Tag Archives: norton motorcycles

Norton V4CR Cafe Racer Prototype Revealed

TVS-owned Norton revealed its latest flagship motorcycle, the V4SV supersport, in late October. The company has now taken the wraps off a prototype of a cafe racer based on the same bike. Cycle World’s report mentions that this motorcycle will be called the V4CR. 

Norton’s V4 platform debuted with the V4SS that was introduced in 2016. However, this engine had serious problems and was part of multiple recalls. The recently unveiled V4SV was essentially the same motorcycle with changes to rectify those problems. This V4CR will be powered by the same engine —  a 1,200cc V4 that produces 185hp. 

The V4CR is essentially a V4SV without the bodywork. It has a retro cafe racer look with a round LED headlight and minimal body panels. Cycle World points out that small air intake ducts and radiator cowls replace the V4SV’s side panels, while the exhaust and lower radiator edges are tucked away behind a new belly pan. 

The minor bodywork that the V4CR does features is entirely carbon fiber, and so is the fuel tank. On the other hand, the swingarm and chassis are polished billet aluminum units. Like any top-of-the-line Norton, hardware components are exceptional — Brembo brakes, Oz Racing forged alloy wheels and Ohlins suspension. 

Currently, the V4CR is still an early prototype, and it’s impossible to say how close the final iteration of the bike will be to this. That said, Norton has mentioned that the V4CR will be offered in two color schemes — which makes us think it won’t be long until it goes into production. 



Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Norton Motorcycle Company: Global Headquarters Officially Open

Welcome back, NMC.

TVS Motors has just opened the doors on the first global headquarters for Norton Motorcycle Company – and News18 states that the building not only has your generic state-of-the-art manufacturing capability, but that Solihull, West Midlands, UK now sports NMC’s new global design and R&D hub will also be operating under the same roof. 

A view of the new global headquarters for Norton Motorcycles, in Sulihill

Sudarshan Venu is the Joint Managing Director of TVS Motor Company, and has released the following statement:

“The opening of the new headquarters represents a significant step forward for Norton Motorcycles and is a proud moment for everyone. We are creating the foundations for a sustainable long-term future for the Norton marque.”

“We are setting out to create a bold future for the company, our employees, our customers and our partners that lives up to the highest expectations, enabling Norton to once again become the real global force its legacy deserves.”

A view of the new global headquarters for Norton Motorcycles, in Sulihill

Started by James ‘Pa’ Norton in Birmingham in 1898, and having produced nearly a quarter of all British military motorcycles in World War Two, Norton Motorcycles has a rich history in the two-wheeled industry. 

BBC tells us that when TVS Motors acquired the firm for a cool £16m a little over a year ago, they ‘already had more than 5,000 customer inquiries.’

A view of the new global headquarters for Norton Motorcycles, in Sulihill

The creation of the new global headquarters has also founded 100 jobs for the manufacturing and production lines, with TVS hoping that the new ownership will bring back the customers previously scared off by builds performed under old ownership

“Norton’s has changed massively, all the improvements… you can see the brand getting bigger and bigger, and hopefully we’ll put bikes into production and make some happy customers,” enthuses Chassis Supervisor Jack Smith

Wire rope barriers better roads austroads report hazards support old solar panels promise

A view of the new global headquarters for Norton Motorcycles, in Sulihill

“The new Norton Motorcycles headquarters is a true embodiment of this iconic British marque,” comments Robert Hentschel, CEO of Norton Motorcycles.

“The facility is home to design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing, and support departments, as well as the highly skilled production team overseeing the build of our new generation of motorcycles. It is the perfect platform to re-energise our business as we lead the Norton brand to onward success where it will play a key role in the future of mobility.”

A view of the new global headquarters for Norton Motorcycles, in Sulihill

Our best to the British brand in the upcoming months, and stay tuned for updates. Be sure to also check out the new Rotary-powered race bike being rejuvenated by an ex-Norton racer, and drop a comment below- we love the friendly banter.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Norton Reveals Its Latest Flagship, the V4SV

Norton has just unveiled the V4SV — its flagship supersport that will replace the V4SS. Despite the British manufacturer’s rich racing heritage, the latter turned out to be a rather disappointing machine. It was mighty impressive on paper but suffered from a slew of issues; a large recall to address 35 defects — 20 of which were safety-critical — meant the V4SS didn’t really live up to expectations. The new V4SV is the company’s attempt to redeem itself, and, again, this bike boasts of some impressive figures.

