This momentum carried Norton well into the Sixties. Then the Japanese turned up and the brand took a back seat. It seemed, for the most part, that the last people to really enjoy these bikes were our grandparents.
In 2008, after years of being an afterthought, the company was acquired by Stuart Garner. Garner was to be the saviour of the brand.
He promised new bikes and the revitalisation of the company. Norton was going to be a massive global player once more. A new V4SV was going to be produced and raced.
Within a few years he ended up being given a suspended sentence for illegally investing in the region of £11m (€12.8m) belonging to hundreds of pension scheme members into Norton, when he should not have used more than 5pc.
When Norton went into administration the cat was out of the bag and Garner was in court. A number of judgements followed, including petitions to bankrupt him as well as orders to repay the funds. He was subsequently declared bankrupt.
Now the company has been taken over by an Indian company called TVS Motor. The company makes a huge amount of small capacity motorcycles and scooters. Its products can be found all over the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia as well as India and South America. Last year TVS made a staggering 4.95 million two-wheelers, and now it has invested £100m (€116m) in Norton.
The first project of the company will be getting back to is the V4SV. The new bike has been re-engineered to bring it back up to date. Looking back to Norton’s heritage, the first colour will be called ‘Manx Silver’. Finished with Oz Racing wheels, front number board and carbon detailing, it looks the part. The second one is carbon. It has carbon fibre bodywork and wheels. They both have a carbon fibre tank as well as a hand-polished TIG welded aluminium frame.
Then there’s the engine. This V4SV is a lot more than a pretty face. The 1200cc, 72 degree V4 produces a lot of power. The new Norton generates a nice healthy 185hp at the crank when it spins up to 12,500rpm. At only 9,000rpm it makes 125 Nm of torque. Who knows, maybe the TT will be Norton's again.
Finishing touches show the quality of the bike and include lean angle traction control, keyless ignition, lightweight LED lights, a choice of drive modes for the engine, an autoblipper as well as a quick-shifter. The traditional clocks are gone and in their place is a full-colour 6-inch TFT display.
Expect to pay somewhere in the region of €62,000. If you’re lucky enough to be in the market for one, see nortonmotorcycles.com/range/v4sv/ to get your name on the list.