Norton’s Rotary: 1989 Norton Commander

Built in small numbers and never sold in the U.S., the Norton Commander rotary represents an unappreciated chapter in the story of the fabled British marque.

Right-Hand Side of 1989 Norton Commander
Invented by German engineer Felix Wankel in 1929 and further developed in the 1950s at NSU, the Wankel — or rotary engine — offered simplicity and smoothness thanks to its lack of reciprocating parts as well as high power-to-weight ratio and compact size - desirable attributes for a motorcycle engine.
Photo by Robert Smith