Powering the V4SV is a reengineered iteration of the 1,200cc V4 engine from the V4SS. Peak output figures have seen a dip with power down from 200hp at 12,500rpm to 185hp at the same point in the rev range. Peak torque, meanwhile, is down from 95.8lb-ft to 92.5 lb-ft but comes in 1,000rpm earlier in the rev band. This may not be on par with some of the other liter-class (and above) supersports in our market, but the V4SV has been built for those looking for a high-end, track-ready bike.

This is evident from the construction of the bike. The bodywork, and even the fuel tank, are made of carbon fiber — there’s the option of a ‘Carbon’ variant that will also get you carbon-fiber wheels. According to MCN, Components like the gorgeous mirror-finished aluminum tube frame, single-sided billet swingarm, and fully adjustable Ohlins NIX30 fork and Ohlins TTXGP monoshock have been carried over from its predecessor. 

Jordi Torres racing the Energixa Ego Corsa MotoE Bike

Norton has not revealed pricing details for the V4SV, but considering the V4SV wore a heavy £44,000, we’re pretty confident this will be one expensive motorcycle. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The Best Motorcycles to Come Out of Britain

Britain’s motorcycling history is long and illustrious. In the early days, the British industry was championed as being the best in the world, but after World War II the industry fell into a steady decline. Today, the British industry is a fraction of the size that it once was, but over the last 100 years, it has produced some of the most iconic and celebrated motorcycles ever made.

Ariel, AJS, Brough Superior, BSA, Matchless, Norton, Triumph, Velocette, Vincent, and more! These are just some of the marques out there that have left a lasting impression on the global motorcycling industry. Each of those brands has produced notable motorcycles, but there are some that are a cut above the rest. Here are 10 of the best motorcycles to come out of Britain.

Brough Superior SS100

1925 Brough Superior Alpine Grand Sport Side View
Credit: Mecum Auctions

Let’s kickstart our list of the best of British with the most obvious option: the Brough Superior SS100. You could choose any Brough Superior motorcycle and it would be worthy of this list. Any surviving models are sought after and hold incredible value, even when they’re in the sorriest of states. The SS100 range is particularly valuable, with each model built to customer specifications.

While they had different characteristics, all SS100’s shared the same powertrain: a 998 cc air-cooled V-twin, manufactured by JAP or Matchless depending on which year you’re talking about. Each engine variation produced different horsepower figures, but all Brough Superior models were delivered with a factory guaranteed top speed of over 100 mph.

The SS100 has a storied history, setting numerous speed records, winning more than 50 racing events, and achieving critical acclaim. The model is famously tied to the famous T.E Lawrence who sadly lost his life while riding his beloved Brough Superior. His demise, however, led to the advent of motorcycle safety helmets, which changed the world of motorcycling forever.

Today, you can buy a new Brough Superior SS100. The brand has been revived and the bikes on sale are very much the “Rolls Royce of motorcycles” that their forebears were.

Triumph Bonneville

1959 Triumph Bonneville T120 Parked In Front Of A Brick Wall
Credit: Mecum Auctions

While we’re on the subject of obvious inclusions, then let’s look at the Triumph Bonneville. The Bonneville is arguably one of the most recognizable British motorcycle models in history. But which one should be on the list? All of them.

Over the years, the Bonnie has enjoyed three generations, and three separate production runs. The first Bonneville rolled onto the scene in 1959 and was a staple of the Triumph line-up until 1983. The second-gen Bonneville was a short-lived exercise between ’85 and ’88. Now, the current Bonneville has been in production since 2001 and shows no sign of slowing down.

All of the Bonneville models take their name from the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats, and all share a common engine format: a four-stroke parallel-twin motor. However, the overall displacement of these engines varies.

The design of the Bonneville, in any generation or displacement, is simple. It features a tank, a saddle, and a round headlight. It’s everything a standard motorcycle should be, but there’s  versatility in that simplicity. And that’s why the Bonneville can be found in café racer, scrambler, and bobber forms. It’s the perfect base for whatever you can dream of.

