New Norton Motorcycles Shipped To The U.S.A. First Time In 30+ Years.

nortoncommando961A first contingent of new Norton Commando 961 models has been shipped to the US, marking the return of the UK brand in the country after 30+ years of absence. Norton proposes three 961 models: Commando SF, Cafe Racer and Sport. To get started Norton Motorcycles USA CEO Dan Van Epps has already selected 9 US dealers to represent Norton. All dealers inquiries regarding Norton USA should be addressed to

The first 9 Norton dealers are: Munroe Motors in San Francisco; South Bay Norton in Lomita, Calif.; GP Motorcycles in San Diego; RPM Cycle in Farmers Branch, Texas; MCC Motorcycle Centre in Villa Park, Ill.; Falcone Powersports in Indianapolis; Trebour Motorcycles in Ledgewood, N.J.; Gold Coast Motorsports in New Hyde Park, N.Y.; and Hinshaw’s Motorcycle Store in Auburn, Wash. Norton Motorcycles.

31 Responses to “New Norton Motorcycles Shipped To The U.S.A. First Time In 30+ Years.”

  1. 1 P. Hamilton. Oct 30th, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Welcome back Norton

  2. 2 Gerry Oct 30th, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Heard that the Norton 961 has some reliability issues. Don’t know if true.

  3. 3 DeeDee Diamond Oct 30th, 2013 at 11:46 am

    That is one seriously good looking bike! I bet it sounds as good as it looks. Wish Norton all the best. So far they seem to have done everything right.

  4. 4 Rodent Oct 30th, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Yeah, Go Snortin Norton

  5. 5 Boris Oct 30th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I hope they will be available with a traditional Bonneville-style two-up seat and passenger pegs.

  6. 6 James just another crazy Kiwi Oct 30th, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Those Nortons are beautiful.

    Norton’s history and race pedigree are second to none.

    Would dearly like one in my garage !!

  7. 7 takehikes Oct 30th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    If they are half as successful as Triumph they will make a go of it. I agree, 2 up seating and I’ll take a hard look.

  8. 8 Fritz Oct 30th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Beautiful beautiful beautiful…… I sure hope they are reliable (up to todays standards).

    This bike looks like it will give everyone a run for the money.

  9. 9 Bean're Oct 30th, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Does it make me as old as you Rodent to remember Snortin Nortons?

  10. 10 bartsky67 Oct 30th, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I much prefer the classic British good looks of the Colorado Norton Models.. The engines in the new ones look great but I don’t like the fact that they got rather Japanese “superbikish” in the new design what with the little wheels and way too much space above the rear wheel and too higly raised seat/cowl.
    Not a fan of the tank and tin work styling either.

    Norton should offer a slightly decontented touring version sans brembos and fancy forks/wheels while using less expensive components including classic size 18 inch wheels front and back and tank and tinwork more like the classic original Commando.
    Abike like that should be a 1/4 to a 1/3rd cheaper.

    The same money spent on Triumph Thruxton upgrades would yield a much faster better handling bike.

  11. 11 morpion Oct 30th, 2013 at 3:28 pm


  12. 12 Tom Maioli Oct 30th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Hey Gerry…I heard that Harley’s have some reliability issues.

  13. 13 Hugh Lyonsack Oct 30th, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    The guys at MCC in Illinois are great – I got an Aprila and MV from them, they know how to handle and service these niche brands. Good luck Norton.

  14. 14 Woody's Oct 30th, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    @bartsky +1 Nice bike, but serious identity issues and the modern sportbike appearance doesn’t work for me either. Why do these bikes need what looks like enduro clearance in the rear design, even though its street travel?

  15. 15 Terence Tory Oct 31st, 2013 at 2:14 am

    I doubt this “Norton” effort will last very long.I has about as much in common with NVT Norton’s proud heritage as a Mazda Miata with stick-on Lotus emblems.The top end looks like a Suzuki Tempter 650 twin,but I doubt it would be as refined or smooth running.The strange hodge-podge of Manx Norton and modern “Café Racer” styling seems forced and strange to me.The spoked wheels look well out of place held by modern USD gold bodied forks.Mag wheels like the ones used on the Arter G50 Matchless race bike would not have been a bad design option and true to British racing history.Spoke wheels don’t work very well for fast sport riding,for many reasons,safety being one.

    The market for this niche bike is already filled admirably by the modern Triumph Thruxton Bonneville 900.I imagine that its price will be well out of the ballpark for any kind of volume sales.

    If the current holders of the Norton trademark wanted to build a bike based on NVT Norton’s race winning history,they should have built a modern Wankel motored sport bike in the vein of their rotary engine bike that where so successful in I.O.M.TT races that is was eventually banned.It was the last pure racing British motorcycle that stomped the Japs into submission.

  16. 16 Wilhelm Oct 31st, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Welcome back, Norton!

  17. 17 Brett Oct 31st, 2013 at 6:14 am

    I was waiting for the comments like Terence had….I mean how many forever have been slamming Indian anytime someone tried to bring it back? “Indian died in 1954” It was only a bit of time until the “this isn’t Norton” talk started.

  18. 18 Terence Tory Oct 31st, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Brett.Referring to the timelines and manufacturing dates of long dead marques resurrected is not “slamming”.It is history.

