KTM sharpen up their ballistic Super Duke GT sports-tourer
Stunning Norton Commando 961 Street will be 50-bike limited edition
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.