One of the oldest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, Norton Motorcycles is an 119 year old British brand. Today, they signed a JV with India’s Kinetic Group to manufacture motorcycles in India. Kinetic Group’s MotoRoyale and Norton Motorcycles today signed a 51-49 JV which will see them manufacture / assemble motorcycles at the Kinetic Group’s plant in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. (MotoRoyale is Kinetic Group’s premium bike subsidiary. Currently they are the authorized sellers of MV Agusta bikes in India.)
Through this joint venture and as a part of the ‘Make in India’ policy, the British bikemakers are planning the first Norton’s in India to be a part of the company’s Commando range that will be powered by parallel twin 961cc engines.
Norton Motorcycles’ CEO and owner Stuart Garner has also cited plans to extend their reach to newer markets, thanks to this newly formed JV. The made in India Norton motorcycles will also be exported to new markets in South East Asia and Southern America as well. Over the past few years, Norton Motorcycle engine have been expanded from the 961cc parallel twin engine to a V4 liquid cooled 1200cc engine. The company also has the twin cylinder 650cc engine in the works which will power affordable bikes aimed at markets of India and other Asian countries.
The partnership with Kinetic Group 51:49 partnership with both parties jointly engaged in manufacture and sale of Norton Motorcycles. The 650cc Norton models for India will be positioned between Ducati and MV Agusta motorcycles. They will be imported as CKDs initially and later via semi knocked down kits to India by Kinetic Engineering.
This joint venture which was signed, was first at the 2017 EICMA Show earlier this month. It has been confirmed by Ajinkya Firodya of Kinetic Group and Kinetic will bring the Norton Commando and Norton Dominator to India by first quarter of 2018. Norton Dominator is the more expensive of the two models with the Commando being an affordable café racer. Both the Dominator and Commando will be powered by 961cc air cooled, parallel twin engines with fuel injection. The engine will offer 79 bhp power and 90 Nm torque mated to a 5 speed gearbox.
They also have plans to launch more bikes in the future, which will help them achieve about 15% market share in India’s superbike segment. Once fully functional, they aim to sell 1,000 to 1,200 bikes in India annually. Including exports to ASEAN markets, they aim to sell 5,000 units a year.