The historic British motorcycle brand Norton is set to return to the United States with its Commando 961’s next year. Heading up Norton’s push into the US market is former Ducati North America CEO Dan Van Epps, who also served time with Ducati in Bologna, acting as the company’s Director of Overseas Markets and Head of Product Marketing. Starting in May 2011, Van Epps and his crew will begin importing Norton Commando 961 Sport, Café Racer, and SE models. Built off the classic Norton lines, the Commando 916 series features a 916cc fuel-injected parallel twin motor, along with Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes.
“We have been producing the new 961 Commandos for almost two years, and the orders have been well beyond our most enthusiastic expectations. We’ve had to ramp-up production much earlier than anticipated to grow on pace with our customer’s requests”, noted owner and CEO Stuart Garner. “The exciting news is that we are now ready to enter the important US market, and we’ve chosen Dan Van Epps be CEO of Norton Motorcycles USA. Dan’s depth of experience, and our policy here at Norton to add to the team only the best motorcycle industry professionals, makes him a perfect fit.”
While having the Norton brand back and selling the United States is great news, we eagerly await what the British company will come out with next. Racing their rotary-powered NRV588 at Bonneville last year, news of a NRV700 rotary superbike have been wafting for the past year. With over 200hp and weighing only 268 lbs dry, a Norton rotary would not be a hard sell to power hungry American riders, and we think we know just the bloggers to give the bike a test ride (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).