Norton Motorcycles has unveiled the very first motorcycle to be made at its new factory in Solihull - the new Commando 961 SP and CR.
The latest iteration of the company’s Modern Classic comes 55 years after the launch of the Commando, a true icon of British motorcycling and two-wheeled racing, which went on to become known around the globe. The newest version of the Commando is available in two variants – the SP, which starts at £16,499, and the CR which will set you back a further £500 at £16,999.
Norton claims that the new design provides the ‘perfect fit’ for the modern rider as it aims to combine comfort and modern technologies with a nostalgic nod to the design and feelings of riding a Commando. Following the V4SV, the Commando 961is the second Norton model to be refreshed since TVS Motor Company, the third-largest motorcycle manufacturer in India, took over the reins of the company in April 2020.
The major differences between the two variants come in the styling. Both come in a choice of two colour schemes: ‘Matrix Black’ or ‘Manx Platinum’. The SP features more conventional upright handlebars compared to the lower ‘clip-on’ style of the CR, both of which are made from solid aluminium. There are also minor differences in the headlamps between the two models.
Built in Norton’s new state-of-the-art multi-million-pound factory in Solihull, both the Commando 961 is powered by an air-oil-cooled 961cc parallel twin, developing over 76PS (56kW) and 81Nm (60lb ft) through a five-speed constant mesh transmission via a single plate wet clutch.
Fully adjustable Öhlins forks on the front and dampers on the rear work in conjunction with a Brembo brake system and information is relayed to the rider via a standard electronic analogue speedometer and tachometer.
“The Commando name is iconic and is unmistakably Norton,” said Dr Robert Hetschel, Chief Executive Officer at Norton Motorcycles. “Our new generation Commando 961 SP and CR pay respect to timeless design whilst harnessing a modern flare.
“We have been rigorous in our approach to ensure we are providing the very best version of the Commando 961. To achieve the motorcycle’s artistic look demands supreme attention to detail and an uncompromising attitude towards using the very best quality material. From the sound of the engine to the feel of the tyres on the road, this new generation Commando 961 is the perfect combination of artistry, handling, attitude, and style.”