961 is back !

BritTwit

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Thanks for taking the time to write up your experience. It would be great to see a factory representative on here.
I would love to see that, but it would probably be a double edged sword for TVS/Norton.
Great for them to tell us all about their wonderful products, plans, etc...
But they would also have to suffer the slings and arrows from irate members.
While I think the factory having a presence here would show that they have confidence, and stand behind their products, let's be practical, forums can be a very combative, and some times abusive environment.
Knowing all this, I hope someone at Norton still has the onions to join this forum, and interact with members.
 

Fast Eddie

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I would love to see that, but it would probably be a double edged sword for TVS/Norton.
Great for them to tell us all about their wonderful products, plans, etc...
But they would also have to suffer the slings and arrows from irate members.
While I think the factory having a presence here would show that they have confidence, and stand behind their products, let's be practical, forums can be a very combative, and some times abusive environment.
Knowing all this, I hope someone at Norton still has the onions to join this forum, and interact with members.
No chance.

They’d be stark freakin’ ravin’ mad !!
 
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Thanks Stephen glad you enjoyed its really interesting seeing everyone else's take from the show on social media. For a bit of perspective on bike history.

Yep firmly in the vintage camp having said that when times were better I worked my way through 28 bikes total wise now, few highlights outside of nortons being rd350lc's, did 2,000 miles in a week on a rd250lc rzv500r v4 2 stroke, cbr1000rr fireblade, 3 bmw gs's one of which is currently in the stable being a 1200gs rallye 2018 full to the rafters with tech being full te spec so if Norton had a modern stripped back adv like an Enfield himmy but with more HP an lighter that'd be sat in my garage now I'd say the adv market is huge with my age group. Had Quite a few gixers, vstrom 1000 and 650s + an ex iom 675 race bike, so I've ridden a few different packages over the years the modern stuff gets swapped out either every 6 months or 12 months usually to keep the miles sensible on them and even now my daily is the 650ss from 1967 which is about to do its 4th full winter as I don't have a car an the gs is under a sheet at the mo. An the 1927 16h is about to do its 2nd winter now I've got the mag back. An im gonna be running my 68 Commando in over winter all being well :) nearly done so hopefully that gives a bit of background to me commenting on the 961 an what I'd like to see from Norton with some of the breadth of bikes I've owned and rode. Cut me in half an it says Norton.
 
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storm42

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961 is back !
961 is back !
961 is back !
961 is back !
961 is back !
961 is back !
961 is back !
961 is back !
961 is back !
961 is back !
 
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Just noticed watching a video of the 2011 961 and the first oil coolers were small. Similar to the new 961? Wondering was the change to a larger unit a cooling thing or a cost/availability reason.
 

Stu Bodycote

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All three variations of the Donington cooler ie the silver bar and plate aluminium one and the two different black cooler designs, are much larger...so I assume it was a design thought more than cost.
 

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All three variations of the Donington cooler ie the silver bar and plate aluminium one and the two different black cooler designs, are much larger...so I assume it was a design thought more than cost.
And given that they also reinforced the mounts, they likely considered the weight of the cooler.
 

Fast Eddie

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And given that they also reinforced the mounts, they likely considered the weight of the cooler.
I think the current oil cooler mount mods are primarily aimed at holding the cooler firmly out of the way of the front mudguard. SGs team considered it acceptable for the cooler to hang down and be smacked by the mudguard !
 

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Nothing new but not a bad writeup about the feel and purpose of the new 961. Of course the differences between old and new 961 are overblown - we need to get used to that I suppose.

 

BritTwit

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I'm no engineer, but that curved gear linkage still looks 'wrong'. IMHO :)
The story about this that I was told is that the design was a result of Dreer running out of development money, and needing to move to production, or risk financial failure. This issue prevented Dreer from fully developing several of the 961's components.

On the 952 prototype, Dreer located the shift lever in the traditional position, below and behind the clutch. However, this necessitated a very long and "flexy" shifter pawl assembly that provided a very poor engagement feel for the rider. This issue was never resolved, so when the 961 design was finalized, Dreer decided to return to the original design with the strange reverse lever mounted in the middle of the primary cover. It was the Donington folks who decided to replace the Dreer lever with the curvy shift rod assembly. The curvy rod design actually resulted in an improvement in shifter feel.

One of the other areas that suffered from lack of development funds, and time was the gear driven camshaft. The 952 did indeed have a cam gear drive, not a cam chain. However, the gears were very noisy. Once again, time, and money ran out, and the 961 design reverted to the chain driven design.
 

BritTwit

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Nothing new but not a bad writeup about the feel and purpose of the new 961. Of course the differences between old and new 961 are overblown - we need to get used to that I suppose.

Another nice, very cursory view of the NEW 961, but there still is nothing in this report to sink your teeth into.
Dr Bob needs to have a couple of long-term tests done to show that the 961 is finally FIXED.
The test doesn't need to show perfection, just that the 961 now operates like any other modern EFI motorcycle in function and reliability over the long-term.
If this is done successfully, there will be plenty of interest in the 961.

 

Stephen_Spencer

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Another nice, very cursory view of the NEW 961, but there still is nothing in this report to sink your teeth into.
Dr Bob needs to have a couple of long-term tests done to show that the 961 is finally FIXED.
The test doesn't need to show perfection, just that the 961 now operates like any other modern EFI motorcycle in function and reliability over the long-term.
If this is done successfully, there will be plenty of interest in the 961.
No doubt the long term tests will come BT, but if somebody wants a new 961 I don’t think a lack of reliability with a previous incarnation will stop many. If they have any lingering doubts about the ’its all fixed’ claims, they would likely be satisfied with a two year warranty. Don’t see too many people waiting 1 or 2 years to make such a purchase.

Also there may be a view that Birmingham Norton are still newly launched without a clear future (which start-up does), or certainly a clear future for the model. There may be a ‘get a new one now whilst you can‘ thought for some.
 

BritTwit

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Well that's certainly a positive outlook, but I think the 961's past reputation will be a bit of a dark cloud on sales until the all of the bad press is finally blown out to sea with some really positive, meaningful tests.
The factory should be aggressive in doing this so as to show that they are completely confident in the redesigned machine.
 
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