2022 Shannons Summer Timed Online Auction

1988 Norton Commander P53 Rotary 588cc Motorcycle





Engine 588cc twin-rotor
Gearbox Five-speed manual
Colour Burgundy
Trim Black
Wheels Alloy spoked
Brakes Disc/disc


This lot is no longer available

Produced between 1988 and 1992, the Commander was a large touring motorcycle manufactured by Norton and powered by a Wankel rotary engine. The first Norton Wankel motorcycle had been the 1987 Classic which used an air-cooled engine, built as a special edition of just 100 machines. It was followed by the air-cooled Interpol 2 model. The Commander was it water-cooled successor, liquid cooling being adopted for greater power and reliability. A twin-rotor design, the 588cc Wankel rotary produced 63kW at 9000rpm and 75Nm at 7000rpm, mated to a five-speed gearbox on a 1486mm wheelbase. The Commander was primarily a tourer with full bodywork and a tall windscreen, with panniers integral with the fibreglass bodywork. Two types of Commander were produced, the P52 single-seat model for police use and the dual-seat P53 civilian tourer. The Commander's final-drive chain was protected by a full enclosure, while parts such as wheels, forks, switchgear, clocks and brakes were brought-in Yamaha items from its XJ900. Detachable Krauser K2 panniers were later adopted on the P53. Just 253 Norton Commanders were built, making this an extremely rare bike.