Norton Motorcycles, the Oregon company trying to revive the Norton name with their new Norton Commando 961, has suspended operations. Paul Gaudio, Norton’s Director of Design and Development, when contacted by The Kneeslider, said:
We have decided to suspend operations while we continue to talk to investors.
We remain committed to making new Nortons, and will continue to explore all opportunities including partnership and sale of the company.
The bikes continue to be well accepted while the brand and market demand remains strong. It is now our singular focus to bring the required funding to the company, or to find new partnerships or ownership that can carry Norton to production and beyond.
The new company was founded by Kenny Dreer, a long time Norton enthusiast, restorer and manufacturer of the Norton Commando VR880, an old ’70s vintage Commando rebuilt with new technology. Trademark issues along with parts supply problems eventually brought about the end of the VR880 and started the development of the new Norton Commando.
The new Commando was just reviewed in the May 2006 Cycle World where it received a very positive writeup. Unfortunately it looks like the money ran out before the bike could be produced in volume. Perhaps an investor will come along to get things rolling again, perhaps not. Norton fans will have to wait a little longer for their next new Commando.