The Norton Commando 961’s chassis is simply ‘there’: Neutral-feeling yet with enough sporting prowess to have fun and scratch with; light, slim and sharp-steering flickable, plus, of course, incontrovertibly good suspension and brakes.
I doubt it needed any adjustment. If it did, it’s all there, available.
Although a beautiful lump of metal, this is NOT the best bit. That’s not a major criticism.
We rode the first production machine which is something of a development bike so there was bound to be a few teething troubles, most notably a flat-spot around 5000rpm. Even so there’s plenty to commend.
The Norton has plenty of low-down grunt from around 2000rpm, snicks though its gears happily enough and emits a quite addictive bark.
Eighty horses, or somewhere between a Bonnie and a Monster, feels about right and is enough to have fun with.
It’s hand-built, in the UK, using some of the best components available anywhere in the world so quality, on face value at least, is top drawer.
It’s still too early to say about reliability, although any doubts should be assuaged by Norton’s commitment to customer service and determination to correct any problems that might crop up.
With the Norton Commando 961 SE more than most, value is difficult to assess objectively.
The cynics will argue that, on paper, the performance is hardly eart-shattering and it’s a fairly basic, unproven machine for your £16K.
On the other hand, it’s a mouth-watering return of a legendary name, an instant classic, beautifully specced and never likely to depreciate…
Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
As a straightforward, old style roadster, the Norton Commando 961 SE is fairly basic in terms of equipment – there’s obviously no luggage, fairing and so on.
But what it has is top-notch. Brakes, suspension, wheels, switchgear, instruments are all among the best there is, as befitting a ‘Special Edition’ model – and it’s price.