Norton Motorcycles To Launch Commando By July. In October last year, one of the oldest and most iconic motorcycle manufacturer, Norton Motorcycles, announced that it had signed a deal with India’s Kinetic Group to bring its motorcycles to our two-wheeler market in 2018. According to our sources, Norton is set to launch the Commando Sport and Commando Cafe Racer by the end of July 2018. In the initial phase, these bikes will be sold in limited quantities via the CBU (completely built unit) route. However, work is underway to set up a manufacturing unit at Kinetic-Norton’s facility in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Once the plant is set up, the Kinetic Group will begin manufacturing these bikes with localised parts to reduce prices. Local manufacturing is expected to begin in late-2018 or early-2019.
Since these are highly exclusive and expensive bikes that are made in limited quantities, the quality and fit-finish should not be an issue even with local manufacturing. However, the Norton Dominator is likely to be tricky to manufacture in India given that the body panels are made of carbon-fibre, which requires extensive tooling.
The Commando range consists of the 961 Sport and the 961 Cafe Racer. While the Sport is more of an everyday neo-classic roadster, the Cafe Racer will be the sportier of the two with its clip-on handlebars and small flyscreen. The Dominator will be the more exclusive motorcycle featuring top-of-the-line Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes and lightweight carbon-fibre bodywork.
The Commando and the Dominator will be powered by the same 961cc, air-cooled, parallel twin that makes 80PS at 6500rpm and 90Nm at 5200rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox.
The Norton motorcycles will be sold through the Kinetic-owned MotoRoyale, which also deals with the sales and service of MV Agusta motorcycles. MotoRoyale is set to add SWM Motorcycles under its umbrella soon. Norton is also working on a new platform and a small capacity engine which will eventually make its way to India and other emerging markets as well.
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