Silk 700S

Silk 700S Side View
Credit: MotorcycleClassics

When it comes to top lists about British motorcycles, very few mention the Silk 700S. There’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of it either, and that’s a shame because it’s a fantastic, innovative, and unusual machine. Produced between 1975 and 1979 by Derby-based Silk Engineering, the 700S featured state-of-the-art technology, big power, and an expensive price tag.

The heart of the Silk 700S was a formidable 653 cc water-cooled, two-stroke, twin-cylinder engine. It was able to produce 54 horsepower and hit top speeds of over 110 mph. It also featured electronic ignition, an advanced thermo-syphon cooling system, and an innovative lubrication system too. Despite the modern tech, it wasn’t a heavyweight beast. It even had an impressive power-to-weight ratio.

In 1976, Silk was taken over by another engineering firm and while there was legitimate interest in the 700S, the number crunchers worked out that the firm was losing £200 for every model produced. Given that each model sold for £1355, that was quite a heavy loss in the grand scheme of things.

While the Silk 700S isn’t as well-remembered as the others on this list, it shouldn’t be forgotten!

 Ariel Square Four

Ariel Square Four Front and Side View
Credit: Motorcyclespecs

The Ariel Square Four is a true British icon. When it first rolled onto the scene in 500cc form back in 1930 it boasted innovative engineering, and by the time the “Squariel” was finally retired in 1958, it would have left its mark as a true British design icon. If we had to choose a particular Square Four, it would be a model from between 1948 and 1952.

Built around a square four engine—essentially two parallel-twin engines fused together with opposite-turning crankshafts—the rest of the Square Four could fit into a standard Ariel rolling chassis with minimal modification. The later Square Four models featured larger displacements (600cc and 1000cc) and didn’t suffer from overheating as the earlier models did.

Most British motorcycles of yesteryear are often remembered for their funny quirks or unpredictable but charming character. The Square Four bucks that trend. It offered smooth and spritely acceleration, slick gear changes, and a comfortable, relaxed ride experience. Granted, the brakes are very much a product of their time and you won’t be getting any serious lean around any corners, but apart from that, you could easily fool yourself into believing that this bike was built in the 70s or 80s, rather than the early 1950s.

Norton V4 SS

Norton V4 SS Side View
Credit: Norton Motorcycles

Norton, like Triumph, is one of those quintessentially British motorcycle brands. It’s a classic name, but it has had a pretty rough history, with the marque being thrown from one owner to the next. And that’s not part of its history, it’s also very much a part of the brand’s present and future. After being purchased by British businessman Stuart Garner in 2008, everything looked grand for Norton. Unfortunately, the new Norton went bust in 2020 and is now owned by India’s TVS Motor Company.

However, during the Garner years, the new Norton pulled the covers off of something rather special: the Norton V4 SS. As you can see from the picture, it’s quite an attractive thing. It looks great. But while we love the shiny curves and commanding stance, it also packed some serious performance too.

Under the proverbial hood, the V4 SS features a 1200cc V4 engine that produces a claimed 200 horses, with plenty of midrange power. Combined with top-of-the-range suspension and top-shelf hardware, the V4 SS delivers real eye-watering performance. And it should since it’s the road-going equivalent of Norton’s TT-racer, the V4 RR.

It’s a true testament to British engineering. If only it was cheaper

Vincent Black Shadow

1949 Vincent Black Shadow Side View
Credit: Mecum Auctions

The Vincent Black Shadow is a motorcycle that requires no introduction. It is legendary. It was a pioneering motorcycle chock full of new innovations. It was incredibly fast. And today, they always make headlines if they hit the auction because they are also incredibly rare. In fact, only 1,700 of these beauties were made, and that’s one of the reasons that pristine examples command such a high price.

Manufactured between 1948 and 1955, each Black Shadow was hand-assembled at the Vincent factory in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Powered by a 998 cc V-twin engine with 55 horsepower, the Black Shadow was already set for greatness. However, in 1948 the Black Shadow managed to clock an incredible top speed of 150.313 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. It’s not hard to see why the Vincent sales team adopted “The world’s fastest standard motorcycle: This is a FACT – NOT a Slogan!” as its…slogan.

