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NEC Birmingham Motorcycle live show 2021!


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Finally, Norton!

Unfortunately, disappointing news. I don't know what is your take of it, but I get a feeling they are never going to produce the Commando. Maybe I am wrong, but when I listen to "we have not taken a decision", and also, the give away is the bike is air/oil cooled, which I love, but would probably not bode well with the EURO emission regulation.

Would Norton really start to manufacture a bike which they won't be allowed to sell in Europe? I doubt it.

At least, they are going to make the 28 which have already sold in UK under the previous administration.

I was talking to the Triumph/Royal Enfield Houston dealer about Norton, and they are interested to represent them, if they commit.

 

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I went to the show on 12 December, had a good discussion with the team on the Norton stand. They will initially build a batch of 28 Commando 961’s to fulfil outstanding orders from the Garner era. Following that batch they advised that any future limited production would depend upon customer interest. I added my name to their list. I don’t know how they will resolve the Euro emissions compliance issue. The Garner era bikes were Euro 4 compliant, but it’s a low output motor already equipped with a 3 way cat, so maybe they could meet Euro 5 with some tweaking of the ECU. They explained about the QA & production engineering improvements that they have made since TVS acquired the company. I for one hope that TVS invests in Norton for the long term. The Garner company was chronically under capitalised & poorly managed 

3C3AFDFC-DE64-4301-8CDF-264E0473774B.jpeg

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22 minutes ago, Guzzimax said:

I went to the show on 12 December, had a good discussion with the team on the Norton stand. They will initially build a batch of 28 Commando 961’s to fulfil outstanding orders from the Garner era. Following that batch they advised that any future limited production would depend upon customer interest. I added my name to their list. I don’t know how they will resolve the Euro emissions compliance issue. The Garner era bikes were Euro 4 compliant, but it’s a low output motor already equipped with a 3 way cat, so maybe they could meet Euro 5 with some tweaking of the ECU. They explained about the QA & production engineering improvements that they have made since TVS acquired the company. I for one hope that TVS invests in Norton for the long term. The Garner company was chronically under capitalised & poorly managed 

3C3AFDFC-DE64-4301-8CDF-264E0473774B.jpeg

Looking at this bike from an engineering perspective what I see is what I saw when they were first released. Something that looks like a cobbled together backyard special. The Giveaways? the appalling looking banana link gear shift arrangement and the massive rear sprocket. Both indicate a sense of not having the funds to redesign things correctly and having to "make do" with out of date designs and componentry. The massive rear sprocket indicates to me that the primary drive ratio is very long to spin the transmission much faster than normal to reduce the torque loading on the trans to cope with the extra torque from the engine. Then you need to have a silly final drive ratio to bring it back down again. A transmission that's adequate in the first place is the proper engineering solution. A 180 deg crank in this day and age for a parallel twin, no not really.  No balance shafts, pushrods. This is just stuff I see from the outside as an amateur, good knows what the engineering's like inside. Good luck with it if you end up with one though.

Ciao     

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The Garner era Commando 961s were little changed from the original Kenny Dreer design (Norton Motorcycles Oregon). The engine is a 270 deg crank pushrod parallel twin with a balancer shaft and a dry sump

The problem is that there was never the budget to properly engineer the power train, and the Garner era bikes are dogged with various quality & reliability problems. A friend of my son used to work for Norton a few years ago, and I have the benefit of first-hand inside knowledge of some of the fundamental technical problems that those 961s suffer from. Unless you want one as an ornament never to ride, I’d never recommend buying a Garner era Commando. However a properly re-engineered Commando with its design and QA problems solved would be a different story. There would be a market for a retro air cooled parallel twin carrying the legendary Norton name, that had been re-engineered to be reliable, and backed up by a company with the financial resource to stand behind their product 

9CE018A1-A6BD-467E-A463-B7F335E841E1.jpeg

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38 minutes ago, Guzzimax said:

The Garner era Commando 961s were little changed from the original Kenny Dreer design (Norton Motorcycles Oregon). The engine is a 270 deg crank pushrod parallel twin with a balancer shaft and a dry sump

The problem is that there was never the budget to properly engineer the power train, and the Garner era bikes are dogged with various quality & reliability problems. A friend of my son used to work for Norton a few years ago, and I have the benefit of first-hand inside knowledge of some of the fundamental technical problems that those 961s suffer from. Unless you want one as an ornament never to ride, I’d never recommend buying a Garner era Commando. However a properly re-engineered Commando with its design and QA problems solved would be a different story. There would be a market for a retro air cooled parallel twin carrying the legendary Norton name, that had been re-engineered to be reliable, and backed up by a company with the financial resource to stand behind their product 

9CE018A1-A6BD-467E-A463-B7F335E841E1.jpeg

Ok so they have gone from a 270 degree balance shaft engine back to a 180 degree engine, is that correct? I didn't look back at the original Garner engine but what you say rings a bell. Personally I don't want a bespoke bike again after the Bimota ownership experience and that had a Ducati engine. I'd prefer a commonly available bike, well engineered and personalise it with quality aftermarket parts if I feel the need. best of both worlds. Decent engineering with hopefully ongoing development and source of spares and the ability to create an individual bike to some extent.

Ciao   

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1 hour ago, LowRyter said:

That is indeed a big rear sprocket.  :huh:

Yea it's a compromise alright. Big sprockets like that compromise suspension settings and suspension performance. Another thing i thought was a "bit naff" as the English say is the oil cooler lines of rubber hose and attached by Cobra clips. I like Cobra clips and use them on my bike for fuel lines but oil lines deserve AN fittings on a bike like this. Just sending me "engineering messages" here and they're not terribly good ones.

Ciao

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