961 is back !

BritTwit

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So I’d say that if Norton do not support the old bikes, they should take the shackles off of the various supplies to supply direct.
Possible that wouldn't even be necessary.
If Jinlang is supplying the engines/parts, they can just pass surplus components to the vast Chinese knockoff companies that tran-ship them to distributors in the west.
This way Jinlang makes extra income, and can claim plausible deniability that they don't know how the parts turned up in the aftermarket channel. Just like the other Chinese companies that produce knockoff products for sale in the west.
Dunno know, maybe I'm being too cynical? :cool:
 

City Garage

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Voodoo said it before and I agree. Those who wanted a 961 have bought one either new or resale. The last 961 on BAT sold for 11k and I have customers that have had a hard time getting 13k for a low(under200k) mile bike. There are a ton of used and a few even "new" 961 still floating about on the UK market and in Australia that haven't sold quickly.

Also, I've spoken to a few original vendors and none of them have received any orders for additional parts/supplies so I think they will sell the 40 they have right now and gauge interest before building the next run of 40-50 bikes or whatever it is to make it worth doing.

But back to the real issues.

Do you think those customers that paid a premium price for a new bike only to have it sit because things like crankcases and other internal engine parts are not available and now to be told nope won't sell you parts?

The age issue is another one. All my customers with the exception of 1 are all well over 50 and they have multiple motorcycles including other early Norton products.

If they want to sell the 961 they will need some serious marketing to make that happen. It will take twice that effort in the USA after the dealers here were left holding a bag of odorous excrement and the service nightmare they became.

They need to bring a few to the USA and have people that ride and service them put some miles on it before thinking about running them not just some bought and paid for magazine riders like harley and others do,

And the last thought is most brands survive because of a robust support network and aftermarket parts etc. They need to work with Rizoma and the like to come out with items like they did for Triumph, etc and other aftermarket companies.
 

City Garage

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Possible that wouldn't even be necessary.
If Jinlang is supplying the engines/parts, they can just pass surplus components to the vast Chinese knockoff companies that tran-ship them to distributors in the west.
This way Jinlang makes extra income, and can claim plausible deniability that they don't know how the parts turned up in the aftermarket channel. Just like the other Chinese companies that produce knockoff products for sale in the west.
Dunno know, maybe I'm being too cynical? :cool:
If there was money to be made with selling Norton engine parts, you bet those parts would have ended up on Alibaba etc.
 

BritTwit

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If there was money to be made with selling Norton engine parts, you bet those parts would have ended up on Alibaba etc.
For a defunct motorcycle that sold maybe 2000 units?
Not sure a former Norton supplier would start up production for such a small population of machines.

But if the 961 goes into production again it's a different story.
If Norton sell say, another 2000, 3000 units, or more, then it becomes more attractive for a supplier to offer spares to the public.
Especially if the supplier believes he can get a premium price for those parts.
 

Voodooo

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I don't think there are many riders under 50 that purchased SG's 961. I know of only one rider, 30ish who bought a 961. He is a hipster dude who owned a Triumph Bonneville (Hinckley) and traded it in to buy the 961. He had the unfortunate luck that the 961 turned out to be a lemon. Norton bought the bike back from him due to all of the issues that could not be resolved. The dude was cured of his Norton obsession, and bought an MV.

I think there are youngish folks who find the 961 irresistible, but the regrettable reliability issues prevent them from seriously considering the bike. Can't tell you how many of these youngish individuals have come up to me to complement me on the bike. But most know that the 961 has a horrible history and is kind of a joke in the industry. This is what the NEW 961 has to overcome.

If the NEW 961 is everything that the original 961 had hoped to be, Norton will sell them. Even at 80ishHP, and 500LBS, the buyers will come. It's up to DR Bob to deliver what customers want, without the drama, and heartache of the original 961.
Maybe so.
But how many people do you really think even know that Norton exist?
Here in the USA you know that hardly any 961 bikes exist and it’s not because of the issues the bikes have.
 

