Terry Nesbitt, vice president of sales and marketing for the Minneapolis-based Norton Motorcycle Company (NMC), says the industry should expect to see his firm’s new bike, the Norton Nemesis Power Cruiser, at the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati, Feb. 1-3.
In August, when the firm revealed its plan to bring back the Norton brand of motorcycle, company officials said they expected to ship a first model to dealers by the fourth quarter 2002, and to have the first three models “introduced to the marketplace by the second quarter of 2003.”
“We are getting close to revealing our new model,” Nesbitt recently told Powersports Business. “We are a little late, but I won’t apologize. They’ve been nothing more than start-up issues associated with introducing a new product. Normal vendor-related issues — getting the parts you want, testing, etc., etc.”
Nesbitt said the project was reconfigured after NMC decided to drop the idea of using a100 cu. in. 45-degree triple camshaft V-twin it originally sought to obtain from English firm Melling Consultancy Design (MCD). Ownership of the engine was contested after Marc Allsman of San Rafael, Calif., heard of NMC’s plans and proved he was the rightful owner to the TriCam powerplant.
“We’ve now gone a different direction, and we no longer have a relationship with (Melling),” Nesbitt said.
The new powerplant to be used in the Nemesis will be a 125 cu. in. V-twin designed by Merch Performance and labeled as a Merch/Norton proprietary engine.
With over 85% of its sales in the U.S., Merch Performance, Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is a rapidly growing manufacturer operating in the cruiser market. It’s U.S. office is located in St. Louis.
“This is only the beginning and it gets bigger and better from here,” said Jim Wild, president of Merch Performance. “Merch Performance is looking forward to a long relationship with Norton Motorcycle Company, and is excited for the opportunity to help restore the Norton brand to a prominent position in the motorcycle community.”
Wild says the Merch/Norton engine will undergo a cosmetic change in order to “enhance the identity” of Norton motorcycles.
Said to deliver 130 ft. lbs. of torque, the Norton Nemesis Power Cruiser features a 1.5-inch tubular chassis design with a proprietary engine mounting system, a six-speed transmission, air ride suspension, and a 240/40-18 Metzeler radial rear tire.
Copyright 2003 Powersports Business