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chuckb01Fri Mar-10-06 07:16 AM
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"Norton paint & decals"


  

          

Hi,
My first post. nice looking forum. I have been restoring a 1973 Norton Combat Commando for about a year and a half now and it is almost completed. I wasn't going to paint it, until I dropped the gas tank. As I understand it, there were 3 colors available aqt that time. Black, yellow, and kind of a metalic blue. It was black but I want to repaint it blue. Does anyone know where I can find a paint chip or preferbly the paint formula for the riginal blue that was used. I also need a complete set of the vinyl decals in gold color i think. A lot of the places I have been buying parts from have about a 100% mark up. If I ever do another restoration, and I'm sure I will, I may look into buying the parts direct from England. Thanks everyone. Wish I would have found this forum sooner.

  

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riverbendFri Mar-10-06 06:41 PM
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#1. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I thought that 'Combat' motors were only made in '72 (200976 - 211110). That year, the colors were black with gold stipe and decal, signal red, carary yellow, signal orange, and fireflake royal blue, golden bronze, and roman purple. In '73 the colors were yellow, black and the metalflake blue. As I recall, the metal flake was quite thick (lots of it) and came with silver decals.

Parts from England are the way to go, they are about half the price, and usually arrive in a week. Forget sending anything back, but it seems like every village must have somebody cranking some obscure bit. I have had good luck with parts and service from Fair Spares (Norvil). You will never be done...

Roy Bacon wrote a book 'Norton Twin Restoration'. It is very good with lots of pictures of lots of models and various parts. He also list specs like paint colours (see above) for the various years.

I do have a blue metalflake side cover from an 850 (that has a big chip in the paint by the front mount) that I would trade you for something for an Atlas or a '70 Roadster or S model.

Greg

  

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chuckb01Fri Mar-10-06 09:02 PM
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#2. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 1
Fri Mar-10-06 09:12 PM by chuckb01

  

          

Greg,
First, mine is definitly a 73 Combat #212321. It was supposedly manufactured Feb. of 73. It could be the wrong head, but I checked a lot, and I doubt it. The cam IS combat "XX". And I couldn't really use a single side cover , even if it is blue. I need the paint formula. I have the Bacon book and a few others I bought a couple years ago. They list paint colors in it but no formulas of course. And also the Bacon book is missing a few things and there are a couple inaccuricies. I'll check England. The book also says they made 850s in 73 but they also made 750s in the beginning. The book also lists the compretion ratio for the 73 850 cylinder head but not the 73 750. And also you will notice, there is a gap, or info missing between 211110 and serial 212278. anyhow I'm not here to discuss specs. I'm looking for paint. Thanks for your time.I appreciate it.

  

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riverbendFri Mar-10-06 09:43 PM
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#3. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

Finding the exact original metal flakes could be tough. Putting them on to match the originals could be more difficult.

There is no doubt that the Bacon book has inaccuracies, and omissions, but he does show the 750 running through Oct. '73. As far as serial numbers he has 211110 as the first de-tuned 750 engine, 212278 the first '73 750 motor, a change to Mark V at 220000, and the last 750 at 230935.

Unless you bought the bike new, it is possible that after 30 years someone has had the motor apart and modified it...

Good luck and have fun with your paint research.

Greg

  

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dynodaveSun Mar-12-06 08:50 AM
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#4. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

Last spring was in england and I met Roy Bacon and he clearly admitted he was NOT a norton expert. So I give him lots of leeway in the little inaccuracies in his books, and certainly don't them as the "golden standard".

I know a combat, of a friend, and his bike 200205 is definitely a combat, head, cam, carbs. So I don't believe much I see in print, but use it as the reference point to be tested.

The 73 750's had big port RH5 head @ 8.9CR OR a big port RH6 -.020 head that gave about 9.5cr. A stock small port RH1 was also available.

  

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riverbendSun Mar-12-06 05:45 PM
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#5. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

Did your friend by his Combat new ?

