Nor­ton Mo­tor­cy­cles join forces with Chi­nese man­u­fac­turer Zhong­shen

Motorcycle Monthly - - News -

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.”

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