Rebuild Norton Commando Roadholder Forks

| 4/11/2017 12:00:00 AM

Top to bottom: new fork tube and components; pitted fork tube and old bushings and seal, fork spring and damper assembly. Photo by Motorcycle Classics staff.

Fork oil is not supposed to be gray, but this kind of contamination is pretty common. Photo by the Motorcycle Classics staff.

Positioned as they are at the front of the bike, forks end up by default with heavy exposure to road debris and moisture. Dirt and moisture take a toll on fork seals, which help keep fork tubes clean, wiping them with every pass. And while keeping the fork tubes clean helps, once the tubes become pitted there’s nothing left to do but replace both the fork tubes and the seals.

This How-To centers on rebuilding Roadholder forks on a 1974 Norton Commando. First introduced in 1946 and then modified in 1953, Roadholder fork construction stayed relatively constant until the end of Norton production in the mid-1970s. A robust design — a fact echoed by their long production life — they’re generally easy to service, with the typical overhaul involving a full strip, followed by a thorough cleaning and seal replacement. There can be other issues, such as fork tube bushing wear and fork tube wear from years of use.