Norton Motorcycles join forces with Chinese manufacturer Zhongshen
Who said Norton is a solely British brand, eh? Well from now on it’s going to be a part British and part Chinese brand – at least is as far as the firm’s all-new 650cc twin engine is concerned.
Norton is now in a 20-year (yeah, 20-year!) long design and licence agreement with Chinese company Zhongshen.
The 650cc twin-engine has been jointly engineered and developed by Norton and Sussex-based Ricardo engineering and has been specifically designed to the requirements of Zhongshen. It will be Euro 4 compliant, which enables Zhongshen to meet current and future emissions regulations, allowing them to continue their growth in the global motorcycle market. Last year Zhongshen produced around four million engines.
The Norton developed engine and its IP is exclusive to Zhongshen – and it is expected that the engine will be produced under its ‘Zhongshen’ or ‘Cyclone’ brands.
Norton CEO Stuart Garner said: “It’s a great endorsement of our new 650cc engine platform and shows the high level of engineering expertise we have here at Norton. Working with Zhongshen going forwards will enable them to deliver high quality low emission engines compliant to current global standards.
“The commercialisation of our IP is a key area for Norton and we will be investing the substantial revenue received back into our skills, training and engineering capability, thus ensuring long term sustainability to our British-made Norton motorcycles here in the UK.”