Norton is a British motorcycle manufacturer founded at the end of the 19th century. The first Norton motorcycle was officially launched in 1902 and it was a bicycle equipped with a Belgian Clement engine. In 1908, the 633cc Big 4 was launched while other eight Norton models become available one year later. The Norton logo was designed in 1916 the same year when the company moves into a new and a larger office required by the impressive growth it recorded.
The first OHV motorcycle, the Model 18, was produced in 1922, being one of the most appreciated bikes ever released by Norton. For instance, thanks to the performance provided by OHV Norton, Alec Bennett won the Senior TT in 1924. Another notable win was recorded in 1926, when Stanley Woods won the Senior TT.
During the 1940s, Norton started producing bikes for the army, but in 1948 the company become pretty interested in the U.S. market which could help the British firm increase the number of clients. Norton's motorcycles started dominating motorsports with Ulsterman Reg Armstrong winning both Senior and Junior TT races in 1952 while one year later, Ray Amm wins both of them again.
1966 marks the beginning of the development of the Commando model which was actually released one year later. The Street Scrambler and Hi Rider are launched in 1971, but in 1976 the production of the Commando is discontinued because of the British recession.
Unfortunately, Norton experienced financial problems and in 1953, the company was sold to AMC, a corporation which closes the main Norton Factory in Birmingham and transfers the production to the Woolwich factory in Southeast London.
Norton had new problems in the 1980s, the rights for the Norton name being disputed by its subsidiaries in the UK, Germany and United States. Issues were resolved in 1992, when a new Norton model won the Senior TT. In the last few years, Kenny Dreer of Oregon is trying to revive the Norton brand.