British manufacturer Norton Motorcycles has officially confirmed the arrival of the new model that has been eagerly expected for more than a year. The company will finally unveil in November a production sport bike with a brand new 1200 cc V4 engine and a tubular aluminum frame, both built in-house.
One of the quintessential English manufacturers since 1902, Norton Motorcycles seems ready to take the next step by entering the superbike market with a high-end model that is designed, developed and built in its new (since 2013) Donington Hall factory.
According to the announcement released on Norton's social media channels, the new motorcycle will be publicly unveiled for the first time on November 16, during the NEC Motorcycle Live show in Birmingham, UK.
Little is known about the motorcycle's engine apart from its V4 configuration and 1200 cc capacity. Stuart Garner, the man who resurrected Norton in 2008, revealed last year his plans for a V4 superbike and a 650 twin. Since then most information is based on reports from the English media, which implies that the V4 is angled at 72 degrees and produces around 200 hp (149.1 kW) – the typical standard of all modern superbikes. The engine is designed and developed in-house by Norton and is expected to be loaded with electronics.
The frame consists of twin aluminum tubes on each side and is also fabricated at Donington Hall. Norton acquired English frame specialists Spondon a few years ago, allowing it to up its game in its frame department. The technical savvy of the new designers was put to work long before the new V4 left the drawing boards, as they developed the prototype chassis for the SG racer that Norton has run for the past five years at the Isle of Man TT (above).
The new model's price is still a mystery, but Norton did allow a hint on its Facebook page. When asked if one should expect to get change from £50,000 (US$65,000), it responded with "plenty."
The Norton Dominator is powered with an evolution of the air-oil-cooled twin engine that Kenny Dreer developed from the original Commando unit
Norton has been building motorcycles since 1902, spanning a history of countless racing successes and a long list of memorable models – the new V4 project is code-named P94 as a tribute to the number of Norton's Isle of Man TT wins. After a decades-long turbulent period of corporate changes and takeovers, Norton was all but lost after 1996. The name remained afloat thanks to the efforts of Kenny Dreer, who updated Norton Commando engines in Oregon, USA and gradually ended up selling completely modernized Commandos in North America until 2006.
In 2008, UK businessman Stuart Garner inaugurated the revival of Norton, setting up a factory at an old British Airways facility at Donington Park before moving in 2013 to the nearby Donington Hall. Since then Norton has on offer a range of four models (the Dominator and three Commando variants) based on an evolution of the Dreer 961 cc in-line twin engine.
Last year Norton received government funding intended to help the company unfold its expansion strategy and assist in the development of the British Motorcycle Manufacturing Academy. Its plans include the development of a 650 cc liquid-cooled in-line twin engine that will probably be based on the two front cylinders of the new V4 engine. This is intended to power a series of more-affordable models that will cement Norton's return to mass production.
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