During its production, the Black Shadow was available in three different Series, as well as in White Shadow form, which was essentially the same as the Black Shadow but with a polished engine rather than enameled. Only 15 of those were ever made. Despite the success of those models, the Black Shadow story came to an end in 1955, when Vincent HRD ceased all motorcycle production.

Velocette Venom

1956 Velocette Venom Side View
Credit: Mecum Auctions

You can’t have a list of British motorcycles without including a Velocette. We were torn between the Viper and the Venom, but it was the Venom that won out. Both motorcycles are great, but the Venom was bigger and enjoyed a slightly longer production period. Though both were introduced in 1955, the Viper was discontinued in 1968, while the Venom hung on for a couple more years before ending in 1970—just before Velocette closed for good in ’71.

Manufactured in Birmingham, the Velocette Venom featured a 499cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine that produced an impressive 34 horsepower and could propel the Venom to speeds of over 100 mph. It was available in a number of forms, such as the off-road-focused Venom Scrambler, the sports-focused Venom Clubman, and the range-topping Venom Thruxton.

Not only was the Velocette Venom a great motorcycle but it’s also a record holder too. In 1961, a Venom Clubman successfully set the 24-hour world record, hitting an average speed of 100.05 mph. Even today, that feat remains unbeaten for the engine class. In 2008, an attempt was made to break it, but it wasn’t to be, and the Velocette Venom remains supreme.

BSA Rocket Gold Star

1963 BSA Rocket Gold Star Side View
Credit: Mecum Auctions

The BSA Gold Star is a regular on these top list kind of articles about British motorcycles but why include the Gold Star and ignore its heavier duty stablemate, the Rocket Gold Star? There are plenty of good BSA models worthy of this list, but it’s the Rocket Gold Star that we’d choose if we really wanted something interesting.

The standard Gold Star was something of a legend: produced between 1939 and 1963, the Gold Star was a beautiful motorcycle available in 350 or 500 forms, driven by a powerful single-cylinder engine. The Rocket Gold Star, however, only enjoyed a short-lived run between 1962 and 1963, but rather than a single, it drew power from a 646 cc twin-cylinder engine. The bigger engine produced 40 horsepower and could propel the Rocket Gold Star to speeds of up to 115 mph.

Only a small number of these beautiful motorcycles were produced. Of the 1,584 units that rolled off of the production line, 272 of them were modified for off-road scrambling. If you can find one of those these days, snap it up. It could be worth a serious amount of cash!

Triumph Speed Triple

2020 Triumph Speed Triple Front and Side View
Credit: Triumph Motorcycles

While there are plenty of “modern” Triumph motorcycles that could fit on this list, if we had to choose one that really defines the brand then it has to be the Speed Triple. The Speed Triple first rolled onto the scene in 1994, taking inspiration from the Speed Twin of the 1930s. Though it took inspiration from Triumph’s past, it was designed with the future in mind. Even today, the Speed Triple is everything that a modern factory-built streetfighter should be. And more.

Over the years, the Speed Triple has enjoyed a number of evolutions. It began life with an 855 cc engine, before evolving into a 1,050 cc, to the 1,160 cc engine that we have for 2021. All of the Speed Triple’s engines are triple-cylinder units—obviously. The latest model boasts 176 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of peak torque. It’s an absolute powerhouse.

Now, the looks of the Speed Triple is always a good conversation topic. It provides plenty of debate! The distinctive bug-eye headlights are one of those features that you’re either going to love or you’re going to hate. But even if you hate the front end, you can’t hate the agile nature and superior performance of this modern British motorcycle.

Norton Commando

1973 Norton Commando 850 Side View
Credit: Mecum Auctions

The Norton Commando is an unmistakable British icon. Manufactured by Norton-Villiers between 1967 and 1977, the Commando is often lauded as one of the last great British motorcycles before the real decline of the British motorcycle industry. Between 1968 and 1972, the Commando won MCN’s “Machine of the Year” award every year, which should prove that this is a motorcycle with real attitude.

Originally, the Norton Commando came with a displacement of 750cc, however, that was increased to 850cc in 1973—which is the size most people remember. The 850 was powered by an 829 cc parallel-twin four-stroke engine, producing 60 horsepower and a top speed of about 125 mph. It was fast, but it was no sports bike. Instead, it was a sports touring machine, without the kind of vibration you’d expect from a British bike of the era.

