Norton Commando 961 SE Review- Norton Motorcycles (UK) Information

31 Янв 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Norton Commando 961 SE Review- Norton Motorcycles (UK) Information отключены
Norton Commando 961 SE

Norton Commando 961 SE – Riding Reborn again, this in England, is Norton back for

This bike could’ve made for this very in time: Fluffy white dot the pale blue sky; the rolling British Midlands are as green and beautiful as they get; the roads are midweek-quiet and enough. I’m on the new, British-built Commando 961 SE. Its fat bars twitch as I hit a in the road, and I feel good.

but good.

Because I am British and a of motorcycles, it was hard, right up to the I walked into the new headquarters, not to be about Norton Motorcycles Ltd. Norton, or various trading on the old name, has a lot in common Rocky: comeback after And it was only natural, if perhaps to this new firm, to think “I get fooled again.”

That’s not to say of the comebacks haven’t been The Rotary-engined racers won British Championships against big-budget teams in the late-1980s and into the and were victorious at the Isle of Man TT in The John Player Special road bikes they were little more expensive oddities, though. there was the stillborn Norton

And the rebirth of Norton spearheaded by Kenny Dreer, an effort showed so much promise yet in another failure.

So to be riding a production Norton feels as good as a Ducati 1100 S—a bike I love—is The new Commando impresses within the mile. It balances a feeling of with the character and X-Factor a like this needs. are enough vibrations to make you with the machinery but not too many to things uncomfortable.

I immediately comfortable. Nothing is alien or No familiarization period is needed.

rides again, in England. feel of the 961 is similar to that of a Monster, even down to the note, thanks to the English 270-degree crankshaft. Factory mule shown here is with non-standard exhaust.

some of the doubts are due to the fact Norton UK’s first the limited-edition 961 SE, looks almost to the prototypes produced by Dreer’s operation in Portland, Oregon, the company faltered in 2006. But the 961 is said to not share any components.

The is incredibly similar, and no one at Norton Dreer anything but respect for his and laying of the serious groundwork, but all the are said to have been although the company admits were only slightly The specs bear this with many chassis and dimensions identical.

“We’d have loved more than to have from one of the prototypes and gone production,” explains Simon Norton’s head of design. it just wasn’t possible. were styling exercises. The were prototypes.

There was no way you base a production bike on There isn’t a single that you could take the U.S. motors and fit to our engine.”


“Not one,” Skinner “The changes were out of necessity, not a desire to change.”

No Dreer, who respects the work has brought the bike to production, like to get his hands on one of the new bikes to a look.

So, first off, how is the British Norton? Well, The oil-carrying frames are made in (near the former heart of the bike industry). Engine are cast by Grainger and Worrall in (the self-proclaimed “Birthplace of

Engine components, exhaust and assembly are all made/carried out in England. The 961 Café Racer and Sport will have wheels in the UK. Suspension is Swedish, brakes are and the plastic bodywork is rotationally in Spain.

The bike is assembled “by hands” on the grounds of the Donington race circuit, using spanners. Can you tell that the owner, Stuart Garner, is this British thing

At the heart of the machine is an engine does a good job of looking a relic from the era of free and bellbottoms, but it is produced by Menard Technologies, a motorsport company in Formula One belt—the region, Oxford, where dozens of are located to service the F-1 car industry why Kenny Roberts based his GP team there some ago). So, while it is classic in and retains some classic execution is quite modern.

The x 79.0mm parallel-Twin displaces and uses pushrod valve with hydraulic lifters. injection and catalyst-equipped exhausts it meet Euro 3 emissions It’s also designed to even more stringent regulations on the way.

Hey, even got its gearshift lever on the

The 270-degree crankshaft gives the requisite character, although more Ducati than 360-degree-crank Norton. A Twin, modern it is, isn’t supposed to be or buzzy, and the Norton isn’t of those. The counterbalancer quells the of the vibes and leaves the rest for Output is a claimed 79 hp at 6500 and it feels like it on the road. torque is an equally welcome ft.-lb. at 5200 rpm.

enough figures for an air-cooled

At 70 mph, the motor is spinning at rpm in the top cog of the five-speed gearbox. Roll on 1000 rpm and you’re doing 90. The is also the firm’s development so it was fitted with aftermarket made by a British company Motad.

Norton Commando 961 SE
Norton Commando 961 SE

They’re not as pretty as the megas that come but these 2-into-1-into-2 pipes fantastic.

And while the engine is on the money in comparison with modern, air-cooled Twins, the of the SE is shocking. Not bad. Shocking, as in The appearance of the new Commando is a mixture of history, rose-tinted familiarity and modern blue-chip brands.

But it by the bars and wring its neck and any trip is over. The bike and shimmies like a stripped-down The bars kick as the front end light on the throttle.

Perhaps the superlight South African-made BST wheels (non-SE models be equipped with alloy-rimmed wheels) that help it so frisky. The new Commando doesn’t go but gives the impression it’s up for a or fun, whichever comes its

Limited run of 200 Commando 961 SEs features BST wheels, uprated Öhlins radial-mount Brembo brakes. survives virtually unchanged Norton America days. Not a bad at all…

The clues are in the spec sheet: degrees of rake, 3.9 inches of and a 55.9-inch wheelbase. That’s than a Ducati 1098, the same rake and just a more trail. This is set up like a sportbike.

It isn’t a heritage bike for balding who remember when “men men and bikes were bikes.” a backroad scratcher. When the becomes bumpier, the fully Öhlins inverted fork and rear suspension show to be on the firm side. The brakes are powerful, thanks to radial biting large, 320mm

Get the Norton on a flowing road you can surf the 961’s torque and it’s a rapid bike being hairball. It’s involving.

Of course, plenty of will be parked next to a or Bentley, especially the 200 limited-edition SE and these are likely to get used Surprisingly, the bike is fine that because fueling is The 961 rolls through villages at more than idle, as as the local vicar.

Negatives? The was fitted with a prototype linkage, and I struggled to find a few times. The 961 would make a pillion hauler, but there’s no for that, though Norton is up soon. The seat that is isn’t likely to be your friend at the end of a 300-mile day.

The price? Not cheap at the $19,499 quotes for the carbon-wheeled SE, although the is high and the components are very quality. The lower-spec Sport and Racer models that follow are planned to be about 25 cheaper.

The goal is to have in the U.S. “this year.” The approval process is under way for a model, with California-legal to come later.

Even if the isn’t your kind of there can be few enthusiasts in the world who want to see a new motorcycle company a go of it. And by the sound of it, Norton has a great of industry support. None of would mean a thing if the model out of the factory promised than it delivered.

Happily for involved, the opposite is true.

Norton Commando 961 SE
Norton Commando 961 SE
Norton Commando 961 SE
Norton Commando 961 SE


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