Norton Commando 961: A Modern Classic Breathing the Spirit of British Motorcycling

Classic British Motorcycling, Modernized Masterfully

Picture the distilled spirit of British motorcycling, and what comes to mind? You're likely conjuring up the very essence of the Norton Commando 961. It's a machine steeped in history, back from the past but living in the present, elegantly melding tradition and technology.

Think of the Commando 961 as the quintessential modern classic, echoing the roar of the classic machines from the 1960s. This motorcycle hasn't compromised its old-world charm for a jumble of pointless tech; instead, it remains true to its lineage, proudly bearing the torch of its name and the glorious era it hails from.

Diving into the two different styles offered, the Commando 961 Sport and Café Racer each have a distinct personality that tailors to different breeds of riders. The Café Racer sings a timeless song for those who are all about speed and style, the ‘Ton Up Boys' of yesteryear. Its clip-on handlebars pull you closer to the heart of the machine, where you're more than a passenger – you're part of the ride.

The Sport, on the other hand, favours the upright riding stance, tailor-made for the seasoned rider who values the journey more than the destination. Here, the pace is slow, the experience enriching, and the ride, well, as long as it needs to be.

The Commando's design ethos is an homage to the principles on which the Norton name was built – quality components, precision engineering, and traditional craftsmanship. Each piece of this machine speaks volumes about its attention to detail, from the aerospace-grade aluminium yokes to the carbon fibre front mudguard.

The heart of this beast is its redesigned 961cc parallel twin engine, a marvel of engineering that offers just over 76 horsepower of raw British power. It's an air-oil cooled unit that relies on the tried and tested method of dry sump lubrication, combining reliability with performance. With 6000 miles between services, the Commando promises more road-time, less garage-time.

And then there's the customization, an aspect that underlines the unique relationship between a rider and their motorcycle. Want the natural colours and textures of the manufacturing process? You've got it. Prefer the engine cases as polished as a mirror? Done. This isn't just a motorcycle, it's an extension of your personality.

The Norton Commando 961 is not just a bike; it's a statement, a proclamation of the classic motorcycling spirit wrapped in modern reliability and performance. Whether it's the nostalgic Café Racer or the serene Sport, it's a testament to the enduring appeal of British motorcycle manufacturing.

Quite simply, the Commando 961 is everything you need, and nothing you don’t. You might not know it yet, but this could be the bike you've been waiting for all your life.


  1. Historical Pedigree: The Norton Commando 961 is a successor to the classic Commando that was introduced in 1967, carrying with it a prestigious and well-loved lineage.
  2. Timeless Design: The Commando 961 masterfully marries a classic aesthetic with modern design elements. The iconic Norton logo, hourglass body, signature fuel tank, and gentle angle of the engine harken back to a beloved era of motorcycling.
  3. Customizability: Buyers can tailor the Commando 961 to their personal taste, choosing the finish of the engine, frame, finishing kit, stitching, and pinstriping on the bodywork.
  4. Performance: The redesigned 961cc parallel twin engine offers over 76 horsepower. The engine is still air-oil cooled and features a dry sump, maintaining the traditional aspects of the classic Commando.
  5. Quality Components: With fully adjustable Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes, the Commando 961 boasts high-grade, reliable components for top-notch handling and safety.
  6. Reliability and Warranty: The Commando 961 requires servicing every 6000 miles, providing more time for riding. It also comes with a two-year warranty, underscoring Norton's commitment to their product's durability and performance.


  1. Price: At $20,800, the Commando 961 is significantly more expensive than many other modern classic motorcycles in the market. This might make it less appealing for budget-conscious buyers.
  2. Minimal Tech Features: The Commando 961 intentionally lacks the abundance of tech features found in many contemporary motorcycles, such as gear indicators, traction control, or sophisticated ride modes. While this is part of its charm for purists, it might be a downside for those who appreciate these modern conveniences.
  3. Weight: While specific weight information isn't mentioned, classic-styled motorcycles like the Commando 961 can be heavier than their more modern counterparts, potentially making them less agile and more challenging to manage for some riders.
  4. Limited Dealer Network: Norton is a niche manufacturer with a limited dealer network, which might make servicing and obtaining parts more challenging and potentially more costly.
  5. Potential Comfort Issues: With two different styles offered, riders may find the clip-on handlebars of the Café Racer to be uncomfortable for long-distance rides. Similarly, the upright position of the Sport version may not appeal to those looking for a more aggressive riding position.


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