The P43 "Classic" was to be the
last air-cooled Rotary Norton, and the work carried out on the watercooled
prototype was put into production on the P52 "Commander". The
Commander was developed as a bike for Police and military work, and as
such was built down to a price in some regions, most notably the brakes
and front suspension, whilst the fairing and seating position were first
class for long-distance, high-speed travelling. The styling was done by
Seymour-Powell, the same styling firm later coming up with the sensational
bodywork of the P55 "F1" and even later with the air-cooled
prototype of the MZ "Scorpion".
The fairing, whilst looking somewhat wrong in the tilt of its lower front
part, was spot-on aerodynamically, and enabled the author to travel from
Hamburg to Munich, some 500 miles, on the autobahn in just over 6 hours,
arriving totally relaxed in body though not in mind! Obviously, the whole
bodywork was a quantum leap from the 1970s style BMW fairing of the
"Interpol II" that came from the era of rattling appendixes hung
from originally unfaired motorcycles as a noise-enforcing windbreaker that,
whilst of advantage on the weatherprotection side, was of disadvantage to
the riders hearing and the onlookers visual enchantment.
Opposed to that, the Commander had a businesstype look and feel about it
that made it one of the best fully-faired bikes of its era. Combined to
the low centre of gravity, and the smooth engine with its linear power
delivery the motorcycle is a joy to ride for the touring motorcyclist.