Norton Motorcycles 1950s

Today in Motorcycle History

James Lansdowne Norton

James Lansdowne Norton was founder of the firm of Norton, and one of the best-known motor-cycle manufacturers in the country.

He was born in 1868 and his connection with the industry dates from 1901, when he began to building and repairing cycles and motor cycles. Later, he designed the Norton motor cycle which, in its early days, was fitted with a Clément engine. In 1904 James Norton offered more powerful motorcycles with single-cylinder and V-twin Peugeot engines.

In 1907 "Pops" Norton offered a V Twin using a Moto-Rêve engine. This was displayed in November that year at the Olympia Show on the Moto Rêve stand and was named the "Norton Energette".

The story of the Energette is covered in rather more here: Energette by George Cohen

Later he designed and produced a his own single-cylinder engine. The popularity of the machine steadily progressed, and its designer ultimately had the satisfaction of seeing it win the T.T. Race.

J.L. Norton had for years suffered from an incurable disease, to which he succumbed on 21st April, 1925.

He was elected a Member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers in 1918.

Source: Graces Guide