2018 Norton 961 Cafe Racer

Norton 961 Cafe Racer

A historically important European motorcycle brand that has survived into 2018 is Norton. These motorcycles are hard to find as they don’t have many distributers in Australia or any other country for that matter. Nonetheless the rarity is part of the desire and what the brand represents.

The Norton Commando Cafe Racer is arguably the best model of the range as it is stylistically a retro remake and stereotypically what most would image a Norton motorcycle to look like. In terms of looks it’s arguably the best in real life than in pictures.  All the features from the engine covers to the strategically chrome and exposed rear springs, exhaust pipes and so forth work really well in 2018.

The engine is a climbed in-house design in a parallel configuration and uses push-road for the total 2 valves for each cylinder. This is not a modern engine in terms for design but it works for a high torque retro sounding motorcycle. For course there are modern parts such as the USD front suspension all by Brembo, EFI, brakes and ABS the usual features you’d expect in a modern motorcycle.

Being hand built there are few concrete specifications and a price tag to go with it. The price for the Norton 961 Cafe Racer starts from around $36,000 which quite expensive. But if you really want a real Norton then this is the motorcycle to buy.

Norton Commando 961 Key Specifications
Engine: 2 cylinder  Push-rod (EFI)
Capacity: 961cc
Power/Torque: 58 Kw @ 6500 RPM 90 Nm @ 5200 RPM
Gearbox: 5 speed 
Kerb Weight: 220 Kg Approx
Performance: 0-100kph NA seconds Approx Max Speed 100 Kph Approx
Fuel Economy: 17 litre fuel tank
Seat height: 813 mm
Dimensions: LXXXX x WXXX x HXXXX
Recommended Retail Price: Approx $36,000 (2018)


Honda CBR300F

Honda CBR300F

Another surprise release (From my POV anyway) from Honda in Australia is the naked version of the CBR300 series! The CBR300F is based on the newly released CBR300R without much of the fairing and a few hundred dollars off the price tag.

The growing motorcycle trend for learner riders to choose a bike that can be easily converted to a cafe racer. What’s a cafe racer? Well a cafe racer is essentially a motorcycle used for commuting but it has to look retro cool. An older motorcycle is usually the basis for the bike but a growing number choose more modern or new motorcycle to base their creations from purely for reliability!

Unfortunately the CBR300F does not meet the latest trend but it’s probably a pretty decent learner or commuter motorcycle to pick. As a learner class first, it features ABS brakes as standard. Apart from that this is yet any decent motorcycle to choose from when looking for a new bike.

(Personally I’d choose a CB400 through because there are heaps more ‘cafe racer’ style mods that can be made the only problem with the CB400 is the price.)

Honda CBR300F Key Specifications
Engine:   1 cylinder 4-stroke DOHC (EFI)
Capacity:  286cc
Power/Torque:  Approx 24 Kw @ 8500 RPM 27 Nm @ 7200 RPM
Gearbox:   6 speed
Kerb Weight:  161kg
Performance:  0-100kph N/A seconds Approx
Max Speed N/A Kph Approx 
Fuel Economy:   13.3 litre fuel tank
Approx 3 litres per 100km
Seat height:  785mm
Dimensions: L2035 X W720 X H1120mm
Features: ABS standard
Wheels: 120-70-17F  140-70-17R
 Recommended Retail Price:  $5000 APPROX (2014)