Norton 961 Commando

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Norton 961/SS Commando
Norton Commando 961 Sport.jpg
Manufacturer Norton Motorcycles, United States and now UK
Production 2006 -
Engine 961 cc Parallel twin with push-rod valve actuation
Power 80 bhp (60 kW) @ 6500 rpm
Torque 65 lb·ft (88 N·m) @ 5200 rpm
Transmission 5 speed
Suspension Front: 43 mm Öhlins RSU - Adjustable preload Rear: Öhlins reservoir-style twin shocks
Brakes Dual disc front, single disc rear
Wheelbase 1,435 mm (56.5 inches)
Seat height 813 mm (32.0 inches)
Weight 188 kg (415 lb) (dry)
Fuel capacity 17.03 litres (4.50 gallons)

The Norton 961/SS Commando is a motorcycle that was produced by Norton Motorcycles, the Oregon based company that bought the rights to the Norton brand name. Owner Kenny Dreer progressed from restoring and upgrading Norton Commandos to producing whole machines. He modernised the design and in the early 2000s went into production of the VR880. This machine was built on the basis of the original Commando, with upgraded components and a significantly modified engine. Dreer produced 50 of these machines before deciding to build an all-new motorcycle. With funding from Oliver Curme, Dreer hired a small design and development team led by Paul Gaudio (Design and Development Director), Simon-Pierre Smith (Lead Engineer), and Patrick Leyshock (Testing, Sourcing.) The 961 Commando never reached production in America due to lack of funding, and the company closed its doors in April 2006. The Commando 961 SS combined traditional Norton cafe racer styling with new technology. This included carbon fibre wheels to reduce weight, a counterbalanced engine, and a chro-moly tubular steel frame.[1]


After fifteen years of US ownership the Norton brand was secured by Stuart Garner, a UK businessman and owner of Norton Racing Ltd. Garner setup Norton production at the current 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) Norton factory at Donington Park.[2] The relaunched Norton line includes three new versions of the 961 Commando; the 961 SF, 961 Sport and 961 Café Racer.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Norton Commando 961 SS 'Signature Series'". Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  2. ^ "Norton Company History". 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  3. ^ "The Norton 961 Commando in America". Motorcycle Classics. February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 

External links[edit]