The Motorcycle Diaries
Norton, the iconic British motorcycle brand, has formed a partnership with Menard Competition Technologies (MCT), for the Oxfordshire-based business to develop the motorcycle manufacturer’s engines. MCT, one of the world’s leading engine specialists, will, initially, be responsible for development of the power units for the 961/SS Commando model. With the recent return of Norton to the UK, after its acquisition by British-based entrepreneur Stuart Garner, the motorcycles will be built in the Midlands, at Norton’s new Donington Park facility.
The highly-anticipated 961/SS Commando boasts a 961cc parallel twin engine, with push rod valve actuation, developing in excess of 80 horsepower at the rear wheel. Its inspiration comes from over 100 years of Norton competition and roadbike history, a legacy that embraces revered names such as Woods, Duke and Hailwood, as well as numerous victories at the Isle of Man TT, where once again, the Norton name will appear this year.
Following the agreement, Stuart Garner, managing director of Norton, commented: “We’re delighted to have MCT as part of the team. As the company behind Jaguar’s legendary Le Mans 24 hour wins, development of the Ducati GP engine in the nineties – and now part of the Bloodhound world land speed record project, we have a partner with the sort of calibre, expertise and passion that fits perfectly with our philosophy.”
MCT’s commercial director, Charlie Bamber, said: “It is an immense privilege to be involved in the rebirth of Norton. The brand exudes engineering innovation, sporting passion and unparalleled heritage, all traits close to MCT’s heart. So, we feel there is a natural fit between the two organisations. It’s wonderful to have Norton back on these shores and we’re thrilled to be a part in the project.”
Bamber concluded: “After the success of 2008 for us, with the design, manufacture and rollout of the V12 engine programme for the Superleague single seater series, the Norton partnership is another step forward for MCT. Our vision is to deliver world-beating engine solutions and with the team we have here, we continue to do that…”