More news from Norton, as the British firm has begun track-testing its V4 road race bike, in preparation of the 2012 Isle of Man TT. Focusing on the bike’s handling, Norton has been working hand-in-hand with Öhlins and Dunlop developing the bike’s chassis. The trio has devised the highly sophisticated “165 mph no hands” test, which supposedly checks the stability of the bike, though we imagine Health & Safety would frown upon it.
With the bike’s Aprilia RSV4 motor putting out 195hp at the crank, and with the total race package weighing 419 lbs (195 kg) when it is sopping wet, the Spondon-framed Norton may not be exactly what fans of the famous marques were hoping for after seeing the very appealing Norton NRV 588, though it does seem to be a potent package.
“We’ve gone for a bike we hope will be rock solid…The biggest stuff in terms of the design and engineering are all now done and the list of things to do is much smaller, but no less important,” said Norton Head of Design, Simon Skinner. “Some of these are going to take a lot of work to get right but we have a good team and determination.”
“Being there for the first high-speed test was interesting and we were all a bit nervous because we needed to know the bike was stable,” explained CEO Stuart Gardner. “Our rider Ian Mackman did some high-speed runs, hard braking and lots of track laps – he was really happy.”
Norton fans can follow the team’s Isle of Man TT prepartations via Twitter at @norton_ceo.