After years of waiting, Norton has started delivery of their new Commando to the Canadian market.
According to Norton’s site, they celebrated the whole event not by attending a rally or something like that, but by having a black tie event at the British Consul General’s official residence in Toronto, with a bunch of Norton bigwigs and Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transportation, in attendance.
Does that mean you’ll be able to march down to a local dealership and slap your money down, demanding a new bike? The bikes don’t seem to be in the country in that sort of volume yet, but Norton says they’ve just moved into a new 45,000 square foot production facility in the UK that’s intended to help them boost volume without hurting quality control. One of the key motivations for this move was to enable them to sell more bikes on the export market.
Norton fans have been waiting a long time for these machines to appear. Arguably, this project started way back when Kenny Dreer bought the rights to the Norton name and started work on the 961 prototypes, and that was over ten years ago – if you have a collection of old motorcycle mags around from that era, you’ll find it was a pretty popular project. Around 2006, Dreer had to suspend production, and after that, UK businessman Stuart Garner bought the marque and started working on production in Donington Park, Leicestershire in the UK.
Our last update was in February, when we received word the bikes had received Canadian homologation. At the time, we noted that even some British buyers were getting very disgruntled at the time it was taking Norton to deliver their bikes. Hopefully, with the new production facility, that wait time will change.