Three prototype Norton’s arrived in the UK last week to signal the next stage of the rebirth of the iconic bike firm under British ownership.
The bikes, one 961 Commando and two 852 Commandos as well as three huge wooden transport crates full of parts are the sum total of the investment new owner Stuart Garner’s purchase of Norton from American Kenny Greer.
MCN was there as the lids were prised off the crates to see what was inside – and this is the first glimpse of the Prototype 961 which will be the first new Norton to go on sale in summer 2009.
Now the bike is in England, Norton, in association with Spondon Engineering which Garner also now owns, has a big task in getting a prototype into full production specification.
Garner told MCN: “I don’t think I’ve slept properly in the past couple of weeks knowing all the bikes, parts and tooling have been in transit. None of it got shipped until my cheque for the purchase went through so it was two weeks waiting for something to arrive that I had paid a lot of money for.
“The relief when it all arrived safely was huge and I just love looking at the bike.
“The hard work really starts now. We have to get this bike into production with around 50 scheduled for the summer of 2009. Nothing is going to be released until the bike is ready. We’re not having anything out on the road with customers if there is a hint it’s wrong.”
You can read a full update of what happens next in the current issue of MCN on sale now.