Well yeah, Norton has a long heritage of big fat fender wide fork cruiser's, there was of course the fabled featherbed frame, alluding of course to the (bed) springer front end, then the isolastic engine mounting system refering to the soft-tail wide glide "classic" Norton then the more sport oriented dyna-super-commando, and the John Player Norton describing the cigerettes all the ton-up boys smoked while they hung out at the corner chip shop, yessir i remember those Norton cruiser's from when I was a kid. talk about pickin' over the corpse, at least the Vincent guy is making sportbikes. I'm sure Viper motorcycle will be around for a good hundred years or so.
Investment Group to Revive Revived Excelsior Henderson
Milwaukee (AP)-American Investment Partners announced today that they will invest 100 million dollars to resurect the exciting heritage and brand of the revived Excelsior-Henderson brand name.
The motorcycles, known as the "New New Excelsior-Henderson Super New X All New", a cruiser-styled sporty dirt bike with a small windshield and extra wheels, will harken back to the glory days of 1999, when Excelsior Henderson motorcycles roared down America's roads in select markets in the hundreds, or possibly 1100.
Another model, the "New E-H Heritage Classic Late 1999 Soft-o-Rigid Sporty Tour Classic Super Classic" will have an extra slathering of chrome and will include an umbrella stand made from an elephant's foot.
"We want folks to remember a simpler time, when Gloria Estefan was big news and we were just starting to get sick of "South Park" said Rod Hurlickson, director of Old-New-New Projects at the New New Excelsior-Henderson Motor Company. "The market is ripe for a late-Nineties styled retro-bike."
Industry experts believe American Investment may have paid up to $67.50 on E-bay for the hallowed Excelsior brand name, a marque dumped by Schwinn in 1932 and inexplicably ressurected by sleezy ZZ-Top impersonators in the mid 1990's.
American Investment Partners gained noteriety in business circles for ressurecting such great names as Coleco, Necco, Hupmobile, and George Peppard.
Does this mean the Norton name is for sale?Come on Honda/Yamaha/Suzuki/Kawasaki, here is your chance to make "real" brit bike clones. Think how much more you can charge to have the nostalic Norton name on the tank. And the tshirts, beltbuckles, cigarette lighters -- It will be a goldmine.
Or does BMW want a crack at it? They already make Minis.
As Scott points out above, I believe that the rights to the Norton name, at least for most of the industrial world have been acquired by Kenny Dreer, and Norton North America intend to introduce an all new puchrod parallel twin bike soon. There is a brief article on this in the newest Cycle World magazine.
In BMW's case, they actually bought the entire group of companies that included Rover and whatever was left of the old British Leyland, MG etc etc. They later jettisoned the complete junk and eventually sold Rover to Ford. Not quite the same thing as just buying the rights to a defunct name (a la Indian, E-H, Vincent).
Thanks, I remember reading reviews of them in the 80s. Always thought it was an interesting experiment with the rotary engine. Wonder (if I had a spare $100 mill) what type of a race bike you could put together, or if they'd let it in GP.