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.

Source: Norton

  • Turf

    ‘Norton to race Aprilia CRT at IOMTT for baffling reasons’ is what the title should read. I don’t get it the 588 was quite cool even if it was a little hydrophobic, everyone was pulling for them again. Few things in biking news have made me say, ‘FUCK YES!” but the heading ‘Michael Dunlop to ride clearly ridiculous rotary powered Norton’ was one of them, Who cares if it came in last or blew up or came in last and blew up. It would have been a Norton and journo’s would have muttered something about plucky spirit and they’d have tried again next year.

  • Love the “165 mph no hands” test!

  • John

    Perhaps Norton should be concentrating on actually delivering Commandos that have been promised and paid in full for rather than wasting time racing an Aprilia with Norton badging. The real story that needs to be told is what is going on with the funds that numerous potential buyers have deposited with Norton, are bikes being delivered, are there quality control issues, are deposits being returned when requested? Norton seems to be getting a “pass” in the American motorcycle press, the British press is not so kind.

  • Bill

    Utter rubbish. On an off thought wish EBR would field a bike.

  • MikeD

    I think these “Norton” people are trying to pull an H-D, Ducati or Ferrari here.

    Make a name for yourself AGAIN, SOMEHOW( Alien bike, alien frame and alien engine not related in any way possible to the brand name), polish such name, tack it and sticker it on anything they can (coffe mugs, dishwashers, dildos), get into SILLY alliances with other “FAT FISH” out there and make a quick buck any possible way they can,AGAIN….SPLATTERING your silly name on any motorcycle unrelated products.

    Is ok, bussiness are created to make revenue.

    Hating ? Most probably….. all this daily raining on my neck of the woods is giving Male P.M.S.
    but most of it is fueled by all the P.R fanfarre and B.S words all these “icons” spew out during the ground breaking ceremony to later just turn into and DO NOTHING…yes, ur name stood for greatnes……..ONE TIME………..NOT ANYMORE SINCE your DEATH…u should now rest in peace (MotoMorini comes to mind quick after watching their latest LAME effort).

  • Dan

    The comments above sum it up. Norton is not bringing their A game. Disappointment.

  • Richard Gozinya

    Just save yourself the annoyance, and get a real Norton, the early to mid 70’s Commandos are fun bikes, and they have the added benefit of being actual Nortons. The new Commandos, while pretty, have little in common with the old ones. New ones don’t even have a pillion, and I don’t think Norton ever sold a single seat Commando. There was the Interstate, the Fastback, and the Roadster, but they all had pillions.

  • Richard Gozinya

    Oh, and as for this Norton RSV4, it’s not as good as the real one, and nowhere near as cool as the NRV588.

  • paulus

    Aprilia/Spondon/Ohlins/Brembo……. tank stickers by Norton
    Norton is a sponsor… not the manufacturer.

    Still they are getting press…. now get back in the factory and assemble those late delivery commtiments.

    This is to sell T-shirt, caps and anything else they can cheaply screen a logo onto.

  • turtle

    Why are people getting bent out of shape over Norton using the Aprilia engine to develop thier chassis ? Maybe because they didn’t know that triumph used the r6 to develop the 675 or is that not the sam_e? And nearly every norton evet built used parts from other machines . the rotary commander was practicly an xj900 . i am a norton fan and have been since a child so if it means the name makes a comes back like triumph i wish them all the best .