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

Published: 20 November 2009

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. The first thing you notice are the ergonomics – they’re beautifully sorted.

"It feels like a proper sized bike, with bars, pegs and saddle perfectly positioned for riders over 5’10 – it reminded me of a grown up more credible Ducati Sport Classic.

“On the move it feels tight, lithe and slim. Initial impressions of the handling are good – it tips in briskly and is perfectly stable.

“The engine feels brisk without being fast – it’s acceptable rather than gut-wrenching.

"But overall, I’m impressed. This is one seriously desirable bike. Even now, I’m still looking at it lusting – there are so many neat touches.”

More later when I’ve gathered  my thoughts. Full story in MCN on November 25.