Norton Motorcycles News
Following a long list of hurdles associated with reviving a brand, Norton Motorcycles has announced its new lineup of Commando 961 motorcycles has arrived in U.S. dealerships.
Dan Van Epps (Norton Motorcycles U.S.) says: “This is such a proud moment for us and is the culmination of years of work in the UK and here in the USA. As it turns out, making a motorcycle company is a hard thing to do, and takes a bit more than working 24/7 and unbridled enthusiasm. Some things just take time.”
This time begins in production. Each Norton 961 model – the Commando Sport, Commando Cafe Race and Commando Sport Factory (SF) – is hand built by only two technicians from start to finish at the British motorcycle manufacturer’s Hasting House facilities that sit adjacent to the Donington Grand Prix Circuit. And besides the assembly, all frame and alloy machining is also done within the Hastings House.
Due this time-consuming process, the new Norton motorcycles are processed and shipped to each country in small numbers – about 10 to 20 at a time Norton reports.
Stuart Garner (Norton Motorcycles Owner) says: “Our point of reference – ‘Made in Britain, built by British hands’ – is our essential guidance in the development of our bikes. Norton motorcycles were conceived and designed from the start to be proper British Roadsters. These are bikes that excel in the real-world street-riding conditions of the twisty bits on secondary roads. Every Norton is fitted with the best suspension and brakes for confident road manners with superior road-holding, and a quality of fit and finish rarely seen today.”
The quality and heritage of the 111-year-old brand attracted many customers who have placed deposits with Norton dealers in the states. Others have tried to place orders, but found that dealers have yet to be assigned to their regions. Responding to this, Norton says “the time required to catch up with the current demand is the reason Norton has decided to not add more new dealers in the U.S. at the moment.”
Stuart Garner says: “We are cautious to add dealers and frustrate more future owners with long wait times when it will be months before we can fulfill current demand. However, we will expand the dealer network as production allows, and we maintain a long list of U.S. dealers nationwide seeking to add Norton to their offerings.”
As for all current orders, Norton reports that they should be filled in spring of 2014.
It’s been over 30 years since Norton Motorcycles were sold, and following a long road to rival, the iconic brand makes its return. Here in the states, the Norton Commando models, which the manufacturer began working on in 2008, will be distributed in the United States by South Bay Norton in Lomita, Calif., a dealership with nearly 40 years of experience in motorcycling.
The 961 Sport, 961 Cafe Racer and 961 Sport Factory models arrive with with air-cooled, long-stroke, parallel-twin 961cc powerplants that feature fuel injection, pushrods, a dry sump and a balancer shaft (no more Isolastic frame and its rubber bushings to rid vibration). The Commando’s engine produces 67 ft.-lb. of torque at 5200 rpm, and each model will weigh around 415 lb. dry.
For additional information, visit nortonmotorcycles.com.