Special feature: Discover the passion behind the Norton Motorcycle team
13 Minute Read
Over 80% of the Norton team are avid motorcycle riders as well as specialists in their field. Their passion for the industry inspired many to join the Norton family to work in a job they love. Sharing their personal stories in this blog, some of our team members reveal exactly what they love about being a motorcycle rider. These stories showcase not only the enthusiasm of our staff but also the drive and motivation behind their incredibly strong work ethic. It’s because we live and breathe this industry that we care so deeply about the future success of Norton. With a commitment to our customers and a love for Norton Motorcycles, our team work to deliver nothing short of perfection.
It’s all about that feeling of freedom
When asked what they love about motorcycle riding, every single person talked about the feeling of freedom that nothing else comes close to. From racing to travelling, and bike rallies to solo rides, Lauren, Richard and Kieran share some unforgettable memories below.
Lauren, Project Coordinator
“I always wanted to learn to ride, and now I can honestly say it’s the best feeling. Initially, my passion for two wheels began with cycling, and I used to cycle competitively across the country up until about the age of 12. But my grandad had a love for motorbikes and so did my dad, so I think I caught it from them. Whenever I saw people riding motorbikes as a teenager I would be fascinated by them, though my mum used to say ‘You’re not getting one of those!’ When I hit my twenties I think she realised she couldn’t stop me!
I’ve been to many bike meet-ups, sometimes riding solo, other times I would take friends on the back with me. In 2016 I attended the first Babes Ride Out UK in Wales and rode there by myself. I was welcomed by an amazing group of women. It was a great weekend spent getting to know lots of women who enjoyed the same passion as myself and that was one of my best experiences to date. I love riding with fellow women who share the same experiences and just being a part of that community.
Richard, Assembly Operator
“I have a full road licence and a national road race licence, and there is no other feeling like the kind you get from racing. I came first place at the Thundersport GB Championship and it was the most joyful feeling ever with immense pride knowing I had beaten 35 other riders to the finish line. I’ve also won a Moto Time Attack event and again there is no other feeling like it. Riding is the only time I ever feel truly free. When I’m on my bike I don’t think about anything else except the race itself. My mind is 100% focused on where I’m going to make my next move and what I need to do to get past the guy in front. There’s no opportunity to let your mind wander even for a second, and everyday worries just disappear.”
It’s the lifestyle that brings us together
The team all have great memories of the events and places they’ve been to on motorcycles. Below, Ray shares some of his experiences getting to know the biker community, Kate reflects on the times she travelled across Europe, and Kieran reminisces about life on the tracks.
Ray, UK Motorcycle Sales Manager
“I remember riding to WSBK at Brands Hatch in the 90’s and witnessing 120,000 spectators that year in the roasting sunshine. I rode in with thousands of bikes and it was an incredible buzz! And in 2010, I completed a ride to raise money for Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity for terminally ill children, whereby myself and two work colleagues rode 125cc Scooters to Newquay and back in 24 hours. It was a 600 mile round-trip (with no sleep) and I’ve never laughed so much… It’s one of my best memories riding and raising money for a great cause.
I’ve formed many friendships through biking, in fact I met one of my best friends when I sold him a bike at the dealer I worked for; we went to the TT together and riding around the circuit with my best mate is a memory I shall never forget for as long as I live. A good friend and I also travelled to Portugal for an off-road biking holiday too. Riding with friends is great, but I also like my own space sometimes. Anywhere you stop on a bike people will talk to you which you don’t get from most car drivers. If a biker had a flat tyre, another biker would stop to help. They always nod or wave to one another as acknowledgement of a common bond. The face of biking and the stereotypical “biker” is changing, just look at the many charity/fundraising events riders get involved in, Blood Bikers, Christmas toy runs, etc. On the Isle Of Man you can stand at Fairy Bridge and read the many tributes left for riders to see that bikers are a special bunch. Bikers are just individuals who choose to ride a motorcycle for fun, enjoyment, freedom and adventure.”
