KTM sharpen up their bal­lis­tic Su­per Duke GT sports-tourer

Stun­ning Nor­ton Com­mando 961 Street will be 50-bike lim­ited edi­tion

MCN - - CONTENTS - By Richard New­land Deputy Ed­i­tor

Nor­ton are set to build a lim­ited edi­tion of 50 Com­mando 961 Street mod­els, with the stun­ning new bike be­ing of­fi­cially un­veiled to­mor­row night at the Don­ing­ton Hall fac­tory.

Born out of the vi­sion of Henry Cole and his bike build­ing buddy Guy Wil­li­son (of The Mo­tor­bike Show fame), it’s a re-imag­in­ing of the 961 plat­form, com­bin­ing Nor­ton’s vi­sion of a mod­ern Com­mando, and Cole’s 40-year dream to build his per­fect Nor­ton. Con­ceived, de­signed and built by Cole and Wil­li­son, it has now be­come an of­fi­cial Nor­ton num­bered lim­ited-edi­tion model that will cost £17,950 with pro­duc­tion to start in De­cem­ber. The bike started life as a stan­dard Com­mando 961 Sport MkII, be­fore Cole set about restyling it within the con­straints of main­tain­ing its Euro4 ho­molo­ga­tion. “We didn’t think ‘let’s build a retro’, we just built what we liked,” says Cole. “It de­liv­ers what we want and rid­ing it is hooli­gan­ism. The whole at­ti­tude of the bike is a pure 1970s street bike. It rides like a dream and looks more danger­ous than a sailor in a nun­nery.”

So what’s changed?

While Cole and Wil­li­son’s in­spi­ra­tion was the Har­leyDavid­son XR750 flat-tracker, the fin­ished Street looks far more like a 1970s mus­cle bike. The rolling chas­sis and en­gine are pure Com­mando 961 MkII, but the tank, seat, tail unit and bars are all new, while it also boasts a glut of fac­tory parts to com­plete the high-end look. The beau­ti­ful and tail unit are hand-crafted in alu­minium, while the seat is a be­spoke item made of Al­can­tara and stitched with a di­a­mond pat­tern. The bars are black Ren­thal Fat­bars, which are nicely ac­cen­tu­ated by the pol­ished top yoke and bar clamps, while the of­fi­cial fac­tory car­bon head­lamp cowl, fender, chain guard and num­ber­plate hangar all add a bit of classy bling, too.

“It’s mega,” says Nor­ton boss, Stu­art Garner. “It was all Henry’s idea on the styling and is very cool. I gen­uinely like it. It’s got that straight-bar street look, and re­minds me of all my mad mates who were rid­ing Z1000s or GSs at that time. It’s changed the vibe of the Com­mando. It’s a fab­u­lous twist on our 961 plat­form. It’s a gor­geous thing.”

See it in the metal on the Nor­ton stand at Mo­tor­cy­cle Live (Nov 1725), or just dig deep and buy one.

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