I'd appreciate any input regarding becoming a newbie biker on a Norton. There's a neglected 850 in the family needing a good home, and I would use it for commuting - 10 suburban minutes on back roads - flat, dry. I question the notion of taking up violin lessons on a Stradivarius; on the other hand, we'd be committed partners for a long time. I've never owned nor flown a cycle to this point and am unsure what all to consider in the decision. Is this kind of bike forgiving enough to learn on? I'd expect it would need some restoration but hopefully would be fairly reliable after that in this setting. Your thoughts? Thanks!
#1. "RE: Commando as a starter bike?" In response to Reply # 0
I think that the honest answer has to be that it's probably not a very good idea.
A neglected bike is going to need quite a lot of work to get it to a reliable standard, not to mention expense and Commandos are quite high-maintenance machines at the best of time.
I would say that you would have to enjoy adjusting carbs, doing oil changes, drying out electrics and that sort of thing to make this viable.
A friend or family member who runs older machinery would make it easier.
The Commando is not at it's best on short town runs either. It's a bit hard to justify it's existence just for going to work.
I think that you would probably be best advised to try it on something a bit more modern and less labor intensive first. The Commando can do whatever you ask of it, but as a first machine, it's going to be one hell of a steep learning curve !
If you still want to do it, do you have the oportunity to visit an owner's meet ? Go along and ask some questions (watching the body language carefully) and have a look and listen to the differences between the good and bad ones.
Good luck with whatever you decide !