Pierre Terblanche quits Norton

Just six months after joining the company, Pierre Terblanche has exclusively confirmed to Hell For Leather that he has quit the new Norton. “Norton, with the right finance and management, could do very well,” the designer told us this morning as he packed up his apartment. Acquiring Terblanche — designer of the Ducati Supermono, 999 and many other iconic motorcycles — from mega-manufacturer Piaggio was quite the coup for Norton, the reborn brand has only been operating since 2008.

Norton, located in the UK, currently sells a range of high-end motorcycles based around an all-new Commando platform and has said it's developing a 1,000cc V4 racing motorcycle. In November, it was announced that the company would begin importing bikes to America, an operation that was to be headed by former Ducati North America CEO Dan Van Epps. Since that time, bikes have not arrived at dealers on schedule. Neither Dan nor Norton Motorcycles CEO Stuart Garner was immediately available for comment this morning.

Terblanche is both famous and controversial for bringing ambitious design to a notoriously conservative world. He’s probably most well-known for his time at Ducati, which saw public opinion favor work like that Supermono and the SportClassic range, while the 999 was famously ahead of its time. Recently, he penned a range of concepts for Moto Guzzi, marking a path into the future for a brand that’s spent too long stuck in the past.

“I’ve got another project already,” Terblanche told us, without divulging details. “I’m working on a new motorcycle.”

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