Norton Motorcycles 1950s

Today in Motorcycle History


Norton Villiers Triumph was a British motorcycle manufacturer, formed by the British Government to continue the UK motorcycling industry. As with most Government interventions into British industry it was ill-thought-out and the company eventually failed.

  • In 1973, the British government's attempt to rescue the motorcycle industry forced a merger of the BSA (including their subsidiary Triumph) and Norton-Villiers, in return for funds to remain in business. The resultant company was called Norton Villiers Triumph (NVT).

    NVT was liquidated in 1978 but rotary-engined motorcycles appeared under the Norton name for the next 15 years with insufficient sales, until the Norton name as we know it withered away, as had BSA, Sunbeam, James, Francis-Barnett, AJS and Matchless. All were companies absorbed by other companies on the way to Norton-Villiers-Triumph.

    Even though Norton Villiers Triumph is no more, the Triumph marque has survived.

NVT Motorcycles

NVT, the initials of Norton Villiers Triumph, were motorcycles produced from 1976 to 1979.

This was the final incarnation of the almalgamation of many of the most famous British marques.

  • 1976 This short-lived make consisted of series of mopeds called the Easy Rider and all fitted with imported Italian Morini engines. The models varied from one or two speeds, one styled to motorcycle form with a dummy tank and two with four speeds. An off-road junior Easy Rider was added to the range, but the machines had limited success.

    1978 The 123cc and 171cc Rambler trail models appeared. Both had Yamaha engines and gearboxes, plus other imported components.

    1979 All were withdrawn when the Ramblers became BSA Trackers.

    Several NVT machines appeared under the BSA marque - these include the Brigand, the Beaver and the Boxer. See BSA in the 1970s

Source: Graces Guide