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The Quail Motorcycle Gathering Will Celebrate 50 Years of the Norton Commando

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic Norton Commando at this year’s event, set for Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, CA.


The Quail Motorcycle Gathering is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic Norton Commando at this year’s event, set for Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, CA.

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The Quail Motorcycle Gathering will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Norton Commando. Pictured here is an example of the 1968 Norton Commando 750 Fastback.

Each year, attendees at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering marvel at the more than 400 motorcycles, scooters and bicycles across a variety of categories, from rare specimens in the Antique class to the most innovative designs in the Custom/Modified class. This year the festivities will be centered around the 50th Anniversary of the Norton Commando, setting the tone for the event while spotlighting one of the most recognizable and influential bikes in motorcycling history.

Norton Motorcycles unveiled the Commando at the lavish 1967 Earls Court Show in London. The Commando was an immediate hit thanks to the revolutionary “Isolastic” frame-dampening system that eliminated the excessive vibrations that plagued its predecessors. Over the next decade more than 50,000 units were produced and sold, and by 1972 it had been awarded “Machine of the Year” five consecutive times by the U.K.’s Motor Cycle News. The bike’s uniquely smooth ride, the unforgettable “Norton Girls” advertising campaign, and TT racing success in the early 1970s all contributed to the Commando’s success both in the UK and abroad.

Norton produced several Commando models in a variety of colors, like the 1970 Commando 750 “S” Type pictured here.

“Personally, Norton Commandos struck a chord with me even before I owned my first motorcycle,” remarked Gordon McCall, Director of Motorsports at The Peninsula Signature Events. “I was just mesmerized by it, and I think a lot of motorcyclists had the same reaction I did. I don’t know that there’s a specific model that resonated more with people that were into British bikes.”

The Quail Motorcycle Council is working hard to bring this feature to life, curating a variety of Commandos as well as other Norton models that serve as the centerpiece for this year’s event. “We are working on getting one of every Commando model as well as one of every color from those early years,” explained Lorin Guy, advisor to The Quail Motorcycle Council. “This was the late 1960s, when everything coming out of England was flashy and colorful and the Norton Commando was no exception. This motorcycle is worthy of recognition and we look forward to paying tribute to its unique place in history.”

The exhibit at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering will pay tribute to this influential motorcycle. Pictured is a 1975 Norton Commando 850 Interstate.

Witness this celebration of the Norton Commando as well as motorcycles in ten other classes only at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering on Saturday, May 6, 2017. Discounted pre-sale tickets are available online at

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