Founded in 1898, British motorcycle manufacturer Norton got its start as a chain maker, before they began making motorcycles in 1902. Over the course of four decades, their designs dominated road racing in the single cylinder class, and introduced many industry innovations. Although the company faced many financial and international difficulties, the engineers at Norton continued to improve upon their race-proven designs. In 1998, Norton Motors International reemerged from the ashes, and in 2004, the first new Norton Motorcycle went into production. The 2005 Norton 952 Commando is a café racer bike, and its unique styling and powerful capabilities harken back to the early days British motorcycle ingenuity.