Iconic British motorcycle brand Norton will soon get back into racing, and the brand's plans for the immediate future, as far as racing is concerned, will be announced soon., possibly even a return to the Isle of Man TT next year. Speaking to carandbike, TVS Motor Company's Joint Managing Director Sudarshan Venu revealed that Norton Motorcycles is known for its racing history, and with ownership now with TVS Motor Company, that racing glory of Norton will also be looked at, to possibly give it new life.
"I think the values of the brand, the unique British design, the focus on innovation, and the association with racing, and craftsmanship which Norton has always had, you will see that developing further and going into the future," Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director, TVS Motor Company, told carandbike, while talking about TVS acquiring Norton Motorcycles. He said that the immediate vision is to restore the glory of Norton Motorcycles as a premium brand worldwide.
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TVS Motor Company has acquired Norton Motorcycles in an all-cash deal of GBP 16 million. While all intellectual property rights to the 961 and 650 engine platforms, as well as the V4 platforms are now owned by TVS, the deal also makes way for most of Norton's current employees, including the design and engineering team to move into new ownership under TVS. To a question whether Norton's racing plans for the immediate future will include a return to the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, one of the most famous road racing events in the world, Sudarshan was candid in saying that Norton Racing plans will be announced soon.
"We will announce plans for Norton Racing soon," Sudarshan told carandbike.
The 2020 event of the Isle of Man TT has been called off due to the global effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Considered as one of the most dangerous road racing events in the world, the Isle of Man TT began in the summer of 1907, and is one of the oldest continuous motorsport events in the world, featuring riders competing in nine races, from a superbike category to sidecar events, in time trials around the 60 km-long circuit.
In 2019, Norton Motorcycles contested the event, as well as the North West 200, another popular road racing event in Europe, with 23-time TT winner John McGuinness. But McGuinness failed to complete even one race with Norton in 2019 due to reliability issues with the Norton SG8 Superbike and the Superlight supertwin machine. It now remains to be seen what will be the future of Norton Racing under TVS ownership. TVS Racing, the TVS Group's own racing arm, has been active since 1987, with racing experience of nearly 40 years in the domestic Indian circuit. Currently, TVS Racing also has a squad competing in international rally raid events, with a joint team with France's Sherco, called the Sherco-TVS Rally Team with a squad for the Dakar Rally as well. In the 2019 edition of the Dakar, the Sherco-TVS finished in 12th place overall.