For Sale: 1972 Norton Commando original paint survivor

This is the Combat Roadster model with a front disc brake and hotter 750cc engine than the standard Commando. Fitted with higher compression, larger Amal 932 carburetors, and cams with more lift & duration led to a free revving powerful engine. This was truly a superbike in 1972 with Cycle magazine testing the Combat Roadster against the likes of CB750s, Z1s, H2s, Tridents, and Ducatis. The Commando was right there with the best in nearly every category! I owned two Commandos for several years, an 850 and this 750 Combat. The Combat punches above its weight with no perceptible difference in power vs the 850. In fact, I sold the 850 first, preferring the 750 engine, it revs freely and is a bit smoother.

I have owned this Commando for 6-7 years, having purchased it from an owner of 30+ years. This bike has been owned and cared for since new. It wears beautiful ORIGINAL PAINT on its STEEL tank and side covers. 1972 was a transition year for some design updates. This is a later production bike, as evidenced by the steel bodywork and engine cases without the unused magneto hole & associated steel cover. These cases are cast solid with no provision for a magneto, just like ’73-on Commandos.

Engine, gearbox, and chassis numbers all match. This bike is highly original and unmolested. The following updates have been made to improve reliability without affecting the original appearance:

  • Replaced fork tubes, seals, and oil.
  • Tri-Spark ignition to replace the problematic original points and auto-advance unit.
  • Gearbox serviced with new seals, gaskets and cylindrical roller layshaft bearing while apart.
  • Brake caliper and master cylinder rebuilt.
  • Reproduction basket-weave style ’73 seat. The original seat goes with the bike if the buyer wants it. The fiberglass seat pan is cracked and the foam is collapsing, but the cover is flexible and intact. Not suitable for use, but nice for display purposes.
  • Recently installed Dunlop K81 tires as originally fitted.
  • In a very good state of repair, a reliable turn-key bike. Well, you have to kick it too.
  • Stored in a climate controlled garage.

Don’t be afraid of what you’ve read on the internet about Combat engines. Yes, Norton had some quality problems with engines when these bikes were first introduced and still under warranty. This was blamed on the main bearings, but there are many factors – including maintenance and how hard the bike was beat on. To the best of my knowledge this engine has never been apart, there are no wrench marks on fasteners. This bike has survived almost 50 years and 9k miles, it’s one of the good ones.

This bike comes from a collector of American & British motorcycles and has received a number of awards against some stiff competition.

  • Best Preserved British Motorcycle – National Motorcycle Museum Vintage Motorcycle Show
  • Invited exhibit at the Des Moines Concours d’Elegance, 2016 & 2019
  • 2nd Place British – National Motorcycle Museum Vintage Motorcycle Show

If you are a collector looking for the best available original Commando – this is it.


Location: Ames, Iowa, United States

Seller: 99cyclone

Price: $10,500

See listing: 1972 Norton Commando Combat [Original Paint Survivor] (from November 5, 2020)