VC, Name Change For Norton Staff
by Staff
Well well, Norton kicked to the last, but now it seems they're dropping the old brand. Press release follows, but we'd just like to point out, MOFos, that we really respect this brand ;-)

Viper Motorcycle Company Signs Joint Venture with Merch PerformanceInc. to Supply Proprietary Engines.

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 24, 2003--Norton Motorcycle Companyannounced today that it has changed its name to Viper MotorcycleCompany. Viper Motorcycle Company has released all trademark rights to theNorton brand in exchange for an undisclosed amount of cash and an end toall existing and pending litigation.

"In early 2002 we obtained the rights to manufacture and sell motorcycleproducts using the Norton brand and trademarks from GlobalCoin," commented John Fiebelkorn, president and CEO of Viper MotorcycleCompany. "Based on a court judgment later in 2002, it appeared that GlobalCoin held unencumbered rights to the Norton brand. After becoming involvedin additional and substantial federal court proceedings and relatedlitigation, we recently and reluctantly entered into a settlementagreement releasing all rights to the Norton brand. The status of ourrights to the Norton brand had become too risky and uncertain to provideus with enough confidence to proceed under the Norton name.. The Nortonbrand is important, but at the end of the day, our company, our productand our team is much more valuable," Fiebelkorn concluded.

"This action will in no way hinder our ability to manufacture a qualityand innovative line of motorcycles," said Terry Nesbitt, vice president ofsales for Viper Motorcycle Company. "It will also not affect our jointventure with Merch Performance Inc. to supply proprietary engines." JimWild, president of Merch Performance, stated that "The team of talentedpeople at Viper Motorcycle Company is what first drew me to theproject. Merch Performance is excited at this opportunity and continues tobe supportive." Viper Motorcycle Company will begin production in May ofthis year. The schedule will allow the company to make the necessarytooling changes and complete testing. "The initial response to our firstmodel, the Viper Diablo Power Cruiser, has greatly exceeded ourexpectations," continued Nesbitt. "Motorcycle orders are excellent anddealers are anxiously awaiting delivery. It has been our goal to introducequality, innovative, high performance motorcycles, and the Diablo is thatand more."

According to Rick Fairless, owner of Easyriders of Dallas, "Thismotorcycle is on the cutting edge of technology and is no kit bike." JimPacha of Bikers Custom in El Paso, Texas states, "The Viper Diabloproduction motorcycle has all the best features of a high-endone-of-a-kind custom cruiser."

The goal for Viper Motorcycle Company is to be a full-line manufacturer ofhigh-end motorcycles. The company will introduce 3 additional models for2003.

"As an OEM with 4 distinctive models -- the power cruiser, standardcruiser, sport cruiser and touring cruiser -- the company is in a positionto offer a product line that adds value, profit and potential to anydealer, as well as provides an unequalled innovative selection to theconsumer," Nesbitt continued. "As we move forward, our product line willcontinue to incorporate proprietary features and benefits distinctive tothe Viper name."

Viper Motorcycle Company also announced today that it has also engagedLane Capital Markets, a member of the NASD and SIPC, as its investmentbanker and placement agent for its upcoming offering. For more informationregarding the offering, contact Lane Capital Markets at

For see photos of the new Viper Diablo, visit

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