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Things improving ?

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycles (Modern)' started by 961Story, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. 961Story

    961Story

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    I don't see how or why a Norton owner can be really this disappointed,I thought things at the Factory had improved. According to this article on the NOC it is just the same...Here is what was written.....


    For all the people who are thinking of purchasing one of these machines & think that Stuart Garner has gotten over all the issues with this bike, think again.

    My love affair with this machine began back in 2009 at the NEC in Birmingham, as soon as I saw it I had to have it. I met Stuart & asked if I could purchase the bike that was on show right there & then. After a bit of a discussion I was told “yes you can have it” I had to call them at the factory the next day & arrange payment. I headed home with a great big smile happy in the knowledge of what I had just done. Next morning I got on the phone to make the payment & that’s when it all fell apart. I was advised that the bike was being shipped to the states for another show & that it would not be possible, I could however place an order & receive a new bike in three months. What the hell, the order was placed. By 2011 yes that correct 2011 I still had no bike. I had made plenty of phone calls & sent plenty E mails but just lies after lies. Funny but they never called me. In the end I gave up & after a while they did eventually pay my deposit back.

    Fast forward to 2013 & I am looking for a new bike for my 45th birthday. The Norton started nagging in my head again, so I gave them a call. Spoke to a guy called Andy Jeans, sounded a decent chap. Went over my past history & he advised that things were a lot better now & I would not have the same problem. I was then told it would take nine months for delivery, em, that sound horribly familiar. I said thanks but no thanks, I would not wait that long. Next day I received an E mail advising that as I was a returning customer they could have a bike for me in April, this was January. As I was working away from home & would not be home until then I thought why not. I had only just paid my deposit when I get an E mail from Andy advising that he is leaving the company & someone new would take over my build. Oh dear here we go again, panic set in. The new guy was Sean Kynnersley & he is a gentleman. Anyway, I arrived home middle of April knowing that the bike is not ready but promised now for the start of May.

    The bike arrived in May & I was so chuffed, finally I had the bike I lusted over in my garage. The next day I took her for the first run. Nothing fancy just a small 15 miles into see my mother. On arrival I stepped off the bike only to find oil all over the back wheel, the bike was covered in the stuff. There was so much oil I could not work out where it came from. Cleaned her all down & slowly rode back home, stopping every so often to check for oil leak. Found out she was leaking through the starter motor. The first of many phone calls to Norton. A new starter was sent up along with instructions on how to adapt an Allen key so as not to remove the clutch basket. New starter fitted & off we went again. We reached the 500 mile mark without further incident but the starter was leaking again. Hired a van & drove all the way to Donnington for the first service & to get the sports pipe fitted. Arrived early hours of the morning & found guys still working in the factory, they were preparing for the TT. Had a cup of coffee & then went for a sleep in the van. Woke up early next morning & the bike was rolled into the factory. I was advised that it would only take a couple of hours. The BSB was on at Donnington so I went to watch the practice. Came back to the factory around lunch time to find the bike in bits, the head & barrel was off. I spoke to the mechanic & said “that looks a bit serious for a basic service”. I was advised that they found traces of oil in the throttle bodies & that they were replacing the piston rings. Finally at five o clock my bike was ready. Pushed it into the van & started the long journey back to Scotland. Everything was fine for the first couple of hundred miles & then things started to go wrong again. When sitting at idle the bike would start to rev at all ranges on its own. Another phone call to be informed it was the lambda sensors & that they would get them sorted the next time they were up in Scotland. I did not have to wait for that to be fixed as on the next run out the gear selector dropped out & could not engage any gears. Yet another phone call to try & get the bike fixed. They eventually picked the bike up & she was gone for a month. Received a call one evening to say that my bike would be delivered that night & would I be available to take delivery, of course I will. The driver turned up at eleven o clock at night, he had been driving all day (he looked knackered). I asked if he needed a bed for the night but he said he had to get straight back for another delivery. I did not want to hold him up so I started the bike to ride it into the garage. When I started the bike up you could not see anything for smoke & I mean anything. The whole street was like fog. When the smoke cleared I asked the driver what the hell was going on, he said he was just the driver & to contact the factory in the morning. I should have just told him to take it away but he just looked shocked. The next morning, yet another phone call. I was told not to worry & it was just the new piston rings that had been installed. I was confused, that was not the reason that she had been back to the factory & it certainly was nothing to do with piston rings, this was valves. I was told just to run it for a couple of weeks & see how I get on. Well after a month I could not stand it any longer & called them to take it back & fix it. The bike was picked up again & off she went. Never saw her for another two months this time. Got the call saying she was on her way back & that they had had to replace the valve seals? Yet again another late night delivery. Woke up the next morning to beautiful sun shine (yes in Scotland) so decided to take the bike to work. Twenty miles of twisty country roads, great way to start your day. Arrived at work & everything was great, no issues on the run in. By lunch time the sun was still bright so I decided to head home & enjoy the run. After ten miles things were looking good so I decided to give her a bit more revs, that’s when it all went wrong. As the revs were rising on a straight section of road there was an almighty bang, a lot of smoke & a lot of clatter. I pulled in the clutch & just let her role to a stop. Got off the bike, put her on the side stand & lit a cigarette. Pulled out my phone & made the call.

