Norton Motorcycles has been purchased by Stuart Garner. All of the trademarks and development work relating to the Norton, Manx, Atlas, Commando and Dominator brands are now owned by the British businessman and owner of Norton Racing Ltd. Plans are to return to the street and track in 2009.
After the abrupt end of the effort to bring back Norton in the U.S. and following Kenny Dreer's departure from the company, everything kind of disappeared. There was talk of negotiations but I heard nothing until I saw this.
It looks like they've developed a 588cc twin rotor Wankel racebike with plans to produce 200 road versions late this year and early 2009. It also appears they have purchased the bike developed by Norton in the U.S., the Norton Commando 961, and plan to finish that project as well. Pretty cool. Now we'll just have to see if things work out as planned. I'm rooting for their success.
Norton press release below:
After nearly fifteen years of US ownership, Norton, the quintessential and most famous of British motorcycle brands returns home.
As a result of prolonged negotiations and a multi-million pound deal we can announce that the Norton motorcycle brand is, at last, back in caring British hands.
Stuart Garner a UK based businessman and owner of Norton Racing Ltd has bought back all the trademarks and development work relating to the Norton, Manx, Atlas, Commando and Dominator brands.
Norton Racing Ltd is already in development of a new rotary engined race bike and now with the ownership of the brand itself plans are being developed to introduce a new road bike for 2009.
‘This has been a challenging and exciting period for us’ Commented Garner ‘We are proud to have brought the brands back home and we now intend to focus on re-establishing Norton as a premier motorcycling brand across the World’ he added.
In the early nineties the brands were bought by Norton Motorcycles Inc in the USA with the view of developing a new Commando road bike for the US market. Nearly $10 million was spent on IP, design and development, and this development work has formed part of the new deal. The investment can now be brought to bear on the new global project for the Norton Commando 961.
Norton intend to develop a strong presence on the track and on the road during 2009 with a new 15000 sq foot factory and office complex based at Donington Park - Norton are at the heart of motorcycle racing once again and committed to investment to make the initiative work.
As well as creating a new ‘state of the art’ road bike the Norton brands will see a vigourous licensing programme through Norton Global Brands to safeguard and develop licensing of all kinds from spare parts to clothing.
Commenting on the programme Garner said ‘Our trade marks and brand have incredible strength and value, we will strongly enforce our position as the new owners of these world famous brands and ensure our new partners benefit from a robust protection programme going forward’.
‘This is the beginning of a new and exciting era in a brand that was started over 100 years ago by James Lansdowne Norton. It has sustained ups and downs over the years but still stands for performance and excellence. These will be the standards we live by from now on’ stated Garner.
Link: Norton Racing