Concluding a more than 30 year drought and 111 years since the first Norton motorcycle was built in 1902, new British built Norton Motorcycles have arrived in U.S. dealerships.
“This is such a proud moment for us and is the culmination of years of work in the UK and here in the USA” commented Dan Van Epps of Norton Motorcycles USA. Light hearted and candidly he continued “As it turns out, making a motorcycle company is a hard thing to do, and takes a bit more than working 24/7 and unbridled enthusiasm. Some things just take time”.
Commando Sport, Commando Café Racer and Commando Sport Factory (SF) models, in both single and dual seat versions are all included in this the first of continuing small shipments. These early arrivals are all 49 State versions with California versions arriving next. The U.S. bikes have the distinction of being some of the first out of Norton’s new production facility Hastings House, situated adjacent to the Donington Grand Prix Circuit. This fresh modern facility provides room for expansion, and in addition to future growth capabilities it allows Norton to bring more production of components in-house. Today all Norton frame building and alloy machining is done within Hastings House.
Norton Motorcycles are unique in this world of mass produced products. Each Norton is built by two technicians from start to finish. This time-consuming quality oriented process is in part why shipments to each country are in such small batches, usually 10 to 20 at a time.
“Our point of reference — ‘Made in Britain, built by British hands’ — is our essential guidance in the development of our bikes” noted Norton’s owner Stuart Garner. “Norton motorcycles were conceived and designed from the start to be proper British Roadsters. These are bikes that excel in the real-world street-riding conditions of the twisty bits on secondary roads. Every Norton is fitted with the best suspension and brakes for confident road manners with superior road-holding, and a quality of fit and finish rarely seen today."
With the current number of riders who have placed deposits with Norton dealers being well beyond all expectations, Norton estimates that it will be well into the Spring of 2014 before the current orders are filled. Many who have inquired about buying a new Norton have been surprised to find that dealers have yet to be assigned in their regions. The time required to catch up with the current demand is the reason Norton has decided to not add more new dealers in the U.S. at the moment. “We are cautious to add dealers and frustrate more future owners with long wait times when it will be months before we can fulfill current demand. However, we will expand the dealer network as production allows, and we maintain a long list of U.S. dealers nationwide seeking to add Norton to their offerings”.