Earlier today, the British site Visordown reported that Norton Motorcycles was set to go out of business, as the British Companies House (a sort of business registrar in the United Kingdom) was striking Norton Motors UK Ltd from its list and dissolving the business for inactivity.
It was a shocking development, to say the least, and though Norton is a small company, the news came as a surprise. After all, the last few months have not been kind for the small manufacturers in the motorcycle industry, with the deaths of Alta and Motus still fresh on our minds..
Last week, we showed you two new motorcycles from Norton, the Atlas Ranger and the Atlas Nomad. Today, we bring you a third bike from this 650cc parallel-twin platform from the British brand, the Norton Superlight.
Based off the same road-going platform as the Atlas, the Superlight is really a race bike in disguise.
This is because the Norton Superlight takes the mild-mannered engine from the Atlas bikes, which makes 84hp and 47 lbs•ft of torque, and cranks them up to “11” for an engine that produces 105hp (78 kW) of peak power and 55 lbs•ft (75 Nm) of torque.
We have been waiting for quite a while to see Norton’s Atlas street bike project in the flesh, and now it is here…in two varieties.
The two machines are called the Norton Atlas Ranger and the Norton Atlas Nomad, and they are both scrambler models. The Nomad is geared more towards road use however, with its 18″ front wheel; while the Ranger has taller suspension for better off-road capabilities, along with a 19″ front hoop.
Both bikes share the same 650cc parallel-twin engine with a 270° firing order, which makes 84hp and 47 lbs•ft of torque. The motor was co-developed with Norton’s V4 project, and it is essentially the four-cylinder engine with its rear cylinder bank lopped off.
Today we get another look at Norton’s 650cc project, now named the Norton Atlas. We have already seen concept sketches for this British scrambler, and now Norton is showing us some engineering renders. This is because the physical machine should debut later this year, at the NEC bike show in November.
Details are still vague and light, but we do know that the 650cc parallel-twin engine will piggyback off the work done for Norton’s V4 superbike. Essentially the using the V4 engine with its rear cylinders lopped off, the parallel-twin engine shares the same head, pistons, valves, etc as the V4 bike.
Several flavors of the Atlas are expected to come to market, with 70hp and 100hp naturally aspirated versions already planned, as well as a supercharged version that is said to clear 175hp.
The 2018 Isle of Man TT is underway and Asphalt & Rubber has you covered to get up to date with some of the biggest names at the Isle of Man TT.
The road racing capital of the world is rarely called a paradise, but it is hard to look past that word when the sun shines on this 200 square miles of rock in the Irish Sea.
This week the sun is certainly shining, and practice week has already been one to remember. Lap records look set to be shattered as this past winter is banished from memory by the burning sun.
A lot of action has occurred for this year’s Isle of Man TT, and yet not a single bike has circulated the Mountain Course in anger yet.
We saw the unfortunate news that Bruce Anstey would sit out this year of racing, as he starts a new battle with cancer. We also saw John McGuinness jump ship from Honda to Norton, and then join forces with rival Michael Dunlop in the supersport class.
Adding to the news, Team Mugen announced an unheard of three-rider lineup for the TT Zero race, though today we learn that those plans have had to change, with now Lee Johnston and Michael Rutter headlining a two-man team for Mugen.
The cause for this change? John McGuinness re-fracturing his healing leg (14 months after initially breaking it), and thus unable to compete on the electric superbike.
Check the weather, because hell might have frozen over. Confirming rumors from late last year, John McGuinness has switched from Honda to Norton for his 2018 Isle of Man TT campaign.
The move is a bit of a surprise, as McGuinness has made his career as a diehard Honda rider, which has lead to 23 TT race wins at the Isle of Man.
But, things started to get interesting last year, when in December McGuinness wasn’t named as one of Honda’s road racing riders. To further fuel the fire, McPint was seen on social media checking out the Norton SG7.
Now officially official, John McGuinness will campaign on the Norton in the Superbike TT and Senior TT races at the 2018 Isle of Man TT. Boom goes the dynamite.
Norton is getting closer to releasing its next motorcycle, this one being a 650cc twin-cylinder street bike. As you can see above in the photo, courtesy of our friends at MotoFire, the Norton 650 will take a roadster form, with a positively vintage vibe.
The bike will serve as a platform though, for several 650cc motorcycles, one of which will be the basis for an Isle of Man TT race bike.
Said to make around 100hp, the Norton 650 would be a potent weapon in the Lightweight TT race class. It would also serve as a good counterpoint to Norton’s 1200cc superbike project.
Come to Carmel, they said. It’ll be warm, they said. Well, maybe not so much. Last weekend’s Quail Motorcycle Gathering was a chilly affair with cloudy skies, blustery winds, and temperatures in the 50s.
The lines for ice cream were non-existent, while the line for the Espresso cart was 50 people deep. Though the weather wasn’t perfect, the event itself was awfully close.
As always, the Quail offered a great collection of vintage and custom motorcycles. This year’s show celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Norton Commando.
The marque was well represented with a large variety of Nortons on hand and also included a replica of the Norton display at the 1967 Earls Court Motorcycle Show in London.
If you have had your eye on a Norton V4 superbike recently, you might not have to wait as long for it to arrive, as the British marque has secured £3 million from the Santander Corporate & Commercial bank.
The debt investment will allow Norton to triple its production rate on the V4 SS and V4 RR models, and also allow for the company to hire 40 new employees for the job. Additionally, according to Norton this will allow the company to increase its production volume to 1,500 motorcycles per year.
It has been a long time coming for the Norton V4 RR, but the British firm has finally debuted its 1,200cc, 72° V4-powered, 200hp superbike. The actual machine looks pretty close to its concept sketches, which in turn are based closely to Norton’s TT race bike.
Norton has made a pretty stout machine, with the V4 RR coming with a robust electronics package that was developed in-house, which includes traction control, wheelie control, launch control, and cruise control, augmented by a six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU); a 7″ high-definition display that includes a rear-facing camera; and a up-and-down quickshifter and datalogger.
Key chassis components include the twin-tube “shotgun” frame, and a single-sided swingarm with a fully adjustable pivot point (the steering head angle is also adjustable). The fairings, no matter which finish you choose them in (mirrored chrome fairings are available as an option), are made from carbon fiber.
Suspension is handled by Öhlins NIX30 forks and an Öhlins TTXGP rear shock. That being said, the Norton V4 RR is a bit on the heavier side, with the Brits claiming a dry weight of 394 lbs.