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Norton 961 Bonneville Speed Record

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycles (Modern)' started by TonyA, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. TonyA


    Jan 16, 2015
    I was trying to remember what the top speed was and came across this again . How quickly I can forget the good things that have already been done on this bike.

    Norton 961 record set at Bonneville .jpg
  2. TonyA


    Jan 16, 2015
    And this is with NO fairing folks !
  3. Voodooo

    Voodooo VIP MEMBER

    Aug 10, 2016
    This is what I was looking for! I remembered it as well.
    Thank you Tony.
  4. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    Nice one Tony, I had forgotten all about that too!

    That’s impressive.

    Funnily enough, when folk ask me what mine is like to ride I do often say it’s rather like a Buell, but not as quick.

    Looks like I’ll have to amend that statement!

    I’ve never been to Bonneville, but from what I gather the surface and the altitude actually mean a bike would be faster tarmac at sea level. If that’s true then ‘over 130’ is a realistic claim.
  5. Britfan60


    Jan 5, 2014
    Cool. Pretty much in line with popular assumptiin. Wonder what the dials read.
  6. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Aug 25, 2009
    There are a few Norton LSR pilots on the Classic forum that will tell you that running well on the salt is a balancing act.
    The air is thin at 6000' above sea level, so it's difficult to make power with a normally aspirated motor.
    But because the air IS thin, drag is also reduced.
    If the salt is dry and hard you could have good traction,
    If wet, a lot of slipping and sliding.
    And if you're lucky, Mother Nature may provide a tail wind.

    The 961 that was used for the record run was prep'ed for Bonneville by Matt Capri.
    It involved Stuart delivering a new 961 SE to Matt's shop in Lomita California.
    Then a careful tare-down, inspection, and a very careful reassembly by Matt and Carlos.
    But it was completely stock - no special components.

    A little background on Matt:

    Matt had a great deal of experience on the salt and was impressed by the 961's design.
    He was already well known for his speed parts for the Hinckley Bonneville twins.
    His 1087cc Magnum Bonneville kit produced 115 rwhp (125 at the crank) and was completely streetable.
    He had already begone planning high performance parts for the 961.
    An 1103cc Commando kit was planned with 100+hp.
    He had prototype billet alloy barrels fab'ed and ready.
    Then he had financial issues and retired in 2016.

    Oh, what could have been.....
    thebrownman, Britfan60 and Bluedog 55 like this.
  7. Asad


    May 2, 2018
    Will Norton ever come out with a bigger engine commando? Are parallel twins capable of being bigger....1200cc for example or even bigger? Would love to see Norton come up with a hot rod bike like the triumph rocket iii yet stay true to the original form of the bike.
  8. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    I highly doubt Norton will make a bigger Commando. I think they struggled enough getting the bike through Euro 4 and making it bigger would make that exponentially more difficult I think. It’s air cooled and 2 valves per cylinder, and getting a design like that through future tougher emissions, whilst allowing reasonable performance, is gonna be nigh on impossible.

    Can parallel twins be 1200cc... have you not looked in a Triumph dealer recently? They have some excellent 1200 twins.

    For Norton to do similar would mean a total new design. And to go head to head with Triumph on any of their designs would be very brave... or stupid... cos the Triumphs really are rather good.
  9. TonyA


    Jan 16, 2015
    I hope the Atlas is a good bike .
    Fast Eddie likes this.
  10. TonyA


    Jan 16, 2015
    If you want that get a Triumph Thunderbird 1700cc . Or BMW or the new Triumph speed twin.
  11. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Aug 25, 2009
    I'm seriously looking at the Speed Twin for my next acquisition.
    The 900/1200cc engine design was introduced in 2016, three years of problem free production has proven it to be bullet proof.
    The Speed Twin also has mag wheels, dual Brembos up front, aluminum swingarm, and is 20lbs lighter than the Thruxton.

    There are now two companies offering high performance cams for the Triumph 1200cc engine.
    The TEC cam claims to boost hp from stock 97hp (88 rwhp) to 105rwhp with just a cam swap out.
    I'm skeptical of this type of claim, but there is evidence that they don't bull**it.
    They posted the dyno charts and they have a pretty good record with the 900cc cams that they introduced last year.
    Quite a few TriumphRat forum members did the 900cc swap out and the results where great.
    Stock 900cc has about 56 crank hp, about 48rwhp.
    With the TEC cam, free flowing air filter, cat removal, and after market slip on silencers, they are seeing close to 70rwhp.
    20-22rwhp increase, with no other engine work.

    Not bad at all.
  12. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    Since the topic has been brought up by others- ( I've been told to shut up about the Triumph on this forum)

    After riding a Thruxton R for a couple of years here are my thoughts on the Tec cam etc.

    The 1200 HP Thruxton motor has a lot of power as is, likely more than most road riders can fully utilize. Enough to lap the IOM at 109mph ,Thruxton R version, with Steve Parrish onboard.
    I read about the Tec performance camshaft but have some doubts.
    If this really improves overall performance why wouldn't the 50 engineers who worked for five years to design the new bikes, have just used that profile? Certainly they know more about cam design for their engines than TEC does.
    I suspect it does what all " hotter" cams do.
    They rob some grunt from the midrange but add to the top. It does give a bigger brag number, which a lot of guys want, but can also detune the bike for real use.
    The strong midrange is what makes that bike, unless some independent dyno testing shows that I'm off base.
    Decat, yes, it's been shown that these add a bit of power right through the range.
    I've got one sitting here but can't quite decide if the extra noise is good or bad.
    Ten years ago , no question, go loud.
    Now I'm not so in love with loud pipes.

    The biggest problem with that Thruxton R is that it's all done as is.
    Most of those that have been " customized" don't look as good as the stock bike.
    I suspect the same is true with messing around trying to improve that engine.

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  13. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    Perhaps there are emission elements to the stock cam design that are not obstacles to aftermarket cam designers ?
  14. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    That could be and my concern about power loss may be unwarranted.
    But then I think back to last summer when in Oregon along with another rider on a Thrux R, we spent the day roadracing on snakey roads.
    The traction control light was flashing on nearly every corner exit, indicating that the computer was cutting power back due to wheel slippage...do we really need more?

  15. Craig

    Craig VIP MEMBER

    Dec 20, 2005
    Just for the straights worntorn , just the straight flat stuff .... plus you can flick the baby sitter off .... not for me but maybe others ....
    worntorn likes this.
  16. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Aug 25, 2009

    On the RAT forum there is a thread dedicated to the 900cc TEC cam.
    Owners praise the change in power and overall power delivery.
    This from people who chose the 900cc for it's low RPM max torque, rideability.

    "The 1200 HP Thruxton motor has a lot of power as is, likely more than most road riders can fully utilize."
    I'll never argue your point, it's true.
    But, just like milk, everything goes better with more horsepower.:D

    My apologies for polluting this thread.
    My last word on topic.
    Britfan60 and worntorn like this.

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