Norton Motorcycles. A Solid Come Back Story?

nortonIn 2008, entrepreneur Start Garner bought legendary British motorcycle manufacturer Norton. Buying norton took only 4 days from decision to deal completion. Garner got all the bike parts, 4 prototype bikes and all intellectual property rights. Reportly for a price in the single millions from a group of Americans (Norton had 3 different owners between 2002 and 2006.) Using past plans, Head of Design and Executive Director Simon Skinner designed a prototype which went on sale to great acclaim in 2009. But there was not enough money to go into manufacturing until 2011 when Santander Bank eventually lent Norton £650,000 under the “Export Enterprise Finance Guarantee” program. Norton was able to build a workforce of about 60 and states that in the next 12 months it will manufacture close to 1,000 bikes at a retail price of £10,000 to £15,000. Last July UK Chancellor George Osborne announced a £4 million of government funding to support 600 new jobs for Norton. Thanks to a product placement a Norton Dominator SS can be seen in the just released new James Bond movie, Spectre. So, is the rebirth of iconic  Norton on solid ground? Below a short video for those who don’t know well the history of this iconic British motorcycle brand.

20 Responses to “Norton Motorcycles. A Solid Come Back Story?”


  1. 1 Kirk Perry Nov 28th, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Roll on! 🙂

  2. 2 BobS Nov 28th, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Six million dollars worth of funding and a factory staff capable off 600 souns pretty solid for now. I’m not sure a globally competitive brand can be built with that level of funding though. A sustainable enterprise maybe but I don’t think they’re going to be able to go head to head over the long haul with the likes of Ducati, BMW, or even Triumph. I think Polaris spent about three times that much of their own money just expanding R&D facilities for motorcycles. Wishing them good luck though.

  3. 3 Necron99 Nov 28th, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    I think the new Norton is exciting. They are a small and dedicated company full of gear heads who believe in what they are doing. These machines are born of real passion not stock holders direction.

  4. 4 Sharkey Nov 28th, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    This will be another choice for many of those who want an exclusive play-toy. Nothing wrong with that. I wish them well and can’t wait to see one; I’m sure it’ll be much better than my old Combat Commando

  5. 5 Zenaldo Nov 29th, 2015 at 12:35 am

    Pretty sure they won’t have the twin pumper Amal carbs my old 650 Combat did….at least I hope not…

  6. 6 Capt. Al Nov 29th, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Somebodies are making a Bunch of money for Making 1 Motorcycle or maybe 3 for a movie!

  7. 7 Calif phil Nov 29th, 2015 at 11:23 am

    That is a great looking bike I wish them much success.

  8. 8 Boris Nov 29th, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Great looking bike; it’s a logical extension of the old Commando design for the modern age. How about a more streetable version with a two-up seat/fender setup for the US market?

  9. 9 MrDimple Nov 29th, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    I agree with Boris, nice 2 seat saddle, etc.

  10. 10 NoH2oh Nov 29th, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Seen a few of these at a local shop, all w/sold signs on them so they are moving units. A bit pricey until you look at the details and realize they come from a smallish shop in good ‘ol England and not a huge factory in Thailand. And it is still aircooled!

  11. 11 MSP Dan Nov 29th, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    I think it’s beautiful and it looks like more fun than most laws allow. I wish them nothing but luck. Slow growth is still a solid business plan, albeit not a “sexy” business plan.

  12. 12 Woody's Nov 29th, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Pretty simple math, how much will they make per bike and how many need to be sold to cover costs, service the debt and meet payroll? Hopefully they will stay small and let sales drive their growth. Love the look. Loved my old short tail 750 Commando, even though nostalgia may be helping me forget it really wasn’t a very good bike compared to my Hondas of the same era. Best of luck to Norton, maybe they could sell a bunch of “Since 1898” tees & leathers to help cover expenses 😉

  13. 13 domino Nov 29th, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Hey Boris & Dimple, these bikes come with a 2up seat option. It looks good too. look here http://www.nortonmotorcycles.com/

    I grew up riding (and chopping) Triumphs and BSA’s. .. always wanted a Norton. I am freeeeking drooling over these new ones …. hmmmm… I think if I sold the sports car I could afford one.

    Domino

  14. 14 nicker Nov 29th, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    A fine looking machine by any standard….
    And no radiator…. BONUS!

    -nicker-

  15. 15 mazz Nov 30th, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Too rich for my blood.

  16. 16 cooldaddy51 Nov 30th, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I wonder if they were ready for the release of the Triumph Thruxton 1200R?
    Factors to consider, Price point, latest technology, strong manufacturer with a worldwide dealer base,
    History.

  17. 17 Kirk Perry Nov 30th, 2015 at 11:12 am

    The cam cover looks like polished aluminum. Wonder if they sprayed Nyalic® coating on them so the corrosion will slowly creep across it’s face? Ai-yi-carumba. Say it isn’t so. :p

  18. 18 Blackmax Nov 30th, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    For a high end niche market, it could work !!!
    the market will decide if they are a success or not
    Also they will do what Triumph did & make the
    fuel injection look like Amal carbs

  19. 19 Capt. Al Nov 30th, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I hear all these Numbers 4 million, 6 Million 650,000 pounds I think that this is way less than a World Wide Motorcycle factory with all the Tooling and Fabricating machines, Lazer Cutters on huge cutting Tables and half a dozen CNC Machines, Work Stations Tools and Shelving and Buildings and Inventory and at least 50,000 Sq. Ft. of Space and Selling these its sounds like a lot of money $15,000 to $20,000 USD converted from pounds Sterling sound like a bunch of money for these small CC Bikes. Good Luck and I hope they become a successful brand and even if they can grab 1/2% of the Motorcycle Industry than they will become huge. My Father in Law was a very, very Wise man and I can hear his famous saying “Figures don’t Lie, but Liars Figure”!

  20. 20 James just another crazy kiwi Dec 1st, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Beautiful

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