  

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dynodaveSun Mar-12-06 07:09 PM
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#6. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 5


  

          

No he didn't buy it new, but based on the unmolested condition of the hardware, I was the first one to ever take the engine apart.
Also it had an identical engine casting "marker"/defect as my combat #202206.

  

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riverbendSun Mar-12-06 09:07 PM
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#7. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

I am always a little skeptical when there are more low production, desirable bikes than 'were produced'. With 5000+ bikes with bad bottom ends, maybe some of the heads found new homes. Thirty years after the fact, who can be sure. Part of the interest is in the research. BTW, the NOC (ca. 1979) has Combat motors going a little later than Bacon's serial numbers before being abandoned.

  

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dynodaveMon Mar-13-06 08:25 AM
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#8. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 7


  

          

Interesting comment.
Low volume,desireable bikes...
The more I have studied comandos, I am coming to the opinion that in the 8 years of production, that the model range changed SO much/often that there is VERY little consistancy at all in the commando range.
Except the roadster body style being THE most common. IMO none of the evolved bike/models are particularly valuable. Only the interstate bodywork consistantly brings high dollars.

round badged fastbacks
"R"
LR fastback
"S"
"SS"
hirider
2+ years 20M3S cases
71 only pin side stand frame
1+ years of combat breather cases
73 850 RH4
74 850 RH10 head
75 E-Start

  

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BrianFMon Mar-13-06 03:22 PM
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#9. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

Back to the original question, Fred Lowes at Fred's Custom Cycle, in Ontario Canada has the correct metal flake, and paint colors for all those paint schemes. He did my Candy Apple Red P11A, and Fire Flake Bronze roadster tanks a few years back and does excellent work.
Phone number is 905-894-1579.

Brian

  

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chuckb01Fri Mar-17-06 11:48 AM
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#11. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

OK, thanks Brianf. I'll give him a call. Wonder if he has a web site?

  

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chuckb01Sat Mar-18-06 05:46 AM
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#12. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

Brian, Called the number you gave in Ontario. Very helpful guy and answered a lot of questions on metal flake,etc. He could paint my tank and side covers for $700.00 Canadian. My depleted budget on this bike won't allow that. He also suggested "Houseofkolor" as a good place to get paint. Yes, that is a "K" in kolor. I'm not even sure what a blue 73 Norton Commando Roadster looks like. Mine was black. Does anyone know where there is a decent picture of an original blue one? I am aware that colors would be distorted on a computer screen. Thanks for the help guys. By the way, the guy in Ontario doesn't have a web site.

  

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BrianFSat Mar-18-06 10:18 AM
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#13. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

Hey Chuck,

Glad Fred was helpful, he does awsome work. I didn't figured he'd have a website. Here's a link with a picture of a friend of mines original '74 metal flake blue 850. I know this paint job is factory, and I'm pretty sure the color is the same as '73.
http://www.ontarionortonowners.org/members/john%20devos.html

Brian

  

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chuckb01Fri Mar-17-06 11:39 AM
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#10. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

Oh the motor has been apart all right, no doubt about that. One good thing, the crank throws were only worn .0005 and everything inside was good. A lot of extra blue silicone floating around though. And it has the large carbs which are the original type. I did order the metal flake from a guy named Don Hutchinson. He has a Triumph site. Don't know what to do about the blue yet though.Sorry I'm late with this reply. Busy a lot lately. The Bacon book is good but leaves a lot out. It does not really say when the combat stoped being bulit but says when the bike was detuned. Who knows. It's not really important to me anyhow. I intend to sell it anyhow as I just have to much stuck into it. Thanks for your time.

  

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riverbendSun Mar-19-06 08:53 PM
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#14. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

Don't sell the bike until you get it broken in and have a chance to ride it. Spend a few hours getting the jetting just right. Find yourself a nice twisty backroad. When you take it out, be sure to grab that second handful of throttle a time or two. Your face will hurt from grinning so much. These bikes would get better mileage if they were not so much fun to ride.

