I recently had the privilege of attending the Kahuna Powersports launch party for the return of the Norton. Norton motorcycles have been around since 1908 and are part of British pop culture. They have a long heritage and have caught the eye of many riders since before most of us were born. Unfortunately, Norton was another victim of economic hardships and closed their doors in 1976.
Well…the Norton lives again and are coming to Canada with the Commando 961 SE. Now before you get your hopes up for getting the Special Edition model, you should know that there will be a very limited supply of only 20 bikes…18 of which are already spoken for. Ok…grab some tissues because there will be a few other models released later this year. A base model 961, the Cafe Racer and the Sport models will all be available by June of 2011. But you should act fast if you are thinking about getting one of these fine machines because once again, supply will be limited and demand will be high even though the cost will be around $20,000CDN (not including freight, PDI, taxes, etc).
The Commando 961SE shown above is a pretty sexy looking machine but there will be some subtle changes once we see it on Canadian roads thanks to the Federal certification process that all vehicles have to go through before they are brought into the country in volume. One obvious change will be the front end, where the Canadian version of the bike will be sporting ‘upside down forks’ as opposed to the traditional ones shown in the picture.
Norton paid a lot of attention to detail as they modernized their bike and although they held true to the aesthetic looks of the bikes made in the ’70′s, everything is completely modern and they didn’t go cheap on their choice in parts. Brembro brakes, Ohlins suspension, carbon fibre fenders & chain guard, and steel braided brake lines are just to name a few.
So for all those Norton and cafe racer fans, get your finances in order and get into a dealership soon to place your order. If you’re in Ontario, go check out Kahuna Powersports to place your deposit. These bikes will move fast so if you want one, you had better act fast!