    Me: Hi Sean its Craig.

    Sean: Hi Craig how’s the bike, have you been for a run yet.

    Me: In fact yes, I am out on the bike now. She is currently sitting at the side of the road with an engine that has just gone pop.

    Sean: Ha ha, I hope you’re kidding, how’s it really going.

    Me: No I am not kidding, this one could have been serious & I could have been killed if anything else was on the road.

    Sean: Well that’s not good, we will come & pick it up. Sorry about that.

    Anyway, the bike was picked up yet again. I contacted Sean to say that I did not want the bike back as it was too much of a risk; the engine just wasn’t up to the task. After a lot of phone calls & many E mails I was persuaded to take the bike back but not before I had my conditions met.



    The bike was to be 100% fixed before returning.
    The warranty was to be extended by another year to cover the time she had spent in the factory.
    If the engine failed again, I would receive a full refund.
    I was given all the above in a letter from Norton & assured that if it happened again I would have no problem with a refund. I was also told that a new engine would be fitted to be sure she was good. Three months went by & no bike. Again lots of E mails & phone calls. Sorry we are waiting on parts. Sorry we have just bought Donnington Hall & we are in the middle of a move. As I said over three months later & the bike arrived & she was perfect. Funny thing was the new engine still had the old engine number? I also received an E mail from Sean saying he had now left Norton & could not help me any further.

    Things were great, the bike ran well that was until two months ago. Again on the run home from work the bike started to lose power, I thought it had fouled a plug. Tried to clear it but nope she lost all compression & oil residue all over the engine, it was fatal. Made the inevitable phone call, advised who I was & asked to talk with someone who could arrange collection of the bike & my money back as agreed. I was told I would receive a call in the next hour. No call ever came. I called back & was asked if I had proof of the agreement, I said I did & would send a copy of the letter. I never received another call from Norton & to date they have still not talked to me. I sent countless E mails with no response. I did receive one E mail stating that the person I was sending my E mails to was on holiday & no one else saw his E mails & that he would be in touch on his return. So someone saw that E mail but did not see the others, more lies. I contacted a solicitor to start legal proceedings to get my money back. I sent him all the E mails I have from two years of heart ache from Norton & also the letter confirming that I would receive my money back. Guess what, Yup, Norton are also ignoring his letters.

    So be warned, things are still not right at Norton. Those who have good bikes are happy & those of us who ended up with a broken bike are treated like it’s our fault. A certain Mr Garner does not deserve to hold the title to this classic name & I for one hope that one day it is taken from him.
     
