What’s the best none Norton Norton ?

Clive

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The winner of the best non norton is.......

So I wonder how many bikers/ ex bikers/ wannabe bikers/track marshals would come up to you in the supermarket carpark/ track pits/ driveway and tell you it was the best looking bike they had ever seen. And how much better would I feel riding it along the local 40mph bypass? Admittedly the potential for willy-waving at the local biker pub is pretty massive.....

Maybe I should go off on a rant now about how tv shows were better in black and white and this terrible rock and roll music will never catch on....
 

Fast Eddie

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The winner of the best non norton is.......

That looks like an awesome machine.

But...

When I asked the question ‘what is the best none Norton Norton?’ what I was trying to find was a bike that exhibited similar characteristics, similar joys of ownership, similar providers of the ‘feel good factor’ that a Norton definitely provides, however difficult it is to articulate !

Personally, however good the KTM is, it doesn’t seem to tick many of the Norton-esque factors.
 
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The winner of the best non norton is.......

Is the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS no longer in the running ? It hasn't even had a chance to be road tested yet has it ?
 

Voodooo

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Can’t buy any new norton now. No 1200. No Superlite. What you can buy is a limited KTM Superduke 1290RR one of 500 if you’re lucky. Annnndddddddd it’s a proven performer. Norton hasn’t proven anything yet. Good luck.
 

Stephen_Spencer

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Doesn’t need to be a winner, yet, so let’s keep going:D! There’s plenty of machines out there and as there seems to no real rules to this thread - how’s about this beauty?

04DC5541-F377-49C4-A354-98E5055AAE76.jpeg
 

BritTwit

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Pretty slick Guzzi.
Are those air suspension shocks?
Not sure about the peek-a-boo headlight in the fairing though.
I like the front fender hugging the tire, but its flat sided flanks are a bit plain, should have some slits or openings.
But it will definitely blind everyone on the road when the Sun is out.
 

Voodooo

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That looks like an awesome machine.

But...

When I asked the question ‘what is the best none Norton Norton?’ what I was trying to find was a bike that exhibited similar characteristics, similar joys of ownership, similar providers of the ‘feel good factor’ that a Norton definitely provides, however difficult it is to articulate !

Personally, however good the KTM is, it doesn’t seem to tick many of the Norton-esque factors.
I’m a bit confused by what you’re saying.
you asked what’s the best non norton. Many bikes have great characteristics and joys. When comparing a modern bike to a Norton, all others are better, their is no new Norton to be had.
 

Voodooo

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Is the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS no longer in the running ? It hasn't even had a chance to be road tested yet has it ?
Although I like the triple RS, something about the KTM I like more.
 
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Although I like the triple RS, something about the KTM I like more.
Awesome to ride no doubt but the looks are too angular and hard to differentiate the engine from the plastic mouldings . Starting to feel like a dinosaur but give me an air-cooled twin, a bike that says here's an engine then add only what is needed to enjoy it!
 

Fast Eddie

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I’m a bit confused by what you’re saying.
you asked what’s the best non norton. Many bikes have great characteristics and joys. When comparing a modern bike to a Norton, all others are better, their is no new Norton to be had.
Well, you asked, so here goes. Although, to be honest, having two yourself, I thought you’d get ‘it’ more than most!

For me, the joy of the 961 was its character. Every ride was an ‘event’. A real visceral, sense tingling experience. Or, in another word: FUN !

By comparison almost every modern bike (in my personal opinion at least) feels stale by comparison unless your doing 170mph+, irrespective of how good they actually are (and there’s no argument there, they are all awesomely good).

Also, many modern bikes offer utterly unnecessary performance that is inaccessible to 99% of riders 99% of the time. Having to constantly try and tame this ridiculous performance, constantly be in fear of unwittingly riding at twice the legal limit, or having to ride the thing outside of its designed ‘zone’ just isn’t fun riding in my book.

So, my original quest was for a bike that compared favourably with the Norton for ‘character’ and ‘fun’ and yet also offered more performance and reliability at the same time, but not necessary 200mph plus license, life or liberty taking performance !

I thought I’d found a good balance with the Monster 1200S. Compared to your average in line 4 it seemed very characterful. But I hardly rode it. I rode my Brit bikes instead. My conclusion is that however good it was, it just didn’t make each ride into the kind of character filled ‘event’ that I was looking for.

I‘m not arguing against sports bikes per se, those that want one should buy one as they’ve NEVER been so damned good, and probably won’t be for ever either. But for those that don’t, for those that want Norton 961 character without buying a Norton 961, what are the best options.

That‘s the question as best as I can describe it.
 

