Commando 961

Norton Commando 961 logo
Commando 961


There are few names that have endured in motorcycling like the Norton Commando. First introduced in 1967, it set a new standard for British motorcycles and, such was the Commando’s class, that it was named ‘Machine of the Year’ for the next five years in a row. Today the Commando 961 also sets the standard for British made motorbikes and even shares some of the same performance rich DNA of that era-defining machine. With a completely redesigned 961cc oil and air-cooled engine, precision handling chassis and the finest components, the Commando 961 ushers in a new era of British manufacturing.
Norton Commando 961 Launch Video


The Commando 961 is the ultimate modern classic because it combines what we all want; timeless looks, unquestionable performance and a soundtrack rescued from a bygone era. But at Norton we know that not all motorcyclists are the same, which is why we have the 961 Sport and the 961 Café Racer.


Norton Commando 961 Café Racer

The Café Racer is the ideal combination of speed and style – a modern reincarnation of the dizzying machines favoured by the Ton Up Boys. It’s clip-on handlebars pull you in close to the action, where the roar of the engine fills your ears and all the matters is where you’re going and how quickly you’re getting there.


Norton Commando 961 Sport

The Sport, on the other hand, comes with flat handlebars that favour an upright riding position for riders who have a little more time to spend in the saddle. Made for those for whom the journey is more important than the destination and the ride takes as long as it needs.


Deserving of the Norton name

When the Commando was designed in 1966, Norton stood for the same principles that ‘Pa’ Norton had when he began building motorcycles in 1902. They are the same principles we have now: the highest quality components, precision engineering and traditional craftsmanship; now in a 21st century package. That’s not to say we’ve stuffed the Commando full of pointless tech for the sake of it – the opposite in fact. Just like the original bike over 50 years ago, a Commando 961 will not tell you when to change gear, it will not take charge of the throttle and it will not get between you and the simple pleasure of a well-earned ride. Instead it offers reliability when you require it, comfort when you want it and the roar of a petrol powered British twin when you ask for it. Quite simply the Commando 961 is everything you need, and nothing you don’t.

Simplicity, perfected

We’ve also simplified the Commando 961, so you can specify the exact bike you want. As standard the 961 comes with a traditional finish to the engine, allowing the natural colours and textures of the manufacturing process to show through. If you’ve yearned for Commandos of old then this is the bike for you but, if you’d prefer, we can take a leaf out of Mick Jagger’s book and paint it black. The same is true of the frame, finishing kit, stitching and the pinstriping on the bodywork. You can even choose just how polished you want the engine cases because, at the end of the day, it’s your bike not ours. We do draw the line somewhere though. The things that make a Norton, a Norton – the logo, the hourglass body, the signature fuel tank and gentle angle of the engine – they’re not going anywhere. And nor are we, which is also why every Commando comes with a two-year warranty.

Cake, meet the cherry

Of course, simplicity doesn’t mean simple. We build the Commando from the best materials; the front mudguard is carbon fibre and the yokes are made from aerospace grade aluminium. We also finish the 961 with the best components available – the fully adjustable forks and shocks come from suspension experts Öhlins, while the brakes come from the Italian maestros at Brembo. As for the engine, that’s far from simple either. Completely redesigned, reengineered and reworked over the past two years, the latest 961cc parallel twin is the most advanced version to date and places a smidge over 76bhp in your right hand. Sometimes the old ways are the best though, which is why it’s still air-oil cooled, still has a dry sump and still sounds as mean as it ever did. We also think reliability never goes out of fashion either, so it’s been built to go 6000 miles between services meaning you get to spend more time on the road and less in the workshop. All that’s left to do now is swing a leg over one and see what everyone has been lauding for the last 56 years.

  • Engine
    Engine type

    Norton air-oil-cooled pushrod parallel twin with dry sump lubrication

    Bore & stroke

    88mm x 79mm



    Compression ratio



    Crank-fired, electronic fuel injection

  • Performance

    76.8bhp @7250rpm


    81Nm @ 6300rpm

  • Design

    Carbon front mudguard

    Pillion seat

    Colour-matched seat cowl (Aftersales)

  • Chassis

    Frame is hand TIG and MIG welded at Norton HQ

    Fuel tank

    15 Litre

    Handlebars – Sport

    Black anodised tapered high bars

    Handlebars – Café Racer

    High-grade anodised billet aluminium clip-ons




    24.5 º



    Seat height





    Full stainless steel exhaust system with multiple 3-way catalytic converter

    Kerb Weight


  • Transmission

    5-speed constant mesh type

    Final drive

    525 O-ring chain


    Wet multi-plate

  • Brakes
    Front brakes

    Full Brembo system – twin Brembo 320mm fully-floating high carbon steel discs and Brembo 4-piston Mono Bloc radially mounted calipers with ABS, and Brembo front brake master cylinder

    Rear brakes

    Full Brembo system – Brembo 240mm disc and 2-piston caliper with ABS, and Brembo rear brake master cylinder

  • Suspension
    Front suspension

    43mm Öhlins upside-down forks – adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping

    Rear suspension

    Öhlins twin shocks with remote reservoir – fully adjustable

  • Wheels
    Front wheel

    36-spoke, 3.5″ x 17″ polished aluminium rim

    Rear wheel

    40-spoke, 5.5″ x 17″ polished aluminium rim

    Front tyre

    Dunlop Sportmax GPR-300, 120/70ZR17

    Rear tyre

    Dunlop Sportmax GPR-300, 180/55ZR17

  • Electronics

    Polished stainless-steel single headlamp


    Norton analogue speedometer and tachometer

    Charging system

    300W high-output

  • Colour Options
    Matrix Black

    With polished rims or black rims

    Manx Platinum

    With polished rims or black rims

  • Disclaimer
    Product specification

    The products presented on this website are subject to regional applicability and the final specification can change.


  • Pricing

    Standard Commando 961 SP


    Standard Commando 961 CR

  • Paint finishes

    We offer two pinstriping options, which are hand applied to the tank and side panels. On the Manx Platinum paintwork, we offer a twin black and red pair of stripes, that loop the full tank. On the Black paintwork, we offer a shorter single gold strip that tracks the shape of the knee cut-outs at the rear of the tank.

  • Corvid engine

    As standard, the Commando engine has a natural finish to the alloy in the engine. In the Corvid pack the crankcases, barrels and cylinder head have a black finish, with an extra run of machining on the barrel fins for a bit more pop!

  • Mirror polishing

    The 961 engine cases come beautifully polished to a light sheen but we also offer see-your-face-in-it mirror polishing for the rocker cover, clutch cover, timing case cover and oil filter.

  • Embroidered seat cover

    A colour matched cover for the pillion seat, with matching leather ‘bumstop’ and embroidered Norton logo.

  • Premium pack

    As standard the Commando 961 comes with a carbon fibre front mudguard but with this pack, we really push the boat out adding a carbon fibre fly screen, rear hugger, chainguard and number plate holder.

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