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Italeri Norton Commando 750 PR

Italeri No. 4640
Molded Colors: Black, yellow, silver, clear, chrome, vinyl
Scale: 1/9
MSRP: $89.99
Pros: Very detailed, good wheels and tires, popular subject
Cons: Fit issues, confusing instructions, difficult assembly
Norton’s Commando was produced from 1967 to 1977. Engine displacement was 750cc until 1973 when it was enlarged to a broader 850cc.

Italeri’s release of this Norton bike appears to be a tool previously released by Protar and this kit is definitely for the experienced modeler.

There are 161 parts plus 56 screws, nuts and springs and be ready, no screwdriver is provided. In total there are 32 vinyl parts, 14 representing electrical and mechanical lines. A clear fuel line also is supplied.

Instructions for the bike are presented in 40 steps printed across five pages, front and rear. I found it confusing going back and forth with their fold-out format when tracking where a vinyl line started and stopped. I finally cut the sheets apart and put them in sequence.

The instructions do have images of assembled areas but unfortunately they are dark and were not much help. Following the assembly steps while applying common sense is recommended when building this Commando.

A word to the wise before starting: test-fit everything, especially where screws are involved. On this kit, the holes were either too big needing to be filled and re-tapped or too small requiring enlargement. Check and correct all the screw holes before assembly begins.

Piecing together the Commando  starts with its engine and gear box. The engine is well-molded and detailed, with chrome engine covers and wiring that stands out.

The frame is next and is divided along the upper tube. After joining the halves, test-fit the fork pivot bolt in it’s housing. Mine had too much play, so inserting a sleeve will correct this. The assembled frame required considerable cleanup to remove mold seams.

Fitting the engine assembly to the frame is when you will start wishing for an extra set of hands. From this point on, I tried to use as little glue as possible. It was starting to appear that assemblies would need to be taken apart to correct alignment issues. This assumption proved correct.

Functional rear shocks assemble easily, but an alignment issue appeared when mounting the swing arm. Fixing this required filling and re-drilling the pivot holes. The shocks when mounted to the frame and swing arm, set the vertical alignment of the rear tire. My swing arm hung low on one side moving the tire off the vertical center line. I resolved the issue by putting a stop plug in one of the shock tubes to stiffen it.

The front fork’s suspension also is functional, with two springs inserted into each shaft housing. The shafts are metal so ensure they move up and down freely without disturbance.

Spoked wheels and their tires are a highlight of this kit. Each wheel is a four-piece interlocking assembly that inserts into the hollow tire. No glue is required and the spokes are well done.

The headlight assembly that includes the mounting bracket for the removable aerodynamic shroud is fiddly and hard to adjust. There was too much play at the mounting bracket and shimming was required. Its mounting bracket was short-molded on the side that accepts the screw. This area was rebuilt with super glue and then re-tapped.

The cycle’s two-piece fuel tank has fittings and fuel lines and the seat cover behind it is vinyl. The kit’s chrome plating is good with an acceptable amount of flash.

There are decals  for the gauges, all of which were in register and performed well.

Keep in mind that during assembly you are trying to figure out where all the vinyl lines connect and how to route them. I had more than 100 hours into this build. The kit’s a challenge, but all the details are there.


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