Voodooo

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SG proved to the bike world that the 961 wasn’t making money. I’m sorry, I know I’m sounding negative, but I don’t see TVS making much more progress with the 961 as far as sales go. Even if they sell 2-3000 bikes, that’s not enough to keep the lights on at that mighty state of the art building they always talk about. Hopefully I’m wrong.
 

City Garage

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For a defunct motorcycle that sold maybe 2000 units?
Not sure a former Norton supplier would start up production for such a small population of machines.

But if the 961 goes into production again it's a different story.
If Norton sell say, another 2000, 3000 units, or more, then it becomes more attractive for a supplier to offer spares to the public.
Especially if the supplier believes he can get a premium price for those parts.
I was wondering what the min lot would be for things like a gas tank. I'm sure Acerbis needs a few hundred to make it worth while etc. I know from my experience in the USA that minimums for parts are a hard thing.

I would bet my own two 961's that you'll never see 2000-3000 961's hit the market. They couldn't sell that many without having USA dealers as well. Just not that big of a market for that type of motorcycle. They would have been better off going with a bigger cc engine and selling it for racing.

If you're old enough think about bikes like the Bimota Mantra. Solid company with a great design yet sold horribly. Horrible parts and service except they used the 900SS engine so at least a Ducati dealer could work on it.
 

City Garage

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SG proved to the bike world that the 961 wasn’t making money. I’m sorry, I know I’m sounding negative, but I don’t see TVS making much more progress with the 961 as far as sales go. Even if they sell 2-3000 bikes, that’s not enough to keep the lights on at that mighty state of the art building they always talk about. Hopefully I’m wrong.
Not negative, it's looking at it from a normal perspective. I wish they would sell more since we service them and need parts. Ive taken to looking for wrecked bikes at this point to scavenge engine components. But you are right 3000 isn't going to pay the gardener for that facility.
The EV stuff is where the money seems to be heading
 
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But how many people do you really think even know that Norton exist?
Here in the USA you know that hardly any 961 bikes exist and it’s not because of the issues the bikes have.
True. Met a guy riding a Triumph Thruxton. Talked about his Dad's old Norton that he now owns. He had no idea that Norton started back making bikes in the last 12 years
 

City Garage

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Im still wondering how this was done since no one had seen the bike until recently? "So far, they have covered over 70,000 miles of physical riding on track and road"

Also TVS is taking UK money for the development of electrical products. That's how this is going to work.
 

Stu Bodycote

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Not negative, it's looking at it from a normal perspective. I wish they would sell more since we service them and need parts. Ive taken to looking for wrecked bikes at this point to scavenge engine components. But you are right 3000 isn't going to pay the gardener for that facility.
The EV stuff is where the money seems to be heading
Trouble is there's no wrecked bikes. Ive thought about buying something like a £10k bike to break....but I'd just end up with a lot of parts I wouldnt be able to shift. I see the odd part come up on ebay via insurance salvage ie the odd gravel rashed engine cover, that sort of thing....but its slim pickings. I watch the likes of American Pickers....wish we had barns with old 961 parts gathering dust in them lol
 

City Garage

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Trouble is there's no wrecked bikes. Ive thought about buying something like a £10k bike to break....but I'd just end up with a lot of parts I wouldnt be able to shift. I see the odd part come up on ebay via insurance salvage ie the odd gravel rashed engine cover, that sort of thing....but its slim pickings. I watch the likes of American Pickers....wish we had barns with old 961 parts gathering dust in them lol
I have one that I found it cost me more than it should have. Also have one set of engine cases and a crank
 

Stu Bodycote

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Ive spent around £2.5k in used parts in the last 6mnths....but none of it will be of much use until the bikes start to knock on a little. The oldest 961 out there is still only a 12yr old bike in reality.
 

