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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone read the Motorcycle news (UK) article on Norton SS v Thruxton R by any chance?
Made me sooooooo angry. I've been angry all day.
John Bloor started production in 1990 - it took 20 years of making excellent bikes we can afford before he saw a return on his investment.
The Norton SS is hand built and costs £24,000 if you want one of the 200 being made. A wealthy mans bespoke toy.
The Triumph costs £11,700 and is brilliant. According to MCN it was designed and developed by a company with and I quote 'unlimited resources'. Twenty six years of careful management and skill I think have culminated in this bike.
I have ridden both, the Norton is much the same as a Commando I rode some 30 years ago, vibrates, handles badly and is under torqued and underpowered.
Norton are also being given £4 million by our government - an earlier administration also guaranteed a £625,000 loan.
Triumph have received nothing, yet they employ more people here, paid £1.2 million in tax last year and are a fantastic British success story.
Read the article here
http://www.motorcyclenews.com/news/...may/triumph-thruxton-r-v-norton-dominator-ss/
See what you think then if you feel the way I do write to MCN and tell them what complete a - holes they are.
If it was not for Triumph making an environment where British motorcycles are trusted again there would be no Norton.
I feel slightly better now
 

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Let's see... I can buy 2 Thruxton Rs for the same price as one Norton?

One I have to wait 2 years to get and the other is available now?

One has a great track record and warranty to back up the bikes?

One has more HP, better suspension and looks fantastic?

Not a hard choice....


J
 

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I think you are a bit unfair to the old Commando. I have one of those (850mk3) and it is as smooth as the Thrux R from 3 k to red line.
Not short of torque either. Not on par with the 1200cc Thrux r of course, but it easily surpasses the 2015 Triumph 865s for performance and handling.
The modern 961 Commandos I have not ridden. With the difference in displacement and engine type, it's hard to imagine they could come close the the Thrux R for performance and I know of at least one 961 owner who is blown away by the Thrux r handling. The main problem with the 961 seems to be keeping it running. The next problem is finding parts for it when it breaks. I read the 961 forum and it is pretty grim. A few of the owners are determined to make their own improved parts for the bikes so that they will work. Right now a new ignition system is on the hot list.
Imagine buying a new Triumph and finding out the brand new ignition system should be replaced with a better one. Then add to that the premium these people have paid for their Nortons. Pretty crappy deal.

Back to the original Commando. Those old Commandos were amazing machines for the time. Machine of the year 5 years running.
Smoother and faster than my 1970 CB750, in fact faster in acceleration than any other bike on the planet in 1970.
(750 Commando, 12.69 quarter mile, Cycle mag Superbike Seven Shootout, May 1970)
12.69 seconds thru the quarter, not exactly hanging about, even today.
You won't equal that with any stock 865. Even a highly modded 904 recently run by a member here couldn't equal that.

As you can tell, I like my Thrux R but love the old Commando :)

Glen
 

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I read the article at the time and have to say I found it to be perfectly OK. It praised the Thrux a lot, and if I remember rightly that is the forth time in the last couple of months that MCN has carried articles praising the new Triumph, I was getting the feeling that anyone that doesn't ride a Thruxton would be shouting 'Enough with the Triumph fanboy stuff'. They also liked the special feeling of riding a limited production run from a small manufacturer. I had no problem with the article.
 

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Glen, not only do I remember the 1970 Cycle Superbike comparison that the Commando won, I still have the issue. Over the years it has been disclosed that, like Pontiac did with it's test cars in the 60's, Norton sent a "sleeper" to the magazine for the test. That said, the Commando has always been one of my all time favorites, and my friends riding them today do just fine. I haven't ridden either the current Commando or a Thruxton R - but based upon Cycle World's test of the Norton, they tried to be as positive as possible but "damned it with faint praise". The Triumph is well-sorted and just a better performer - what is unusual is that the hand-built usually has the advantage of better looks, but to me the Thruxton is the prettier of two very attractive bikes.
 

