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2011 Norton Commando sport 961SE

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycles (Modern)' started by cliffa, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. cliffa


    May 26, 2013
    Hi all,
    Looking for some advice please...

    A friend of mine has asked me if I'm interested in his Black 2011 Norton Commando sport 961SE with under 2000 Km on the clock. So I have a few questions...
    1) How sorted were they by 2011?
    2) What should I look out for if I take it for a test drive?
    3) Were there any recalls for that year that I should see were carried out?
    4) Now I know this is a tough one to answer, but what's it worth? I live in Switzerland, so bike prices are a little inflated, so just looking for ballpark figures.


  2. richard-7


    Feb 24, 2014
    In my opinion 2013 is when they really started getting better. 2014’s were greatest improvements and then by 2015 they slowly got better sorted and continue to do so.
    BLIGHTYBRIT/SF likes this.
  3. cliffa


    May 26, 2013
    Thanks richard-7, so would it be fair to say that a 2011 is best avoided unless its really cheap?
    contours likes this.


    Feb 28, 2016
    Pretty accurate answer I’d say
  5. richard-7


    Feb 24, 2014
    Well, if you bought it, it would be best to tear the engine down and do a full rebuild. Then consider a newer ECU. So a great project and definitely a worthwhile pursuit for the right money.
  6. Raphi


    Aug 17, 2015
    The ECU should not be changed in my opinion. 2011 must be an OMEX! Genuine Bosch ignition coil installed as well, other sensors aren’t Bosch though...
    Oil consumption is the most important question you should ask your friend.
    I will give you a call this weekend cliffa
    Raphi, Switzerland
    richard-7 likes this.
  7. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Aug 25, 2009
    Good advice from Richard.
    Although, rebuilding/blueprinting the motor is expensive, there is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly what is inside your motor.

    Is your friend someone you trust?
    Have you asked him what service he has performed or had performed on the bike?
    Start there. Hopefully, the service has included re-torquing the head.

    I followed the early 961 buyers on the UK NOC site from around 2009-2010.
    It seemed there were quite a few owners with issues that created a bit of controversy around the bike.
    Most common were:

    Cylinder bores oversized for pistons
    1 that owner's mechanic found to be .060 oversize on a new bike.

    Wrong type/size of piston rings
    causing poor seal and oil vapor in exhaust.

    Chinese main bearing problems
    cause of engine noise and potential main failure.

    Cam chain tensioner problems
    This was raised by a NOC member who claimed to be a former Norton employee. He claimed the problem us never solved completely. But I was never able to find a case of a cam chain failure on any forum.

    On my 2013 CR I have had a tank replaced due to 2 large blisters on the bottom front of the tank.
    Also, I had an electric starter fail, and had the oil-in-airbox fix done to stop the breather from forcing oil into the airbox.
    Raphi and richard-7 like this.
  8. cliffa


    May 26, 2013
    Hi BritTwit, apologies for the delayed reply. And thanks for the reply. To be honest he is more of an acquaintance I suppose. However I’m certain he’s not the kind of guy who would rip me off. Believe it or not he’s already the second owner, with less than 2k on the clock. I’ll ask him if he knows what service history it has, but it won’t have much at that mileage I suppose.


  9. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    Just my personal opinion, and as a very happy 961 owner:

    Unless you are prepared to do the kind of work that Richard mentions, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.

    Pay a little more for a later bike. The factory is constantly fixing / improving / updating. Therefore, the simple rule (IMHO) is: the later the better.

    I see you’re in Switzerland, talk to Fritz Egli about his experiences with Norton in the early days. I’ll say no more about that.

    But you SHOULD buy one, a 961 would be a fabulous compliment to the wonderful roads you have there. You’ll love it.

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