BritTwit

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Maybe so.
But how many people do you really think even know that Norton exist?
Here in the USA you know that hardly any 961 bikes exist and it’s not because of the issues the bikes have.
True, Norton under SG spent $0 on advertising in the US.
Anonymity of the brand is a problem if you're trying to penetrate a market.

Whenever people would come up to me on my 961 it was one of three situations:
1._They were surprised that Norton was back in business. - (old dudes who once owned britbikes)
or
2._They had no idea what a Norton was. - (youngish dudes who only owned Jap bikes)
or
3. Hot chicks who wanted a ride.

OK I'm joking about situation# 3, but the other 2 are the norm.
Many folks just didn't know Nortons were available.
I'm betting that if Dr. Bob's boys have actually fixed the 961, and it has the reliability expected of a modern EFI motorcycle, he will be able to sell it in the UK, and probably the EU too.
That will be a good start on the road back for the 961.
The US will have to wait and see how the 961 does across the pond first.
 

Voodooo

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True, Norton under SG spent $0 on advertising in the US.
Anonymity of the brand is a problem if you're trying to penetrate a market.

Whenever people would come up to me on my 961 it was one of three situations:
1._They were surprised that Norton was back in business. - (old dudes who once owned britbikes)
or
2._They had no idea what a Norton was. - (youngish dudes who only owned Jap bikes)
or
3. Hot chicks who wanted a ride.

OK I'm joking about situation# 3, but the other 2 are the norm.
Many folks just didn't know Nortons were available.
I'm betting that if Dr. Bob's boys have actually fixed the 961, and it has the reliability expected of a modern EFI motorcycle, he will be able to sell it in the UK, and probably the EU too.
That will be a good start on the road back for the 961.
The US will have to wait and see how the 961 does across the pond first.
I bought my 2016 961 Commando SF when I was 44 years old. I didn’t know anything about this forum or any of the 961 issues, I just did a internet search for a classic Norton commando and ran across the 961. I fell in love with its looks at first sight.

At this time (2016) the 961 was available to buy for what? 3-5 years?

I then did a dealer search only to find South Bay Norton, Matt Capri told me his dealer was soon to be closing ifs doors and that he has a new Commando SF 961 in stock, I was able to purchase and have it shipped from California to Michigan.
Less than a year later I ordered a Dominator Naked. But bought from Indian of Orange County.

I don’t regret buying either of them and I’ll never sell them. Anytime I ride them, I’m always asked questions about them and it’s always 60+ year old guys who recognize the Norton name. None of them realized Norton was in business making bikes at that time.

TVS isn’t a name I ever heard of either until they bought Norton. Had they never bought Norton, I wouldn’t have a clue they even existed. I still find it hard to believe TVS will ever make the new bikes available to the North American market.

Perhaps the new Norton will follow the footsteps of CCM.
 

BritTwit

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I bought my 2016 961 Commando SF when I was 44 years old. I didn’t know anything about this forum or any of the 961 issues, I just did a internet search for a classic Norton commando and ran across the 961. I fell in love with its looks at first sight.

At this time (2016) the 961 was available to buy for what? 3-5 years?

I then did a dealer search only to find South Bay Norton, Matt Capri told me his dealer was soon to be closing ifs doors and that he has a new Commando SF 961 in stock, I was able to purchase and have it shipped from California to Michigan.
Less than a year later I ordered a Dominator Naked. But bought from Indian of Orange County.

I don’t regret buying either of them and I’ll never sell them. Anytime I ride them, I’m always asked questions about them and it’s always 60+ year old guys who recognize the Norton name. None of them realized Norton was in business making bikes at that time.

TVS isn’t a name I ever heard of either until they bought Norton. Had they never bought Norton, I wouldn’t have a clue they even existed. I still find it hard to believe TVS will ever make the new bikes available to the North American market.

Perhaps the new Norton will follow the footsteps of CCM.
Yeah, it seems from Dr. Bob's prior comments on the nature of future Norton factory support, it will be similar to the CCM model.
 

