1770 forum posts
Well how sad to hear that finally Norton have gone t-t's up. It has been on the cards for so long. The management conning the government & others for quite a while now. I have been following it as I am a keen motorcycle enthusiast & have been since the age of 12. Had a motorcycle of sorts for most of those years.
I have lost count of how many I have owned. As a hobby I used to buy write off's from Insurance companies & repair, & then re-sell them. Probably in the order of 150 bikes & scooters. I did not make a fortune & only did it because I have always been a petrolhead.
Trumpet blowing. Every bike I sold looked at least as good as showroom. I have done a lot of painting so some bikes required Candy type colours. The secret there was that I had a supplier of paint who must have been born with eyes better than a bar code reader. The answer when wanting paint & showing a panel from the bike or scooter was. Ah I don't think I can do a candy paint like that. The Japanese use a weird technique. He would then go & bring assorted colours out & mix them. Every single time absolutely bang on.
I have always had a love for British motorcycles. When I used to ride my illegal motorcycle in the woods most nights after school Excelsior 150cc, Bsa bantem 175 D4, Villiers twin 250 2T in a bantem frame. I was using old car engine oil for my 2 stroke mix.. I would be wearing my old leather jacket with Norton badges all over it. I have many friends with various models of Norton.
I have never personally had one. When I wanted one I could not afford one. When I got older & had some spare cash I bought the BSA in my photo album & a Triumph tiger 100 s. The Triumph as I believe is in the Craven motorcycle museum in Sutton on the forest near York.
It was immaculate & not down to me. I bought it from an Engineer, retired who built it from the ground up. He had no knowledge of Internal combustion engines. He had made a wonderful job of it , but it smoked a lot. A bit like me. So I stripped the top end to find. He had put all the piston ring gaps in a line.
So back to Norton. I go to the NEC with a gang of petrolhead's every year. This year I was at the Norton stand with one of my friends who is rather large & an ex bouncer & slaughter man. We engaged with the guy who started being very abusive towards us. I have a Tig welder & am trying to do Alloy. I am a good welder of all metals apart from alloy. So we were looking at the frame when my friend touched the swing arm & said look at that Steve, bet you wish you could weld like that.
So moving on the guy on the stand came over & shouted quite loudly , can't you read, it's says do not touch. I said we are just admiring the welding on the swingarm. It went from bad to worse. He started ranting about his wife leaving him because of something to do with the TT. So I knew that things were not right at Norton. I am a member of the Ducati owners club forum & I know a few guys on there had orders in for bikes. The V4 & had been waiting a long time for there bikes. I mean years. They I guess will have lost there quite large deposits now. Unless they can get them back. Some more than 18 mnths ago will probably get nothing.
Sorry for rambling. Waited till after midnight as a minutes silence in order...….Still riding a lot in summer on my Multistrada 1200s DVT & renovating an old 1993 GSXR 750. Slingshot.
Edited By Steviegtr on 31/01/2020 00:13:14
1318 forum posts
As a fellow biker, I've been following this with interest, particularly since the Visordown article last year.,
A good friend of mine has one of the earlier ones of the new Nortons, and I think/hope, recently cancelled his order for one of the latest ones.
It almost seems to have shades of De-Lorean.
For the record. 1979 Bonneville 750, 1983 Guzzi LeMans3, 1989 Yamaha XT600 & 1977 Ducati 900GTS in the garage at the moment. All nominally on the road, but the Duke needs a bit of work due to an oil leak.
Also '74 Landrover Lightweight (3.5V8 auto), Disco-1, Peugeot Expert van for a house move, and a Marlin Berlinetta 2l Pinto (plus a small fleet insurance policy.)
1770 forum posts
You seem to have a portfolio of machines . I do not have that many. The Mutlistrada 1200Dvt The Suzuki in bits now sold I think & a couple of others. Vivaro van 165bhp tuned twin turbo & loving it & my summer car the 2017 Ftype Jaguar cab tuned so far to 575 bhp. But still going further. The stupid thing is the 1st V4's were with the Aprilia engine & were superb. The last ones were there own V4 engines that apparently blew apart.
|pgk pgk||31/01/2020 05:03:08|
|2015 forum posts|
For a bit of levity I attach the true story of Clarence Clutterbuck from my student days:
I'd change his name for this story but no-one ever believes he was called Clarence so there's not a lot of point.
703 forum posts
As per usual, some of the reporting is downright outrageously bad. Inc the BBC and the Guardian.
Norton famous for being in a Che Guavara film and the James Bond movie Spectre?
Howzabout all the engineering feats? The TT wins? The Featherbed frame? The Commando chassis? The Wankel rotary bike winning at the TT again?
Oh and then the previous ownerships, the original failed companies, etc, i could go on.
Norton, a crap business model this century, but a wonderful brand.
Oh and they made some wonderful motorcycles in the past, RIP.
TG, a Luddite and big Brit bike fan.
|Neil Wyatt||31/01/2020 09:53:44|
18404 forum posts
Isn't it a case of 'oh no again'? (as the petunias thought).
