Former Ducati exec picked to head Norton return to U.S.

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U.K.-based Norton Motorcycles Ltd. has tapped Dan Van Epps to lead its efforts to reestablish the iconic British brand in the USA. The company anticipates shipments of the new machines to being in May of 2011.

Van Epps is the former CEO of Ducati North America. He also served as Director of Overseas Markets and head of Product Marketing for Ducati while based in Bologna, Italy.

The first bikes expected to hit U.S. shores are the Norton Commando series of classic sportbikes, featuring the Commando 961 Sport, the 961 CAfe Racer and the 961 SE. The models retain the classic Norton styling while featuring such modern upgrades as a 961cc fuel-injected, counter-balanced parallel twin engine and components such as Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes.

Check out the company and the model range by going to the Norton Motorcycle website.

“We have been producing the new 961 Commandos for almost two years, and the orders have been well beyond our most enthusiastic expectations. We’ve had to ramp-up production much earlier than anticipated to grow on pace with our customer’s requests”, said Norton's owner and CEO Stuart Garner. “The exciting news is that we are now ready to enter the important US market, and we’ve chosen Dan Van Epps be CEO of Norton Motorcycles USA. Dan’s depth of experience, and our policy here at Norton to add to the team only the best motorcycle industry professionals, makes him a perfect fit”.

Van Epps added: “This is really an exciting opportunity for us, and we are all confident about our future, however, I am keenly aware of the magnitude of the responsibility in the introduction of Norton to the USA”, said Van Epps. “We are fulfilling the dream and delivering the excitement of a truly iconic all British motorcycle. Partnering with dealers who likewise understand the significance of this brand and its rich heritage is critically important and will be the key to our success”.