Triumph Bobber / Speed Twin.

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The old 750/850 Nortons had “hand built quality” back in the early 70's, and bits fell off those machines all the time.
I guess today “hand built quality” still means exactly what it meant back then.:D
 

Voodooo

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Fair point! I don’t know where the motors are produced, I had assumed Japan...
Things have a habit of changing over time and what was once seen as the source of top quality changes as technology unfolds. My 'hobby' is watch repair/servicing/collecting. The British made watch of the late 1700's/early 1800's was seen as the pinnacle of workmanship, they were hand made and required thousands of small family run cottage industry workers to produce the parts, mostly in candlelight, and were paid a pittance compared to vast amounts these watches sold for. Then as we headed towards 1900 the Americans began to dominate. For the first time we saw expensive, high quality machinery that could replicate the manufacture of a precision component to such a degree that two watches made from two different runs would be almost identical in tolerances, fit and finish. These machines still needed skilled workers to operate them but being machine made mean't that prices tumbled.... and English watchmaking died a sudden death. Then we enter the early 1920's and along came the Swiss. They had been making watches all along but the quality ranged from pitiful to top-notch but they took the American manufacturing process to another lever and were able to miniaturise the component parts and innovate the mechanisms... and American watchmaking died a sudden death. Now we enter the electronic age... and all but the very cheap or high end watchmakers have all died a sudden death.

I work on the American watches circa 1880 - 1910, for me nothing comes close to these beautiful machines that just happen to tell the time... and do it to within 2secs per day, not bad for a 100 year old machine :)
 

Eljahara

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The old 750/850 Nortons had “hand built quality” back in the early 70's, and bits fell off those machines all the time.
I guess today “hand built quality” still means exactly what it meant back then.:D
The thing is, I look at the bikes in the Classic or rebuild threads and they are outstanding - all hand built (or rebuilt by hand) and exceptional workmanship - Fast Eddies 850 (900), Norton Rider’s 600 and fastback, Ben’s 750, Richard Tool’s 750 and Danno’s 850 - not forgetting Grandpaul and Jim Comstock, Ken.......
All amateurs (Jim excepted) who can turn out an exceptional hand built motorcycle and yet the dedicated manufacturers have so many more issues.
 
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The thing is, I look at the bikes in the Classic or rebuild threads and they are outstanding - all hand built (or rebuilt by hand) and exceptional workmanship - Fast Eddies 750, Norton Rider’s 650 and fastback, Ben’s 750, Richard Tools 750 and Danno’s 850 - not forgetting Grandpaul and Jim Comstock, Ken.......
All amateurs (Jim excepted) who can turn out an exceptional hand built motorcycle and yet the dedicated manufacturers have so many more issues.
I think there is personal hand built, and hand built for profit.
These forum members have a passion for their machines, and take the time to learn the right way to do assembly, fabrication, etc.
They lavish time on their machines and take as long as it takes to get it right.
Norton can't do this obviously, they need to be productive to keep costs down.

I was under the impression that Norton was hiring apprentice mechanics/assemblers to do the 961 assembly.
So they are learning as they assemble our 961's. Keeps labor cost down to use apprentices.
That has to have some undesirable impact on the end result.
How close is the supervision? Dunno.

At Ducati, their assembled bikes are tested on a dyno before being broken down for shipping.
Before shipping, they know that the bike starts, runs, and that the ECU, EFI sensors are all functional.
Do Norton do this, or do they just bolt on possibly faulty sensors, and components, and hope for the best at the dealer? Dunno.

I was wondering how the Morgan factory operates building their autos.
The Morgan is kind of like the 961, it has a small faithful following of customers.
How does Morgan run their business, and would their business operation transfer well to Norton?
 

MAK

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British workers are as good as any
if trained and managed well. My British built Daytona 955i is almost as good as the Thai built Thruxton.

Country of origin is really not a guarantee of quality or lack of quality today. No country has a hold on clever , hardworking people.
I recently attended a gathering of Microsoft engineers in Houston Texas.
In attendance there was a Hindu couple, the wife in traditional costume, a Portugese couple, a Danish fellow, two young American men and a 40 year old American woman.
All were software engineers working for
Microsoft. These are highly paid jobs, in the 200k to 600k range, depending on ability and education.
Bill Gates has figured out that there are brilliant people living all over the world and that women are as clever as men. He doesn't care about country of origin.

