Minichamps MIN122132001 1969 Norton Commando Fastback Motorcycle - Red (1:12 Scale)
"German precision engineering at its finest!"
- The Motor Pool
The Norton Commando was launched in 1967. In 1969 it was named the "Fastback" due to the shape of its rear fender with the mudguard underneath. The engine had a capacity of 745cc and an output of approximately 65hp @ 6,500 rpm, which enabled it to achieve a maximum speed of 185 km/h.
One typical feature of the Norton Commando Fastback was the unitary fitting of engine, transmission, exhaust, rear suspension arm and rear wheel underneath the central frame. On the downside, the Norton Commando would oftentimes experience intense vibrations on high-speed runs. To rectify this, the engine and transmission were mounted on rubber bearings in an effort to transfer some of the oscillation to the chassis and other components. Typically British are the two separate chrome-plated instrument housings featuring instrument scales on one and a fire control light on the other.
In 1969 the Norton Fastback was appointed 'Motorbike of the Year' by Motor Cycle News. Four further awards followed in the subsequent four years.
Pictured here is a splendid 1:12 scale rendition of a 1969 Norton Commando Fastback motorcycle in red. Comes packaged in a handsome presentation case. Sold Out!
Length: 7 inches
Height: 3.50 inches
Historical Account: "Evolution or Revolution?" - The revolutionary part of the Commando, compared to earlier Norton models, was the frame developed by former Rolls Royce engineer Dr. Stefan Bauer. He believed the classic Norton Featherbed frame design went against all engineering principles, so Bauer designed his frame around a single 2.25-inch (57 mm) top tube. He tried to free the Commando from classic twin vibration problems, which had severely increased as the volume of the basic engine design expanded from the 500 cc of Edward Turner's 1938 Triumph Speed Twin. Bauer, with Norton Villiers Chief Engineer Bernard Hooper and assistant Bob Trigg, decided that the engine, gearbox and swing-arm assembly were to be bolted together and isolated from the frame by special rubber mountings. This eliminated the extreme vibration problems that were apparent in other models in the range, as it effectively separated the driver from the engine. Named the Isolastic anti-vibration system, the system's patent document listed Hooper as the lead inventor. Although the Isolastic system did reduce vibration, maintaining the required free play in the engine mountings at the correct level was crucial to its success. Too little play brought the vibration back; too much, and the result was "interesting" handling.