Norton Commando 850cc MkII Roadster
In January 1973 the 'Mk.5 Fastback' was launched
and the 'Long Range' was discontinued, foreshadowing
the first 850cc machines launched in April 1973.
The 'Roadster', 'Hi Rider' and the 'Interstate'
all began to use a new 828cc. engine, which
had similar power to the 750cc models but were
1973 also saw the start of development on a
new machine with a monocoque pressed steel frame,
that also included a 500cc twin, stepped piston
engine called the 'Wulf'. However, as the Norton
Villiers Triumph company was again in serious
financial problems, development of the 'Wulf'
was dropped in favour of the rotary Wankel type
engine inherited from BSA. In late 1973 redundancy
notices were issued at Andover, followed by
a sit-in at the works. The Conservative Government
withdrew the subsidy in early 1974, restored
by the Labour party post the general election.
NVT resultantly decided to concentrate production
of the Commando at Wolverhampton and Small Heath,
causing unrest at Meriden which resulted in
a workers' sit in and stopping production at
Small Heath. By the end of 1974 NVT had lost
over £3 million.
However, the company still managed to produce
new Commando models, with 1974 seeing the release
of the Roadster based 'JPN Replica' and the