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Norton Motorcycles | A Motorcycle Icon Brought into the 21st Century

With the opening of the new Norton Motorcycles factory ushers in a new era for one of motorcycling’s oldest names

Norton V4SV in final inspection at the factory

THE industrial estate in Solihull that Norton Motorcycles now calls home is a familiar feeling place for most people. On one side of the road is a food distribution hub, on the other is a freight forwarding service.

It’s a grey day, and surrounding the site is the throng of industry and the rumble of empty wagons as they come and go. But unlike most industrial estates in the west midlands, there is a diamond in the rough at this Solihull site.

Norton Motorcycles

Round a corner and you are greeted by an articulated lorry-sized sign, emblazoned with one of the most famous names in the two-wheeled world. The site is brand new, minimalist in design and with all the working yards and loading bays neatly hidden behind strategically placed walls.

This is the multi-million pound new home of Norton Motorcycles and all its staff. And it couldn’t be further removed from what the brand and the workers are used to.

Norton's Solihull manufacturing and design facility

From rags to riches in record time

TVS made no secret about needing to inject significant sums of money into Norton after taking the helm of the brand earlier this year. Stood outside the facility you get the feeling that you are about to step inside a very special building.

It’s breathtaking to think that in little more than a year, the troubled brand has gone from its make-do-and-mend home at Donington and to here… And don’t think that this is all smoke and mirrors. Step inside and it gets even more impressive.

Quality testing an engine case

Cottage industry to computer-aided design and testing

One of the issues with the previous iteration of the Norton brand was in the way the business operated on the shop floor. A reliance on in-house manufacturing and a shortfall in technology meant standards were sub-optimal. To combat this, TVS has poured millions into obtaining the best technology to help quality check and catalogue its components.

The hermetically sealed office that carries out the testing is filled with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of weapons-grade tech. With components being pulled at random from the line for internal and external inspections.

Norton's staff building one of its V4SV motorcycles

A pleasing thing to hear was that most of Norton’s staff were kept on post-purchase, with many of the welders, line workers and so on all coming over from ‘old Norton’. It goes some way to proving that it really wasn’t the people working at the factory that was the problem. It was the decision-makers in the offices away from the shop floor, and the choices they made.

With much of the same workforce and massive injection of much-needed cash for technology, the future is looking brighter than ever for the 123-year-old brand.

Norton Motorcycles new home to be fully operational in 2022

The new Norton plant should be fully operational in Q1 2022, with the new CEO DR Robert Hentschel excited to share it with the world. The flash looking area we were sat in for the press conference is more than just a flashy looking entrance hall. With windows into the production area and servicing bays, the Norton team hope that fans, owners, and prospective customers can share in the experience of the new chapter they are about to begin.

for more information on the brand and the bikes, head to: www.nortonmotorcycles.com

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