Norton: Recent Application Shows Company Request to Change Their Name

A view of Norton Motorcycles being ridden by iconic members of Norton's hall of fame

Well, this was a fun bit of news to stumble across as I drank my morning gallon of caffeine. 

The Company Names Tribunal of the UK’s government website appears to hold an application from Norton Motorcycle Racing Ltd. – and they’re requesting a company name change. 

Let’s chat about it.

The history of Norton Motorcycle Racing Ltd. is fraught with highs and lows. Founded in 1898 as a manufacturer of fittings and parts for the two-wheel trade (according to Norton’s website), the British motorbike brand started lifting hearts across the country when their 5hp Peugeot-engined Norton machine tootled to a stunning victory at the Isle of Man TT in 1907. 

A view of Norton Motorcycles being ridden by iconic members of Norton's hall of fame

Despite successes on the track, the military field, and in the production industry proper, the following years also saw occasional struggles for Norton, both in supply shortages, issues with management, and occasional flirtations with insolvency – and it continued into the 19th century.

(for a more thorough write-up of Norton’s history, check out our article on the brand).

Among other episodes, BBC records that “the brand fell into financial difficulties in 2008 but was rescued by entrepreneur and property developer Stuart Garner, who revived the business,” until January of last year, when “[the brand] was reportedly struggling to pay a tax bill and faced a winding-up order.”

This was after the company sent out recalls for over 30 safety defects in their flagship V4SS model in 2019 for reference

A view of the Norton V4SS, which has had a series of defects that were recalled by Norton in 2019

Source: Our own article on Norton’s V4 SS Safety Defects

Amidst the ‘rollercoaster ride’ (coined by Norton’s circa 2017 Managing Director, Dr. Hentschel himself), Norton continued to stay true to the number one priority on the docket: Good bikes that go fast. 

Norton’s previous successes on the track (including the world’s first production superbike and Crighton’s legendary influence on rotary speed demons) haven’t been forgotten – and we think that this application, combined with the new V4SV / V4CR models and the new headquarters recently raised for the company (and what that means for the design and production process) may well be the leaf Norton needs to turn over into a financially stable future devoid of stress.

A view of Norton Motorcycles being ridden by iconic members of Norton's hall of fame

Norton’s application states that the company “has been registered since 3 February 2020 under number 12439719,” with the application filed as of June 23rd of this year.

Should everything go to plan, here are the application’s guidelines:

(a) NORTON MOTORCYCLE RACING LTD shall change its name within one month of the date of this order to one that is not an offending name

(b) NORTON MOTORCYCLE RACING LTD and Brian O’Connor each shall:

(i) take such steps as are within their power to make, or facilitate the making, of that change;

(ii) not cause or permit any steps to be taken calculated to result in another company being registered with a name that is an offending name.

“In accordance with s.73(3) of the Act, this order may be enforced in the same way as an order of the High Court or, in Scotland, the Court of Session.”

A view of Norton Motorcycles being ridden by iconic members of Norton's hall of fame

What do you think is in store for Norton Motorcycle Racing Ltd.? Drop a comment below letting us know what you think – we love a good bit of banter.

In the meantime, be sure to stay updated by checking back at our newsfeed, subscribe to our newsletter, Behind The Visor (it only bugs your inbox with the good stuff twice a week, we promise), and as always – stay safe on the twisties.

*all media not called out in the article is sourced from Norton’s official website*