Let’s say that, starting in 2020, you suddenly found yourself tasked with righting the ship at Norton Motorcycles. Regardless of your personal feelings about anything that went before, handling such a historic company is no small task. The weight of expectations—from both inside the company and out in the world—must be nothing short of staggering.
Still, interim CEO John Russell is nothing if not extremely game. Watch or listen to any interviews with the man since he’s taken on that challenging position, and it’s nearly impossible not to come away with that impression. For him, Norton’s glory days aren’t just a tale out of history books. The company’s incomparable racing legacy is something he grew up with. It’s a potent mix of expectation, possibility, craftsmanship, and pride, and he knows it well.
Thus, it should come as probably zero surprise that the new Norton is already contemplating a return to the Isle of Man TT. Some might say it’s a tenuous time, given the ongoing COVID state of things. Still, isn’t down time when it’s best to start laying out your plans? If no one’s going racing next week, that gives you all the more time to get everything as perfectly in order as you can. Granted, if you’re the type of person who thrives when working against deadlines, you may need a moment to adjust—but you can do it.
“Norton is inextricably linked with racing, and in particular with TT. That’s got to be part of what we are in the future. How we get back, when we get back, who we partner with, what is the bike, all those things are yet to come,” Russell told VisorDown in an interview. You can read the whole thing here.
Sure, you might say, there are no concrete plans yet—but every concrete plan starts with a discussion somewhere along the way. If Russell is saying something like this in an interview, you know that he’s already had plenty of closed-door conversations about it within the company. We don’t know how far along in the planning stages anyone at Norton has gotten. At this point, it’s just nice to think about what we could see in the future. To brighter days for Norton, the Isle of Man TT, and riders everywhere!