The Norton Commando is one of the iconic bikes of motorcycling. Back when I was a kid, and the average rider was tooling around on a 500cc BSA, the Norton Commando was the bike to have if you wanted a big, hellishly fast–in 1970 terms–motorcycle. Sadly, when Nortun went TU several years ago, the Commando disappeared…until now.
Stuart Garner’s revived Norton Motocycles is now offering the 961cc Commando for the 2010 model year.
The 961 Commando will come in three models: the SE, Cafe racer, and Sport models shown here.
The differences are mainly stylistic, as all three models come with a 961cc parallel-twin, dry sump, pushrod engine, much like the venerable original, which is rated at 80HP at 6,500RPM, and 59 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 RPM.
They all sport Öhlins suspension with full adjustment. Stopping power is provided by twin Brembo 320mm semi-floating hi-carbon stainless steel discs & Brembo 4 piston radial calipers up front, and a single Brembo 220mm disc, with Brembo 2 piston “Gold Line” calipers out back. A 5-speed gearbox sends the power to the rear wheel via a 525 O-ring chain drive.
The three models have minor weight differences, but the ball park is 415lbs dry, although oil, hydraulic fluid, and enough gas to fill the 4.5 gallon tank will add another 50 pounds or so.