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The Norton is was always will be like the Hesketh and other boutique machines, the onlything they have is the "you paid what for that?" factor. If you can buy a pristine 750/850 Commano for $9-12K what is the point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Yeah, I was a bit tough on the old Commando - the one I rode was not the best example. Sorry for any offence caused - Norton were once a fine company who made some fine bikes. Like Triumph/BSA, like Velocette, like Vincent, like Cotton and AJS and Ariel and Matchless. Great in their day and some had a last hurrah, like Norton, like the Triumph Trident that won the TT five years running from 1970 to 1974.

The issue I have is the perception in the article that Triumph is some vast conglomerate. The comment 'Unlimited Resources' was the one that set me alight.

Triumph make hardly any bikes compared to their Japanese counterparts which have other industries (Cars, machinery, ship building etc) to prop up their finances. If any manufacturer were to have 'unlimited resources' it would need to be Kawasaki (ships, heavy industry) or Honda (Cars, Trucks etc).
Every penny Triumph have made since 1990 has been made from the supply of motorcycles. They received no Government support and the UK press (MCN included) gave them no quarter. The first models of TT600 were plagued with poor fuelling maps, buy a later one and it's a damn good 600 comparable with the Japanese, the UK press slated it and Triumph were not big enough to shake that, they stopped making it and anything like it - cleverly concentrating on areas where they had no direct competition
Triumph is where it is through its own merits, not through peddling a brand (Although they have used goodwill names like Thruxton).
The new Norton is American designed (Nothing wrong with that but it's hardly British). Stuart Garner bought the brand and Kenny Dreer's drawings like a kit from Oliver Curme who had with Kenny, built 50 bikes in Oregon then run out of money for a new US Norton. Selling pretty toys to wealthy men has made him very rich and he now owns and has had renovated Donington Hall. Good for him.
Just don't tell me his bike, which most bikers cannot hope to afford even if there were enough to go round, is comparable with the Triumph Thruxton.

Oh and yes MCN have raved about the new Thruxton, they are nice about it in the article but read it carefully and the Norton is the bike the 45 year old tester wanted for a Sunday morning blast - how old was he when Triumph rose again in 1990 - 19.........
As someone said, this Norton will always be a Hesketh.
Thanks for the comments......��
 

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Not really sure what the issue is? Read the article and saw nothing that slated the Thruxton or triumph, in fact they were very positive about the new R. It was just a comparison of two retro racers and I thought it was probably quite truthful. What I took from it is the thruxton is a great modern take on a classic bike with all the mod cons and comfort of a modern bike and the Norton is more raw and, due to not having the gadgets the triumph has, feels more retro when ridden. Although I agree that it's doubtful that triumph have an unlimited budget, there's nothing to get up set about and certainly nothing that warrants a snotty letter IMO.
 
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Glen, not only do I remember the 1970 Cycle Superbike comparison that the Commando won, I still have the issue. Over the years it has been disclosed that, like Pontiac did with it's test cars in the 60's, Norton sent a "sleeper" to the magazine for the test. That said, the Commando has always been one of my all time favorites, and my friends riding them today do just fine.
The crew at Cycle were pretty astute and expected there could be cheating so the stripped all of the engines down after the testing. In part, they may have been driven to do this because the Harley camp was loudly accusing Norton of cheating. How else could they beat their Harley?
What the Cycle crew found was that all of the bikes were fine except Harley which had cheated magnificently with major racing type mods done to the stock engine.
So the words CHEATER are plastered across the Harley section of the test results page.
If Norton had tried to pick out a special fast "stock " bike, they did a very poor job. The Commando would have finished near the bottom of the pack if the Cycle crew hadn't figured out that it wasn't giving full power.
They went to work on it and found the fuel petcock screens plugged with gunk. After they cleaned the screens
the bike turned the 12.69.
Then there is the 12.2 that Norman White ran with a stock 750 ......

As far as the new Commandos go- it's been pointed out on the Norton site that there are currently 15 used 961 Commandos for sale on EBay UK and also 15 original Commandos for sale.
When you look at the thousands of original Commandos built (+50,000) vs a few hundred 961s, it's clear that the testers are leaving a lot out of the story.
 

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I think the new Thruxton filled that niche, and did so dramatically better. It has the style, reliability, and performance. The Norton is beautiful, but at ~$20,000 or more? No thanks.
 

