Norton back in British hands

New 15,000 sq foot factory and office complex to be based at Donington Park

Posted: 15 October 2008
by Visordown News

AFTER NEARLY fifteen years of US ownership, Norton, the quintessential and most famous of British motorcycle brands, returns home.

As a result of prolonged negotiations and a multi-million pound deal we can announce that the Norton motorcycle brand is, at last, back in caring British hands. Stuart Garner a UK based businessman and owner of Norton Racing Ltd has bought back all the trademarks and development work relating to the Norton, Manx, Atlas, Commando and Dominator brands.

Norton Racing Ltd is already in development of a new rotary engined race bike and now with the ownership of the brand itself plans are being developed to introduce a new road bike for 2009.

‘This has been a challenging and exciting period for us,’ commented Garner. ‘We are proud to have brought the brands back home and we now intend to focus on re-establishing Norton as a premier motorcycling brand across the World’ he added.

In the early nineties the brands were bought by Norton Motorcycles Inc in the USA with the view of developing a new Commando road bike for the US market. Nearly $10 million was spent on IP, design and development, and this development work has formed part of the new deal. The investment can now be brought to bear on the new global project for the Norton Commando 961.

Norton intend to develop a strong presence on the track and on the road during 2009 with a new 15.000 sq foot factory and office complex based at Donington Park - Norton are at the heart of motorcycle racing once again and committed to investment to make the initiative work. As well as creating a new ‘state of the art’ road bike the Norton brands will see a vigourous licensing programme through Norton Global Brands to safeguard and develop licensing of all kinds from spare parts to clothing. Commenting on the programme Garner said:

‘Our trade marks and brand have incredible strength and value, we will strongly enforce our position as the new owners of these world famous brands and ensure our new partners benefit from a robust protection programme going forward. This is the beginning of a new and exciting era in a brand that was started over 100 years ago by James Lansdowne Norton. It has sustained ups and downs over the years but still stands for performance and excellence. These will be the standards we live by from now on,’ stated Garner.

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Discuss this story

I cant wait to see what they come up with for the road.  New Rotary Superbike anyone?

Posted: 15/10/2008 at 14:58

Oh please please please please please.

I WANT a Norton 961.

Posted: 15/10/2008 at 15:38

Just in time for the recession.  I admire their Dunkirk spirit but I'll be amazed if anything comes of this.

Posted: 15/10/2008 at 17:46


It's gonna cost 'em...

How much did Bloor lose before Triumph made a profit?

I so hope it works for them. The 961 is sex on wheels.

Posted: 15/10/2008 at 19:54

what brit biker wouldnt want one if they turn out half decent?  I'd give my left nut for a 961 - but only now with 3 kids they arent that much use any more.....

Posted: 15/10/2008 at 20:49

I want one, if I manage to sell my house and these are out to buy I will get a commando first and then a street triple later on.

Posted: 15/10/2008 at 21:02

what I dont get from the press statement is the stae of the art bike bit.  so does that mean the 961 idea is dead, to be replaced by something like a rotary superbike?

 Ever seen the engine in an Rx8 - tiny buggers only 1200cc but imagine that and those horses, in motorbike form.....

Posted: 15/10/2008 at 21:04

Wow! Seems like Kenny Dreer in America did a very good job, pitty the project folded after all those years.

Posted: 16/10/2008 at 11:23

IF it looked like that, and IF it was properly made, and IF it went well, and IF it handled and stopped well, I'd have one of them.

So long as it didn't cost the earth to buy of course. Some of us aren't as rich as Harry.

Posted: 16/10/2008 at 21:37

Looks sexhy

Posted: 17/10/2008 at 03:35

falcorob wrote (see)

IF it looked like that, and IF it was properly made, and IF it went well, and IF it handled and stopped well, I'd have one of them.

So long as it didn't cost the earth to buy of course. Some of us aren't as rich as Harry.

Well under a new company and as it's 4 years down the line, it's likely to be quite different I am sure.  If it does ever make it.  As a new bike no doubt it will suffer some teething troubles.  I just hope that they can make something happen, which must be really hard given the economic situation at the moment.

Also as the US company were publishing the cost at $20,000 in 2004, you can bet it will be expensive. 

Posted: 17/10/2008 at 08:45

I saw the Kenny Dreer designed Norton a few years ago at Norton America, it was absolutely the best looking Norton I've ever laid eyes on by far. It's a pity they ran out of money before full production could ramp up. Hopefully the Uk company that bought the trademark name and tooling can produce a version that looks as fantastic as the orriginal design.If they can make this bike  reliable and produce it at a resonable price I will buy one.      As far as the rotory engined bike goes,I think it will always remain a novelty design and never get taken up by the mainstreem buyer,It's just way to unconventional like  the  past attempts have proven.

Posted: 08/05/2009 at 20:06

Is £14,000 reasonable? It's the price being touted in the press. Personally I'd love one, but I just can't afford that sort of money for a second bike. I wish them well, but I'll keep saving for my second hand Thruxton...

Posted: 09/05/2009 at 20:11

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