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The motorcycle world is ...

ER Classics Desktop 2022

... not what it used to be. Of course, motorcycle manufacturers also had their technical problems in the past. Certainly the Italian motorcycle manufacturers who, time and again, simply put their accountants in the corner to invest at least 1000 in competitive sport for every 5000 lire earned.

But those were - however stupid and enormous they were - mistakes made of passion

In recent decades, a new kind of mismanagement has emerged in motorcycle land. And we note that because it usually involves exploiting once renowned motorcycle brands. The most recent tear-jerking phenomenon in that corner was the - umpteenth - demise of the once legendary Norton.


Bad management 1.0

Maybe bad management for motorcycle manufacturers was not invented in 'England', but the British have optimized the phenomenon to perfection. In addition, you can say that a man like Edward Turner was just as genius as he was crazy. In the earlier phase, before the time when the British motorcycle industry was going downhill - there were once 639 British motorcycle brands - that stuff has the masterful books 'Whatever Happened to the British Motorcycle Industry?' and 'Decline of British motorcycle industry delivered'.

First, the positive news: The purchase by the Indian TVS has once again saved the once leading, successful brand. But that doesn't end the story for former Norton CEO Stuart Garner, a modern day manager of the purest water, a true predator.

Boontje comes to his wages

The British judicial authorities have ordered Garner to pay £ 14 million in damages. After all, he would have stolen that much money from pension funds in the name of Norton and the former CEO was the trustee of it. The conviction to pay that money represents the victory of 30 investors who have sued Garner. But the problems for the former CEO don't end there. And of course he also has to cough up 14.000.000 pounds. But because the clever guy has put everything in the name of his wife or whatever… he personally has nada pennies.

In addition to repaying that money, the robber knight has several different charges hanging on his pants about his morally empty behavior about various obligations. There are quite a few people who have never received the Norton they bought and paid for. Nortons now have to be delivered again quickly under Indian wings. And that they know how to make motorcycles in India? Well… they learned that from the British in colonial times when Enfield lost its 'Royal' and Enfield became India. And in the meantime, Enfield India is Royal Enfield again and the company can hardly meet the demand for the phenomenal, neo-classic 650 cc twins.

So as far as Norton is concerned, it could just be a happy ending after the Brexit of the brand.

The Norton in the photos is from the collection of Rob Remmerswaal from Wezup. The 850 (with a working starter!) Dates from the time of just another Norton company bankruptcy.

 

In the past, when happiness was still very common (Jan Eggink archive)

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