First rule of restoration: Don't keep the receipts. Just about any bike is worth more as parts than as a complete bike. My Roadster is a very well used, stock looking bike. To get to this point, I have spent something like $5000 (?), and it is worth maybe $2500, if it were for sale. Repainting it and replacing the exhaust might push it up to $5000, the price a modern plain vanilla middle weight.

But I'm planning to ride it out to Oregon this summer and put on around 4000 miles in ten days. I can't wait, it is the perfect sport tourer.

The offer on the side cover for color matching is still open. Or make a counter offer. I'd like to get it back or get something of equal value.

Greg

  

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Rich PSun Apr-02-06 04:42 PM
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#15. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

Just a thought, but there were really two sorts of Fireflake Blue, one on the glass-fibre kit which had coarse particles in the gel coat and a sprayed finish on the steel parts which always seemed to have finer particles. The steel parts were over a mid blue base coat.

The non-black 750s did not have any tank lining. The 1972 brochure shows a Roadster in Pacific Blue with gold decals edged in black on a glass-fibre tank. The '73 850s had silver decals with the silver double lining.

I think that "Metalflake" Regal Blue is probably fairly close but I am sure that they have changed their formulas over the years. The last time I had a Candy red tank repainted, the colour bled through the 2-pack lacquer and turned the pin striping pink !

  

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MichaelBTue Apr-04-06 05:35 PM
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#16. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 15
Tue Apr-04-06 05:36 PM by MichaelB

  

          

Rich, Sounds like you have some expertise with the Blue. I follow your thoughts on the Glass with big flakes and the Steel with small flakes. I realize with Norton anything is possible but I want to throw something out.

I bought an early 73 850 in blue in 73. It had a steel tank, a glass left cover and I can't remember the right cover if it was steel or glass.

Mine and my good friend's recollection was it was Large flakes. I have seen some original Blue tanks and they just don't seem to have large enough flakes as I remember.

Your comment about the two different size flakes makes me wonder if the early paint jobs were different than the later ones, or is mine and my buddie's memory a little foggy?

Mike

  

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Rich PWed Apr-05-06 03:12 PM
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#17. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 16


  

          

Michael,

You could be right about the age thing. I thought it was a glass fibre / steel question because of the various original parts I've had over the years but in 1973 I only had a Triumph pedal cycle.

I had a Fastback tail unit (flake in the gel coat) which was really coarse and presumably matched the tanks more or less and at the same time I had a pair of NOS steel Roadster side panels which were 850 and thus later than the Fastback bits. The 850 panels were pre-coach lined (differently on each side) but it was left to the owner to add the decals.

In the UK, the steel/glass question is very much an age related one because glass fibre was banned in 1972 (I think) and they simply disappeared from new bikes (presumably sent off to the US for a while longer).

Having written the above, I have dragged out my brochures and parts lists again and think I may have been guilty of jumping to conclusions.

All parts books up to 1973 (The joint Mk5 750 and Mk1 850 book) refer to Fireflake Royal Blue. The bike on the Mk1 850 brochure looks quite coarse.

The 1974 brochure (Mk 2 for US / Mk2a for UK) suddenly refers to "Pacific" blue and the flake looks "finer."

I had always assumed that the colour was unchanged. Could it be that up to and including 1973 were coarse "Royal Blue" and 1974 was the finer "Pacific" colour ? Most NOS parts around would probably be the later colour and that might explain why we are doubting our memories...It's not just due to old age !

Anyway, I think the only chance of getting close to either finish is to use "Metalflake" products so it is down to what they offer. They have an informative website.

Rich.

  

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ddonatiWed Aug-16-06 10:26 AM
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#18. "RE: Norton paint & decals"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

New to the forum and I'm glad I found it!
I have owned my 74 850 Interstate for 24 years and just pulled it out of storage where it's been for the last 13 years. I'm really looking forward to the restoration.
It is blue with the small metalflake. I'm unsure if it has been re-painted, but around the gas tank fill you can see some red. Would anyone know if this is possibly a base coat? What colors were available on 74's?
I’m going to have a lot more questions as I get into this.

Thanks- Dave

  

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