• Feb 16, 2011
Norton 961 Commando SE – Click above to watch video after the jump

Norton fiends can now officially rejoice – the resurrected bike maker's wares will finally be available here in the U.S. starting in either April or May. The final date depends on whether or not the 961 Commando can swim through EPA testing, though the company is confident that there shouldn't be any issues. A whopping total of 200 limited edition 961 Commando SE models have been built, and of the 50 allotted for U.S. sale, only a handful were still available as of yesterday. Every last one of the UK's batch were spoken for. Buyers can opt between a wire-wheeled version for around $17,999 or a carbon-fiber wheeled iteration for $19,499.

The best part? Those are the discount models.

Norton plans to introduce a Sport model at $19,500, but prices top out at $22,000 for the company's Café Racer. Like the Commando SE, those bikes are slated to land in our neck of the woods as early as April.

According to Motorcycle Classics, Norton is currently working to establish a dealer network in the land of the free. Former Ducati North America CEO Dan Van Epps was recently hired to helm Norton Motorcycles USA, and there's word that Norton wants to have a presence in 50 of America's top population centers. Here's hoping they plan on introducing a more sanely-priced model for the rest of us plebes, too. Hit the jump to check out the 961 Commando SE introduction video.



[Source: Motorcycle Classics]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's not just for "Rich Geezers". I have an SE on order and i'm certainly not considered rich. You can't compare this bike with anything else. It's handmade for starters. Quality is outstanding and it just oozes retro. If it were about speed then there would only be one or two manufactures. This bike is just knock down gorgeous to look at. It's what a bike should be, simple and sexy. Who cares what it cost, I wanted one so I slapped down my deposit.
      Oh, and I don't have any kids so it make it real affordable to me!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like Norton, but I'm a little cold on this. The thing I liked about the original Nortons is they were responsive, minimilast bikes for their time. These bikes look nice, but the performance won't come close to some of the the great bikes that are out there now.

      Where's the rotary? That's the bike that had me interested. Triumph has some throw-back bikes, but they also have the modern performance bikes to carry the flag.
      jeffrey
      • 2 Years Ago
      more then 1 year later, and still no bikes. owners from england repo t oil leaks, poor eratic running. question able handling. ever wonder why spondon, which is owned by norton, didn't build the chassis ???
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeah , SURE , Ohlins can make a SHOCK for this bike but not mine ! I think I'll write a letter , more impact than an email .
      Brings back fond memories . A buddy had a black 850 Commando . They got the pipe perfect on the remake . the 73 was a looker too .
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1973_Norton_850.JPG

      Only a 4 speed , gears on opposite site of course . great sounding bike .
      boy we had fun .
      • 3 Years Ago
      VIDEO , forgot to mention , it sounds like its missing because ther rev limiter cuts the ignition
      • 3 Years Ago
      Friend of mine used to ride with us ricers back in the seventies . He also had a beautiful black with gold pinstripe Norton with a set of straights that were long megaphones that sounded better than any Harley !
      • 3 Years Ago
      Its a pretty throw-back, but for that kind of money, it shouldn't weigh over 400 lbs.
      • 3 Years Ago
      LOVE the looks of the bike, retro done right. But, thats a lot of coin for an impulse buy. I would have to read some reveiws first....at basically 20k theres some amazing alternatives like KTM RC8, MV Agusta F4 and F3, Aprilia Rsv4, Ducatis....sure they arent "retro" as such, but they ALL undercut the Norton, and they are all every bit as distinctive .....
      • 3 Years Ago
      My best friend in high school had a Norton, I rode a BSA, we were the only ones who had brit bikes in the school parking lot of metric bikes, great noisy fun.

      Norton: why the lame music in this "intro video"? I want and expect to be seduced by the mechanical lure of this big twin.
      People are not going to buy this bike because it will out perform other bikes. The exhaust and mechanical pulse of a big twin is a very nice place to be. I hope it sounds good, so Norton you gotta play it and get it out there in my face.

      Unfortunatley this is not the only lame video where the music is somehow more important than the product.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Re Jwalker - - I have a friend who has just restored a BSA Gold Star, it has a 500cc single pot. The engine 'Thumps' in other words it sounds like The Greek God Thor Banging a Huge Drum in Anger.
        Nice one for owning a Brit Bike at that age, there is still a huge following and a thriving cottage industry restoring old BSA's etc and not just with the older generation here in the UK.
        Sadly the old BSA factory was pulled down along time ago here in Birmingham UK and it is now mostly waste ground and a small activity centre. During the war it was repeatedly bombed by the Luftwaffe but what quickly killed it off in post war years was mismanagement, unions and cheaper Japanese imports, sad but true
        I agree the music backing track is crap and what I wanted here was what does the engine sound like in anger.
        As for Norton I hope it does well and a start would be to promote the bike better not some lame backing track. The appeal of this type of bike, like the Triumph, is exclusivity and the sound it makes when you are blasting around on a Crisp Autumn Morning or during the Fall in US speak! This is half the appeal of my mates old BSA Gold Star and I am sure you old college day BSA.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Last time I saw a Commando was 15 years ago at a stoplight in Redondo Beach... a perfect bike finished in yellow. I was in my 67 Lotus Elan. I am not sure who had the better ride...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks great, though it may be a challenge to avoid comparisons with Triumph, Ducati and some higher power bikes.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The comparison is definitely valid on the surface, but the Norton will be somewhat more exclusive and has very high end components not found on the other bikes you mention. However, the retro Triumphs and Ducatis also suffer from the comparison with higher power less expensive machines. This machine is not about outright performance anyway. I think this Norton just went to the top of my list for the next 2 wheeler I want in my garage.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm having trouble seeing the allure of any modern "premium performance" bike without Upside-down forks, lower weight, higher power...and at twice the cost of an excellent Triumph or Ducati...who is buying these other than rich geezers?

        Also, in a motorcycle video isn't it usually it's nice to hear the bike and watch it do superhuman things. Instead I saw a racer covered in tarts and some driving video that looked like an Enterprise Rental commercial on ambien.
      • 3 Years Ago
      worst cover ever
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