Norton to unveil revamped Commando 961 soon

    The iconic nameplate, first introduced in 1967, is set to make a comeback.

    Published On Jul 01, 2022 07:00:00 AM

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    British bikemaker Norton has revelead that the iconic Commando 961 will soon be available to purchase. The Commando has been a mainstay in Norton’s line-up ever since its introduction in 1967. Most recently, before Norton found itself under TVS’ umbrella, the Commando sported a 961cc engine.

    Norton Commando 961: hardware

    When the Commando 961 was last on showroom floors, it sported an air-cooled, pushrod actuated, 80hp, 88Nm, 961cc, two-valve head, parallel-twin engine. Mated to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine doesn’t sport the most modern components, and it will be interesting to see how much has changed once the motorcycle goes on sale.

    In the case of the V4SV, the bike was significantly re-engineered to address serious issues with the product before the TVS-owned company was willing to put it back on sale. Whether the Commando 961 also receives a similar treatment remains to be seen.

    Suspension and brakes, however, are anything but dated, with the former using Ohlins components and the latter using Brembo. There were two flavours available when the Commando 961 was last sold - the Sport and the Cafe Racer. The Sport got right-way up forks and axially-mounted calipers, while the Cafe Racer sported a USD fork and radially-mounted calipers. Common to both were twin shocks at the rear with a piggyback reservoir.

    Norton Commando 961: history 

    First introduced in 1967 and sporting a 745cc engine, the Commando was available in newer, slightly updated versions year after year until 1973, when Norton brought out the new 850 Commando sporting an 828cc engine. The popularity of this larger Commando was such that the smaller version was discontinued soon after. The 850 was sold until 1977, which is when Norton started encountering financial hurdles, not to mention stiff competition from Japanese manufacturers.

    Under the management of previous CEO, Stuart Garner, what we have come to know as the Norton Commando 961 came into being. The first units of this model were produced in 2010 and they continued to be in production relatively unchanged until Norton encountered financial problems again in recent years.

    Norton Commando 961: India launch

    Some of you might recall the ill-fated, erstwhile Motoroyale group that brought in brands such as MV Agusta, FB Mondial, SWM and, of course, Norton, to India. Since most bikes carried a hefty price tag on account of them being CBUs, and in no small part due to shoddy management, only a miniscule number of Norton Commandos were sold. When it was last sold here, the Commando carried a price upwards of Rs 20 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). 

    Since being taken over by TVS there has been no official announcement about an India launch.

    Would you like to see Norton launch its bikes here? Let us know in the comments section below.  

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.

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