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Norton Commando

Updated 05/05/24

Norton Commando

Updated 07/23/24

Norton Commando

Updated 05/03/24

Norton Commando

Updated 04/04/24

Norton Commando

Updated 04/29/24

Norton Commando
Head Stud Study

Updated 05/04/24

Norton Commando
Service Releases

Updated 06/13/22

Norton Rear
Wheel Lacing

Updated 04/03/24

Norton Front
Wheel Lacing

Updated 04/29/24

Norton Front
Forks Helper

Updated 04/03/24

US FlagWednesday, July 24, 2024
Installing Norton forks and having them work right is not hard if you do it in the right order and align them properly.  Unlike some other British bikes, the Norton fork alignment is not adjustable with everything installed and tightened.  If you don't get it right, the forks may not compress or may wear out quickly and the bike will have handling problems.

Although some things are the same with the older version, this covers the front end from mid-1970 on (stem connected to the top yoke).

When building a front end, I use one of two methods depending on the situation:
  1. Bench built - each fork is fully assembled on the bench. This is convenient when you have nothing else you can do because you’re waiting on something. However, the forks are harder to manipulate while installing in the yokes due to their weight.
  2. Bike Built – Generally, I prefer this method. The fork tubes are installed and initially aligned without the sliders. Then the sliders are assembled to the fork tubes. If you're going to use full gaiters, then this method is a must.
With headstock bearings in place, this is yoke install procedure for either method:
  1. Slide the headlug dust cover (06.7651) onto the top half of the yoke.  Make sure the dust cover is right side is up!
  2. Slide the washer (06.7685) onto the top half of the yoke.
  3. Slide the top half of the yoke into the headstock bearings from the top and make sure it goes all the way down.
  4. Slide the bottom half of the yoke onto the top half shaft but only enough to have a few threads stick out on the bottom.
  5. Slide the tab washer (06.1912) onto the shaft followed by the nut (06.7781).  Do not tighten the nut, just put in on 2-3 turns.
  6. Now for the tricky part!.  Put two o-rings (06.1900) in each side of the bottom yoke one on top of the other with some grease to hold them in place.
  7. Put one o-ring (06.1900) in each side of the underside of the top yoke - use enough grease to ensure that it stays in place.
  8. Then one side at a time hold the correct side fork ear (06.2028/9) in place and slide the fork in form the bottom being sure that the o-rings are not displaced.  When all the way in, put a top bolt (06.0345)  through a washer (06.0345) and then through a instrument holder and into the fork.  Finger tighten.
  9. Once both sides are in, you must install the headlight shell!  If you don't you won't be able to after the next step!
  10. Tighten the bottom nut until it is just snug.
Now is time to true the forks.  The first picture shows how I check that today.  You can also slight across them.  With the glass held against the forks if one of the corners has a gap, it must the corrected.  As each thing is tightened, recheck/correct.  First tighten the top bolts to about 20ft lbs.  Then the bottom nut to about 20 ft lbs.  At this point, the forks will be all the way up and so will the bottom of the yoke.  Tighten the bottom yoke cap screws to about 10 ft lbs.  Tighten the top for bolts to 30-40 ft lbs.  Remember - keep checking/adjusting!  Tighten the bottom nut to 25-30 ft lbs.  Tighten the cap screw pinch bolts to 30 ft lbs.  If you cannot get them to be parallel (in the same plane), then the bottom yoke is bent and will need to be replaced.

Later when you put the front wheel on, do one final check but nothing should change!  Before tightening the front axle pinch bolt compress the forks several times to be sue the wheel/axle are not binding the sliders.

The pictures shows bench built forks - the alignment is the same for either method.

When building the sliders for the bike built version you can install the damper, spring, thick washer, and nut so when you install it to the fork tube, the damper is easily attached to the top nut.  I don't do it that way. I install the damper to the slider and let the damper rod fall.  Then install the slider.  You can then pour in the oil with no obstruction.  Once the oil is in you can pull the damper rod up with a magnet or better still with a DIY tool.  The tool is a old damper rod with a coupling nut loctit'ed to the end.  You screw it onto the damper rod, slide the spring down over it, and pull the rod up.  Then grab the damper rod with long nose pliers, unscrew the tool and install the thick washer and nut.

The second picture shows me tightening the slider collars.  I just make the hand tight when working on the forks off the bike - too hard to hold onto.  Once on the bike, the bike holds them and makes it easy.

Forks 1
Forks 2

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