Two Cylinder Time Capsule

September 29, 2020 | By Mike Seate

Some truly strange things have been re-discovered under dusty drop-cloths in the back storage rooms of motorcycle dealerships. A guy we know, Chris Gatto owns the positively incredible Cycle Warehouse retail shop in nearby Butler, PA. an overstock hoarder’s paradise that’s filled with stock found rotting away in just such places. The motorcycle pictured above is just such an item, having somehow escaped being prepped or ridden for the past 43 years. The 1977 Norton Commando Interstate is the final edition of Norton’s beloved Commando, which saw its sales flagging in comparison to the faster, smoother and far more technologically complex Japanese bikes on offer at the time. This 850cc version was outfitted with modern conveniences like a front disc brake and an electric starter, both rarities on British bikes until the 1970s.

The bike above will be auctioned off in England come November 14 by H&H Auctioneers and the sale will go towards helping Birmingham’s National Motorcycle Museum stay afloat. Covid 19 restrictions have closed nearly all of the UK’s many awesome museums, which means not a soul has stepped inside the MC collection since March. It’s impossible to know just how much a bike like this would sell for though it’s likely some serious collector of two-wheeled history will pick it up for themselves. Though most of the running gear would need replaced to get the Commando roadworthy it would be a real gas to see someone restore it to showroom condition and take it for spin. I wonder, for example, how a bone-stock Commando Interstate would stand up against one of Classic Bike Experience’s fully restored Nortons and whether the fond memories we have of these old geezers really matches reality. Ah, if only we could get our mitts on one like this…