Norton Commando 961 SE
Watch the Norton Commando 961 SE - Promo Video
"Unapproachable Norton" was a term used for describing the superiority of the Norton race bikes in the early 1900's when, as world champions, they were the envy of the world. Unapproachable certainly isn't how the Canadian distributors found Norton owner Stuart Garner and his team, building new Norton motorcycles in the UK.
It happened because one of the partners of Norton Motorcycles (Canada) Ltd. visited Garner's Norton display of clothing, accessories and the new 961 Commando, on the Isle of Man during the 2009 TT races in June. After being inspired by the new iteration of the Iconic brand, some months of hard work followed, culminating in the acquisition of distribution and licensing rights for Canada. Since then a small national dealer network has been established which will expand as Norton’s production capacity and ability to supply our Canadian market grows. The Canadian distributor, Norton Motorcycles (Canada) Ltd. is centred in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.
Stunning is probably the best word to describe the appearance of the new Commando models. With distinct retro looks, it retains the classic lines of the parent 750/850 Commando model of the 1970's with all the benefits of the 21st century.
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Had the original Commando remained in production until the present day this is probably how it would have evolved. Credit the styling to American Kenny Dreer and the engineering to ex-Triumph designer Simon Skinner. Simon, who is now Norton's Chief Design Engineer, has such notable bikes in his portfolio as the 675 Triumph Daytona. Under Simon’s advice, Stuart Garner the new owner of Norton are continuously re-engineering and developing the motorcycle and at the same time manufacturing more and more components ‘in house’ using the latest CNC equipment.
The SE, SF and Café Racer models are now fully compliant with Canadian Government specifications for emission and mechanical compliance and imports will begin Spring 2013.
The motorcycles themselves exude quality demonstrated by the high end, fully adjustable Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes and VDO instruments. Mr.Garner has committed Norton to producing a very exclusive hand built product. Production levels for worldwide consumption will remain low for the foreseeable future thus ensuring exclusivity. Think Aston Martin as the equivalent in the four wheel world.
Production of 200 Special Edition 961 Commandos has already started and 20 of these models are allotted to Canada. Each bike is numbered and certificated to the owner. These bikes will no doubt take their place in motorcycling history alongside some of the earlier Norton models.
True to its heritage, Norton is once again returning to competitive racing with the development of the new V4 powered SG1 TT Racer.
It's a dream come true. Norton returns!