Norton scandal - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Norton scandal

Here is my take on the sordid Norton saga:

https://evercleverwilson.com/motorcycling/
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 04:18 PM
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At NO time do I wish for ANOTHER '60s era Triumph 650 twin to relive that time in my motorcycling beginning.

When I got back into riding after that, I would (SOMETIMES) feel a bit guilty that I could just get on and ride, rather than checking EVERY bolt for tightness and mopping-up the oil that'd leaked out over night.

Then just PUSH the 'magic-button' to start the engine.

NOPE - I ain't goin' back...!

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think that any of us would want to turn back the motorcycle years that far if it would require riding those bikes again on a regular basis, Ed.

But there is no denying the appeal of the modern version of the Commando that the 'new' Norton almost put into production.

I drool looking at that photo on my 'desktop' every time I turn on my computer.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 05:27 PM
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I agree with Fast Eddie, generally, in that I've little desire to return to the days of Old Brit Twins. However, one of my all-time favorite bikes was my 1975/76 Norton 850 Commando Interstate. I bought it from a friend while stationed (posted for our UK/Canadian friends) at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, during the late 1970s-early '80s. It was, in its own right, a wonderful British motorcycle . . almost that is.

It featured the now-standard left side shift, and even an electric (after a fashion) starter. To offset those modern features it was a massive 360 degree parallel twin equipped with Amal carbs complete with medieval "ticklers" and 12 volt positive ground Lucas electrics. When the engine was warm the electric starter worked reasonably well, but when the engine was cold the only way to bring it to life was very careful kick starting. I replaced the points and condenser ignition with what was then state-of-the-art electronic ignition and that improved things immensely.

What made ownership fascinating was that I could never tell when the Lucas electrical system would randomly decide to momentarily forget what it was supposed to be doing. By comparison, today things are really rather predictable and thus somewhat boring.

In it's defense, during the summer of 1980 I rode it from Germany, through Belgium, and England to the Isle of Man for the Manx Grand Prix (and return) in the company of an original Gold Wing, a BMW R75/5 and a Renault Le Car chase vehicle/baggage carrier. To its lasting glory the Norton was the single machine that did not suffer a single problem or mechanical failure. It was even mentioned on Manx Radio!

I intended to bring it home but a compatriot who believed I out maneuvered him when I bought it wanted it badly. I eventually sold it to him for more that I paid for it. I know, that's mercenary but I relented and made him very happy. Do I miss it? Yes. Would I buy an old British twin again? No thank you. I really appreciate fuel injection, Eddie's "magic button" and not having to clean up oil.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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All Brit bike owners have tales of woe to tell, and few of us would return to the past.

But I think you're missing the point I tried to make: Triumph has produced a successful range of bikes designed on classic lines from the past. That's what Garner could have done with the design if he wasn't a total cad and con man.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
All Brit bike owners have tales of woe to tell, and few of us would return to the past.

But I think you're missing the point I tried to make: Triumph has produced a successful range of bikes designed on classic lines from the past. That's what Garner could have done with the design if he wasn't a total cad and con man.
Do a search, what a sad state of affairs, pensions gone, everyone stiffed , he ends up with a mansion and probably has it protected from investors that got stiffed. Someone ( Stuart Garner) that deserves to end up in prison on a work gang for the rest of his life.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Do a search, what a sad state of affairs, pensions gone, everyone stiffed, he ends up with a mansion and probably has it protected from investors that got stiffed. Someone that deserves to end up in prison on a work gang for the rest of his life.
I agree, but the way things are today few of those financially manipulating cretins ever get truly punished. A shoplifter caught boosting a steak is more likely to serve jail time.

Karma will get 'em: May they have nightmares filled with terrible images and may they suffer 3 am panic attacks forever.

Remember that old saying, "No rest for the wicked."
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 07:29 AM
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In today,s world , sentiments don,t hold water. Just don,t need the stress have something that given problem all the time. Just don,t understand the Euro/ West manufactures compare to the Japaneses. Anyway, i grew up with Nortons in the country side when the British were here in our country.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 12:51 PM
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...But I think you're missing the point I tried to make: Triumph has produced a successful range of bikes designed on classic lines from the past....
A neighbor back in BC had a MODERN Triumph, that he shipped to Newfoundland (2015...?) to ride back to Kelowna. He had enough "issues" w/ it that he got rid of it ASAP when he returned to BC, and bought a Harley, which he loves.


Ed
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
A neighbor back in BC had a MODERN Triumph, that he shipped to Newfoundland (2015...?) to ride back to Kelowna. He had enough "issues" w/ it that he got rid of it ASAP when he returned to BC, and bought a Harley, which he loves.

I have a friend who has owned three modern Triumphs (he still has 2 of them) and they have been 100% reliable.

Another rider has the Triumph Sprint and his wife rides a 1200 Trophy. They also report no problems- except for a suicidal deer that leapt in front of his Sprint. That didn't end well for the deer, or for the front end of his bike.

I rode to BC with another friend who had a new Triumph back in 2002- it never missed a beat.

So there are six satisfied modern Triumph riders for your one disgruntled owner. I'm certain that anecdotal tales of woe are told about every make, including the Versys. Doesn't make them all bad, does it?
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 03:11 PM
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I would never have bought a NEW Norton (I did have a 74' 850 back in 76' as well as a BSA previous to that) because I just had a bad feeling about them. Would I buy an old (60's) Brit bike? Yes, if the price was right cause I now have a reasonably reliable bike to ride and something to tinker on is fun for us retired folks.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 06:09 AM
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Personally I really enjoy the modern classics. So many bikes today are styled after alien creatures that are styled after insects.

Give me simple and easy to maintain.

I no longer own a liquid cooled bike. No longer do I have to smell that coolant and wonder where that smell is coming from.

I like the engine being the showpiece of the bike instead of all the plastic hiding everything.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 05:05 PM
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Personally I really enjoy the modern classics. So many bikes today are styled after alien creatures that are styled after insects.

Give me simple and easy to maintain.

I no longer own a liquid cooled bike. No longer do I have to smell that coolant and wonder where that smell is coming from.

I like the engine being the showpiece of the bike instead of all the plastic hiding everything.
My current bike meets that description.....03' Sportster 883 Hugger....last year of the rigid mount EVO's. Reminds me of the Norton but much more reliable.
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