NO, it's not Graham Norton aiming to break America but the Donington-based purveyor of Commandos that's intending to nearly double its potential market by flogging bikes in the States.
According to the firm's own website, it has now passed the emissions and durability tests needed to get rubber stamps from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Research Board), as well as one from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
(Actually, Norton's press release says 'NHSTA' but we don't think the National Health Service Trusts' Association has much, if anything, to do with selling motorcycles in America...)
That's not to say the bikes can immediately be sold there, though. While a certified testing lab is said to have done the testing, which includes emissions tests over a period of 15,000km as well as noise tests, those test results still have to be submitted to the American authorities and much paperwork must be completed before the actual permission to sell bikes in America is granted.
Simultaneously, the Leicester Mercury is reporting that Norton has secured multi-million-pound funding to help it get its bikes into the American market. No details are given other than the vague suggestion of a 'seven-figure loan from a group of business people'.
Fingers crossed the funding and the ability to sell bikes in the States will help the firm, which has been plagued with a growing murmur of dissatisfaction from potential owners who's bikes haven't been delivered on time, to get solid footing in markets on both sides of the Atlantic. Some 40 percent of production is eventually expected to be destined for America.