I confess I’ve never been up close to a Norton motorcycle.

Not because I’m all that young, but that this iconic UK marque has been away a long, long time.

Norton began building motorcycles around the turn of the 20th century, and gained notoriety throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s, winning numerous high-profile races.

The Norton Commando, which launched in 1968, was their last and most successful street bike before the factory doors closed in 1975.

Thirty-five years later, the brand has returned to Canada with the Canadian reveal taking place at the Newmarket, Ont., Suzuki recently.

With retro styling blended with state-of-the-art engineering, the bike is powered by an air-cooled 961 cc parallel twin developed by Norton along with F1 engine builders, Menard Competition Technologies.

It is one of three models to go on sale in Canada. The Sport and the Cafe Racer are 2011 models that are expected arrive early next year.