Norton reveals plans for a 185-horsepower, 1,200cc V4 cafe racer
The messy rebirth of Norton Motorcycles seems back on track under the company's new ownership, India's TVS, and the V4SV superbike is now ready to get its pants off. The V4CR cafe racer stands ready to join the super-naked class as a street weapon.
With a new 73,000-sq-ft (6,782-sq-m) production facility in the West Midlands, TVS is preparing to put some serious volume through Norton in the coming years, milking the storied history of the brand much as Mahindra is planning to do with BSA. To do so, it's going to expand the catalog, beginning with a lightly retro streetbike unveiled today in prototype form.
Based on the V4SV, the V4CR gets a full-fat, unmolested copy of the superbike's 185-horsepower, 1,200cc, 72-degree V4 engine. That claimed 185 ponies will likely put it roughly on par with Triumph's Speed Triple 1200, Aprilia's Tuono V4 1100 and KTM's 1290 Superduke R – a trio of road warriors delivering wonderfully excessive shunt and wild riding experiences for the brave and the foolish.
The design team has pulled off the front and side fairings, fitting a tiny, round LED headlight instead. V4 engines don't tend to be all that great to look at, so Norton's replaced them with a bellypan and some small side covers, which quietly hide away everything but the alternator and clutch covers. Not the nakedest of nakeds, then, but that's hardly new and it's probably not a bad decision.
The riding position looks like it'll be virtually identical to the sportsbike, with the frame, small solo seat unit, clip-on bars and pegs appearing unchanged. Likewise, the wheels, the exhaust, the Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes look identical. The subframe and tail are a tad shorter, but not so you'd really notice.
As a prototype, it remains blissfully free of mirrors, indicators, license plates and silly orange reflectors, so you'll have to imagine those in until we see a production model. All in all, it's very much a chopped superbike, for better or worse, and Norton says it'll be available in black or silver when it drops.
Source: Norton Motorcycles