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Norton 961 Commando

Road vehicles

The Norton 961/SS Commando is a motorcycle that was produced by Norton Motorcycles, the Oregon based company that bought the rights to the Norton brand name. Owner Kenny Dreer progressed from restoring and upgrading Norton Commandos to producing whole machines. He modernised the design and in the early 2000s went into production of the VR880. This machine was built on the basis of the original Commando, with upgraded components and a significantly modified engine. Dreer produced 50 of these machines before deciding to build an all-new motorcycle. With funding from Oliver Curme, Dreer hired a small design and development team led by Paul Gaudio, Simon-Pierre Smith, and Patrick Leyshock The 961 Commando never reached production in America due to lack of funding, and the company closed its doors in April 2006. The Commando 961 SS combined traditional Norton cafe racer styling with new technology. This included carbon fibre wheels to reduce weight, a counterbalanced engine, and a chro-moly tubular steel frame.