleaned/polished up the bike, serviced it by changing engine and tranny oil/filter, fork oil, plugs, carburetors tuned and got it running.  This is a true time capsule.

1974 Norton Commando Interstate1974 Norton Commando Interstate“>1974 Norton Commando Interstate

The bidding is up to $9,600 as of this writing, but the bike is very original, very usable, and very shiny!

-tad

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  1. November 15, 2011

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