Gold Portfolio" shows on its cover- misleadingly- the dates
1968-1977. If one expects road tests and other publications from
exclusively that era, one is surprised to find later ones, right up
to February 1987.
Some of the tests are interesting to read, as they give an idea how
the motorcycle press of the time perceived the various Commando
models. Generally speaking, whilst in the early ones the press is
enthusiastic about everything Commando, towards the end the press
get very dismissive about it and probably unfairly critizise
features that, from todays point of view, were not as bad as they
were made at the time.
Everything post-1977 is complete and utter drivel- especially the
"Classic Bike" features, which, in typical "Classic
Bike" fashion, see every bike they "test" in a too
positive light, combined with the fact none of the bikes they test
is normally as it left the factory. If Classic Bike test a real
lemon which is totally and utterly gutless, this is always
attributed to being "in a relatively mild state of tune",
"only just put together" etcetc (remember the
"4-valve Commando?). If the thing breaks down at every busstop
it "has lots of character". These tests the book could
have easily done without.
Some tests are a good read. I enjoyed the tests of early production
racers, understandably because I have a genuine one and have ridden
it on public roads (not recommended) and on the track (recommended).
Also, the test of the first Interstate with the infamous Combat
engine, KJW375K, which very machine I sold to a German customer in
1980 due to lack of money to hang on to it- and still mourn the
Really, the decision if or if not you want to purchase one of these
books is up to you- you will learn little about the Commando, a lot
about how journalism works, and if you have a collection of old
motorcycle magazines there is a good chance you have most of the