The news keeps getting worse every day for Norton Motorcycles. They allegedly ripped off the UK government, ripped off taxpayers, and even ripped off pensioners. The company is bankrupt, and the fabled Norton name is probably tarnished beyond repair over this debacle. AMERiders has your information!
Norton Motorcycles had plans to search for another buyer and that doesn’t seem to have changed. However, something has changed for the 70 or so employees at the factory. Although no one has been laid off at this point the factory has been closed and production is now completely stopped. Even after BDO took over on January 29, 2020, production continued until the second week in February.
According to the Leicester Mercury, near the same time that BDO removed the Norton Motorcycles fleet of luxury British vehicles from the premises concrete blocks appeared at the entrances to keeping anyone from entering or exiting the building. There are reports that staff is still being paid currently, as far as it is known—which speaks to BDO still trying to find a buyer for the extremely troubled IP.
The pensions hearing, such as it was, still went on regardless of lack of attendance by Stuart Garner. Robert Dewar (who had multiple sclerosis, has since died) and his daughter Sally Holmes, having never received any of his money back. It has also not been returned to the family in the time since his death.
Stuart Tiller is a former business partner of Garner’s and was one of the founding members of Spondon Engineering. According to Tiller, he hasn’t had anything to do with Garner since 2013, which is when he realized the full extent of how badly Garner had taken advantage of him, as well as Spondon’s solid reputation. In the interview, he alleges that the funds Garner used to initially purchase Norton Motorcycles came from fraud in the first place, perpetrated against Spondon Engineering.
But how can the manufacturer be saved? It’ll take a Hollywood action hero to save the day who is also a true enthusiast and savvy businessman to save the sullied brand. I believe his name is Keanu Reeves. Norton needs Keanu Reeves—the actor, the entrepreneur, and the serious motorcycle enthusiast.
Reeves has a long history with the Norton brand. His second bike was a 1973 Norton. (Many think a Norton was his first bike, but that honor goes to a Kawasaki 600 Enduro.) In 1990, Reeves rode his 1974 Norton Commando from his home in Toronto, Ontario to the Gainesville, Florida area to deliver a script and personally convince River Phoenix to be in My Own Private Idaho. He was successful. As recently as 2016, Reeves visited the Norton factory, just to see the place and geek out on the bikes. I mean that in the kindest possible way—Reeves is a true enthusiast, knew the ins and outs of Norton’s motorcycles new and old, and reportedly rode them like he stole them.
It takes more than enthusiasm to run a motorcycle company, though. Fortunately, Reeves has some good business sense, too. In 2007 he partnered with custom builder Gard Hollinger to found Arch Motorcycles, a high-end, low-volume company dedicated to producing “an unrivaled riding and ownership experience through an obsession for innovative design, engineering excellence and dedication to the rider,” according to their website. His involvement is extremely low key. His name appears nowhere on the website. Although his star power could certainly bring more recognition to the brand, he doesn’t use it that way. After 13 years at Arch, Reeves knows what it takes to run a successful motorcycle company. He’s already doing it. He could do it for Norton.
Help them Keanu you are their only hope!
~And as always…
~Live Free Ride Hard~
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