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2018 - 2019 Norton Commando 961 California

2018 - 2019 Norton Commando 961 California

Delivering Authentic Historical Looks With Modern Performance

The Norton Commando 961 lineup, in general, brings a healthy dose of classic café racer DNA to the table — some models more than others — and the California adds some old-school custom flavor to the mix. The British influence is unmistakable throughout, and even the engine exudes an Englishness that just cannot be faked. Norton has its own deep roots to draw upon for design points, and the “Cali” delivers authentic historical looks with modern performance.

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2018 Norton Commando 961 California

2018 Norton Commando 961 California

Marking the 50th anniversary of the ’Commando’ series of motorcycles

The original Norton Commando first saw the light of day all the way back in 1967. Production spanned ten continuous years, but the model slowly lost its steam. The Commando has since seen a number of attempted revivals, with several entities trying to capture some of the success of the original, with varying degrees of success.

For its 50th anniversary, the British maker has given it an update and launched the 2018 Commando 961 California. ‘The easy riding roadster’. It ditches all the darkness and adorns a timeless classic styling with chrome all-over reminiscent of the ‘70s American motorcycling.

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2015 - 2016 Norton Commando 961 MK II SF / Cafe Racer / Sport

2015 - 2016 Norton Commando 961 MK II SF / Cafe Racer / Sport

The original Norton Commando first saw the light of day all the way back in 1967. Production spanned ten years, and the Commando was crowned “Machine of the Year” by the U.K.-based Motor Cycle News for five consecutive years, starting with its sophomore year in ’68 and running through ’72. Since then, the Commando has seen a number of attempted revivals, with several entities trying to capture some of the success of the original, with varying degrees of success.

Norton Motorcycles re-introduces us to the Commando with the 961 MK II family that brings classic, British style and modern engineering together in what may be the best attempt to date. Let’s find out, shall we?

Continue reading for my review of the Norton Commando 961 SF MKII, Commando 961 Sport MKII, and Commando 961 Cafe Racer MKII.

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2013 Norton Commando 961 SF

2013 Norton Commando 961 SF

Meet the 2013 Norton Commando 961 SF (Sport Factory) – a new motorcycle that was presented at the NEC Motorcycle Live show.

The bike is technically a modified version of the standard Commando Sport and comes with a set of unique features that give a pretty distinctive character.

Among them you’ll find a new exhaust system, an optional seat, a carbon fibre fly screen, special chrome finished black race pipes, Ohlins forks and black chrome header pipes.

In terms of power the Commando 961 SF comes with the same engine as the standard Commando namely the 961 cc, parallel twin unit with hydraulic push-rod valve actuation, dry sump, 3 bearing crank, balancer shaft and cassette gear box.

The engine cranks out a maximum power of 80 PS at 6500 rpm and 90 Nm of torque at 5200 rpm.

Hit the jump for more information on the 2013 Norton Commando 961 SF.

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2013 Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer

2013 Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer

After Stuart Garner has acquired the rights to move on the Norton name further, he started the revival of the brand with three old prototypes that were put on the paper almost 10 years ago.

However, to make its motorcycles more appealing to the public, Stuart Garner decided to make a few key upgrades to its old models. So, as far as technology is concerned the Norton Comando 961 Café Racer comes with fuel injection, a catalyst exhaust and secondary air injection which help it achieve Euro3 compliance. And the list doesn’t stop here as there were made a lot of other small and big improvements and modifications to bring the 10 year old motorcycle into the present.

Though, despite the comprehensive list of upgrades made to the Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer, one department remained mostly unchanged. We are talking about the motorcycle’s classy design language which is fairly good looking.

Hit the jump for more information on the Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer.

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2013 Norton Commando 961 Sport

2013 Norton Commando 961 Sport

When the curvy lines of the classic design are mixed with a few modern lines and contemporary technologies the final result is usually quite impressive. The same thing is true for the Norton Commando 961 Sport - a modern bike, wrapped in a classy skin.

When designing its Commando 961 Sport, the British manufacturer wanted to create a comfortable old-school styled cruiser that feels similarly comfortable both in the city and on the highway.

The motorcycle is built around a four-stroke, parallel twin engine with push-rod valve actuation, 3 bearing crank and balancer shaft. The unit cranks out a maximum output of 80.00 HP at 7700 rpm and 80.00 Nm of torque at 6000 rpm.

The stopping power is assured by Brembo front and rear disc brakes.

The Norton Commando 961 Sport is offered with a starting price of $16,995.

Hit the jump for more information on the Norton Commando 961 Sport.

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2009 Norton Commando 961 SE

2009 Norton Commando 961 SE

After Stuart Garner – a UK based businessman and present owner of Norton Racing Ltd, bought all the trademarks back from the US-based Norton owner of the past fifteen years – we can now finally look, talk about, and walk around what is nowadays the pride and joy of Norton Motorcycles, the all-new Commando 961 SE.

Relying on features of the original bike, the new Commando is all about unique style and modern performance and it is ready to cheer all nostalgic hearts out there.

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