Modern Tech Hides In The Classic Design With Styling That Is Elegant In Its Simplicity

British bike builder Norton Motorcycles teams up with Swiss watchmaker Breitling to turn out the Commando 961-based Breitling Sport Limited Edition for 2019. The bespoke Breitling Sport LE carries a number of special touches from the famed watchmaker to set it apart from the base-model Commando 961, and naturally, the watchmaker produced a companion wrist piece that’s meant to compliment the bike. While this isn’t the first bike-watch pairing in history, far from it, but it may well be the most exclusive.

  • 2019 Norton Breitling Sport
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Parallel Twin
  • Displacement:
    961 cc
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • Price:
    16495
  • Price:

2019 Norton Breitling Sport Design

2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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'Classic' and 'elegant' are two words that come to mind when describing the Norton Breitling styling.

The Breitling Sport LE builds on the café-tastic Commando 961 that draws on Norton’s long-running experience in the industry to bring a level of authenticity to the table that is rarely seen in contemporary machines.

I’ve always said that the key to a company’s success is to let the brand be the brand,” says Norton CEO Stuart Garner. “This has been essential both at Norton Motorcycles and Breitling. We haven’t tried to change the nature of our brands or deny their histories. In fact, we revel in those histories and take inspiration from them while focusing on the future.

The history to which he refers is plainly visible in the lines and layout of the Breitling Sport. It starts out with a back-to-basics frame that sets the stage and comes with the essentials and there’s nothing wasted on the superfluous. Laced wheels tie in with the dated look to leave observers with a strong sense of nostalgia, if they’re old enough, of course.

A cut-down fender contains the spray and fling from the front wheel, and it rides between beefy front forks that give lie to the illusion of antiquity through their inverted orientation, but this also is the beginning of the generous blackout treatment to make the newfangled stems kind of inconspicuous.

The cyclops headlight rides in an old-school chrome housing with a pair of standoff-style blinkers to complete the forward lighting. Breitling contributed to the instrumentation by lending its expertise to the two round analog gauges that displays the speed and revs with a handful of indicator lights and small LCD screen to handle the rest of the pertinent metrics. That’s right y’all, if you’re looking for color touchscreen gadgetry, you’re looking at the wrong bike.

A blackout, short-rise handlebar pulls the rider forward over the sculpted teardrop fuel tank to define a racer-like rider triangle. The tank itself rocks the classic, café-racer->mot3530]-style knee pockets that pull your legs in out of the slipstream and leave plenty of room for some body English.

Another embellishment from Breitling shows up behind the pan-style pilot’s seat. A monogrammed “B” is stitched in contrast thread on the short buttstop on front of the pillion pad to match the rest of the saddle stitching. A small cover hides the p-pad from view to reinforce the Breitling Sport’s classic racer look, but you can quickly strike it from the bike to share the fun with a friend.

There’s a triangular frame member on each side to mount the fold-up passenger footpegs in a move to improve passenger comfort, ’cause mounting said pegs to the swingarm is less than desirable. If you don’t believe that, go ride on back of a Sportster and get back to me. The taillight comes ensconced in the rear end, and the rear turn signals, taglight, and license plate all ride on a short mudguard to finish off the gear in the rear.

If you’re interested in the watch that is meant to accompany the bike, it’s listed online only as the Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Norton Edition. It comes engraved with the Norton logos and rocks a transparent caseback so you can see the innards.

2019 Norton Breitling Sport Chassis

2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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The Breitling Sport has handling characteristics befitting the “Sport” rider in its name.

Welded tubular-steel members on the Breitling Sport make up both the main structure and the subframe with a classic layout that sets the stage. It looks like the passenger footpeg standoffs are bolted on, no doubt so they can be quickly struck from the bike ahead of race days.

The steering head sets a rake angle of 24.5 degrees with 3.9 inches of trail over a compact, 55.2-inch wheelbase to give the Breitling handling characteristics befitting the “Sport” rider in its name. Inverted Öhlins forks float the front end on the full trinity of adjustments with 43 mm inner fork tubes and beefy stanchions for strength. Out back, Öhlins strikes again with dual piggyback shocks that also hit the trifecta of tweaks.

Suspension travel measures at 4.53-inches and 3.94-inches on the front and rear, respectively, so it’ll handle just about anything you’ll encounter on civilized/urban roads. The laced wheels roll in a 17-inch diameter with aluminum rims and 36 spokes up front opposite a 40-spoke unit.

Brembo supplies the brakes with dual, four-piston Monobloc calipers and 320 mm discs that haul down the front wheel and provide the bulk of the braking power. Out back, a 240 mm disc and twin-pot Brembo anchor take care of business with stock ABS protection all around.

Front suspension/ Wheel travel: 43 mm Öhlins upside down forks, adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping/ 4.53 inches (115 mm)
Rear suspension/Wheel travel: Öhlins twin shocks with remote reservoir – fully adjustable/ 3.94 inches (100 mm)
Rake: 24.5°
Trail: 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Front brakes: Full Brembo system, twin Brembo 320 mm fully-floating high carbon steel discs and Brembo 4-piston ‘Mono bloc’ radially mounted calipers with ABS. Brembo front brake master cylinder.
Rear brakes: Full Brembo system, Brembo 240 mm disc and 2-piston caliper with ABS. Brembo rear brake master cylinder.
Clutch: Brembo hydraulic clutch master cylinder, with integral reservoir and Brembo slave cylinder.
Front wheel: 36-spoke. 3.5" x 17" Polished Aluminum Rim
Rear wheel: 40-spoke. 5.5" x 17" Polished Aluminum Rim
Front tire: 120/70 x 17"
Rear tire: 180/55 x 17"

2019 Norton Breitling Sport Drivetrain

2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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An air-cooled parallel-twin, the engine exudes a 'Britishness' you just can't get from any other engine arrangement.