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I think the new Thruxton filled that niche, and did so dramatically better. It has the style, reliability, and performance. The Norton is beautiful, but at ~$20,000 or more? No thanks.
Agree, the Thruxton R is the worst thing to happen to the new Norton. I was lusting after a Norton, the moment I saw the Thruxton R is was all, "laters." :nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Clarity

I think the new Thruxton filled that niche, and did so dramatically better. It has the style, reliability, and performance. The Norton is beautiful, but at ~$20,000 or more? No thanks.
You're right - IMO I didn't like the article but that sums it up - the Thruxton IS the worst news Norton could get - it's better all round, carries the badge and costs half.
Sometimes I get so old and shirty I lose sight of the facts.
Thanks guys !
 

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From the MCN article. "The Thruxton R is the modern day Fiat 500, Mini, or VW Beetle"
I think I know what he is trying to say, and that is the Thruxton R is a thoroughly reliable modern machine. Unfortunately his knowledge of automobiles is so poor that he has chosen one of the worst vehicles ever built as an example ( Fiat 500) The Mini also has had big problems and recalls as has the VW Beetle in modern times.
Hopefully the Thruxton R will be a better machine than a candidate for "the worst car ever built" which also happens to be quite gutless.

Then he goes on to say the Norton is "Featherlight", probably going by the listed weight rather than having actually weighed the bike
I'm not sure of the exact weight of the Dominator version, but the regular 961( listed weight 414 dry) was weighed in a Magazine test and came in at 522 pounds with fuel. This makes the fueled 488 pound Thruxton look pretty slim by comparison.
Also, his comments about the fantastic handling of the Norton at low speed but problems at high speed seem to be at odds with what the 961 riders say. Several have said the Norton is a little top heavy at low speed (could be that 522 pounds) but smartens up at higher speed.
One 961 owner who also owns a Thrux R says the Thrux low speed feels like riding an "observed Trials bike " after getting off the 961.
No mention of this by the journo, in fact he gives the opposite impression.

So I agree, it is a crap article written by someone who is just blathering thoughts and impressions without much depth, knowledge or putting any real effort into the job.
 

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From the MCN article. "The Thruxton R is the modern day Fiat 500, Mini, or VW Beetle"
I interpreted that as saying the Thruxton is a fashion accessory, that's what those three modern versions of classic cars have been described as. There are lots of them here, 80% of them bought by trendy young females, or gifted by their daddies because "they're worth it"...:)
 

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The Thruxton R is a bit of a fashion accessory for sure. Witness all of the fussing over getting just the right coloured accessories for the bike, or the perfect turn indicators , FEK etc.
That's bound to happen with something that looks as good as the bike does. What a happy coincidence that when you through a leg over the thing and forget all of the cosmetics, it turns out to be a superb machine that can really haul ass on a twisting mountain road.

Glen
 

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The Thruxton R is a bit of a fashion accessory for sure. Witness all of the fussing over getting just the right coloured accessories for the bike, or the perfect turn indicators , FEK etc.
That's bound to happen with something that looks as good as the bike does. What a happy coincidence that when you through a leg over the thing and forget all of the cosmetics, it turns out to be a superb machine that can really haul ass on a twisting mountain road.

Glen
That obsession with personal perfection with mods happens with every bike as far as I can tell.
 

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That obsession with personal perfection with mods happens with every bike as far as I can tell.
I am not usually bothered at all about how my bikes look, i have had plenty of ugly extras on them to improve the riding experience no matter what it looks like. However the Thrux is such a good looking machine that even I am being picky about what goes on it.

I might even wash my jacket in case I let the side down. :surprise:
 

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I am not usually bothered at all about how my bikes look, i have had plenty of ugly extras on them to improve the riding experience no matter what it looks like. However the Thrux is such a good looking machine that even I am being picky about what goes on it.



I might even wash my jacket in case I let the side down. :surprise:
I wouldn't go that far. Get the missus to do it.
 

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I think the new Thruxton filled that niche, and did so dramatically better. It has the style, reliability, and performance. The Norton is beautiful, but at ~$20,000 or more? No thanks.


You are probably not in their target demographic. :D the kind of person that would by the Norton, will probably also buy a Thruxton R.
 
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