Norton Motorcycles may have had a tumultuous time of it (especially in the past couple of years), but not many OEMs that were around in 1898 are still here (in any form) in 2023. Therefore, it's not at all difficult to understand why the company is in the mood to celebrate.
That's why it announced six new limited edition bikes in honour of the occasion. A total of just 125 of these bikes will be made, each bearing a special livery in honour of a Norton model of the past.
The limited edition 125th anniversary bikes will be based upon the modern Norton Commando 961 SP, Norton Commando 961 CR, Norton V4SV, and Norton V4CR. Here's more about each of the six Limited Editions.
Norton Commando 961 LE 'Energette'
The original Energette was Norton's first motorcycle. It was produced from 1902 to 1906, and was basically a bicycle with an engine, much like many early motorcycles of the day. The 125th Anniversary bike draws styling cues from the original bike, including its deep yellow colourway and brown saddle.
Norton Commando 961 LE 'Manx'
This is probably the historic model you've heard the most about if you're at all interested in motorcycle road racing. Produced from 1937 to 1962, it was a serious contender at the Isle of Man TT, going on to win a total of 13 of those coveted races. The 125th Anniversary bike echoes the silver and black colour scheme of the original, and adds key modern touches like an Öhlins suspension and select carbon fibre bits.
Norton Commando 961 LE 'Transatlantic'
The original bike was created in 1972 so that Norton could go racing in the Formula 750 category with a slew of talented racers of the era. Phil Read, Tony Rutter, and Peter Williams were among those who found racing success with this bike. The modern 125th Anniversary interpretation draws the iconic red, white, and blue livery and interprets it in a 2023 context on a Commando 961.
Norton Commando 961 LE '588'
If you're at all familiar with the Norton F1, you'll likely have spotted that this is not a 588cc Wankel rotary engine. Like the other LE Commando 961s in the 125th anniversary series, Norton chose to draw inspiration from the livery of the original 588 for this bike, seen through a modern lens.
Norton V4SV '588'
The rotary Norton F1's 588cc engine may no longer grace either of the new Nortons that bears its livery, but the appeal of that look was apparently so nice, Norton had to use it twice. Don't want a Commando 961 and prefer a V4SV instead? Norton's got you.
Norton V4CR '588'
Did we say twice? We meant thrice. For naked looks on a new Norton V4 engine, the LE V4CR '588' is your ticket. The nostalgic nod to the '588' is there, but with wholly modern features including some absolutely stunning gold anodised OZ Racing wheels.
Pricing and Availability
If you're interested in one of the Norton 125th Anniversary Limited Edition Commando 961s (the Energette, Manx, Transatlantic, or 588), each of those costs £18,999.
Choose the Norton V4SV '588' and the price is £51,999. Finally, if you'd prefer the Norton V4CR '588' instead, the price is £49,999.
Both V4s also have the option to add a race exhaust as an additional accessory, should you wish to order it.
As for availability, Norton is only making 125 of these bikes across all six limited edition liveries. You can register your interest for whichever specific one strikes your fancy on the official Norton webpage. We'll include a link in our Sources. As of 22 November 2023, Norton is currently accepting orders from UK residents.