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Wow. Where do I start?

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycles (Modern)' started by Britfan60, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. GoingCommando


    Sep 17, 2014
    I appreciated how my dealer was very upfront with me in telling me when I ordered:

    1. He didn't know how long it would take for me to get the bike, if ever.
    2. He didn't know how quick Norton would send spare parts if/when they were needed

    I didn't buy the Norton because I thought they would have the best and fastest warranty service. I bought it because my brain thought I needed one or I would explode. So far it's been worth it already and if it needs to go to the shop for a couple months someday to wait for a replacement part then so be it. I'll love it all the more when I get it back again and I can enjoy the Thruxton while it's gone. My 961SF is THE bike I've always wanted.
  2. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    An admirable philosophy sir, and one that's likely to lead to much enjoyment of enjoyment... Rather than a stress induced nervous breakdown !!
  3. hobot


    Oct 19, 2005
    LonggoneCommando that's the best and only logic to cover the whole scope of motorcycling - pure emotional hormonal ego addiction fixes if not just too desperate w/o a car. Any and all counter points are also correct too but only apply to those rationalizing their similar addictions to something else - Kenny Dreer and his wife were phone call mentors on past Ms Peel during his life changing era till fully out of old Norton stock, so each of these new Nortons to me - are like drops of his spilled blood blooming.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=kenny+d ... d=0CB0QsAQ
  4. Dozer


    May 30, 2014

    If motorcycles were a sensible purchase, wed all be riding a Honda and the world would be a dull place. But it isn't, we ride Nortons, therefore the world is an exciting place..... (and also a very expensive place)
  5. huskyfrk


    Apr 27, 2014
    sensible purchase is one thing, failing to deliver on promises, is quite another. scrape the sugar coating on this deal and it tastes rather sour ....
  6. Dozer


    May 30, 2014
    Like I said in an earlier post, would I have bought a new Norton in America? No.... Id have bought an Indian. I also wouldn't have one as my only bike, even here in UK.

    I learnt my lesson about backup for foreign motorcycles with Moto Guzzi....!
  7. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Aug 25, 2009
    I never really liked the corporate model that Garner put forward - boutique motorcycle brand. You can see many boutique automobile companies that have gone belly-up because they couldn't find enough buyers for their high priced, high performance, very exclusive product. Volume production is the way to go to stay alive in todays market. Not Honda, or Yamaha volume, but something more modest, like 1990''s Triumph production. Norton has to understand that misleading potential customers about supply, and delivery dates will eventually ruin what reputation they currently have.
  8. Britfan60


    Jan 5, 2014
    It went against the grain of my thought process, purchasing a new Norton. I didn't expect it to be the most reliable bike in the world, but I didn't expect this. Most of my friends have bike issues, the Ducs and the Aprilias especially, but they were handled in less than a month. If they go belly up here in the states, we either have a really cool collectors item that can potentially be worth a fortune or we're screwed. Things were just done backwards. No warranty/service plan in place. I am not an impatient person. If someone told me it would be 2-3 months for a repair, I'd probably be ok with that. But I get pretty much nothing. Just "I don't know". Maybe I should start agreeing with my head instead of my heart. The bike is dynamite. Nobody can dispute that, and if they try, they are wrong. I was told by a Norton rep that they order enough parts to build 2 months worth of bikes and a small percentage for warranty and service. That certainly is not enough when you decide to go global. After 4 years of building these bikes, some one should have compiled a list of the most frequent problems and have those parts stockpiled and shipped before the sales started. At least a few.
  9. huskyfrk


    Apr 27, 2014
    a professional dealer will have a decent amount of parts in stock for the bikes. any other major will require X amount in parts . at least for the latest models. engine gasket sets, filters, would b the minimum. sadly the local dealer here in SoCal has x pipes and mufflers. little else.
  10. Trobbins


    Jun 9, 2014
    This is my first post after haunting the forum for a while now. Like many others, I've put a deposit down on a red and gold sport however, living in Canada, supply doesn't seem to be an issue so my bike is ready and waiting for me at a dealer a short 800km ride away (our concept of distance tends to be a bit skewed). I have to admit, reading this forum for the past few months has spooked me and I even got the point of walking away from my deposit before recently reconsidering.

    As part of my due diligence process I've contacted an number of other owners here in Canada and all seem to have had generally good experience with their bikes (apart from the usual lean run in, honest service mistakes etc.). The general consensus has been that the Norton Canada Corporate folks have been very good to deal with and are very hands on.

    I'm hoping against hope here, but is it possible that the parts and service issues in the US are the result of a bad master distributor and not Norton itself? In this day and age of regular trans-Atlantic over night shipping, I find it incomprehensible that a part can't be shipped in a day or two max (assuming the part exists).

    I will be picking up my bike in a few weeks (only to winter in a garage for 5 months) and my nerves are not really getting any better...
  11. richard-7


    Feb 24, 2014

    :D :D :D
  12. Britfan60


    Jan 5, 2014
    Trobbins. Congratulations. Let me be clear here. By NO means am I trying to talk anyone out of purchasing one of these bikes. Man....I'd do it again based on so many pleased customers. Mine might be a rare case, which gives the a case of the " damn, why me" and the " I have no effin' luck at all". I'd really love to see the distributors get their act together. I do take into consideration that I have one of the first 10 bikes here and am really willing to let them straighten this out. I doesn't make me feel a whole lot better since I only got to ride for 3 weeks out of the 4 months I've had it, but I'll hang in there. If its not done by April, I'm probably finished. I'll use the protection law on them. I think that's a fair shake. Have a great time on yours. Its a dynamite machine.
  13. andychain


    Jul 1, 2013
    As a fan of Brit machines I am saddened by the flack being handed out to Norton
    not only on here but on the web generally.

