Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Norton Commando 961 SE riding impression


Just how good can a moderately good looking, fairly expensive motorcycle, which is fitted with an air-cooled, 80-horsepower parallel twin, be? If it's a British motorcycle, ridden by British journalists who work for a British magazine, very, very good...! ;-D We think the 961 SE should be all right, but the rotary-engined NRV588 is still the only Norton for us...
Via MCN

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a one eyed pom to offer some unbias reviewing :S Simple fact of the matter is it is so overpriced its a joke.

Lester1971 said...

moderately good looking?! the 961 SE is VERY good looking. and it's a Norton, which really does make it a bit special. british bias? i'm American and I love this bike.

The Dark Lord said...

Does Norton really think people will pay $20,000 bucks for this bike? Really? I'd like to get in a race with someone who buys this bike, with me on my old, all-black KTM Super Duke... ;D

CHAD said...

Dark Lord (pah!), you can take your all-black KTM and ride it into an all-black hole. The Norton 961 SE is truly, utterly gorgeous.

And all you guys at F&F, please understand that not everybody wants a GSX-R, ZX-10R, Fireblade or R1. Bikes like the 961 have their own charm, which you probably wouldn't understand.

Ta!

Anonymous said...

Nobody is suggesting that a Super bike or such is any better Chad. Nor that they are what everybody wants. And there is no doubt that it is a good looking bike.

However, when a brand long dead comes and sticks a 30 year old engine design in a sporty frame with no ground clearance, and slaps a premium price tag on it, passion can only take you so far. Especially when you can make a cafe racer not only far cheaper, but with infinitely more personality in your own garage.

Anonymous said...

Moderate looking?! This bike is gorgeous! It is a bit costly. But this wouldn't my daily rider, or my weekend trackday rice rocket. The Norton would be my Sunday afternoon rider. My "Hey neighbor, check out my cool Britsh motorcycle" kinda bike.

Randy Singer said...

This looks exactly like the Kenny Dreer Norton.
http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5171

Has anything at all been updated or changed?

The bike is drop-dead gorgeous, but there are modern 650cc twins for about a quarter the price that can provide similar performance.

This bike cries out for an engine like the Cosworth/Norton engine from over 35 years ago. How can this bike compete for sales with other beautiful bikes in its price range that are state-of-the-art, such as Ducati's and KTM's?

Anonymous said...

I just can't understand the thoughts os Norton asking so much for it. The bike is beautiful and yes it's unique but 20K is insane. The components and engine aren't that special. It's a new take on old tech. Even a Ducati air-cooled twin had been undergoing constant improvement over the years.

Anonymous said...

VERY good looking and not overly expensive for a small production bike (13000€)

Anonymous said...

If you guy's want a cheap souless naked twin there are plenty about, but this new Commando is definately not cheap and cheerful.

Full Ohlins set up and Brembo stoppers, many bespoke items and the gorgeous polished engine are anything but budget.

Price wise, starting at £11995 it is on a par with the Ducati cafe racer and lets not forget the fact this bike will always be fairly exclusive, what is the problem.

I have been waiting for years for Norton to return with a proper bike and a sustainable business plan.

Good luck I say and one day when I can afford one I know where my money will go !

Mc Norton said...

Very nice but my old 74 Commando does me just fine.