Kate, UK Sales Office Manager
“I don’t have a motorcycle licence, but I ride pillion around the UK & Europe with my husband regularly along with friends. The experience of riding on the back of the bike is incredible, you get to take in more of the amazing views. We have lots of biker connections across Europe and love attending various annual bike rallies, and Luxembourg is one of the best places we’ve travelled through. There’s nothing better than meeting friends from all walks of life around a camp fire sharing riding stories.”
Kieran, Senior Design Engineer
“Most of my greatest memories are from riding motorbikes. In such an environment around trackdays, club races and even the BSB paddock, I find that everyone is very welcoming. The biker community is always willing to help when someone is in need of bumpstart, tool or spare part as we are all so passionate about bikes; we’re in it for the fun of it.
I have especially fond memories of meeting some of my best friends at university when a couple of us discovered that we had the exact same bike, same colour, same year, same model, same reasons for purchasing it. From there we developed a group of us that would go for long ride outs together, all with an interest in racing, stunt riding and general biker meets. We made many memories and great stories from the places we travelled to and the people we met. From the ACE Café in London to other cities and even countries, riding with friends on both the track and road gave me a great sense of camaraderie.
It was Norton’s British heritage for racing that really interested me. That teamwork to get a motorcycle that truly performs above the rest and offer that to the public. This is something that I aim to deliver in my job along with compassion for others, offering to help where I can. Most importantly, I want to make the greatest bikes possible, so many more people can create great memories like the ones I have. I aspire to own a range of Norton’s in my garage one day, knowing I played a part in the build of each one.”
It’s a job that makes every day meaningful
They say that the only way to do great work is to love what you do. Our team’s passion for this industry transpires into their professional lives and reflects Norton’s pursuit for perfection.
Tom, Senior Engineer
“I’ve been into motorbikes since I was a small kid. All the men in my family ride, and my grandad used to ride a Norton in the 50’s. So, designing bikes for such a premium motorcycle brand with racing pedigree has always been my dream. Immediately after graduating from the University of Sussex in 2011 I applied for a job with Norton Motorcycles. In fact, I applied five times over five years, and after every rejection I gained more experience until I was finally skilled enough to be hired as an engineer. When I got the chance to join the team I jumped at the opportunity and literally moved my life in London to make it work. Back then, I was one of eight engineers and I’ve been a part of Norton through all the changes. Since TVS took ownership, the biggest change I’ve noticed is that the staff morale has increased tenfold. Everyone in the team is so positive and passionate about Norton and its future.
The move to the new headquarters from the old premises hasn’t affected me at all and the roads I take to work now are much nicer to ride on. If I avoid the motorway, I can take the back roads and if you catch them early in the morning, when it’s quiet and the sun is still rising, it’s the best feeling. Riding to work on a decent bike to do the job you love is quite possibly the best way to start the working day. I don’t ride my bike to go fast, I ride it because I enjoy the experience. I’ve ridden through France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. But whether I’m travelling for pleasure or work, when it’s just me and my bike, I’m happy.”
Jack, Sub Assembly Technician
“I first started as a Norton apprentice as I have a keen interest in Motorcycles. As one of the youngest of the team, I feel proud to be in the family that make great quality motorcycle and to work with people that take pride and care in what they produce.”
Our commitment to the future of Norton
The team’s passion for motorcycles means that we understand what customers want from Norton bikes, so we’re motivated to deliver the very best. We’re as driven by our heritage as we are from innovation, combining daring creativity with emotionally-compelling design to secure an indomitable future for Norton Motorcycles. We understand the freedom our customers crave, and the quality and excellence they expect. We’re a team united and committed to delivering a truly unique riding experience, because we love it too.
Thank you to the team at Norton Motorcycles for allowing us to publish this article. For the latest news, features and jobs available at Norton please visit www.nortonmotorcycles.com