With its new café racer, storied British bike maker Norton Motorcycles makes a strong branding play — and a muscly machine. The Norton V4CR debuts at the Motorcycle Live show in Birmingham, England, December 4-12. It adopts engineering from the brand’s V4SV superbike to squeeze 185 hp out of its 1,200cc motor. The bike promises to stand out at the show, on the street, and on the track with a distinct, aggressive stance and attractive billet aluminum components.
The café racer is essentially a stripped-back version of its superbike parent, the Norton V4SV. Eliminating the fairing exposes the clean lines of the Norton V4CR’s guts. The bike is weight-optimized with carbon fiber body panels and an aluminum swingarm and frame. It’s also shorter than the V4SV at the back, giving it an even more pitched-forward look.
A natural leather seat and spotlight-style headlamp complete the café vibe.
Norton V4CR Concept Bike
For now, the Norton V4CR exists as a prototype only. It is Norton’s latest project of several to use the brand’s refined V4 platform. According to the brand, thirty in-house engineers spent the last 16 months revising the motor, subjecting it to “tens of thousands” of road and track miles. The result reintroduces Norton’s bedrock café racer heritage.
Norton has stayed busy building its race legacy since 1898. A bastion of the notorious Isle of Man TT racing scene for decades, the brand now operates out of a new facility in West Midlands, with a stated purpose of “building British bikes in England using traditional hand-crafted techniques with modern-day machinery for consistently high quality.”
You can check out the bike at the Norton stand (Hall 3, Stand 3C10) at Motorcycle Live if you’re in the UK. COVID-19 requirements apply, and appealing prizes, like a 2022 Kawasaki retro sportbike, will be on display.