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Phil West  says:

Norton Commando 961 first ride: "One seriously desirable bike"

MCN’s Executive Editor Phil West has just ridden the first Norton Commando 961 SE off the production line. It’s an historic moment: if this bike succeeds then it’s stage one of the rebirth of one of Britain’s most iconic brands. West said: “I’ve just had a short ride on the bike around the test road circuit near the Donington factory....

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  • Posted 6 years ago (20 November 2009 16:48)

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brutale r


Dec 07

Posts: 3258

brutale r says:




It doesnt look like a norton, bears no resemblance to a commando, if anything take the name off the tank and it would be just another wannabe track bike with a number plate on the back.

The commando was a big bike, the series 3 was large and a cruiser. Look at the pictures in the article, the new commando appears about the same size as a 500cc jap, Small.

Will it sell? if you want brand names and have more money to burn than common sense then maybe. If they had made it minus ohlins, carbon fibre wheels etc and more inline with its heritage they could have been onto a winner that would be at a far more affordable price, instead they have gone for a niche market of the track day power rangers and will probably lose out on the main road going biker majority.

take a look at the combat the fast back  jps norton plus all makes and models evolve begining to think your a gizza m8

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Jul 04

Posts: 4

derekgfrench says:


I generally like the looks but the line of the exhaust is not yet correct. Looking at some of our local speed bumps, I think I would have trouble scraping the underside of those low-slung exhaust pipes. I also think the bike is designed for Sunday riding for the relatively wealthy, and probably most will be sold in the States, not the UK. But at least it will be bought by those keen on bikes and I look forward to seeing future evolutions. Who knows, I might be tempted myself at some stage...

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Apr 08

Posts: 79

iMarcus says:

Looks great

I don't care if its not a replica of a historic bike, why should it be? If you want to see an old Norton go to a mseum......

To me thats a great looking bike, that if I could afford I would buy tomorrow... Its a brave move to try and re-launch a brand at this time, and Norton, have quite rightly in my opinion, recognised the need to move with the times, after all they are competing with Triumph, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki etc etc.

Lets face it, the option was the Americans killing Norton altogether.

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Mar 09

Posts: 5451

Nostrodamus says:

So Nice a niche product

It may well be a niche market product right now but I think this thing has the ability to sell in relatively large numbers - least not America. Look at the success of 'retro' products like the Beetle & Mini. Norton brand power is huge and the pouncey cafe set will love it. I can see Hugh Cornwall riding it down the south of France.  I think it's gorgeous and the reverse megaphone pipes work well. The whole damn thing screams  Commando and it looks a great modern interpretation of such. I love Cafe Racer styled bikes having owned a 1000s Guzzi forever. Narrow, minimalistic with a hearty visually appealing engine and a bit of handling. Who needs fairings - a decent saddle, drop bars and a bit of wind on the chest to take the weight off the wrists - extremely comfortable. Well done Norton. Bring it on!

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May 09

Posts: 38

Yes, I would like one.

Yes it looks stunning.

But that price is so way over the top for what is just a pretty looking retro style bike.

Absolutetely no way would I consider anything over £7500 when there are all the other types and makes available.

Ok so they dont have the Norton name but I can live with that

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Aug 02

Posts: 10

pkelly says:

looks and connections

Its great to see the name being kept alive and I hope these comments can be taken positively:

1. THE LOOK -  the image seems to be based on aestheitics of 70's commando, which is understandable given (my assumption of) the target market (affluent 50+  enthusiasts) but - why is there not al least one version with silver grey tank and black and red lining. Maybe its just my age - a very young 60! 

2. THE CONNECTIONS - it would be good to get some links with previous Norton individuals such as Geoff Duke and John Surtees. But more than anything else - why is there no involvement from Peter Williams?

As I see it, Williams, as engineer, designer and racer, did more to keep the Norton name alive by imaginitive approach to frame, suspension and aerodynamics than anyone else in the 'Commando' period. It would be good to see him involved somehow and perhaps give some creidbility to the final product for sale. Especially as he still might offer innovative approaches to design problems which must be considerable for a small scale, high cost project.

Best of luck to the project overall and lest hope that it keeps alive a bike that combines both relatively modern performance and historical brand.

all the best






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Jun 06

Posts: 59

brynhils says:

How Much!?

Get a grip will ya!  £16k for that!?

It's gonna be a hard-time selling when for that price you are talking many other manufacturer's bikes of the same price arena having traction-control, ABS, adjustable fuel mapping, tyre pressure monitoring etc etc.

This is one for collectors only I feel. Buy it, put it in the shed and bring it out for a sunny bike show one day in July....

Nice, but not that (£16K) nice.

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