72' Commando 750 Combat Refresh

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72' Commando 750 Combat Refresh

Postby Vincent » Tue May 03, 2022 11:59 am

Hi guys, I'd like to share a number of updates to a 1972 Commando 750 Combat that I inherited from my dad, including a custom seat I made. I have quite a few photos of the process, so though it won't be real time, I'll keep the blog in a time-sequential order to keep it fresh. The photo below is the bike still in my dad's pole barn I took December 24, 2017. It hadn't run in years and had accumulated a fine patina of rust and corrosion on just about everything (the beauty of 257 kb photos - I used the iPhone app Image Size to resize).

He had done a bit of light-weighting to the bike, including removal of the center stand, replacing the side stand with a 6" hex head bolt, no front fender, a hand built tail lamp mount and cut rear fender presumably to take out the rear wheel and tire more easily, aftermarket exhaust, and custom rear sets, shifter, and brake pedal and switch. He rebuilt the engine with all the Combat necessitated updates like new bearings. The seat is an odd one, and I suppose he chose it for one of two reasons; a) it was comfortable, b) it has a drink holder integrated at the front, all leather. Speed before Beauty.

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Re: 72' Commando 750 Combat Refresh

Postby John H » Tue May 03, 2022 5:54 pm

That looks like a fun rider. With those pipes I bet it sounds great too. Look forward to the 'Norton Build' thread.
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Re: 72' Commando 750 Combat Refresh

Postby Vincent » Thu May 05, 2022 10:22 pm

First thing to do was to clean and tune the carbs, fresh spark plugs and new spark plug wires . Once I had the engine running well it was time to get some fresh tires on the bike. I liked the look of the front fenders from Colorado Norton Works so ordered one in paintable steel but liked the raw look of it so left it unpainted. With so many mods already done to the bike I saw it as an opportunity to make it look cool instead of look stock. To get an idea of where I wanted to take it, I pulled apart a Corbin seat from my triumph and dropped on a fiberglass tank that usually hangs on the wall as a piece of "art".
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Re: 72' Commando 750 Combat Refresh

Postby John H » Fri May 06, 2022 7:54 am

It's getting there, nothing like personal taste and comfort. Tri-Spark is a good addition for a smooth runner. I will be adding one on my Hornet when the time comes.
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Re: 72' Commando 750 Combat Refresh

Postby Vincent » Mon May 09, 2022 10:21 pm

The steel roadster tank was pretty dinged up, and I'm not a big fan of yellow on a motorcycle cycle so I sanded it down
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and painted it and two steel side covers with my favorite flat black SEM Trim Black,
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in the wife's green house of course.
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Re: 72' Commando 750 Combat Refresh

Postby John H » Tue May 10, 2022 9:22 pm

Vince, Is this a final coating or is it to be rubbed out?
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Re: 72' Commando 750 Combat Refresh

Postby Vincent » Tue May 10, 2022 9:48 pm

That is the final coating. I did find out that when a bit of gas dropped on it, it left a mark. I have since rubbed it with some wax which made the appearance a bit more even but still nice and flat.
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Re: 72' Commando 750 Combat Refresh

Postby Vincent » Tue May 10, 2022 10:00 pm

Here is a photo of the seat being produced. I first used wide masking tape from side to side to create a smooth base for the fiberglass layup that followed the contours of the portion of the frame that the seat pan would rest on. Then I put a layer of smooth duct tape on top of that so the fiberglass seat pan would release after curing. I used a piece of card board tape to the back to create the back rest for the seat. Then it was a matter of protecting the rest of the bike and start laying out the fiberglass. I cut and dry fit all my pieces before starting so it all goes very quickly once the two part epoxy is mixed.
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Once it dried, I pulled all the paper, plastic and tape off and started trimming.
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By the time the seat cured, the tank and side covers had dried so it was time to do the final trimming of the seat pan.
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Re: 72' Commando 750 Combat Refresh

Postby John H » Wed May 11, 2022 9:29 pm

I'm starting to get the picture now. Anxious to see the final piece.
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Re: 72' Commando 750 Combat Refresh

Postby Vincent » Thu May 12, 2022 11:14 am

I used two layers of 1" upholstery foam that I attached with 3M spray glue, and cut and trimmed to shape using an electric meat carver, which worked quite well. Then I did an outer wrap of thinner pink fabric-backed foam.
My goal was to create a tight and continuous flow from the tank to the end of the seat.
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