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.
Mon, 22 Nov 2021
The British motorcycle manufacturer announced the opening of the plant in Solihull and the readiness to produce up to 8,000 motorcycles per year. Not only production is located at the new location: from now on, the R&D department, the design center, and offices are based in Solihull. Moreover, it will also have its own showroom, a small museum and even a motorcycle service center.
Fri, 12 Nov 2021
The Solihull company announced nothing less than the beginning of a new era of British motorcycle construction. And the symbol of the beginning of this era will be the Norton V4SV sportbike, presented at once in two versions: Manx and Carbon. Scheduled for release next year, the V4SV is powered by a 1,200cc V-4-cylinder engine, developed in-house.
Fri, 23 Apr 2021
At the first stage, the Brits will be engaged in the production of Commando 961, then the range of models produced will expand.The British brand, now owned by the Indian company TVS, is returning to the market as planned. The first step was the launch of a new plant in Solihull. The production capacity of the plant with an area of about 7000 sq.
Wed, 23 Dec 2020
The British company plans to produce 40 motorcycles of this model, most of which have already been prepaid. And only after the end of the story with Commando, the company will move on to the assembly of the V4 model, and then the two long-awaited Atlases. According to the company's management, the new model, Norton Atlas, currently still requires a number of final fine-tuning works before the start of mass production.
Tue, 17 Nov 2020
In addition to the release of V4 and Commando models, the British plan to expand their lineup. The Norton V4 and Commando motorcycles, presented to the public in 2018, will not start rolling off the assembly line until the end of 2021. This is primarily due to the fact that Norton, owned by the Indian company TVS, is currently busy transferring production from Donnington Hall to Solihull.
Sun, 08 Jul 2018
The boss of the British brand, Stuart Garner, published images of a promising model on his Twitter. Norton's Atlas and P11 scramblers from the sixties will have an heir! The 650 Atlas Scrambler, based on the same models from the past, still exists in virtual reality and is content only with the status of a concept.
Tue, 04 Aug 2015
According to unofficial information, the plant plans to produce a sportbike that can compete with the Ducati 1299 Panigale and Superleggera IS. Norton's head of design, Simon Skinner, revealed that the bike will be powered by a brand new V4 1200cc engine and 200+ horsepower.
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.
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.
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.