Norton Motorcycles Enters India in Tie-Up with MotoRoyale
Norton Commando and Dominator motorcycles to be assembled in India and go on sale by end 2018.
British motorcycle brand Norton is entering India in a 51%-49% joint venture with Motoroyale (formerly Kinetic). The company will be launching two models – the Commando, which is a cruiser and the Dominator, which has a cafe-racer body style.
Norton and Motoroyale will be assembling these bikes in CKD (completely knocked down) form at the latter's 52-acre plant in Ahmednagar, near Pune. The assembled-in-India bikes will be available by the end of 2018, while Norton plans to import a limited number of bikes from its plant in Donnington Hall, UK, initially and sell them in the first quarter next year.
The joint venture was signed by Ajinkya Firodia, managing director, Motoroyale and Stuart Garner, CEO, Norton Motorcycles earlier this year. Incidentally, Garner set a land speed record in 2009 of hitting 173 mph (277 kmph) in a single mile with a top speed of over 180 mph (288 kmph).
So what's special about these two motorcycles? They are completely hand-built and come with a heritage dating back to 1902. It is one among the iconic British motorcycle brands of the time (including Royal Enfield, Triumph and BSA).
The Dominator and the Commando are powered by a parallel-twin 961 cc, air-cooled engine, with a 5-speed transmission. It is as old-school as it can get, and while some may question the steep premium these bikes command, it is the heritage and the hand-built tag that make them exclusive. The 961 cc engine puts out 80PS of power and 90 Nm of torque.
Norton hopes to get up to 35% of the premium motorcycle market share in India once it goes on sale. The superbike and premium motorcycle market in India is currently about 12,000 units strong, with brands like Triumph, Harley Davidson and Ducati competing quite aggressively in that space.
Motoroyale also expects to export Norton motorcycles that have been assembled in India to many of the ASEAN countries including Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia among others. Motoroyale also sells the MV Augsta range of motorcycles in India.
Price? Considering the bikes start at about $17,000 abroad, expect starting prices upwards of Rs 18 lakh in India, unless Motoroyale can pull of a pricing coup as Firodia had hinted at during the unveiling. Let's wait and watch.
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