I spoke to "that man" at the NEC shows 2 or 3 times. Seemed to have a genuine affection for the brand; told me his dad used to take him to watch the Rotaries race. We shall see how it all pans out. At least with the clout and cash of TVS behind them now, perhaps just for once, Norton really do have a great future ahead of them.
Anyhoo, "that man" told me that he didnt use an ad agency: when he wanted some press coverage, said that he would call MCN and offer them an exclusive, provided the bike and the brand went on the front page. Apparently the response was always, no problem, 'cos every time they splash Norton all over the front page, they can guarantee x thousand more sales....not sure how impartial they could be, under those circumstances.
FWIW, I dodged a bullet: really fancied one of the Atlases when they were launched, being a bit more affordable. Trying the bike for size, found the seat height too high. Asked him, when was he going to start making bikes for us short-a***s......no reply....
They’re chasing me for confirmation of my original V4RR order with the old company. Production not starting till mid 2021 and in chronological order of original individual orders so wouldn’t see mine till 2022 at the very earliest. In no hurry to make a decision.
That’s an interesting update about production James. From what I'd read, they are keeping on all the staff (although that’s a TUPE requirement anyway), so I had assumed they would be restarting quite soon. Not that a rush would be a good idea, seems they have a lot of c**p to sort out. They advertised on their website for a Quality Manager recently, and are now advertising for a Business Improvement Manager. If I wasn’t already retired....:). We know that Donnington is only a stop-gap location, they are looking to move to the Coventry area (Meriden??!!)
Let’s face it, whatever your opinion of "that man", without him, there would be no Norton as we know it today, and the Dreer bike would have remained nothing more than a wishful pipe dream. So lets give him a modicum of recognition- even if he did it for the wrong reason….
Incidently, I also saw that Simon Skinner's appointment as a Director was terminated as of 28th August. Wasn't he the technical/design guy who ironed out the flaws in Dreer’s ideas, and gave us the wonderful 961s and V4s we have today in their various forms? I suppose he’s damned by association, even if he’s not directly responsible for the current mess. I guess he must have known the ship was sinking around him.
Hope I’m still around in 10 years to read Whatever happened to the British Motorcycle Industry, Vol.2……….
Yes , agree about giving some credit to SG for reviving Norton despite the calamitous end to his tenure. Have greatly enjoyed my almost trouble free Mk1 961 Sport.