Stephen_Spencer

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Yeah, it seems from Dr. Bob's prior comments on the nature of future Norton factory support, it will be similar to the CCM model.
I think it’s likely that Dr Bob only has the US in his peripheral vision at the moment. The biggest market is the UK of course, no doubt European countries ASAP. He does talk openly about an extensive dealer network so maybe not like the CCM really. In short, I don’t think any perceived anonymity of the Norton brand in the US is a huge concern at this stage of the re-launch. I also don’t think any prospective buyer needs to know who TVS are. Why would they, TVS just hold the wallet - they barely get a mention on the Norton website (beyond the history section).

The success of the V4 (and 961) is very important but I don’t think Norton will live or die on their sales numbers alone. I’d be very surprised if they did’nt expand their range pretty quickly to get some sales volume happening, by releasing the Atlas Nomad and/or the Ranger, or variants of them. Bikes that are already developed (in the main) and that garnered (pardon the pun) a whole lot of interest when they were announced back in 18. Much more affordable and potentially appealing to the younger rider. And then there’s the Superlight of course - would that also make an awesome middleweight Cafe Racer, not unlike the V4CR? Who knows. They talk about a range of bikes for broad appeal - read appealing to all age groups and wallets. This makes sense if they are to generate sales volume.
 

Voodooo

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I think it’s likely that Dr Bob only has the US in his peripheral vision at the moment. The biggest market is the UK of course, no doubt European countries ASAP. He does talk openly about an extensive dealer network so maybe not like the CCM really. In short, I don’t think any perceived anonymity of the Norton brand in the US is a huge concern at this stage of the re-launch. I also don’t think any prospective buyer needs to know who TVS are. Why would they, TVS just hold the wallet - they barely get a mention on the Norton website (beyond the history section).

The success of the V4 (and 961) is very important but I don’t think Norton will live or die on their sales numbers alone. I’d be very surprised if they did’nt expand their range pretty quickly to get some sales volume happening, by releasing the Atlas Nomad and/or the Ranger, or variants of them. Bikes that are already developed (in the main) and that garnered (pardon the pun) a whole lot of interest when they were announced back in 18. Much more affordable and potentially appealing to the younger rider. And then there’s the Superlight of course - would that also make an awesome middleweight Cafe Racer, not unlike the V4CR? Who knows. They talk about a range of bikes for broad appeal - read appealing to all age groups and wallets. This makes sense if they are to generate sales volume.
How successful do you think new Norton can be without North America sales?
 
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I think it’s likely that Dr Bob only has the US in his peripheral vision at the moment. The biggest market is the UK of course, no doubt European countries ASAP. He does talk openly about an extensive dealer network so maybe not like the CCM really. In short, I don’t think any perceived anonymity of the Norton brand in the US is a huge concern at this stage of the re-launch. I also don’t think any prospective buyer needs to know who TVS are. Why would they, TVS just hold the wallet - they barely get a mention on the Norton website (beyond the history section).

The success of the V4 (and 961) is very important but I don’t think Norton will live or die on their sales numbers alone. I’d be very surprised if they did’nt expand their range pretty quickly to get some sales volume happening, by releasing the Atlas Nomad and/or the Ranger, or variants of them. Bikes that are already developed (in the main) and that garnered (pardon the pun) a whole lot of interest when they were announced back in 18. Much more affordable and potentially appealing to the younger rider. And then there’s the Superlight of course - would that also make an awesome middleweight Cafe Racer, not unlike the V4CR? Who knows. They talk about a range of bikes for broad appeal - read appealing to all age groups and wallets. This makes sense if they are to generate sales volume.
I agree with this
I had my heart set on a Nomad for my 60th after seeing it in the flesh at the 2019 Donington burnout,
I thought this was well on the cards with TVS at the helm,
Birthday now came and gone, maybe 65th?!
 
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