Originally built from 1967 through 1977, the Norton Commando was a massively influential motorcycle that stood as the firm’s flagship offering over its decade in production. In 2008, Stuart Garner would revive the brand under the banner of Norton Motors, Ltd. and begin producing a modernized version of the cafe racer known as the Commando 961. Unfortunately, after horrendously mismanaging the legendary British brand, Garner — who recently pleaded guilty to both illegal investing of pension funds and embezzling millions from the company — was forced to pull the plug on Norton Motors Ltd. in 2020.
While Norton’s future was looking mighty uncertain, Indian firm TVS has since stepped up and purchased the storied manufacturer and is restarting production. Alongside the debut of Norton’s redesigned V4SV superbike, the company has now announced the return of a new and improved Commando 961. On the surface, the new 961 model looks incredibly similar to the last version, maintaining the same styling and bodywork. The TVS-built Commando 961 will also retain its Garner-era predecessor’s suite of high-end componentry including Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes fore and aft, and a Spondon-designed frame.
The changes to the new model are primarily found under the proverbial hood. Now compliant with Euro 5 emissions standards, the liter-sized pushrod parallel-twin found in the forthcoming Commando 961 has been re-tuned and further modernized — and will presumably make as much if not more than its predecessor’s 80hp and 65ft-lbs of torque. Because TVS has opted to continue utilizing the “961” portion of the model’s name, we assume the bike will possess the same 961-cc displacement — an 88mm bore and 79mm stroke.
Pricing and availability for the 2023 Norton Commando 961 have yet to be revealed, though we expect the boutique-built British cafe racer to come in at around $25,000 to $35,000. More pictures and information on the forthcoming Commando 961 are expected to trickle out over the coming months, as well.