The beating heart was built in-house, a fact that Norton is quite proud of, and it delivers the goods with 78.8 horsepower on tap at 6,500 rpm and 66 pound-feet of torque that comes on fully at 5,200 rpm. An air-cooled parallel-twin, the lump exudes a Britishness you just can’t get from any other engine arrangement. To say that it pairs well with the rest of the classic panache would be an exercise in understatement.

While the factory doesn’t ruin that look with a clunky ol’ radiator, there’s a small oil cooler mounted high on the dual downtubes to draw waste heat off the engine’s lifeblood. A crankshaft position sensor controls the firing of the electronic fuel-injection system with lifter-and-pushrod valve actuation that times a pair of poppets per cylinder. Bore and stroke mike out at 88 mm and 79 mm respectively, to give the mill its 961 cc displacement and 10.1-to-1 compression ratio, so this bike is definitely a candidate for the premium pump, or at least, some sort of octane additive.

Power flows through a standard wet clutch and five-speed transmission before it finds its way to the rear wheel viaan O-ring chain final drive for a top speed of 130 mph at the redline. If you’re looking for electronic engine-control fandanglery, you’re barking up the wrong tree, ’cause this bike is about as essential as it gets.

Engine: In-house developed parallel twin with dry sump lubrication
Displacement: 961 cc
Bore x stroke: 88 mm x 79 mm
Compression ratio: 10.1:1
Power: 78.8 hp (80PS) @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 66 lb-ft (90Nm) @ 5,200 rpm
Valve Actuation: Push rod, hydraulic roller lifter, 2 valves per cylinder
Ignition: Crank fired electronic fuel injection
Cooling System: Air/Oil
Exhaust: Full stainless steel Exhaust system with multiple 3 way catalytic converter. Euro 4 compliant.
Gear box: Constant mesh 5-speed
Final drive: 525 O-ring chain
Clutch: Wet multi plate

2019 Norton Breitling Sport Pricing

2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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MSRP converts to about $31k, which speaks to its exclusivity.

This is a very exclusive bike with only 77 of them scheduled to be built. The asking price is set for £16,495 , or around $31,000 U.S. dollars, but it’s unclear how many of them will make it over to our side of the pond.

Color: Black
Price: £16,495

2019 Norton Breitling Sport Competitors

2019 Norton Breitling Sport
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Such exclusivity places the Breitling Sport Limited Edition in rather rare company and currently without peer in its narrow corner of the market.

Such exclusivity places the Breitling Sport Limited Edition in rather rare company, and given its café-tastic looks, I feel like it’s currently without peer in its narrow corner of the market.

He Said

“British bikes hold a special place in my heart, as do café racers, so this ride really strikes a chord with me. It’s unsophisticated yet capable, classic looking yet contemporary, and I expect this limited run is more likely bound for a collector’s garage like Jay Leno, for instance, than it is to see regular use on the public roads. Personally, I think this is one dead-sexy machine, me.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says “Breitling makes very beautiful, high-end watches, so it’s no surprise that the partnership with Norton would produce a beautiful, high-end motorcycle. Modern tech hides in the classic design with styling that is elegant in its simplicity.”

2019 Norton Breitling Sport Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: In-house developed parallel twin with dry sump lubrication
Displacement: 961 cc
Bore x stroke: 88 mm x 79 mm
Compression ratio: 10.1:1
Power: 78.8 hp (80PS) @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 66 lb-ft (90Nm) @ 5200 rpm
Valve Actuation: Push rod, hydraulic roller lifter, 2 valves per cylinder
Ignition: Crank fired electronic fuel injection
Cooling System: Air/Oil
Exhaust: Full stainless steel Exhaust system with multiple 3 way catalytic converter. Euro 4 compliant.
Gear box: Constant mesh 5-speed
Final drive: 525 O-ring chain
Clutch: Wet multi plate
Chassis:
Front suspension/ Wheel travel: 43 mm Öhlins upside down forks, adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping/ 4.53 inches (115 mm)
Rear suspension/Wheel travel: Öhlins twin shocks with remote reservoir – fully adjustable/ 3.94 inches (100 mm)
Rake: 24.5°
Trail: 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Front brakes: Full Brembo system, twin Brembo 320 mm fully-floating high carbon steel discs and Brembo 4-piston ‘Mono bloc’ radially mounted calipers with ABS. Brembo front brake master cylinder.
Rear brakes: Full Brembo system, Brembo 240 mm disc and 2-piston caliper with ABS. Brembo rear brake master cylinder.
Clutch: Brembo hydraulic clutch master cylinder, with integral reservoir and Brembo slave cylinder.
Front wheel: 36-spoke. 3.5" x 17" Polished Aluminum Rim
Rear wheel: 40-spoke. 5.5" x 17" Polished Aluminum Rim
Front tire: 120/70 x 17"
Rear tire: 180/55 x 17"
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 55.12 inches (1,400 mm)
Seat height: 32 inches (810 mm)
Electric:
Electronics: 300 watt hi-output charging system
Instruments: Bespoke Breitling speedo and tachometer
Details:
Color: Black
Price: £16,495

Further Reading

Norton Commando 961 Café Racer / Sport

2015 - 2016 Norton Commando 961 MK II SF / Cafe Racer / Sport
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See our review of the Norton Commando 961 Café Racer / Sport.

Norton

2020 Star Venture
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Read more Norton news.

Source: Breitling Celebrates A Powerful Partnership With The Premier Norton Edition

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: nortonmotorcycles.com, breitling.com

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