Vibration was a big problem for a lot of British motorcycles, especially older Nortons. This problem was eliminated thanks to the introduction of a new Isolastic System frame. This new system isolated parts of the frame and joined them with rubber mountings to reduce vibration. And it was a success. The result was a smooth and comfortable ride experience from one of the most iconic British motorcycles ever made.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Norton Commando trio up for auction

A fastidiously restored trio Norton Commando bikes is among a dozen restored classics on offer at the Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction from 19-26 August 2020.

Click here for our tips on how to buy a motorcycle at auction.

Norton trio

The jewel of the trio, all restored to an exceptional standard by noted Sydney Norton specialist, Paul Hibbard, is a rare and desirable 1974 Commando ‘John Player’ 850 (pictured top of page).

This single year ‘tribute’ bike, with its 828cc air-cooled OHV parallel twin engine, is a rare sight in Australia, as the majority of the estimated 200 built was delivered to the USA. Because of the quality of its restoration and its rarity, this visual replica of the factory’s racing bike of the era is expected to fetch $24,000 – $28,000 on August 26.

Norton Commando trio up for auction
Norton 750 Commando

Another stunning Norton Commando is a 1971 Commando 750cc that has had in excess of $20,000 worth of new or old stock parts sourced from the UK used for its restoration. The Norton has covered just 150 miles (240km) since it was completed and because of its significance as one of Norton’s hallowed Commando sports bikes and its peerless condition, it is expected to sell in the $20,000-$25,000 range.

Norton Commando trio up for auction
Norton Fastback

Similarly desirable for Norton enthusiasts is a 1968 Norton Commando Fastback 750 restored to a similarly-high standard that has covered just 12 miles (19km) since its completion. It is expected to bring $15,000-$18,000.

Other highlights

Norton Commando trio up for auction
Yamaha OWO1

Another factory racing replica is a 1989 Yamaha FZR750R-R ‘OW01’, one of only 500 built.

Although it was a street-legal machine, the OW01 had a spec sheet that was all about racing. It is expected to sell for $15,000 – $20,000.

Norton Commando trio up for auction
Ducati 900

Two beautifully restored Ducatis from 1969 and 1985 will tease Italian motorcycle fans: a 1969 250 Mk3 ($18,000 – $22,000) and a 1985 Ducati 900 S2 ($15,000 – $18,000).

From the late 1920s and early 1930s come three standout British bikes with no reserve:

  • A rare 1935 Panther Model 100 ‘Redwing’ 600cc;
  • 1930 Sunbeam Model 9 500cc (both $20,000 – $23,000); and
  • 1929 BSA S-29 500cc ‘Sloper’ motorcycle ($17,000 – $20,000).
     auction
    1929 BSA

There is also an extremely rare 1912 Peerless 500cc built by A G Healing & Co. Pty Ltd of Melbourne, Australia’s largest motorcycle manufacturer at the time.

 auction
Peerless

It is understood to be one of only four or five left in existence. The bike is powered by a 3½hp Fafnir 500cc side-valve engine.

This bike has competed in various Veteran Motorcycle Rallies and is eligible for the forthcoming National Veteran Motorcycle Rally on 17-22 October, 2021 in Manjimup, WA. It is expected to sell for $15,000 – $20,000.

A Sydney motorcycle enthusiast and V&HMCC member is also offering a 1958 Ariel VH Red Hunter 500cc ($14,000 – $18,000) and a rare Austrian 1954 Puch SGS 250cc ‘Super Sports’ offered with ‘no reserve’ and expected to fetch $7,000 – $10,000.

Showroom opening hours

The Sydney Auction showroom has re-opened under reduced hours of 10am-4pm, Monday – Friday.

The Melbourne Auction showroom is closed due to Stage 3 restrictions.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Former Norton boss to sell properties

Properties owned by former Norton Motorcycles boss, Stuart Garner, have hit the market at £13m, which is £1m short of the amount he owes to investors.

Last month, Garner was ordered to pay back £14m to pensioners who invested in retirement funds not knowing he was dishonestly using the money to prop up his ailing motorcycle company.

