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‘Evening all.Bought a Commander at fairly eye-watering price from ‘dealer down south’ a month or so ago -- http://www.classicsuperbikes.co.uk/cata ... tml‘unseen’, as to view it would have been a 600+ mile round trip for me – I live in West Cumbria. Still running-in but, so far so good……I think. ‘Running rough’ last time out (50 miles since purchase ?) – as if choke was on……sometimes almost complete lack of power from setting off (warm)…….one or two small backfires…….happier accelerating in higher gears…….possibly noisier from underneath – checked down-pipe to silencer fitting and can’t feel or see any leak……it gets v hot v quickly down there ! Hopefully it’s all my imagination and a few runs will sort it out.Ambitiously contemplating ferry to Spain and back up thru France to visit WW1 cemetery near Belgium this August on it !Keith
Hello Keith, It looks like you have bought a nice bike there. I reconised the number plate so have checked the clubs records and your bike chassis No. 4067 used to belong to Colin Coleman. I believe Colin used to live somewhere in the sun and clocked up many miles on this bike touring Europe but could be wrong. The add says Richard Negus and Paul Ralph have rebuilt your bike so you wont have any problems there. I have two Commanders, one which I've had from new back in 1989 now with over 76,000 mile on it and my other which is an ex police machine I bought back in Feb 1999 with only 33,000 mile. I had to rebuild this engine shortly after the purchase as it needed mollying and a few bits plus I upgraded to F1 Sport rotor housings and have now covered 198,600 miles and it has been a great bike to ride and own. It's my every day bike. I converted it to Krauser rear end and fitted an Interpol 11 rear brake pedal and gear lever and braided brake hoses otherwise I think it's standard. I've been down to Spain and up through Andora into France many times on this bike with my Girlfriend without any problems. Don't forget to take some spare oil with you although a full tank should be OK for around 2,500 miles. Once I had a fuel leak after the bike sat outside the hotel in the sun for a week or two and the fuel hose had hardened so lost it's seal at the carb inlet. The standard fitment is a ferrule rather than a worm drive clip which rely on soft hoses. I removed the pipe clamp from the expansion tank and fitted it to the fuel hose, problem solved. New hoses fitted upon returning home with worm drive clips all round. Another area to watch out for is the fuel filter which can soften with the use of modern ethanol fuel (95 RON). The clamping pressure from the hose clips and the soft plastic filter combine to reduce the internal diameter of the fuel filter and reduce the fuel flow which manifests itself as poor running, back firing and loss of power on the Left hand chamber. Without removing the fuel filter it's very difficult to spot the difference to the internal diameter. I now only use 97 RON or higher which as yet doesn't contain Ethanol and ideal if you leave the bike garaged for long periods. They all run hot. Norton's had 1000'c at the exhaust port in the test beds so it's normal. When I investigate an exhaust leak I try to cover the suspected area with a rag to see if that makes any difference. Be quick though it's Hot. The exhaust manifolds do crack at the joint between the balance pipe and down pipe.Regards, Joe.
Thanks for that info……there are some ‘Greek invoices’ in the paperwork so you’re no doubt right – that the bike is used to a bit of sun ! All of which bodes well for my Continental touring, I hope. You’re right also that Colin Coleman was the 2nd owner of my Commander, buying it from the original-from-new purchaser Patrick Stevens; then it was briefly owned by a Simon Hickman, at the time of its rebuild last year (who possibly discovered that the bills were becoming disproportionate to the bike’s value ?!), and now by me (for a purchase deal that covered the cost of the rebuild and more, I would have thought).Must be nice to have owned a Norton rotary from new……..I guess that ‘many are tempted but no-one has jumped’ to purchase the new Commander that is for sale by that dealer in the SW. I partly bought mine for the opportunity to be riding a Norton with every chance of trouble-free high mileage trips……..unlike the Norton twins etc. The slightly more tenuous attraction of buying the Commander was that my late father was a Commander in the Royal Navy !Krauser (eg bigger) panniers would be nice.Those blocked fuel-pump symptoms sound rather like mine -- I’ll investigate. I always put BP Ultimate in my bikes, in the knowledge that they won’t be getting the use they need through the winter, and in the hope that BP Ultimate remains ethanol free……it is in some areas of the country but not in others ?Keith.
Changed fuel pipes (not sure why I said 'pump' in previous post) and filter; pipes were old and needed replacing but weren't showing any obvious sign of ethanol degradation. Took the Commander out for a test ride......started fine but a mile from setting off I was going down a steep hill when it backfired several times and went on to one rotor (or what seemed like -- I have similar feeling problem with a '75 Kawasaki KZ400 twin which will drop to one cylinder if I leave it without use for a couple of weeks or more......but it eventually reverts to both cylinders) and stayed that way for another mile or so, backfiring occasionally; at which point I thought discretion the better part of valour and turned around for home......limped back up steep hill on one rotor and got home ok. Parked outside garage and later had to push it in as when I started it again it's still running on one rotor......which together with the slipping clutch, means it's reluctant to set off on the slight incline. Any good ideas ?!Keith.
Hello Keith, Do you know which rotor dies when the bike fails and does the tacho stop working at the same time? The tacho takes its signal (yellow wire) from the negative terminal of the Left hand coil (the rear one), if the tacho stops working suspect the coil. In standard trim the coil location can cause trouble in wet weather as it's in a direct line of water spray from the front wheel which can affect the contacts and terminals. Allthough it's hard to reach either coil it is well worth taking the time to remove the wiring and check each terminal for corrosion, also check the three pin plug from the coil to the ignition box. High resistance in any of these terminals won't help a bike to run well. Another area to check is the vacuum pipe from the fuel tap. The heat from the engine hardens the rubber tapping points at either ends of the thin black plastic pipe and cracks can form depleting the vacuum which then won't allow the fuel tap to fully open. Some taps do have a "prime" position which does away with the vacuum shut off. If you are lucky to have a tap like this try running the bike in the prime setting but don't forget to return it back to "on" later.The slipping clutch is probably just down to poor adjustment. You should be able to just rotate the clutch lift screw (pull rod) with your fingers, if you can't either the cable doesn't have enough slack or the pull rod adjustment is too tight.Good luck.Regards, Joe.
Well, how embarrassing......changed fuel pipes & filter, fuel tap, vacuum pipe.......bought new coils but baulked at the inaccessability of actually fitting them.....spoke to Paul Ralph again who gave me check-list of things to work thru: item 3 -- swap plugs for new......and hey presto she's running fine again. Right hand side rotor had stopped running at all. Both spark plugs look new, but when I swapped the rhs one for a new one, the engine started fine and ran fine thru a 20 mile test run. Still not great thru 30mph limit areas, but kept up the revs on the return trip thru the 30mph limit area and I think it was running better.Time to get the road-map of France out again !Thanks to all who offered help & advice.Keith.
Well done Keith, remember also this is a nice new rebuilt engine so keep an eye on your revs to start and also plug colour to fine tune everything as the engine beds in and begins to free up. Happy rotoring.
Various rubbish in various states of decay.....