    Unfortunately you have to look at the differences between Norton and Triumph to
    get an overall view. I liken Norton to DeLorean and we know where that ended up.
    I hope I dont get sued, but if I do the £2000 firm order i still have on my system
    should cover it, I see Norton as a bit of a rich mans plaything. Very impressive looks
    with the hall and posh adds but if the rumours are true, trouble with warranties, dealers
    and parts, do not make for good PR.

    Triumph on the other hand appear to be going from strength to strength, even having
    good results on the track.

    I am not clever enough to know the answers but it is obvious to anybody with half a
    brain cell that things are not good. I only wish that Norton could run as a business in
    the same way as Triumph. Having said that I now wait for dozens of folks to come on
    and tell I am talking BS and that triumph are just as bad.

    Being involved with Norton, new Norton that is, from the very early stages, has not
    been a good experience and I am a very small cog in the wheel. Come on Norton address
    the issues on this forum as I see very little comment from you and silence speaks

    It would be good to have our once great Norton name one to be proud of again.

  14. Richard Barks

    Richard Barks

    Apr 14, 2006
    its not the dealers fault even the best dealer in the world
    could not magic up non existent spares or factory support/ backup
    and in my opinion people with bikes or deposits will have to bite the bullet and move on
    I.E. Your on your own, harsh but true
  15. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    I read somewhere that Fritz Egli was the Swiss Norton dealer, obviously he's an incredibly experienced motorcycle engineer in his own right (as is his son).

    They found themselves having to look after / solve problems on customer bikes, and also found themselves in a position of lack of factory support.

    In order to help and protect their customers, they engineered their own solutions. The factories response to this was to not even pay Egli for carrying out warranty work and to blame them for causing some of the problems due to their interference.

    The end result being that Egli ended up considerably out of pocket and the relationship with the factory was severed.

    So, I imagine that this story has meant that no dealer is prepared to 'use their initiative'. This is probably the right approach in a normal situation, but in a situation where the factories response is poor / slow / non existent, it does mean that in the event of any dispute, the customer is pretty much on their own.

    This raises a question in my mind: given that there are now so many bikes out there that are out of warranty, and so many customers seem to be unhappy with the factory... Why hasn't someone stepped into the 'vacuum' to become an independent Norton 961 specialist / fixer / tuner ?
  16. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    I bought a near new Triumph Daytona 955i and it is so good that I sometimes wonder why I own any other bikes. On a recent trip I swapped with a BMW riding friend ( new 1200RT ) for a couple hundred miles. At the end of that he didn't want to give the Triumph back and I didn't want to ride the BMW anymore, that is how good the Triumph is.

  17. auldblue

    auldblue VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2012
    Unfortunately Norton needs the other Stuart to turn the problems round, here is a quote from Norton Stuart made a couple of years ago to an American bike mag!
    Then why only make 50'of these!
  18. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Jan 15, 2008
    No, Triumph could never achieve what they have if they were ANYWHERE NEAR as bad as Norton.

    Absurd statement, and totally at odds with the entire first part of your post regarding Triumph.
  19. Dozer


    May 30, 2014
    As Im old and mortgage and kids free now, Im lucky enough to be owning both a 961 and a new Triumph Explorer 1215. They are chalk and cheese manufacturers. Both superb bikes, but very different, IMO Triumph is almost Japanese, Norton is almost Italian.

    The Norton has been faultless for its 1250 miles and 5 weeks of ownership and £16000 worth of purchase price. Definitely an acquired taste though. My mate took it out and came back and said he didn't like it as it was too rough and ready and he thought it was trying to kill him. But I love it to bits and haven't touched anything else in the garage since 1st Sept when I got the 961.

    The Triumph was bought 10 months old, for 10k, after it was a magazine long term test bike. Its had a recall for new ECU and cylinder head change before I owned it (I think they had a bad batch) and its had a couple of minor warranty issues since, but nothing major. Its almost Japanese in its looks and build, but has the character of that grumbly animal of a triple engine, which has to be one of the best power plants ever made.

    The Triumph dealer has been v good, but then so has the Norton dealer. Neither of my bikes has needed major works though, which is where the real test is and I cant comment on either until one of the bikes has a spectacular failure.

    Ive done both the Norton and Triumph factory tours and they are worlds apart, as youd expect.

    I suppose what Im saying is the Triumph is mass produced, and I think better than the Japanese or Germans, with huge back up and spares, dealers etc. The Norton is almost a cottage industry, 12 hand built bikes a week, Triumph make that many in their lunch hour... The Norton is exotica and will suffer from exotic problems and more importantly lack of back up because they only have 12 sets of parts a week, all of which are presold... I imagine its a toss up between fulfilling customers orders to keep up cash flow or sending out warranty parts which will cut cash flow and delay production further. I don't know what the answer is other than more investment in infrastructure... I still believe that Norton are exporting too early and causing themselves hassles they don't need as they have full order books in UK.

    However, one point to note. In 1996 I had a Daytona and my mate had a Sprint, both had major problems and Triumph were terrible in dealing with them.....

    I don't know why the USA pre order customers haven't got their 961s either, as I was at Krazy Horse today and they've got 9 customer bikes ready for collection and 2 in free stock, an SF and a Café Racer, both black.
  20. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Aug 25, 2009
    Love it:

    “You made a good product and sold it at a profit: that’s all there was to it”

    Simply said, but the devil is certainly in the details.

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