The order to pay back the money will not affect Norton Motorcycles which was bought in April by  Indian company TVS who are investing heavily and promise to produce all current and promised models as well as some new models.

The UK Pensions Ombudsman is now chasing Garner to repay funds from three pension schemes he set up which fraudulently funnelled money into his company.

Norton boss Stuart Garner at Donington Castle
Garner in his home at Donington Castle

Properties up for sale

Garner now says he hopes to pay back all the money through the sale of property assets.

The property portfolio includes Donington Hall, the Priest House Hotel (which has recently been operated by Legacy Hotels since going into administration), Hastings House, The Lansdowne Buildings and Kings Mills Caravan Park, all set in more than 80 acres.

They are estimated to be worth about £13m.

Garner also says the administrators are sitting on £16 million cash from [the] Norton asset sale.

“The money is not ‘missing’. It is all in the business and its assets,” he told Business Live.

“No-one has agreed what the pension investor amount is yet. But with £16 million in cash and several million of property assets to come in, it looks likely they will receive all their capital back.

“I’ve lost everything with Norton, so I’ve no idea what the future holds yet.”

Norton Motorcycles Donington Hall factory crowd
Norton’s Donington Hall factory

Pensions scheme

In 2012 and 2013, 228 pensioners invested in five-year pension funds (Commando 2012 Pension Scheme, the Dominator 2012 Pension Scheme, and the Donington MC Pension Scheme) which invested primarily in Norton Motorcycles.

Garner was trustee of all funds and sole director of their provider, Manocrest Ltd.

The pensioners claim their investment was not returned years after the lock-in period had expired and £14 million in investments were lost in the company collapse.

In February, Garner failed to appear at a public hearing held by the Pensions Ombudsman to investigate complaints about the pension schemes

Pay back time

The Ombudsman issued this statement:

“The trustee [Garner] has acted dishonestly and in breach of his duty of no conflict, his duty not to profit and his duty to act with prudence.

“The investments made by [Garner into Norton] on behalf of each of the schemes were made in breach of the trustee’s statutory, investment and trust law duties.”

The ombudsman ordered Garner to make a “restorative payment” to all the scheme members as well as paying £180,000 to the original 30 fund applicants for “exceptional maladministration causing injustice”.

Garner, a former export “poster boy”, has blamed Brexit for his company’s downfall.

Norton CEO Stuart Garner Norton Motorcycles pay back
“Poster boy” Garner
Norton Motorcycles which went into administration in January following £300,000 in unpaid taxes.  While the debts were piling up, Garner and his wife, Susie, were spotted dining out at an elite restaurant, The Ivy, where a steak costs about £30 (about $A60). Motorcycle journalists also report that Garner had attended international motorsport events and put on lavish motorcycle launches. He also lived in lavish surroundings in Donington Castle where Norton motorcycles are also manufactured.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Former Norton boss to pay back £14m

It’s pay back time for Stuart Garner who dined out at expensive restaurants and lived a lavish lifestyle as he ran Norton — one of the most revered bands in motorcycling — into the ground.

Now the former boss is in deep trouble, ordered to pay back £14m to pensioners who invested in retirement funds not knowing Garner was dishonestly using the money to prop up his motorcycle company.

The order to pay back the money will not affect Norton Motorcycles which was bought in April by  Indian company TVS who are investing heavily and promise to produce all current and promised models as well as some new models.

The UK Pensions Ombudsman is now chasing Garner to repay funds from three pension schemes he set up which fraudulently funnelled money into his company.

Norton boss Stuart Garner at Donington CastleGarner relaxes at home

In 2012 and 2013, 228 pensioners invested in five-year pension funds (Commando 2012 Pension Scheme, the Dominator 2012 Pension Scheme, and the Donington MC Pension Scheme) which invested primarily in Norton Motorcycles.

Garner was trustee of all funds and sole director of their provider, Manocrest Ltd.

The pensioners claim their investment was not returned years after the lock-in period had expired and £14 million in investments were lost in the company collapse.

In February, Garner failed to appear at a public hearing held by the Pensions Ombudsman to investigate complaints about the pension schemes

Pay back time

The Ombudsman has now issued this statement:

“The trustee [Garner] has acted dishonestly and in breach of his duty of no conflict, his duty not to profit and his duty to act with prudence.

