The Norton Commando 961 is a café racer that harks back to the glory days of British motorcycling. It has two main variants, the Sport and the Café Racer. Both are mechanically the same, but the latter is a single-seater, as befits the genre of motorcycle. It also gets a few bits and bobs that are exclusive to it, like a carbonfibre flyscreen, clip-on handlebars, remote master cylinders for the brakes, and polished wheel rims.
The Commando is powered by a 961cc parallel-twin cylinder engine that is air/oil cooled. It is a pushrod engine, which means that it isn’t the most modern tech – we currently see it in only the earlier Royal Enfields and older engines from Harley-Davidson – and it generates 79bhp and 90Nm. The gearbox is a five-speed one. In total contrast are the suspension and braking components: the suspension comprises of upside-down forks in the front, and all the suspension bits are fully adjustable. Braking is sourced from Brembo with top quality components like monobloc radially-mounted callipers for the front. The instrumentation is analogue.
The Commando isn’t a product for everyone – it is handmade and assembled with top-quality suspension and braking components. The engine doesn’t match up to the specs of the suspension and brakes, however; the price will still be very premium. Kinetic Motors, which is bringing the Norton brand to India, will retail it from their MotoRoyale multibrand motorcycle dealerships.
The Indian market gets only the Sport for the moment, but customers can choose from six colours: black with gold stripes, grey with black stripes, red with gold stripes, silver with red/black stripes, green with black stripes, and white with black stripes.
At its asking price of nearly Rs 21 lakh, there is no real competition to the Commando 961, unless you consider more modern machinery like the BMW S1000R, Ducati Monster 1200 and MV Agusta Brutale 1090.