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Mk3, Cramped Riding Position - Solutions Please?


At 6’2”, I find the riding position is a bit tucked up.

Is there a mod that will allow me to lower the pegs an inch or two?

Failing that, does anyone know somewhere near Wiltshire where I can get my seat built up?

Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

Cheers Jay



Consensus used to be that Commando seats were rather high due to over-thick padding and the footrests are too far forward, especially on the Interstate. When you say cramped up, is it the bend at the hips or in the knee?. Might moving the footrests back a bit be a better way to go?


Never had a Commando, but have done riding position changes to some classic racers. At 5'8" a Suzuki two stroke fitted me perfectly. Adapting it to my son 6'2" was done by moving rearset pegs back 2" and up 1". Raising seat 2" and back 1" by making a squarish subframe under the seat. And a slight adjustment of clipon height.

Three points to change. Handlebars. Many options here. Maybe risers. Seat height. Either thicker padding, build something on the frame or change fittings on the seat. Footpeg position.Personally I usually prefer rearsets, but the standard touring Vincent is the most comfortable bike I have. The dirt and green lane Victors has a footrest position not too far back.

So it all depends on what kind of riding you do.


In my opinion, the footrests on the interstate are too far forward. Giving me the 'sat on the toilet' stance. Fitting rearsets moved the footrests backwards and improved things no end.

Roadster wise the problem is not so acute. Which model commando is yours?

Photos are of the rearsets fitted to my Mk3



Rear sets help a lot especially on the Interstate as mentioned, mine are roughly at the centre of the depression between the three Z plate holes.

Works well with clip ons and comfortable for my 6’ over short or long distances but no idea with higher bars. Some have a formula re the relationship between angle of upper body to thighs, lower leg etc but doesn't work for me. Like carb tuning, it's what works not according to set parameters


That's a bit bling engraving your name Peter :)

Looks like you gone with the same position as Norman Hyde - roughly the same level as the upper bolt and as far forward as the primary drive allows. Personally, I find the peg is a little high and dropping it down about halfway between the bolts would be better. As would narrowing the stance (how far apart your feet are)  - I have a plan...

Peter's is rather more svelt than the Hyde offering which uses the original master cylinder (even if I don't):

Norman Hyde Rearset for Mk3

Where have you hidden the master cylinder?


I used a 13mm Grimeca M/C from an auto jumble.  

I  have a big dislike of the 'loop over' brake/gear pedal that commercial rearsets supply. Getting my Mk3 reliable on the button allowed me to remove the kickstart and fit the rearsets i wanted and also use the original brake lever.



Peter, it looks to me as if Stan's is using an original lever. The curved type was a feature of early production Mk3s. I've only noted it on those which preceded the *850* engine number prefixes...May 1975 or so and after that they changed to the straight version.


Yes, that is an original Norton brake lever from a crash damaged Mk3 I bought in 1976.

When Peter referred to 'loop over' I assumed he was thinking of something like the gear lever on Tickle rearsets with a remote linkage. Never seen that pattern used on a brake lever though.

Yes, the kickstart is rendered almost unuseable by the Hyde rearsets, hence why it's not fitted. This shows how the kickstart has to be positioned, and the use of the original brake master cylinder:


However, we are getting some way the original issue. It occurred to me that it might be possible to bolt a "dropper" plate onto the Z-plates and relocate, or simply re-angle, the Norton footrest hangers down a bit to the OP's taste. It would move the footrests even further out but it's easy to do and, when the ideal position is found, rework the Z-plates themselves.


Heije Meinders of the Dutch club was also tired of the footrest position on his Mk1 850. He had some footrest brackets of unknown origin lying about and used one on the right hand side. For the left hand side, he tilted the footrest downwards by relocating 2 of the studs in the alloy z-plate. The pegs left and right are at the same elevation.

He is quite happy with this mod.

Attached the pictures he posted me.




Options that you may wish to consider for a good riding position on an Interstate are to purchase a set of Roadster side-panels and a petrol tank and also a Corbin seat.  These items, along with suitable handlebars [possibly BMW R80ST if you can obtain them] produce a very good riding position for everyday riding - it makes the bike much more like whatever that bike was that Steve McQueen rode in The Great Escape.  You can always swap back to the Interstate seat, tank and panels for touring, which, within minutes, will highlight the effectiveness of the Roadster set-up..


If you want your seat built up, have a chat with Leighton ( — probably not your idea of "near Wiltshire", but they were very good at restoring what turned out to be a pattern seat for my Fastback, where the pan needed altering and the cover tailored to suit.


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