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Norton Motorcycles

About Norton

Norton Motorcycle Company (formerly Norton Motors, Ltd.) is a British motorcycle marque, originally from Birmingham, founded in 1898 as a manufacturer of "fittings and parts for the two-wheel trade".

By 1902, they had begun manufacturing motorcycles with bought-in engines. The first Norton engines were made in 1908, beginning a line of side-valve single-cylinder engines which continued with few changes until the late 1950s. This began a long series of production of single and eventually twin-cylinder motorcycles.

The Isle of Man Senior TT, the most prestigious of events, was won by Nortons ten times between the world wars and then every year from 1947 to 1954.

After the Second World War, Norton reverted to civilian motorcycle production, gradually increasing its range. A major addition in 1949 was the twin cylinder Model 7, known as the Norton Dominator, a pushrod 500 cc twin-cylinder machine designed by Bert Hopwood. Its chassis was derived from the ES2 single, with telescopic front and plunger rear suspension, and an updated version of the gearbox known as the "lay-down" box. More shapely mudguards and tanks completed the more modern styling to Nortons new premium model twin.

In 1951, the Norton Dominator was made available to export markets as the Model 88 with the Featherbed frame.

When major shareholders started to leave Norton in 1953, the company declined and Associated Motor Cycles bought the shares. Although motorcycle sales went through a recession in the 1950s, and Norton Motors Ltd was only a small manufacturer, Norton sales flourished. A series of Norton Dominator Twins of 500cc, then 600cc, then 650cc and then the 750cc Norton Atlas kept sales buoyant, especially with sales to the USA.

In 1968, the new 750cc Norton Commando Model appeared, with the engine/gearbox/swingarm unit "isolastically" insulated from the frame with a series of rubber mountings. This kept the vibrations from the rider, giving a smooth comfortable ride. The Commando was a best seller, and voted #1 Motorcycle of the Year a number of times in Britain.

850cc Models appeared for 1973, giving more torque. And for 1975 an electric start arrived in the 850 Mk3.

In late 2008, Stuart Garner, a UK businessman, bought the rights to Norton from some US concerns and relaunched Norton in its Midlands home at Donington Park.

The first Norton logo was a fairly simple, art nouveau design, with the name spelled in capitals. However, a new logo appeared on the front of the catalogue for 1914, which was a joint effort by James Lansdowne Norton and his daughter Ethel. It became known as the "curly N" logo, with only the initial letter as a capital, and was used by the company thereafter, first appearing on actual motorcycles in 1915.

Moto blog

Third Annual ‘The MEET’ at ACM

Tue, 26 Aug 2014

More than 2,000 attendees visited America’s Car Museum for its 3rd annual Vintage Motorcycle Festival ‘The MEET’ last weekend in Tacoma, Washington, where over 300 motorcycles and scooters were showcased on the Haub Family Field at LeMay. The event drew pre-1981 motorcycles and scooters from the U.S. and Canada, including an antique motorcycle display, swap meet, cruise-in and a 78-mile roundtrip tour from ACM’s Anderson Plaza to Mt. Rainier.

“The Meet” Vintage Motorcycle Show This Saturday

Mon, 18 Aug 2014

The stage is set for ”The Meet at ACM” motorcycle show this weekend in Tacoma, WA. While festivities will begin on Friday evening, America’s Car Museum (ACM) will host the third annual Vintage Motorcycle Festival on Saturday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Organizers expect 450 vintage motorcycles and scooters from all over the nation to attend.

Kevin Schwantz To Race Goodwood Aboard Norton Featherbed

Wed, 23 Jul 2014

If you didn’t already notice, Kevin Schwantz has a full plate this year. At 50 years young, the 1993 500cc World Champion will be competing at the prestigious Suzuka 8-Hours in a few weeks, and he’s followed that up with the announcement he will be making his Goodwood Revival debut during the September 12-14 event on an iconic Manx Norton ‘Featherbed’. Schwantz, last raced on UK soil during the 1994 British 500cc Grand Prix at Donington Park, but will tackle the daunting Goodwood Motor Circuit this year in the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy, which will be run for bikes of 1951-54 period.

Norton Signs Cameron Donald to Race Isle of Man TT

Thu, 20 Mar 2014

Norton Motorcycles has signed two-time TT winner Cameron Donald to a three-year contract to race in the Isle of Man TT. Donald will ride the Norton SG3 sportbike in the Dainese Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT classes, starting both races seeded 19th. That matches the number of the late Steve Hislop, the last Norton rider to win on the Isle of Man with a victory in the 1992 Senior TT race.

Happy 80th Birthday John Surtees

Tue, 11 Feb 2014

Racing great John Surtees turns a landmark 80 years old today, and he remains one of the biggest names in two- and four-wheeled motorsports. Surtees is the only person to have ever won the premiere world championships for both motorcycle and car racing, capturing the 500cc World Championship in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 and the Formula One Championship in 1964. Born Feb.

Price William The Duke Of Ducs And Other Motorcycles

Mon, 02 Dec 2013

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, visited Britain’s largest motorcycle show, Motorcycle Live, at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham. The visit saw the Duke astride numerous motorcycle models including UK icons Norton and Triumph as well as a Ducati 1199 Superleggera (one of the few men able to afford the $70,000 rarity). During his visit Prince William enjoyed a display of off-road riding – one of nine opportunities for visitors to ride at Motorcycle Live, eight of which are inside the halls of the NEC. He also met Dean Linehan, exhibitions director of MCI Exhibitions, the company that organizes the annual motorcycle exhibition.

Prince William The Duke Of Ducs And Other Motorcycles

Mon, 02 Dec 2013

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, visited Britain’s largest motorcycle show, Motorcycle Live, at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham. The visit saw the Duke astride numerous motorcycle models including UK icons Norton and Triumph as well as a Ducati 1199 Superleggera (one of the few men able to afford the $70,000 rarity). During his visit Prince William enjoyed a display of off-road riding – one of nine opportunities for visitors to ride at Motorcycle Live, eight of which are inside the halls of the NEC. He also met Dean Linehan, exhibitions director of MCI Exhibitions, the company that organizes the annual motorcycle exhibition.

Norton Motorcycles Begins Shipping Units to US

Wed, 30 Oct 2013

Norton Motorcycles has begun shipping its Commando 961 to American dealerships, marking the first delivery of new motorcycles from the brand to the U.S. in over 30 years. The shipped models are also some of the the first batch of motorcycles to roll out of Norton’s new Hastings House manufacturing facility.

Bonhams Auctions 1966 Norton Manx For $100K

Tue, 22 Oct 2013

The top selling model of Bonhams annual sale of collectors’ motorcycles, a 1966 Norton 350cc Manx prepared by legendary tuner Francis Beart and raced by Joe Dunphy and Keith Heckles, fetched a whopping $100,481 last Sunday. The auction price more than doubled the top selling estimate and set a new world record for a Manx sold at auction. Eighty percent of the 436 lots offered sold at the auction totaling $2,168,314 Hot on its heels came the technological marvel from an earlier era that produced the sale’s best result when the 250cc Moto Morini Grand Prix racer from the 1960s fetched $145,081. The Molnar Norton Manx, prepared and entered by Fred Walmsley for the late World Champion Barry Sheene,  sold for $89,490.

The Rotary Racebike Is Back With The Crighton Racing CR700P – Video

Fri, 11 Oct 2013

Here are the facts: 200 hp, 100 ft.-lbs, and 700cc. If you’re guessing what engine is capable of producing numbers like this, you’re probably looking in the wrong direction. No, this isn’t coming from a piston engine, but a rotary.