One of the oldest motorbike companies in the world is Norton Motorcycles from the UK. There are three major brands of British motorbikes, namely BSA, Triumph and Norton, all of which have been revived after many closures. Triumph motorbikes are actually the half master of Honda when Soichiro Honda went to England to learn from Triumph.
BSA was once the world’s largest motorbike company, and Triumph’s rockets, including the Trident, first came from BSA because Triumph had been bought by it, and BSA was actually the arsenal. The famous Three Guns biker club is a BSA icon, but BSA is now being resurrected by an Indian takeover as well, and Norton Motorcycles (Motor Norton 2022) is now being bought by TVS India, so you can imagine that the Indian company is still strong.
The most heard models of Norton Motorcycles in recent years are the Commando 961, Atlas, and V4SS. The V4 engine was cut in half and sold as a parallel twin cylinder to the domestic Zongshen motorbike. Today Zongshen’s RK6 and RX6 use the parallel twin.
And these three bikes though we know the tip of the Norton iceberg as there are not many Norton motorbikes in the country. Norton actually has a sports car, an off-roader, and a rotor engine at the same time. And the only motorbike manufacturer in this world that is most obsessed with rotor engines is Norton. Many European and American celebrities are also obsessed with Norton, such as Keanu Reeves, Cheggie Barker and the likes. Keanu Reeves, Cheggy Vala, The Motorcycle Diaries, and even a few of the most popular motorcycles in the world. They have even been associated with Breitling watches.
And many people think that the Norton motorbike has remained the same for all these years. In fact all British motorbikes have a certain vintage, British, coffee biker attribute, and the coffee biker Norton 961 gives a perfect illustration of this. Norton Motorcycles was founded in 1898 in Birmingham, England by a founder called James. Langston Norton. At the beginning, Norton was a manufacturer of bicycle parts. As motorbikes were a rarity at the time, and the earliest motorbikes were actually a bicycle with an engine, in 1902 Norton began to produce motorbikes with engines that were not their own, but were purchased from Switzerland and France. He bought engines from Switzerland and France and fitted them to his own bikes and had his first motorbike. The second, also with a twin-cylinder engine, was purchased and fitted to his own bike, which won the Isle of Man TT.
From 1908, however, Norton began to develop its own motorcycle engines, with the introduction of the 3.5hp 490cc and 630cc engines in the same year. Five years later in 1913 Norton was on the verge of bankruptcy due to a decline in business, when Bob Shirley injected money to save Norton. A year later the First World War broke out and Norton began supplying 630cc engines and 499cc engines to the military, at the time one of the four British military giants. After the war, Norton had enough money to start developing a 500cc single-cylinder motorbike.