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OT: Norton Motorcycles in serious financial difficulty

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  • #16
    Originally posted by BCRider View Post
    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.
    Yes, concur, absolute shambles of diabolical bad reporting. Dire with historical facts and dates.
    But the business model IMO was never going to work, Stuart Garner overstretched himself and took on too much, too quickly.
    Much as the Commando 961cc bikes are very nice (based loosely on the Dreer design), they were a niche brand (read expensive) not for your average Joe in the street.
    The new Atlas/Ranger range were watercooled Chinese 650 twins with nice clothes, high end suspension, but basically a Yamaha XSR700 for double the price and Norton written on the tank.
    Same old same old mistakes.

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    • #17
      We just finished a restoration of a '71 Commando and, based on the ridiculous amount of componentry in the rear hub alone, anyone seeking to restablish the brand should be flogged.
      It's like saying "Betelgeuse" three times.
      Len

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      • #18
        Originally posted by thaiguzzi View Post

        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.
        What can I say? I got it used for a good price and other than the handlebars it was a great riding bike. I only rode it almost two summers before I sold it. Idiots driving cars and trucks forced me off the road one too many times and I decided the pleasure in riding it just wasn't worth the risks.
        Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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        • #19
          Prince of darkness ..In 1966 I bought a beautiful British built BSA 650 Hornet. It had LUCAS lighting?.A block from the dealership ,the taillight fell off. Lucas lighting became known as the prince of darkness. Edwin Dirnbeck

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          • #20
            Boy I haven't been on forever. My wife is planning on selling her 1973 Triumph Trident 750 with 800 actual miles. 1st year for the 5 speed & disc brake. A true barn find https://www.classic-british-motorcyc...h-trident.html Hope everyone's been well. We're selling the farm, hanger, cabin, pond machine shop in the spring & moving to the SW.

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            • #21
              hey, flylo - nice to see you back!

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              • #22
                Originally posted by flylo View Post
                Boy I haven't been on forever. My wife is planning on selling her 1973 Triumph Trident 750 with 800 actual miles. 1st year for the 5 speed & disc brake. A true barn find https://www.classic-british-motorcyc...h-trident.html Hope everyone's been well. We're selling the farm, hanger, cabin, pond machine shop in the spring & moving to the SW.
                Nice to hear from you!
                I thought the Trident was for sale a long way back?
                Should get a good price for those, T150 pre thumb start models.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by QSIMDO View Post
                  We just finished a restoration of a '71 Commando and, based on the ridiculous amount of componentry in the rear hub alone, anyone seeking to restablish the brand should be flogged.
                  It's like saying "Betelgeuse" three times.
                  Pray tell, what did a 71 Commando drum hub have in it that was different to any other rear drum brake hub?
                  They went rear disc in 75 or 76 before the last models rolled off the assy line in 77.
                  None of the above has anything to do with the modern Nortons by Dreer or Garner/Gardner.
                  And i would also disagree, and state IMHO, that the Norton brand and name is one of the most famous and sought out names in motorcycling out there.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by thaiguzzi View Post

                    Nice to hear from you!
                    I thought the Trident was for sale a long way back?
                    Should get a good price for those, T150 pre thumb start models.
                    Thanks guys! After I broke may back I couldn't ride, shouldn't have bought it & was going to sell it, she said no & I said yes so she bought it & now has cancer & I have ALS so everything is going cheap. I have my Gatling gun almost ready. You know the old saying about sliding onto home plate all used up? I thought it was funny too unto you can see home plate coming up fast. Just another adventure but the waiting & wasting away is hard when you've been an adreneline junky which may be a factor. Don't take a second for granted. Last on the list is fly a DC-3. I couldn't do machining & lots of bickering going on so I dropped out for a while but glad to see most of the old bunch here.
                    Last edited by flylo; 01-31-2020, 07:53 AM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by thaiguzzi View Post

                      Pray tell, what did a 71 Commando drum hub have in it that was different to any other rear drum brake hub?
                      They went rear disc in 75 or 76 before the last models rolled off the assy line in 77.
                      None of the above has anything to do with the modern Nortons by Dreer or Garner/Gardner.
                      And i would also disagree, and state IMHO, that the Norton brand and name is one of the most famous and sought out names in motorcycling out there.
                      Pray answer; a far over engineered myriad of spacers, felt seals, non-compressible cush drive rubbers, speedo drive, ad infinitum ad friggin' nauseum, all since deemed archaic and redundant in any design. And I didn't even mention the brake!
                      Frustratin' it were!
                      You missed the mirth associated with my diatribe however, pie-in-the-sky intentions do not a production line make.
                      Last edited by QSIMDO; 01-31-2020, 11:16 AM.
                      Len

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