“The investments made by [Garner into Norton] on behalf of each of the schemes were made in breach of the trustee’s statutory, investment and trust law duties.”

The ombudsman ordered Garner to make a “restorative payment” to all the scheme members as well as paying £180,000 to the original 30 fund applicants for “exceptional maladministration causing injustice”.

Garner has not made any media comment about the determination, but in the past the former export “poster boy” has blamed Brexit for his company’s downfall.

Norton CEO Stuart Garner Norton Motorcycles pay back“Poster boy” Garner

The pensions payback is not Garner’s only worries as the UK government may investigate almost £8m in funding and loans to Norton Motorcycles which went into administration in January following £300,000 in unpaid taxes.

While the debts were piling up, Garner and his wife, Susie, were spotted dining out at an elite restaurant, The Ivy, where a steak costs about £30 (about $A60).

Motorcycle journalists also report that Garner had attended international motorsport events and put on lavish motorcycle launches.

He also lived in lavish surroundings in Donington Castle where Norton motorcycles are also manufactured.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Norton still one of the sweetest sounds

Norton Motorcycles has gone through some strife but the future sounds good now it is in the cashed-up hands of Indian motorcycling giants TVS, but it sounds even better in the hands of a good rider.

And that rider is former racer and now popular MotoGeo vlogger Jamie Robinson (pictured above).

In these two videos he takes the Norton Dominator up LA’s twisting Mulholland Highway.

This first video is just on-board footage where you can really hear and experience the raw sound of the parallel twin with a handmade exhaust.

Great video that shows the smooth lines, throttle and brake application of a tainted rider.

In this video he explains more about the bike and then goes camping with the obligatory burger dinner!

Sweeter sounds

If you think the Norton sounds sweet, it will be music to Norton owners’ ears that TVS will tackle allegations of shoddy materials and warranty claims.

Norton Motorcycles interim CEO John Russell recently told British magazine Superbike they would do their best to honour deposits taken on bikes before the company went belly-up and also hope to honour warranty claims, despite no compulsion in the purchase contract.  

“We’re aiming to get in touch with customers that have problems so that we can develop solutions. We’re open minded but obviously there’s a limit,” Russell told Superbike. 

“We want to be fair and consistent.

“The last thing we want is for people to go away with a negative view of Norton.

“We want to make sure there isn’t a feeling that there are second-class Norton owners who feel they missed the boat because they didn’t get the treatment that future customers will get.

“We’ll go through a technical review to discover what the challenges might be.

“Future bikes will go through the best quality assurance processes on the planet.

“If there are historic issues, we’ll seek to do the best we can.” 

James Mutton Brisbane Motorcycles discountingAustralian importer James Mutton with Norton motorcycles

Australians who paid deposits directly to their dealer have already had their deposits returned.

Importer James Mutton of Brisbane Motorcycles says if customers decided to go ahead with their order, they will not lose their place in the queue for bikes. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Shed find Duo Glide headlines auction

A 1960 Harley-Davidson FL Duo Glide that spent 37 years sitting in a shed in Queensland headlines Shannons’ Timed Online Classic sale later this month.

The bike is one of seven motorcycles crossing the “virtual auction block” from 20 May to 3 June 2020.

The highest bid lodged by close of bidding on June 3 buys the lot, providing that the bid exceeds its reserve price (if any). All registered bidders can follow the bidding online.

You can arrange a virtual video tour of any specific lot by contact the Melbourne or Sydney auction teams on 13 4646 (Option 6) or via email at [email protected]

Duo GlideHarley Duo Glide

The recommissioned 1960 Harley-Davidson FL Duo Glide is expected to bring $20,000 – $24,000 when offered with ’no reserve’.

The 1960 FL Duo-Glide replaced the Hydra-Glide as the big American touring bike of choice.

It was a major innovation in the history of Harley-Davidson, introducing a number of changes, introducing proper swing-arm with coil-over shocks rear suspension.

Purchased from a deceased estate, the Harley had been the subject of some previous mechanical and cosmetic refurbishment, but a major service was carried out by marque specialists Macksville Motorcycles in preparation for its sale, with recent invoices on file totalling almost $2,500.

