Norton launch stunning new V4
The Norton V4, the first all-British hypersports model ever to reach the marketplace, was unveiled at the Birmingham NEC Show on November 19, with the debut of not one, but two versions of the handbuilt, UK-designed 1200cc Superbike – one of which is already sold out. The all-new Norton V4-SS and V4-RR are the most technically advanced road-going British motorcycles yet produced, and will enter production next year, according to Norton Motorcycles owner/CEO Stuart Garner. 250 examples of the base model Norton V4-RR costing GBP28,000 will be built in 2017, alongside the limited-edition Norton V4-SS priced at GBP44,000, all 200 versions of which have already been sold prior to its launch to customers eager to acquire the ultimate performance motorcycle bearing the name of Britain’s most historic sporting brand. Both versions are powered by the all-new Euro 4 compliant liquid-cooled 16-valve 72-degree V4 engine with chain-driven dohc developed by Norton at its Donington Hall factory, in conjunction with leading design consultants Ricardo Motorcycle. Measuring 82 x 56.8 mm for an exact capacity of 1200cc, the engine will be built in-house in the Norton factory and produces in excess of 200 bhp at 12,500 rpm, with maximum torque of 130Nm delivered at 10,000 revs. It features titanium valves, a 6-speed cassette gearbox and slipper clutch with autoblipper powershifter, plus dual injectors per cylinder and a constantly variable intake length system. There’s a full ride-by-wire throttle controlling the front and rear cylinder banks independently, which offers a choice of three riding modes – Road, Track and Pro-Race. “The V4 is entirely our own engine developed together with Ricardo,” says Norton’s Head of Design, Simon Skinner. “We’ve packaged and designed the motorcycle at the same time as the engine to allow us to put everything where we want it, and it’s allowed us to create an incredibly compact package. For a 1200cc 72-degree V4 it’s incredibly tiny, yet the riding position means taller riders are comfortable too.” Further electronic assistance comes with the provision of a six-axis Bosch IMU/Inertial Measurement Unit to give the rider full control of the 200bhp TT-inspired motorcycle, using one of the most advanced systems available. “It features traction-control, engine braking strategies, launch control and cruise control,” says Skinner, “along with a datalogging system for use on the track, as well as anti-wheelie, autoblipper downshifts and a quickshifter upshift.” A full-colour seven-inch TFT touch-screen dash monitors proceedings as well as giving the rider access to the electronics, with a rear-view camera replacing the mirrors. Each model has a different chassis design, but with the V4 engine acting in each case as a fullystressed component, with the limited-edition V4-SS featuring a hand-polished (taking 26 hours!), handbuilt aluminium twin-tube frame based on the SG5 TT-racer’s chassis, and a single-sided billetaluminium swingarm weighing just 3.1kg, machined down from a single 70kg billet, whereas the series-production V4-RR features a cast aluminium chassis and swingarm. The two bikes share a common fully-adjustable chassis geometry format developed on Norton’s SG5 Isle of Man TT racebike, with both the head angle and swingarm pivot capable of adjustment. Each has a 1430mm wheelbase, 570mm long swingarm for extra traction, and a stock 23.9º rake for its 43mm Öhlins NIX30 fork, with a TTX-GP rear monoshock specially designed by Öhlins for the Norton V4. The Brembo brake package features twin 330mm fully-floating front discs gripped by lightweight M50 Monoblock radial calipers, with a single 245mm rear disc. Seven-spoke BST carbon wheels equip the limited edition V4-SS. while OZ forged magnesium wheels are fitted to the V4-RR, shod on the show bikes with Metzeler Racetec RR tyres – the rear one a 200/5517. Claimed dry weight is 179kg. All bodywork is made from carbon-fibre by BST in South Africa, including for the first time on a streetlegal motorcycle the 18-litre Kevlar-reinforced fuel tank. The V4-SS comes in unpainted carbon fibre, with the V4-RR in a special hard-to-work-with silver-impregnated paint resulting in a TT-replica chrome finish, just like the Pepe Jeans-sponsored SG5 race bike. Full LED lights are fitted front and rear. A complete titanium race exhaust supplied with aftermarket tune is the only option on either model, weighing 8kg lighter and producing 10bhp more, without being street-legal. Otherwise, this new twowheeled best of British comes fully equipped, ready to make a mark on the gathering horde of high end hyperbikes.
MAIN The Norton V4-RR, all carbon fibre and yours for just GBP 28,000. ABOVE The V4-RR with its silver-impregnated paint job.