This failed company is really not materially the same one that made the classic bikes.
The ill-fated name will be one the main asset, and sooner or later someone capable of making decent bikes will buy it.
It will be ironic if it is Indian-based Enfield, chiefly because they would no doubt make some really excellent modernised versions of the classic bikes...
Obviously little consolation to the pensioners, people with deposits and employees...
5040 forum posts
The Guardian story does show what a bunch of sharks were running the new Norton show, using the historic name to milk money out of government development programs and pensioners' savings.
Shame. Because as you say, Enfield have made an increasingly good go of it, having just released an all new 650 twin "retrobike" that looks like an old'un but is modern technology. And Triumph are a world leading motorcycle company once again, in both retro and modern bike fields.
So it can be done. And maybe will be with the Norton name having so much history. Yes, TG, I snorted at the movie references too. Like that means something compared with winning the Isle of Man a record number of times etc. But you've got to remember the story would be written by some yuppie reporter who was not yet born when Norton (the real Norton) went out of business. And he's writing for a general audience who think Norton is an antivirus program.
I might have to venture out to the shed and finish off getting the 1967 Norton Atlas ready for registration inspection just to take a memorial ride. Most vibratingest bike I ever rode, vintage and modern Harleys included. A true crime against engineering but lots of fun.
|Mike Poole||31/01/2020 10:36:58|
2842 forum posts
Norton folded many years ago, the name has been applied to all sorts of failed projects since. In some ways it is a shame that names can be bought and sold, we have Bentley on Volkswagens and Rolls Royce on BMWs, Brough Superior on some French creation. John Bloor made a success of Triumph but he did the sensible thing of starting from scratch with a clear plan and proper budget and costing. The motor industry is a big badge engineering business, a familiar name can be applied to almost anything.
|larry phelan 1||31/01/2020 10:52:45|
|902 forum posts|
As the Bard said---------------What,s in a name !
|Geoff Theasby||31/01/2020 11:07:13|
|613 forum posts|
Well! A host of posts about bikes and even one Clarence Clutterbuck, but nary a mention of Ogri! (And Malcolm)
|Mike Poole||31/01/2020 11:44:58|
2842 forum posts
The lads across the road from my mothers house nicknamed me Ogri, inevitable in those days if you rode noisy British bikes. I bumped into one of the lads a few years ago and was still greeted as Og
|1055 forum posts|
Norton has folded more often than a Moulton pedal cycle. The firm's owners since Manganese Bronze, the last 40 years, have generally been dodgy to say the least. The one who owned the company when it was at Shenstone, when it built and raced rotaries, was done for fraud.
All the old British motorcycle company names have a high value and most, A.J.S., Enfield and Triumph excepted since they are in the motorcycle business, attract fraudsters, hucksters and chancers.
The British motorcycle industry in its glory days was something of an illusion. The investment was low, for a few years the shareholders did well and the directors, generally, were rubbish. In the 1950s Lord Docker ran BSA which made BSA, Triumph, Ariel and Sunbeam motorcycles - enough said.
And I own 4 British bikes.
|David Noble||31/01/2020 12:42:30|
228 forum posts
That's a brilliant piece of writing Shame I was drinking tea when I read it!
Edited By David Noble on 31/01/2020 12:43:16
|Graham Titman||31/01/2020 12:47:58|
96 forum posts
|not done it yet||31/01/2020 14:36:01|
|5354 forum posts|
How long before it rises from the ashes again?
1770 forum posts
|old mart||31/01/2020 19:18:12|
|2465 forum posts|
It is a shame, even if the modern ones were just for the super rich, not at all like the Nortons of the sixties and seventies.
1770 forum posts
One of the problems were that they built a bike around an Aprilia RS V4 engine & the bike was very good. They then went on to make there own V4 motor. It sounded stunning but they kept blowing up. This is what happened at the TT. I think they got 2 laps out of it. I'm sure if they had stuck with the Aprilia lump it would have been more fruitful.
Another company in trouble is Aston Martin. There was talk of Lance Stroll F1 team & a Chinese company looking at them. Now it seems Mercedes are looking at withdrawing from F1 & buying Aston. Is it just media rubbish.???
|Geoff Theasby||31/01/2020 21:21:57|
|613 forum posts|
5040 forum posts
The Jawa name is being revived in India too. Four stroke retro bikes with that communist era styling, so ugly its kind of cool **LINK**
They have also shown some images of some pretty cool prototypes looking more like the Jawa fouir stroke singles of the 1930s but whether they will go into production, who knows.
And the Chinese are making four cylinder sport bikes with the name Benelli on them.
I think Indian set the precedent for dodgy multiple reincarnations. Floyd Clymer tried with Velocettes rebadged. There was even a pair of Vincent powered prototypes made, one with the Vinnie engine in Indian frame and running gear and one was a Vinnie with new tank badges and buckhorn handlebars. Then over the following years there was a string of new owners of the name with various plans in the 80s and 80s, including one with a Harley engine and maybe running gear. Finally they seem to be doing well in a small niche market today. Pretty impressive machine in the flesh.
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