The one-owner Velocette Sportsman 500cc solo is one of only 40 Sportsmans made available for Australia.

It was purchased new from Burling & Simmons on Parramatta Road, Auburn, in Easter 1970 and has been cherished by its original Sydney owner ever since.

Well-known in the Velocette community, the bike remained registered in NSW until 2012, when it was deregistered and kept in storage until now.

Still largely original, the Velocette was completely overhauled mechanically in 1994 and is offered for sale for the first time in 50 years, with its odometer showing just 2,983 miles.

It is expected to sell in the $18,000 – $22,000 range.

Bonneville 1961 Triumph T120R Bonneville 650cc

This 1961 Triumph T120R Bonneville 650cc solo is expected to sell with ‘no reserve’ for $15,000 – $18,000.

The T120R remained the most powerful, fastest and desirable bike in Triumph’s catalogue for over a decade, with numerous variants offered for sale along the way.  

Fully restored by a specialist workshop in Melbourne several years ago, this early Pre-Unit T120R Bonneville with corresponding engine and frame numbers dates from early 1961, comes in the correct Sky Blue over Silver Sheen colour combination. 

With its mileage reset to zero at the time of restoration, the bike was showing just 285 miles on its odometer at the time of cataloguing.  

BSABSA M120

There are two restored 500cc Pre-War BSA solos in the online auction – a circa 1935 Model W35-7 and a c1937 M20 – each offered with ‘no reserve’ and expected to sell in the $14,000 – $16,000 range.

Fully restored by its previous owner in West Australia, the 1935 W35-7 has a rebuilt motor and numerous new parts, with the addition of a rare brass trouble light to illuminate its instruments.

With its frame and engine numbers both dating from the first year of the model’s production, the 1937 M20 has been the subject of a fresh ground-up restoration by its current owner. 

The bike features the correct hand gear change, Brooklands silencer and fishtail, genuine Smiths speedo and drum speedo gear and is showing zero miles on its odometer.

The fully-restored 1974 Norton Commando 850 MkIIA comes in black with gold pin-striping on its tank, a black saddle, chrome mudguards and wire wheels.

Norton introduced the 828cc Commando in 1967.

It has been mechanically updated and is expected to sell price for $12,000 – $16,000.

There is also a 1978 Honda CT70 Mini Trial Bike in good operating condition that is being offered with ‘no reserve’ and is expected to bring $3,500 – $4,500.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

New Norton owner plans new models

The new owner of Norton Motorcycles, Indian-based TVS Motor Company, has begun revitalising the company with funding, a new CEO and plans for new models.

TVS bought the troubled British manufacturer in a $A31m cash deal a couple of weeks ago.

Click here to read more about the historic sale.

The third-largest motorcycle company in India plans to continue production at Donington Hall for about six months and then move to a new headquarters nearby in Leicestershire.

Norton Motorcycles Donington Hall factory crowdNorton’s Donington Hall factory

TVS joint managing director Sudarshan Venu has big plans for Norton including:

  • Doubling the British workforce;
  • Launching new products, possibly smaller-capacity models;
  • Investing tens of millions in the company; and
  • Moving to a larger factory with the capacity to build 2000 handmade bikes a year.

Hi-tech needed

We hope the new facility is more hi-tech than the current factory which one visitor described as a “very musty old building that desperately needed maintenance”.

The visitor who asked for anonymity says the bikes were hand made, “but on carpet tiles where you can still see where the desks were”. 

“There was a complete lack of technology. The bike I looked at in pre-delivery was not being tuned on a dyno – no laptop plugged in to the ECU.”

New CEO

TVS have also appointed interim CEO John Russell who has a background in management consultancy, engineering, and automotive.

Among his many postings are a stint with Harley-Davidson.

Vanu says Norton will “retain its distinctive identity with dedicated and specific business plans”.

TVS have confirmed they will continue to build the Commando, Dominator and V4 RR as well as the promised Atlas series.

Norton Atlas Ranger Nomad wait ownerNorton Atlas Ranger and Nomad

In further good news for Australian Norton fans, Varghese tells us they will continue with their current dealer network with importer James Mutton of Brisbane Motorcycles.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

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