Norton Nemesis V8

Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
4,985
Country flag

Norton
This project started when Melling was approached by an American, John Silseth II, who ran an investment brokerage business and was enthusiastic about motorbikes. He met someone in London who founded March racing cars – Robin Herd. Silseth suggested to him that he could get some manufacturers and a designer to make a world superbike using the March name: he then obtained the rights to it and decided it was perfect for the American market. Having done that he finalised a contract with Melling to design the engines for this range of superbikes and contacted a Formula One team to produce the bike. Melling's company went ahead and designed this range of engines, and after discussions with the Formula One team it became apparent that they were not capable of fulfilling their contract, and so this was transferred to the Melling team as well.[4]

At this time, a real estate company run by the Aquilini family in Vancouver, who owned the rights to Norton motorcycles, approached Silseth to do a contract whereby the March bikes would carry the Norton name instead, and the Aquilini family would draw royalties from production sales. The deal was completed and a year later the centenary of Norton came round – 1998. It was suggested by Melling, who was the Technical Director of Norton and a major shareholder, having invested £4.5M – that a special design of the motorbike should be produced.[5]

Originally Melling was commissioned to design four Norton motorcycles: the Manx, the Nirvana, the Buffalo and the Nemesis.

The 750cc in-line four motorcycle, to be called the Manx, was then on test – all the tooling having been completed. Melling suggested for the centenary that the new motorcycle should be a V8 – which was basically two 750cc joined in a V – becoming a 1500cc. It was also envisaged that this V8 engine could be made into a 2-litre engine, being ideal for small sports or racing cars.

However, Norton motors failed.[6] There was a court case held for the appointment of blame in London. This was not attended by the certain two investors pulling out – and Melling was awarded all the rights of the project and possession of the tooling of the new Manx, Nirvana, Buffalo and Nemesis bikes.

The prototype Nemesis and a test engine are now on view at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham, England.
 

850cmndo

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
577
Country flag
Saw one of these on display at Leo's South in Lakeville, south of Minneapolis. Still have a poster of it ,and drawings of a "Commando" that was butt ugly.
 

grandpaul

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
11,744
Country flag
Pretty cool, if you have unlimited play money.

I suspect whoever tries to get it running will encounter, shall we say, "teething problems"...
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
1,531
Country flag
'I suspect whoever tries to get it running will encounter, shall we say, "teething problems"...'

Wouldn't be a proper Norton, otherwise....
 

grandpaul

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
11,744
Country flag
'I suspect whoever tries to get it running will encounter, shall we say, "teething problems"...'

Wouldn't be a proper Norton, otherwise....
I do have the feeling THIS "Norton" would be a tad bit more "fiddly" than the average exasperating bodge-job Commando...
 

MichaelB

"Sons of Arthritus"
VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jan 14, 2004
Messages
1,555
Country flag

Norton
This project started when Melling was approached by an American, John Silseth II, who ran an investment brokerage business and was enthusiastic about motorbikes. He met someone in London who founded March racing cars – Robin Herd. Silseth suggested to him that he could get some manufacturers and a designer to make a world superbike using the March name: he then obtained the rights to it and decided it was perfect for the American market. Having done that he finalised a contract with Melling to design the engines for this range of superbikes and contacted a Formula One team to produce the bike. Melling's company went ahead and designed this range of engines, and after discussions with the Formula One team it became apparent that they were not capable of fulfilling their contract, and so this was transferred to the Melling team as well.[4]

At this time, a real estate company run by the Aquilini family in Vancouver, who owned the rights to Norton motorcycles, approached Silseth to do a contract whereby the March bikes would carry the Norton name instead, and the Aquilini family would draw royalties from production sales. The deal was completed and a year later the centenary of Norton came round – 1998. It was suggested by Melling, who was the Technical Director of Norton and a major shareholder, having invested £4.5M – that a special design of the motorbike should be produced.[5]

Originally Melling was commissioned to design four Norton motorcycles: the Manx, the Nirvana, the Buffalo and the Nemesis.

The 750cc in-line four motorcycle, to be called the Manx, was then on test – all the tooling having been completed. Melling suggested for the centenary that the new motorcycle should be a V8 – which was basically two 750cc joined in a V – becoming a 1500cc. It was also envisaged that this V8 engine could be made into a 2-litre engine, being ideal for small sports or racing cars.

However, Norton motors failed.[6] There was a court case held for the appointment of blame in London. This was not attended by the certain two investors pulling out – and Melling was awarded all the rights of the project and possession of the tooling of the new Manx, Nirvana, Buffalo and Nemesis bikes.

The prototype Nemesis and a test engine are now on view at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham, England.

Interesting Read., thanks for posting it.
Lots of near misses there, particularly RR.
As much as I would have liked for the Nemesis to succeed, something just doesn't sit right with me about a 4 cylinder Manx.
Some names are best left retired.
 
Top