A legendary bike could make a reputation for a corporation, and for Norton there’s no query that such a motorcycle exists within the type of the Commando. Now, for the primary time since Stuart Garner’s model of the corporate (Norton Motorcycles Ltd.) went below firstly of 2020, the Commando is getting back from the once-again revived Norton model (The Norton Motorcycle Co. Ltd.), owned by India’s TVS.
Confirmed on the corporate’s web site, the brand new bike will likely be a revival of the Commando 961 that was the spine of Norton’s vary all through the Stuart Garner period. He purchased the Norton model and the rights to the Commando 961 design from American Kenny Dreer in 2008, who’d regularly developed the machine right into a modernized evolution of the unique Commandos of the Nineteen Sixties and ‘70s. The bike reached production in 2010 and remained the company’s essential product proper till Garner’s model of the corporate collapsed out of business in early 2020.
During the Garner period, the Commando 961 and varied spin-off fashions have been primarily Norton’s solely merchandise. While the V4SS superbike was unveiled in 2016, it took years to creep towards manufacturing and solely a handful of closely flawed examples reached prospects earlier than Norton closed its doorways. Under TVS, the V4 has already been redeveloped into the V4SV superbike and the V4CR cafe racer, and there are plans to lastly introduce the Atlas 650cc parallel twins that have been proven late within the final decade. But regardless of the existence of these fashionable machines, demand for the Commando stays excessive sufficient to carry it again.
It’s no small endeavor, and whereas the photographs on Norton’s web site present a Commando that appears primarily an identical to the previous Garner-era 961, we may be sure that TVS has made a bunch of adjustments to the bike. Commandos all through the Garner period have been plagued with reliability issues and TVS will likely be eager to ensure these are a factor of the previous. The previous bike was additionally by no means put by way of the newest era of European type-approval program, together with the powerful Euro 5 emissions checks. Given that the engine can primarily hint its heritage again to designs of the Nineteen Sixties, getting it by way of these checks is prone to have required some vital improvement.
In phrases of look, the brand new Commando 961 has retained the styling of the earlier era, itself visually a carbon copy of the VR888 that Dreer developed within the ‘90s, later becoming the Commando 952 before finally becoming the Commando 961. The sculpted tank and drooping cafe racer tail are clear to see in Norton’s teaser photos. The chassis, tweaked by Spondon through the Garner period, additionally seems to be unaltered, full with Öhlins suspension at every finish. That Norton is retaining the “961″ identify suggests no matter updates have been made to the engine, the 961cc capability hasn’t been altered, in flip indicating that the 88mm bore and 79mm stroke are additionally unchanged. Power is prone to be much like the 80 hp that the earlier Commando 961 managed.
Like the previous Commando 961, the brand new bike isn’t prone to be a mainstream rival to machines like Triumph’s Bonneville, however extra of a hand-crafted collectors’ merchandise with a price ticket to match, most likely coming in at someplace close to $20,000.