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OT: Norton Motorcycles in serious financial difficulty

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  • OT: Norton Motorcycles in serious financial difficulty

    "Norton Motorcycles goes into administration"

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51303905


  • #2
    A lot of missing history in that short report. Namely the temporary ownership that took the name to America and Kenny Dreer who ALMOST brought the brand back. And then it went back to Britain for another go around.

    Since the original company closed up it's been through about 3 or 4 "revivals" including the American Connection. When I used to buy motorcycle mags in the 80's and 90's it was roughly a quarterly thing to see the Norton name and some new plan. Most were never more than just a fever dream. And at least one didn't do more than collect financing and then run off to avoid the fraud charges.

    Very sad really given what the Triumph workers' Union was able to do to keep that brand going and finally bring it back to full health.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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    • #3
      More history and detail here:

      https://www.motorcyclenews.com/news/norton-motorcycles/

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      • #4
        That's a bummer, the Brit bikes are truly beautiful machines in any age. There's a dealer about 30 miles from me, given the prices I can understand they wouldn't sell many -- prices are right up there with Harleys and pickup trucks.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tlfamm View Post
          "Norton Motorcycles goes into administration"

          https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51303905
          Once again history repeats itself. I was a Norton dealer in the 70's.

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          • #6
            I hate to see the demise of another old name. I was the proud owner of a 1967- 750 Norton Atlas, bought it new while I was young and foolish... sure wish that I had it now.

            Joe B

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            • #7
              Since the name has already changed hand at least four times I'd say it's not dead. It's only this latest incarnation that is passing on.

              Hey NCF, I was just at our local motorcycle show last weekend and was having a really good look at the new Royal Enfield 650 twin Interceptor. I was underwhelmed at first since I knew the reputation for these Indian made motorcycles from about 10 to 12 or so years back. Lots of vintage appeal but porous castings, sub standard parts and generally lots of issues. But the 650 twin got me checking into things a lot more. Seems that RE has really upped their game over the past few years. New management, upgraded tooling and what seems like an honest world view for the future. Looking around on YT I found I found lots of great reviews with no leaks being pointed out and just lots of good riding. And they are sourcing parts from a wide variety of countries to make the little details like brakes and tires truly trouble free.

              So lots of vintage British charm but with prices from India. Apparently the Brits themselves are eating these things up like cheap beer and loving them. I've caught the bug and I might need to make room in the machine shop for another bike that I really don't need. Don't have enough hours in the riding season to ride what I've got already! ! !
              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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              • #8
                I used to have one of these back around 1975; a Norton 850 Hi-Rider Commando.

                Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                • #9
                  I haven't heard that name since the mid 70's.

                  JL..............

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                    Since the name has already changed hand at least four times I'd say it's not dead. It's only this latest incarnation that is passing on.

                    Hey NCF, I was just at our local motorcycle show last weekend and was having a really good look at the new Royal Enfield 650 twin Interceptor. I was underwhelmed at first since I knew the reputation for these Indian made motorcycles from about 10 to 12 or so years back. Lots of vintage appeal but porous castings, sub standard parts and generally lots of issues. But the 650 twin got me checking into things a lot more. Seems that RE has really upped their game over the past few years. New management, upgraded tooling and what seems like an honest world view for the future. Looking around on YT I found I found lots of great reviews with no leaks being pointed out and just lots of good riding. And they are sourcing parts from a wide variety of countries to make the little details like brakes and tires truly trouble free.

                    So lots of vintage British charm but with prices from India. Apparently the Brits themselves are eating these things up like cheap beer and loving them. I've caught the bug and I might need to make room in the machine shop for another bike that I really don't need. Don't have enough hours in the riding season to ride what I've got already! ! !
                    Its interesting that Royal Enfield has been in continuous production in India since 1955 but the British could not keep their factories open and none of the other British makes could either. I have watched with interest as Royal Enfield India has continued to upgrade and improve the mark, I would not hesitate to buy one today. At least the Indians saw fit to reinvest and modernize their factory to keep up with other makes. I for one applaud them for keeping RE alive.

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                    • #11
                      Sad to see this news about Norton. I had hoped that Kenny Dreer would have succeeded in his efforts a few years ago as it looked like a well engineered project.

                      Surprised to see the number of folks here who have a personal connection with Norton in their past. Along with a 1968 Royal Enfield 750 Interceptor I also owned '74 Norton 850 Commando, still kicking myself for allowing them to slip out of my hands. Too soon old, too late smart.

                      And yes, India has done a marvelous job with Royal Enfield, I'd be proud to have one of their products in the garage, a very technically up to date product that has proven very reliable from all that I've talked to.
                      Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                      Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                      Location: British Columbia

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                      • #12
                        One of the nicest cats we ever owned was named Norton. He was a bob tailed tuxedo Manx. The Norton name came about because that cat breed originated on the Isle of Man where Nortons were very prominent in the TT races around the island. I always admired the Norton motorcycles in any guise.

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                        • #13
                          I see Harley Davidson’s sales are sagging.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Willy View Post
                            Sad to see this news about Norton. I had hoped that Kenny Dreer would have succeeded in his efforts a few years ago as it looked like a well engineered project.

                            Surprised to see the number of folks here who have a personal connection with Norton in their past. Along with a 1968 Royal Enfield 750 Interceptor I also owned '74 Norton 850 Commando, still kicking myself for allowing them to slip out of my hands. Too soon old, too late smart.

                            And yes, India has done a marvelous job with Royal Enfield, I'd be proud to have one of their products in the garage, a very technically up to date product that has proven very reliable from all that I've talked to.
                            Back in the late 70's the importer came by my dealership and was trying sell brand new Royal Enfield 750 Interceptors still in the crate for 700 bucks. Yep 700 bucks. No takers when you could barely sell brand new Triumphs much less old NOS Enfields. Its a weird world my friends, no takers then but now it would be a feeding frenzy for those bikes.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arcane View Post
                              I used to have one of these back around 1975; a Norton 850 Hi-Rider Commando.

                              Yeah, i'd keep that one quiet if i was you.
                              The Hi Rider was not only an embarassment to a company like Norton (in its death throes at that time), but downright ridiculous considering that the company was famous for making the best handling Brit bikes.

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