  2. richard-7

    richard-7

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    This post on this forum is just negative slander.

    Lets go over the points

    Starter leak - Easy fix and it's a shame Norton didn't know then that a Transmission vent was needed. Hence the reason I'm making manuals to prevent this sort of thing. I would imagine by now Norton has added a vent (but it's easy enough to make one yourself. And I realize this should be a factory thing but think about it, you are Stuart now, are you going to sit there and wait for years with $$ millions tied up testing for possible issues? def. not. As these issues come up they take care of them. Just like Honda, except Honda sells million a year and has millions of employees and been around for a lot longer. BUT I still see recalls. Looks like even Honda lets things go not knowing every possible issue that could happen.

    Oil all over the tire - Airbox drain plug fell out, this happened to my dad and he had no back brakes. (It's too bad Norton doesn't have a note saying, by the way, we have a small oil in the airbox issue so for now, keep it plugged and drain it when you get home and re plug it back up so you don't get oil on your tire or back brakes.

    Smoking like a cigar - Easy, Norton realized the plug fell out and put a new one in, except forgot to mention to the guy to remove it and drain it once in a while. So looks like the oil from the airbox was entering the engine and fouling the O2 sensors and making the engine smoke A LOT!!

    Sure they guy is mad and these bikes are not for everyone. And I can understand his frustration, but they are as basic as it gets to work on. And with a little understanding (hence my manuals) they are trouble free.

    I think it's a shame the guy vented over the internet but that is what most people do, and it's a shame you re-posted it. Because the bike is not the problem. Not having the knowledge how to care for the bike from Norton was the problem here and probably will be for a while still. Norton didn't explain why these things happened! and maybe at the time didn't even know themselves. But I would buy that bike off the guy and it would be trouble free. The issues are minor but that internet post makes them seem severe.
     
  3. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    So true.
    Seems that even new Nortons require their owners to be capable and handy.
    Still you have to feel for the guy. He may have been someone familiar only with the set it/forget it technology of Hondas, or Yamahas.
    These Nortons require the owner to be aware of the machine's operating status at all times.
    I too would say, without implying anything about the owner who encountered the problems, these bikes are not for everyone.
     
  4. G81 Can Cycle

    G81 Can Cycle VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    My $.02
    I agree with Richard.

    I have come to expect a negative post anytime I see "961Story" as the original poster or contributor. He certainly has the right to post his opinions, but I have read enough of his opinions to know that his "961Story" is not a happy one.

    I admit my bias toward the 961, and have had no major problems with either of the two 961 SF's I own. (although my mileage is low)

    I am capable of doing my own maintenance, and have a base knowledge to handle most of the technology involved with this bike.

    I think that prospective buyers who are not "hands on" should stay away from the bike. But they should also stay away from Ducatis, Aprillas (and like performance machines) and completely stay away from anything vintage (at least for now).
     
  5. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    How many UK NOC members know about this AccessNorton site?
    If they had a resource like Richard, and others on this site, they would probably be far better off.
    I have lurked about on the NOC site, but have never noticed such in depth solutions that you see on this 961 forum.

    We should consider ourselves very lucky indeed.
     
  6. roofus

    roofus

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Very true. This is far better than the NOC site. We have members like Richard who regularly post invaluable maintenance bulletins, and few members who complain.
     
  7. richard-7

    richard-7

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    You are all very kind :D
     
  8. richard-7

    richard-7

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Built my kids a play fort, like a tree house not in a tree. Just so you know why it takes so long to make manuals sometimes.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. 961Story

    961Story

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    G81 Can Cycle,you know what,I have spent a great deal of my hard earned money on my 961.I have not enjoyed the total of 5-6 months without it whilst it is back at the factory.Things seem to be getting worse again which is what I reported,if you lot want to stick your heads in the sand,carry on..................I might if I can be bothered to tell you a few more home truths about good old Norton one day.
    Anyway feel free to carry on thinking the sun shines out of Mr Garner,things are not as rosy as you little people think they are.
     
