Norton Announce New 200hp 1200cc V4 Superbike!
Published August 11, 2016
And there’s talk of a 650cc twin to follow too! Last year, we heard that Norton had a brand new sportsbike in the pipeline, and now they’ve said it’s in the final stages of development. Thanks to an amazing seventh place finish at the 2016 Isle of Man TT, Norton have accelerated their development for the new superbike – and we expect to see it in the flesh before the end of the year.
The iconic British marque has a had a tough time over the last few years, but thanks to some clever management, and relocating their HQ to Donington Hall, they’ve been able to cut costs and focus on developing new models. And their sales are on the rise too, which is remarkable considering that the company only really push the Commando. It seems like small production runs with hefty price tags is a workable money making strategy after all!
Anyway, we’d heard that a 1200cc V4 platform was on the cards, one that was capable of 200hp, and it seems like we’re going to get it. There’s talk of a production base model with a retail price of around (gulp) $36,000…However, Norton are sticking to their business mantra as above: they’ll also be manufacturing 200 of these wearing the “limited edition” moniker, which will likely sell for around $52,000… If you’ve got the cash to burn though, the limited edition sounds rather incredible. Coming in two versions, a race replica with chrome painted carbon similar to the TT racer, and a second version that comes with exposed carbon bodywork, BST carbon wheels and a carbon fiber gas tank.
Apart from a few carbon bells and whistles, what else do you get? For the limited editions, you’ll be treated with an aerospace grade billet aluminum chassis, Ohlins suspension, and a host of onboard electronics. These include: traction control, anti-wheelie control, launch control, an auto blipper and an adjustable engine braking controller. The Norton will also boast both Road and Race riding modes, with an onboard computer that logs all of the necessary date: from lean angles to lap times. Still not enough? There’s talk of doing away with the mirrors completely and replacing them with rear facing cameras that display your surroundings on the fully HD dash. Semi-active suspension might be on the cards too, but that’s not a guarantee at this stage of the game. However, expect a full titanium race exhaust as part of the package. Expect them to be delivered by summer 2017.
Company boss Stuart Garner described the plans and thought processes behind the bike in an exclusive interview with British mag MCN: : “We went for 1200cc rather than 1000cc as we feel modern technology enables us to get the performance we want without compromising on weight or handling. And because we are not planning to race this bike, it doesn’t matter if it’s over 1000cc. […] We are targeting 200bhp and that’s very achievable with the capacity and layout that we are using.”
“It will have the performance of a Ducati Panigale, but be specc’d much higher, the electronics will be cutting edge.”
The cheaper (*cough cough*) base model will feature a cast frame and swingarm, and a few downgrades, but the price will still match the quality of the components. However, the base model won’t be on sale until around mid 2018. At the moment, Norton are working on the Limited Editions, before moving their development on to the base models…and the extraordinarily appealing middleweight 650 twin.
Garner said of the 650: “We are targeting 100kg and 100bhp so it should go and handle a bit like an old 250 GP bike.” And that sounds pretty damn exciting. But we’ll have to wait to hear more about that configuration!