Glen
Norton on the BBC
No one seems to have mentioned it but there is a programme on the BBC i player called What Britain buys and sells in a day.
Episode 1
Interesting 10 minutes about SG and Norton
about half way in.
Believable!!
 
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I think there is personal hand built, and hand built for profit.
These forum members have a passion for their machines, and take the time to learn the right way to do assembly, fabrication, etc.
They lavish time on their machines and take as long as it takes to get it right.
Norton can't do this obviously, they need to be productive to keep costs down.

I was under the impression that Norton was hiring apprentice mechanics/assemblers to do the 961 assembly.
So they are learning as they assemble our 961's. Keeps labor cost down to use apprentices.
That has to have some undesirable impact on the end result.
How close is the supervision? Dunno.

At Ducati, their assembled bikes are tested on a dyno before being broken down for shipping.
Before shipping, they know that the bike starts, runs, and that the ECU, EFI sensors are all functional.
Do Norton do this, or do they just bolt on possibly faulty sensors, and components, and hope for the best at the dealer? Dunno.

I was wondering how the Morgan factory operates building their autos.
The Morgan is kind of like the 961, it has a small faithful following of customers.
How does Morgan run their business, and would their business operation transfer well to Norton?
A friend has a 2 year old Morgan Plus 8.
He just came back from a 200 mile trip, top up in light rain all the way.
He said there was more water inside the car than outside!
At least it didn't break down.
They are a very rudimentary car but the owners love them.
Kind of like our 750/850 Commandos.
Or maybe closer to an 1920s flat tanker with a modern engine transplanted.
The frame is made of wood!

Glen
 
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A friend has a 2 year old Morgan Plus 8.
He just came back from a 200 mile trip, top up in light rain all the way.
He said there was more water inside the car than outside!
At least it didn't break down.
They are a very rudimentary car but the owners love them.
Kind of like our 750/850 Commandos.
Or maybe closer to an 1920s flat tanker with a modern engine transplanted.
The frame is made of wood!

Glen
Are they fuel injected?
 

Eljahara

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I was under the impression that Norton was hiring apprentice mechanics/assemblers to do the 961 assembly.
So they are learning as they assemble our 961's. Keeps labor cost down to use apprentices.
That has to have some undesirable impact on the end result.
How close is the supervision? Dunno.
Good point, my dad was an engineer (tool room) and served 7 years as an apprentice before getting his “ticket” he was supervised/monitored/guided and gained his skills through the years of his apprenticeship - on the back of his training he ended up as the chief engineer on aircraft carriers (including the Ark Royal) during the war and then senior engineer in an engineering company in Bolton for many years.
I don’t think the same intensity or length of apprenticeship exists today, neither are young people expected to stay in their training for 7 years before then undertaking additional training to become experts - the staff turbulence at Norton would also raise questions about the retention of skills and expertise which can be passed to trainee staff.
 
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Are they fuel injected?
I believe that one is. It uses a BMW engine.
Older versions of the Plus 8 used Rover engines.
They are pretty quick, not much weight and a small V8.
Even the regular Plus 4 versions are quite sporty.
Maybe not so much around corners, the front end and steering is very early in design.

Glen
 
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Fast Eddie

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The thing is, I look at the bikes in the Classic or rebuild threads and they are outstanding - all hand built (or rebuilt by hand) and exceptional workmanship - Fast Eddies 850 (900), Norton Rider’s 600 and fastback, Ben’s 750, Richard Tool’s 750 and Danno’s 850 - not forgetting Grandpaul and Jim Comstock, Ken.......
All amateurs (Jim excepted) who can turn out an exceptional hand built motorcycle and yet the dedicated manufacturers have so many more issues.
Yeah but the difference is Norton build 10 a week (allegedly) whereas I’ve been f***ing about with mine for 6 years !

And let’s not even mention how un-emission-able mine is !!
 

Voodooo

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LOL. BMW make one bike that I consider a category leader. The 'RT' is (IMO) the best sport touring (emphasis on touring) bike available.
If the Germans know how to do anything it’s making the most ugly bike. Not to mention reinventing the wheel.
 

Fast Eddie

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One good thing about the R9T is the prolific amount of carbon fibre parts available for them!

Next step wudda been CF wheels, but fortunately I sold it just in the nick of time !!

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