You may well have already seen Norton’s all-new V4 in recent days. MCN had another world exclusive – for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, MCN – but, because not everyone reads MCN, here are some more alluring Norton nuggets.
After five fairly unsuccessful but imperative years testing at the TT, Norton has just rolled out its all-new, road-going V4 SS and RR. Based on the SG5 prototype that Davo Johnson lapped at 130mph around the Mountain Course, it features a 1200cc V4 motor housed in an aluminium twin-tube shotgun frame and features a hefty list of bolt-ons and exotic components.
There’s absolutely no mention of taking heed from Aprilia. Norton used an RSV4 engine (after purchasing the full-fat 230bhp motors from Paul Bird’s defunct GP efforts) to power the bike at the TT. With the help of engine specialist Ricardo – who sounds more like a suspect fashion designer – the Norton V4’s motor has been designed and hand-built at the Donington Hall factory. The 1200cc V4 lump has a 72-desgree angle, which sets it apart from the RSV4’s 65-degree arrangement, and produces a claimed 200bhp at 12,500rpm. It’s also Euro4 compliant.
Inside, there’s a medley of exotica with titanium valves, a slipper clutch and a cassette gearbox. As you’d expect for such a lavish machine, the V4 comes with an extensive electronics suite: traction control, launch control, cruise control, quickshifter/auto-blipper, keyless ignition and engine braking option, as well as datalogging capabilities for the track/getting shafted by the rozzers. This gadgetry is managed by a Bosch IMU.
The hand-built aluminium twin-tube shotgun frame uses the same geometry as the SG5 race bike, and features an adjustable headstock angle and swingarm pivot. According to Norton, the SS and RR frame is 3kg lighter than the race bike’s item, and uses the same underseat fuel tank arrangement – the airbox sits underneath the tank cover
Two versions are available. Well, one actually, as the £44,000 limited-edition SS model has already sold out. Orders are now being taken for the slightly lesser spec’d RR, which will cost you £28k. An initial production run of 250 should see the Norton boys and girls busy in the coming months. The SS features carbon wheels and additional billet components, among other upgrades, while the RR brags a cast swingarm and outriggers.
Stuart Garner, Norton’s CEO: “Through our experience building the business over the last seven or eight years, our recent Isle of Man TT activity, our seventh place in the Isle of Man Superbike TT earlier this year, and a near 131mph lap, we feel now is the right time to bring our own V4 to market.
“We’re now ready to bring that Isle of Man TT race experience we’ve learnt over the last five years to Norton road riders worldwide. At the TT, we’re doing an average speed of 131mph, and it’s a road course. To be able to get the bike set-up to work at every point on the Mountain course – from 120mph sweepers to flat-out 200mph straights – has allowed us develop everything we need for a great handling road bike.
“When we say we’re race developed, we’re road race developed, and we think that’s the best way to test your road bike. Sure, some riders will take the new V4 on a track day and it will be ace for that, but it’s a very, very pure development process that we’ve done at the TT that has given us a very strong all-round road capability with the platform we’ve put together.
“We’ve tried to move the bar a little bit with this bike, with the chassis, the swing arm, the carbon, the electronics, and a V4 with 1200cc, banging out north of 200bhp. We’ve looked at where the competition is at today, and thought ‘how do we take that on and beat it?’ We wanted to create a bike that’s not lesser spec than the competition, but a V4 that is at least where the cream of the market is today, and then go past that. We’re confident we can go past it with some performance, we can go past it with some handling, and the electronics too. But then you get the exclusivity and the hand built British Norton. A V4 that delivers everything with a little bit more swagger, and a little bit more exclusivity than the mass market superbikes out there today, but with a hand built finish and exclusive numbers.”
It’ll be at the NEC waiting for your personal perusal.