Norton Motorcycles sold 961 engine design to China
English motorcycle maker Norton Motorcycles, currently under administration for tax irregularities, has sold its 961 engine design rights to Chinese maker JinLiang. The agreement to sell the engine design and tooling was made in December 2019, with Norton going into administration just about a month later in January 2020, reports Motorcycle News.
Currently, JinLiang produces a range of scooters and 125 cc motorcycles under the brand name Ariic, with a capacity of 300,000 machines a year. The Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, based company also produces 800,000 engines a year and supplies companies such as ZongShen and Polaris, who own the Indian Motorcycle brand.
A spokesperson for JinLiang was quoted as saying the company will work with its design partner in Italy to develop a new motorcycle based on the 961 platform. It was further stated the new motorcycle is intended for worldwide sales.
Norton Motorcycles owner Stuart Garner is under investigation by the UK Pensions Regulator due to complaints lodged with the Pensions Ombudsman and enquiries from politicians. Norton reportedly owed UK tax authorities 300,000 pounds sterling (RM1.61 million) and was placed under administrators BDO, with a report to be issued in due course.
It was previously reported in 2017 Norton had sold the intellectual property and design rights for a 650 cc two-cylinder motorcycle engine to ZhongShen. With a production capacity of over 1 million motorcycles annually, ZhongShen is better known to Malaysian riders under the KTNS brand name.
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