British motorcycle brand Norton has filed for as many as six names taken from the brand’s history for future products.
Norton Motorcycles has filed trademark applications for several new names, possibly to be used in a range of new motorcycle models to be launched under the ownership of India’s TVS Motor Company. The latest trademark applications, filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, are the first potential model names registered by the iconic British motorcycle brand since TVS acquired it in April 2020 for 16 million GBP. The names filed in the trademark applications are taken from Norton’s illustrious history, and include ‘Norton Electra’, ‘Norton Fastback’, ‘Norton Navigator’, ‘Norton Nomad’, ‘Norton Ranger’ and ‘Combat’.
In the trademark applications, the names have been filed for use with what is described as “vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land; motorcycles; mopeds; scooters; mobility scooters/motor scooters; parts and fittings for motorcycles and vehicles,” suggesting that these names will be used by TVS for new vehicles. TVS management has maintained that manufacturing of Norton motorcycles will continue in the UK, and Norton can use TVS Motor Company’s global network to service customers in overseas markets.
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The Electra, Fastback, Navigator, Nomad and Ranger names were all previously used by the company in the 1960s and ’70s. The Navigator was a 349 cc twin developed from 1960 to 1965, while the Electra came with the same engine bored out to 383 cc in 1963. The Fastback was a name used for the Norton Commando 750 in the 1970s. The Norton P11A Ranger used to be produced from 1967 to 1969 while the Nomad dates back to the 1950s. In recent years, the Nomad and Ranger names were used in variants of the new 650 cc Norton Atlas, which was first announced in 2018.
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TVS has indicated that it will honour deposits that customers had already paid to the previous management of Norton Motorcycles, and will complete those unfinished orders. At the time of acquiring Norton Motorcycles, the TVS management had indicated that manufacturing of Norton motorcycles will continue on in the UK, and will not be moved to India, where TVS has two manufacturing facilities. For now, the focus seems to be on reviving Norton, but with trademarks filed for so many names, it begs the question if TVS will be looking to explore the rapidly growing mid-size segment of modern classic bikes, between 350-700 cc engine displacement. If that is a consideration, the story of Norton Motorcycles may very well get a lot more interesting in the years to come.