2023 Norton Commando 961 combines a classic look with modern components

Keeping up with the Norton Motorcycles saga over the past few years has been a wild ride – and unfortunately one that has involved fewer motorcycles than most people would probably like. That changes from October 11, 2022, however. In June of this year, the company announced that the long-promised Commando 961 was on the way – and now, finally, it’s finally here.

Styling-wise, it looks a bit like what you’d expect from a Norton Commando in 2022, and it comes in two variants: Sport and Café Racer. It’s powered by a 961 cc air and oil-cooled pushrod parallel-twin engine, which develops 76.8 stopping horsepower at 7,250 rpm, along with 81 newton meters of torque (59. 7 lb-ft) at 6,300 rpm. It is mated to a five-speed gearbox with a wet clutch.

Suspension consists of a fully adjustable 43mm Öhlins inverted fork up front, along with a pair of fully adjustable Öhlins twin shocks with a remote reservoir in the rear. Braking duties are handled by a Brembo radial-mount four-piston monoblock setup up front, which comes with a pair of 320mm floating rotors and a Brembo front brake master cylinder. At the rear, there’s a single twin-piston Brembo caliper and 240mm disc, also with a Brembo rear brake master cylinder. ABS is standard at both ends.

The new Norton Commando 961 features both a TIG and MIG frame hand-welded at Norton’s new headquarters in Solihull, England. The wheelbase is 1400mm. The rake is 24.5 degrees and the trail is 99mm. Cylinder heads are billet aluminum units, and both 961 Commando variants get an all-stainless steel exhaust system with a (so classy) three-way multi-catalytic converter.

The wheels on most bikes will be 17-inch polished aluminum spoke units, which are shod in Dunlop Sportmax GPR 300 rubber. If you opt for a Commando 961 Sport in the Matrix Black colorway, you can also choose black wheels color matched.

The Norton Commando 961 SP and CR are available in two colors: Matrix Black or Manx Platinum. The Sport comes with black, anodized, tapered high handlebars, while the Café Racer comes with machined anodized aluminum clips. Both bikes have a carbon front fender, color matched seat cowl and optional passenger seat available for purchase.

If you want to know more, a registration form is available on the official Norton website. Current availability is UK only and pricing starts at £16,499 (or roughly $18,224).

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