Voodooo

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Well, you asked, so here goes. Although, to be honest, having two yourself, I thought you’d get ‘it’ more than most!

For me, the joy of the 961 was its character. Every ride was an ‘event’. A real visceral, sense tingling experience. Or, in another word: FUN !

By comparison almost every modern bike (in my personal opinion at least) feels stale by comparison unless your doing 170mph+, irrespective of how good they actually are (and there’s no argument there, they are all awesomely good).

Also, many modern bikes offer utterly unnecessary performance that is inaccessible to 99% of riders 99% of the time. Having to constantly try and tame this ridiculous performance, constantly be in fear of unwittingly riding at twice the legal limit, or having to ride the thing outside of its designed ‘zone’ just isn’t fun riding in my book.

So, my original quest was for a bike that compared favourably with the Norton for ‘character’ and ‘fun’ and yet also offered more performance and reliability at the same time, but not necessary 200mph plus license, life or liberty taking performance !

I thought I’d found a good balance with the Monster 1200S. Compared to your average in line 4 it seemed very characterful. But I hardly rode it. I rode my Brit bikes instead. My conclusion is that however good it was, it just didn’t make each ride into the kind of character filled ‘event’ that I was looking for.

I‘m not arguing against sports bikes per se, those that want one should buy one as they’ve NEVER been so damned good, and probably won’t be for ever either. But for those that don’t, for those that want Norton 961 character without buying a Norton 961, what are the best options.

That‘s the question as best as I can describe it.
I understand what you’re saying now. And yes I do have 2 and I’ll never get rid of them. I agree they have the looks, feel and character no other bike can give. Yes the 961 is unique.
But you also sold yours? You wanted a Superlite? And bought a monster that you once said was one of the best bikes you owned?
I’ll agree the super duke is odd looking and yet it’s rated as one of the best Streetfighter bikes. Would I buy one? Possibly. Do I need that kind of performance or speed? Nope, nobody does. But as of now, What choice in Norton do we have ?
Nothing. Even if Norton was producing the 1200 or Superlite, here in America we won’t have the opportunity to buy one. Nor will we have the opportunity to buy a Atlas. I don’t see Norton available here anytime soon.
If I had my choice in a British bike today, it would be a CCM.
I’ve called and asked them on social media and either get ignored or told no. We do not sell to America or they’ll say someday soon.
 

Fast Eddie

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I sold the 961 as it wasn’t quite good enough in terms of performance or perceived long term reliability or support and the ‘character’ part is fulfilled by my collection of old Brit clunkers.

The Monster was indeed the best bike I’ve ever owned in terms of every measurable aspect. But I hardly rode it as even that lacked the character I want. To be honest, had it not been for covid and the lock downs, I would have used it for the intended European trips and track days etc, and I would probably still have it.

The SL was an entirely different genre. That was going to be my track day tool. If they ever do produce it I might be interested again, I might not, I think my interest in such a focused tool has waned somewhat.

Maybe the faster and more reliable 961 that I want doesn’t exist.

On another note... I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for CCM to launch in the USA Scott cos they’ve been saying that they ‘might one day’ for decades now! Even here in the U.K. they don’t really have a dealership network as such, they prefer to sell direct with servicing and repairs carried out either at the factory or by mobile mechanics that go to the customers home and do the work there. It’s a nice model I guess as it works for them in the scale that they’re happy operating here. But it clearly wouldn’t work in the USA and entering the US market would be an entirely different ball game for them.
 
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robs ss

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You seem to be going round the same circle again.
Subjectivity - beauty is in the eye of the beholder - you want your version of the best noise, "feel", ridebility, etc, etc...
I suspect you're chasing an elusive spirit - maybe nothing will fullfill your dream.
Maybe, just maybe, the best non-Norton (in this context) is still a Norton.

Edit: I would not change mine for any bike in the world - regardless of cost. It just makes me smile every time!
 

Fast Eddie

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You seem to be going round the same circle again.
Subjectivity - beauty is in the eye of the beholder - you want your version of the best noise, "feel", ridebility, etc, etc...
I suspect you're chasing an elusive spirit - maybe nothing will fullfill your dream.
Maybe, just maybe, the best non-Norton (in this context) is still a Norton.

Edit: I would not change mine for any bike in the world - regardless of cost. It just makes me smile every time!
I think you’re right... chasing a unicorn !

Although I’m not really going round in circles, I was just trying to properly explain the original question, as best I can at least.

Truth is I’ve already given up and moved on! Which is why I enjoy my current stable so much, got all the character I need, and of course, it still includes an ‘old’ Commando which isn’t going anywhere!
 
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