South African motorcycle designer Pierre Terblanche will be heading Norton Motorcycles as head of product development and design starting from January 4th, 2011. This move comes as part of Norton’s efforts to establish itself as a global motorcycle brand, which will see the British bike-maker develop modern-day liquid-cooled overhead-cam motors based on Terblanche designs. The air-cooled pushrod-engine powered classic Norton Commando 961, which is largely attributed for Norton’s comeback, will run alongside the new range of products.
Terblanche has been in the profession for over twenty years and the 54-year old designer who headed motorcycle design at Ducati has been credited for sketching iconic motorcycles like the Ducati MH900e, the Ducati 999, etc. One of the most influential personalities in today’s world of motorcycling, after resigning from Ducati in 2007, Terblanche diverted his attention on designing boats and water-crafts for South African shipyard, Bobkat, which too received accolades the world over. From there he moved on to head Piaggio’s design development alongside his former Ducati colleague, Miguel Angel Galluzzi who designed the Ducati Monster. Terblanche’s genius can be seen in the way his designs shaped Ducati for over two decades and helped the company gather the reputation for giving us some of the best looking motorcycles in the world.
Pierre Terblanche himself states, "Norton is one of the great names in motorcycling, and it was too good a chance to pass up to be involved in bringing it back to its former glory, by creating something fresh and new by drawing on its history, but expressing it in a modern context," he says.
"Pierre's experience of bringing innovative new products to the marketplace will be a vital factor in developing the Norton range, while paying due respect to its traditions," says Stuart Garner, owner Norton Motorcycles. "His proven ability to think outside the envelope while respecting the image of the marque he's working with makes it very exciting to have him come here to Britain and work for us. Combining his flair for original concepts with Norton's sporting traditions will allow us to create a range of motorcycles bearing the historic Norton badge that'll be unlike anything else in the marketplace."