Some people will turn their noses up at this simply because of the fact that it’s a Norton. Because despite the company being under completely new management, the word Norton, thanks to the actions of he-who-must-not-be-named, still leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of many. And if I’d lost my pension, or a £10k deposit on a V4SS, it’d leave a bitter taste in my mouth too. But that’s another story. The story today is all about the new Norton V4 Café Racer (or V4CR); the first prototype to be designed and built at the new midlands factory/HQ.
There aren’t many details, so far, about the Norton V4 Café Racer. But we do know it’s based heavily on the V4SV superbike. The 1200cc V4 engine will make 185bhp, it’ll have carbon fibre bodywork and fuel tank and a billet aluminium frame and swingarm. The subframe is slightly shorter than the V4SV, too; that’s supposed to give the V4CR a more ‘aggressive and commanding’ stance, I’m not sure whether it does though.
Whether it’s aggressive and commanding or not though, I think it looks the dogs bollocks. For me, it’s got just the right blend of retro café racer, and modern contemporary styling. I even like the colour, apart from that orange seat. Who’s idea was that?
It’s only a prototype at the moment, so let’s not get too excited about it. If it does go into production, though, I hope it does end up looking like that. In fact I really hope it does go into production.
Hopefully, if it does, it will benefit from the tens of thousands of road and track development miles, which Norton are saying their new V4 motor has been subject to.
You’re unlikely to see one of these on the road any time soon. But if you’re heading to Motorcycle Live in Birmingham (NEC) next week, you might see a V4 Café Racer parked up on the Norton stand.