  10. roofus

    roofus

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Nice work Richard, we appreciate all the work you do on this forum, but family must come first . . . . even before our 961's :D
     
  11. roofus

    roofus

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    What members of this forum were saying is that they are not interested in listening to complainers and snivelers like you, posting regurgitated drivel from useless forums like NOC, or as I call it "kNOCk." I used to subscribe to that crap site, but I cut them loose a short time ago!

    Most posters on this forum have positive and useful attitude! . . . . unlike a few whiners!!!!


    If you have useful tips and advice for Norton 961 owners, please post!!!

    If you don't, please go to the NOC forum where whiners belong!!!!

    Please note . . . I said whiners not winners!!!! :D
     
  12. Boomer

    Boomer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Totally Agree!!
     
  13. Britfan60

    Britfan60 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Richard7. Believe me, I do respect and appreciate all you have been doing to provide information to the 961 owners on this forum, but I do have to disagree with you about "having a working knowledge" of the bike. Not all of us are aerospace engineers, to begin with. Nor are we mechanics. At the price Norton is charging, let face it, the bike should either be more reliable or customer service should be more helpful, efficient and timely. Norton made sure they splash all over their paperwork work on you own bike before the warranty is up, and you'll void it. The original post is a horror story. I'd hardly call that whining. The whole motor had to be replaced. There was very little riding time the time of owership. Lets face it. Although you have not really complained about the 961, because, like myself, we love it, you've posted just about every "issue" there is with this bike. That's hardly spreading cheer. Again, we all appreciate your potential solutions to these problems, but they are all something the manufacturer and dealerships should be prepared to deal with, and they are not.
     
  14. richard-7

    richard-7

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014

    I agree with you 100% - A lot could be better and a lot of buyers were blind sided or perhaps Norton really wasn't aware of the issues. The reason I say that is because warranty claims are taken out of the profit margin so It's a bad business model to release known issues and take care of them later. The oil issue is the one that should not have been released until it was sorted - I shake my head at this one a lot. And I believe it will be sorted -- one day. At least Norton it going in the right direction. I personally would never own a 961 earlier than 2012. And the bikes, unfortunately, are NOT for everyone. At least the 961. But if you are a qualified owner, meaning you have a lot of tolerance for dumb problems and overlooked ideas and know how to work on things. Super fun bike. Half of the fun of bike ownership to me is tinkering with it. Which is why my personality would never own a CBR. Not because it's not a fantastic product at a great price, because it would get boring. This is a perfect recipe for most people tho..

    Buyers should be super cautious before they spend their hard earned cash on a pretty new Norton 961. But the right buyer who has done their homework and well aware of the issues - Some I made posts about, will enjoy every last minute of it. Even the things you shake your head at and wonder WTF??

    It is a bespoke bike - which is super cool! But that rant is a bit over the top to be posted on this forum. If it was a member of this site I could understand, but this thread is a bit ridiculous. -- my opinion only!
     
  15. Snorton74

    Snorton74

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    You can understand his frustration or his post is negative slander, make up your mind.
     
  16. richard-7

    richard-7

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    I can understand the owner of the bikes frustration. The person who decided to copy and post it here only to show his or her distaste for Stuart and the Norton Company is just slander. again -- in my opinion. This will be my last comment on this thread and I hope someone will delete it.
     
  17. G81 Can Cycle

    G81 Can Cycle VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    My response as one of the "little people"

    I take most things I read on the internet with a certain amount of skepticism. I like to see proof, and reserve judgments and opinions until I feel there is a trend of truth or proof. The majority of the posters on the 961 section have shown to be reliable people with a desire to share good and bad. And, the ones I trust also share a love and bias for the success of the new Norton.