  19. 19 Woody's Oct 31st, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I loved my short-tail Commando, but Morton DID close up. This isn’t a Norton any more than it’s a Studebaker (or an Indian) 😉

  20. 20 Wilhelm Oct 31st, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Taking a second look, I notice the funny angle of the shifter. Looks like they designed the engine/gearbox combo and THEN discovered the relative location of the footpegs. 🙂

  21. 21 CafeSportyTC Oct 31st, 2013 at 11:55 am

    it looks like its gonna be a helluva fun bike I wish them the best and hope i get a chance to ride one in the future

  22. 22 James just another crazy Kiwi Oct 31st, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    They go well, they have a similar perfomance and handling to the smaller monster.
    Yes there is a second seat under a cover.
    The bikes have been around for a couple of years even featured on a TV program or 2.
    Many things exist beyond the shores of the USA….scary thought.
    For every 3 Bonnie guys there was the Comando lover.
    They were always faster.But bloody hard to start.Many of those Norton freaks are still alive and riding..
    Allot more than one realises and this bike may appeal to younger people as well.

    I for one think they will go on and do well.Remember Comandos were sold in many places where your big American twins were’nt. The sun never went down on the British Empire.
    The Last Empire.
    God Save The Queen.

  23. 23 Snooz button Oct 31st, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    How much will these cost? Close to a Ducatti?

  24. 24 bartsky67 Nov 1st, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Well I have no sympathy with the “it ain’t a Norton” kill joys. If it’s got the Norton rights and the name on the tank is Norton then its a fffing Norton.

    The new motor looks beautiful and is the best part of it for me (despite some earlier negative info on sub par engine parts and testing and quality control on incoming parts).

    I’d love to be able to just buy an engine from them…I’ll source my own frame and tinware etc.. The Triumph Thruxton has better aesthetics and it isn’t that difficult to get 80 hp at wheel on them with a few well placed upgrades.

    I do hope Norton prospers but tacks back to their more classic lines. The Norton should only be a thousand or two more than the Bonnie rather than almost 16 thou more here in Canada. (from what I’ve gathered).

  25. 25 Boris Nov 4th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    ” If it’s got the Norton rights and the name on the tank is Norton then its a fffing Norton.” Damn right. A marque doesn’t need to have been manufactured CONTINUOUSLY since its inception to be a bona fide successor example of the brand. As long as the rights are in place and the bike is reasonably true to its heritage, it’s the real deal, updated. The new Indian’s an Indian, and the new Norton’s a Norton. Now waiting for the return of BSA and Ariel, and the second restart of Excelsior.

  26. 26 Terence Tory Nov 4th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Boris,yeah I can only agree.

  27. 27 V7Sport73 Nov 10th, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    As far as the appeal of the new Norton 961 I personally think the bikes look great. Norton did a fantastic job. To me it’s one of the most beautiful bikes to be produced in a long time. I’ve owned well over 100 motorcycles. Many of them were old classics. As far as old Norton’s and Triumph’s I don’t want to own one anymore. Give me new and modern. Those antiques bikes are indeed wonderful and have their place. Normally for people who have ample spare time to be wrenching on them. Nothing sucks more than having the bike brake down on the road. This is my greatest fear about vintage British iron. So I put down the cash for the Norton 961 a few days ago. This was after Norton claimed the bikes were being shipped to the USA. They showed a photo of crates being loaded onto a truck. I figured I’d be safe paying the local dealer in full for the bike. I do think it’s a bit strange that no other buyers have posted information on receiving their bikes even though Norton supposedly already delivered them. So with any luck I’ll have the 961 keeping my other modern classics company in the garage soon. AR

  28. 28 Jim Clement Mar 12th, 2014 at 1:15 am

    Poetry. Sheer Moto-Poetry. As soon as one of our Hawaii dealers starts bringing a few of these in, I will have one under my old arse. Then we will be Poetry In Motion!

    Splendid job! All hail the new Snorton!

  29. 29 B. D. Howard Mar 12th, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I owned and rode the p*ss out of my Commandos back in the day, and although I miss the light weight and great handling (for the time), I suspect that these bikes are too heavy and too expensive for me to have much interest in one. You can’t go home again…

  30. 30 lateralgs Apr 24th, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Give ’em time to iron out some wrinkles. They’ll do OK. The effort reminds me in some ways of bespoke bikes like Bimotas, in that you can probably expect a few quirks and occasional vestiges of hand-built machines. But that also gets you an attention to detail you can’t buy in most mass-produced things, too. In spite of all the pissing about styling this and heritage that, there really isn’t anything else on offer right now that compares directly. Actually, the new Monster is probably as close as anything, in spite of the different engine layout, and I’m sure the new Monster is “a better bike” in every measurable way. Sure, you can take another bike like a Thruxton and build it, which is great. Do it. But that doesn’t take away from this effort at all. If it was easy, and didn’t involve a massive commitment of time, energy and $$$, every a-hole would be doing what they are doing. But they’re not. I commend them for the attempt. I love the fact someone is seriously working to keep the Norton brand alive for future generations, and I wish them every success. I may even do my part and order a Sport with carbon wheels myself. Black with gold, of course.

  31. 31 TC Apr 27th, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Absolutely gorgeous! You guys across the pond had been missing out, but wow, Norton sure know how to make an entrance!

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Cyril Huze