A Brief History of the Norton Motorcycle Company

Norton HistoryA Brief History of the Norton Motorcycle Company

Norton Motorcycle Company, formerly known as Norton Motors, Ltd., is a British motorcycle marque, originally from Birmingham, UK. The company was founded in 1898 by James Lansdowne Norton. His business was started in order to produce bicycle chains, but a short four years later they began manufacturing motorcycles with imported engines. In 1907, a Norton won the first International Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race (TT), which is a motorcycle racing event, held on the Isle of Man.

For many years, this was the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world, and it remains statistically the most dangerous race in the world. By 1910, there were eight models of Norton motorcycles, two with Norton-built engines. JL Norton was arguably a better engineer though than business administrator, and by 1913 his company was on the verge of insolvency. Fortunately, it was saves by one of its creditors, forming Norton Motors Limited, which secured a government contract to supply the Russian army with engines during the First World War.The famous Norton logo appeared around this time.

Although James Norton passed away in 1925, the Norton brand lived on. During the 1930s, the company cemented its place in racing history, winning seven of the nine TT races between 1931 and 1939, when the factory started to produce the 100,000 bikes it built for the war effort.

In 1949, Norton introduced the Dominator model and continued to race successfully, but got into financial trouble again in 1953, and was sold to Associated Motorcycles. Production was then shifted to London. 13 years later, the company was bought by Manganese Bronze Holdings and re-launched as Norton-Villiers. An injection of new capital resulted in the development of the first Commando. In 1972, Norton-Villiers merged with the BSA-Triumph Group. However, the industrial unrest and reductions in Government subsidies led the company into receivership in 1974.

Norton was re-launched yet again in 1988 with production in Lichfield, but did not make as much of an impact as they did previously. During the mid-90s there were attempts to consolidate Norton and start producing bikes in the U.S. This eventually happened when the company was bought by Stuart Garner in 2007.

Whether you own a classic Norton motorcycle or any other type of antique bike, it’s imperative that you protect your investment with the appropriate Antique Vehicle Insurance policy. At Condon Skelly, our goal is to keep your insurance costs low so that you can spend more time on the road. Our policies cost about 60% less than standard auto insurance companies, and they’re designed specifically for unique needs of classic and collector cars and motorcycles. Please Contact Us today for more information!

Classic Motorcycle Insurance: Brough Superior

Classic Motorcycle Insurance Brough Superior

Classic Motorcycle Insurance: Brough Superior

The 3048 Brough Superior motorcycles that were produced from 1919 through 1940 were known as the “Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles”. George Brough was a racer and designer who created high performance motorcycles, and he manufactured motorcycles and cars with the Brough Superior signature during this time. Each bike was designed for an individual customer, being assembled twice. It was assembled once to fit the components and after that to paint all the parts as the customers preferred. In order to create the perfect bike, each machine was test ridden to make sure that its performances were at high level.

Due to the reputation of perfection and because of the high price, if a Brough Superior bike had any chance of failing a performance test, it was taken back to the shop. These motorcycles have always been rare, expensive, and preferred by many celebrities. The bike is still desired by a lot of motorcycle collectors, and is known as a legend in the motorcycle world. It’s a motorcycle that is known for the highest level of quality, innovation, and design in its product.

Although you will see Brough Superiors today, with 2014 unveiling their SS100 high performance luxury bikes, many collectors agree that there is nothing like the classic bikes from the early 1900s. Whether you own one of these bikes or another type of Classic Vehicle, we have the insurance products you need to protect your Vintage and Antique Cars and Motorcycles. Contact Condon Skelly today for more information about the coverages we offer.

How to Restore a Vintage Motorcycle

How to Restore a Vintage Motorcycle

How to Restore a Vintage Motorcycle

Whether you want to ride it, show it or just want a fun project to work on, there are many reasons to restore a vintage motorcycle. It’s important to realize though, that restoring a vintage motorcycle is not necessarily like restoring an old car or truck. While the process is mostly the same, early motorcycles often were not kept past their useful life, and many classic and vintage motorcycles were scrapped for parts.

The first step to restoring your bike is to purchase a book or manual that outlines servicing that particular vehicle, if possible. It’s also helpful to make sure that the bike will actually run before you go to the expense and trouble of cosmetic restoration. Typically, if the motorcycle has just sat for a little while without running and all the covers are in place on the bike, you can usually get it running to at the very least to turn over without much difficulty.

When beginning the restoration process, dismantle the motorcycle one section at a time, and restore those individual sections before moving on to the next. This can help keep you from getting overwhelmed. The sections you can usually work on individually include the front forks, the rear swing arm and suspension, the engine, the body, and the frame. If you do have a restoration manual for the bike, work through the manual from front to back and try to avoid skipping over steps.

Remember, restoring a vintage motorcycle to its original conditions is very challenging. Some people prefer to customize the bike to their own tastes instead, or create a hybrid. The bike hybrid craze started in England where bike enthusiasts took the best parts of a couple of motorcycles and put them together. One of the more famous of these bikes was the Triton, which was a mix of the Norton Featherbed frame, and suspension with a Triumph engine.

No matter what type of classic or vintage motorcycle you own, we can insure it at Condon Skelly. Your vehicle will fall into the antique category if it is completely original and at least 25 years old. We insure many different types of antique cars, trucks, and motorcycles so we’ll be able to craft the perfect policy for your vehicle. Please contact us today for more information. (866) 291-5694