    But there are people that seem to want to bash everything about the new bike. If you read my post above concerning "961story", you will see I state that everyone of his posts seem to be derogatory. I challenge you to search by his "handle" and read his posts. He has a right to post his feelings, and even the right to copy and paste derogatory posts from other sources. But, I also (and so do other members) have the right to challenge his opinions. I am by no way disparaging "961story", just stating an observation

    His post above does not reach the level of libel as Richard has stated (not bashing you Richard, I agree, for most part, with your response above) For it to be libel we would have to prove that the above story is untrue. I do not have the time to do an investigation to find if the story is true or not (there's that skeptical side of me) " 961story" is guilty of "hearsay", as he as published a report without giving any evidence of its truth. In a court of law. the original writer of the review would need to testify and provide proof of the incidences he describes. (I have dated an attorney for too long I guess LOL)

    One thing I have a problem with in negative posts, is the bashing of Stuart Garner (and "961story" is guilty of this). I do not know the man. I do believe he is attempting to re-launch an iconic British brand in its county of origin. No small feat. I own a manufacturing company, and it is not an easy task to develop and sell a complicated manufactured product. I could write a 10,000 page essay on the problems, from development, to manufacture, to vendor sourcing, to quality control, to personnel management, to recruitment of competent people, to government regulations, to investment capital, to cash flow, and so on, the list is long. I feel that very few of the people on this board know the risks and challenges of the undertaking that Garner is attempting.

    Garner has started this endeavor by purchasing the rights to a concept design from an American (Kenny Dreer) who ran into some of the problems I just stated in the paragraph above (mostly lack of capital, it takes a great deal of money to move from concept to production). From what little I know, there was still a lot of things that had to be worked out on Dreer's concept, to be able to produce the 961.

    As of now, I admire what Garner is doing. I know what is like to have "non-players" stand on the sideline and criticize, when they most likely don't have the skills to even get on the field. It takes perseverance to continue in such a endeavor. Statistically, Garner is doing OK. I mean by this, that most people that even attempt such a monumental task, fail with the first 3 to 5 years. They fail for many reasons, the two biggest being under funded, and lack of perseverance. This is not a game that individuals normally take on, and is the territory of major corporations with financial capability.

    So, yes, I choose to see the positive for right now, until I have more than heresay, and random chatter to prove otherwise. I have had positive experiences with both of my 961's. And, the 2015 is better than the 2014, so I see that as Norton looking at their problems and trying to do something about the issues

    And now for the best part. Skeptical me again. How do I know if "961story" even owns a Norton 961. I know Richard and his dad own one, I have seen them. I am reasonable sure TonyA, Dozer, Brittwit, Britfan, BPHorse, Rufus and others have 961's. And most of these people have posted negative comments, along with ways of fixing or improving problems. How do I know that "961story" is not a 12 year old girl living in Cleveland. And to that extend, how do I know the post copied from the NOC is not by a 47 year old man sitting at his computer and masturbating to Chinese porn when not posting to the NOC . Had to put that in prove I am one of the "little people"
     
  18. G81 Can Cycle

    G81 Can Cycle VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    961Story

    It is hard to take you seriously. Read your quote above. If you have verifiable information that does not take a secret decoder ring, then put your evidence out there. But, I would like to be able to verify your stories. Fact check your opinions. Is that asking too much to have before I accept your posts as truth

    Signed: Unelected representative of the "little people"
     
  19. BPHORSEGUY

    BPHORSEGUY

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    As one of the "little" people I have 2 quick things to say. First, Curtis my warranty specifically says you can work on the bike, first one I've seen written that way! Second, I was at my dealer yesterday and he said of the 15 or so Nortons they have delivered since 2013, only 3 have been back for warranty service and one was a very minor problem. Is this as good as say "Honda" no, but hardly the horror story some are trying to portray. :shock:
     
  20. 961Story

    961Story

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    What a predictable bunch you are,is it an American thing.To stick your head in the sand and reckon everything will be ok.
    Or the truth hurts and you would rather not admit it.
    Either way it's funny.
     

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