Testing on the new 952 Commando continues at Norton Motorsports in Gladstone, Ore. In a company update, Norton President Kenny Dreer likened the bike’s current position to being in the “red zone” during a football game. “We are standing on the 5 yard-line with two final plays that must yet be successfully executed: 1) final power train validation and durability testing, and 2) EPA/DOT/CARB certification,” Dreer said. “All of our efforts and resources are focused on these two tasks for the next five months.”
The company plans to complete engineering validation and accelerated durability testing of the power train in January in an effort to then move into certification and, by September 2005, enter into production.
“We have established detailed testing parameters, and have achieved many successes, but in order to go into production, before we make production tooling investments, we must complete accelerated durability testing of the engine and drive train,” Dreer said. “We are working with experienced independent experts to achieve objective validation of our internal engineering efforts. We are also working with experts to run certification trials, so that we might validate our EPA compliance prior to submitting a bike for mileage accumulation and certification. Finally, we will run a number of complete bikes through durability cycles, accumulating mileage, on predetermined courses that profile environment, uses and conditions that the 952 must perform within.
“I will not rush into production, or compromise on the promises we have made to the Norton faithful,” Dreer said. “Better to be a little late, and have done the right thing, everyone will be happier at the end of that day.”
In other Norton Motorsports news, the company says it has expanded its trademark ownership to more than 55 countries worldwide. Led by Don Niles, Esq., of the law firm Patterson, Thuente, Skaar, Christensen, P.A. of Minneapolis, Minn., the on-going pursuit and collection includes the Norton brand and logo, as well as the model names Commando, Manx, Atlas, Dominator and Commander in categories that include motorcycles, motorcycle parts and accessories, apparel, footwear and fashion accessories, toys and consumer electronics.
Also, in June, Munroe Motors of San Francisco signed on as Norton’s first dealer. Norton says it plans to establish approximately 10 dealerships nationwide to retail the first 952 Commando Fastbacks.
For more information, visit the new Norton website at www.nortonmotorcycles.com
Copyright 2004 Powersports Business