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Bike of the Month - November 2014:
   Paul "GrandPaul" Zuniga's 1972 Dunstall Norton Combat Commando

GrandPaul's Combat Commando

This bike came to me in a “getting too old and worn out to ride” deal along with several other bikes over the course of three years from “EdMC” in Macon, GA. It was a rolling chassis needing a proper front axle & spacers, basic engine lump overhauled and lightly modded by Leo Goff (Memphis Motor Werks) loosely installed in the frame with no covers, carbs or pipes, and no controls, bodywork, seat or electrical installed (other than the tail light). All the rest, and a bunch of spare parts, came in a row of boxes and bins.

GrandPaul's Combat Commando

I had a lot of stuff to choose from including a Corbin Gunfighter seat with red piping to match a set of fiberglass Roadster bodywork, or a set of unpainted Dunstall long range tank and angular style bench seat, or a small steel High Rider tank. I could go with roadster controls, or clip-ons and rearsets. Could have gone with roadster style peashooter pipes or one each side upswept scrambler pipes. Since I already had my ’75 Interstate and didn’t have a café Norton, I made the obvious (to me) choices. I did try out several combinations...

GrandPaul's Combat Commando

The 13” fully floating Norvil front brake took some sorting, I ended up with an aftermarket master cylinder with a plain braided stainless hose. For positive crankcase ventilation, I went with a small in-line automotive type breather, piped off the backside of the timing chest. One of these days, I’ll install one of my reed valve units made from cast off Triumph Bonneville/Thruxton/Scrambler AI systems.

The bike also came with a very rare (no longer made) ARD mini-magneto that is entirely contained within a slightly thicker points check cover assembly. Very easily set up by setting the timing position at the drive side scale, placing the unit on the end of the cam and screwing it in place, then extracting the thin timing pin. No strobe timing needed unless the scale is off by more than a degree.

GrandPaul's Combat Commando

I had several sets of good Amal 32s, but the bike happened to come with a set of unused NOS 32s, so that was a no-brainer. I popped on a dual-mouth K&N filter to keep things clean. Decided on the standard peashooters as well. Head steady is a standard unit, but I later purchased a reproduction Norton Production Racer “biscuit” style unit (never yet installed).

Start-up went well, only took 3 kicks.

GrandPaul's Combat Commando

The Clubman Ducati style SS fairing has a cool adjustable mount that uses a small diameter headlight. I did have to fabricate a lower mount system, as Frank didn’t have any of the lower brackets and/or clamps available at the time. This is the fairing I fell in love with when building “Project Charlie”. In my opinion, it’s the best looking fairing out there.

The bike did have a couple of teething issues; it lost the clutch after less than 100 miles when the abutment on the tranny housing finally broke (it was cracked from the get-go). Easy fix. Not too long ago, it finally developed the dreaded “pink poison” – modern fuels are eating into the tank’s resin. I’m going with a cut open the bottom, properly line with industrial sealer, and re-seal.

SPECS
  • 750CC, VERTICAL TWIN, FOUR-STROKE, PUSHROD/OVERHEAD VALVE
  • LIMITED EDITION “COMBAT” HIGH COMPRESSION HEAD & MILD RACE CAM (2S)
  • 10:1 COMPRESSION RATIO, 60 HP, 120MPH TOP SPEED (APPROX)
  • 4-SPEED TRANSMISSION, TRIPLEX PRIMARY DRIVE, CHAIN DRIVE, 400 LBS.
  • A.R.D. MAGNETO IGNITION, MODIFIED CRANKCASES & BREATHER SYSTEM
  • F.A.G. “SUPERBLEND” BEARINGS & ADJUSTABLE ISOLASTIC ENGINE MOUNTS
  • SPARX 3-PHASE ALTERNATOR & SOLID STATE RECTIFIER/REGULATOR
  • GENUINE PAUL DUNSTALL GRAND PRIX LONG RANGE GAS TANK & SEAT
  • NORVIL / FAIR SPARES 13” FULLY FLOATING FRONT BRAKE DISC UPGRADE
  • CLUBMAN DUCATI SS STYLE “BIKINI” FAIRING & “PEASHOOTER” MUFFLERS
  • THOMASELLI “CLIP-ON” HANDLEBARS & CLUBMAN REARSET FOOTPEGS

Paul "GrandPaul" Zuniga
BIR # 69
Laredo, TX