NEW METAL SPECIAL
Your one-stop guide to every new bike for 2017 – all 101 of them!
‘It all adds up to the most technologically advanced Brtiish production bike ever built’
The most high-tech Brit bike ever 1200cc liquid-cooled V4 Full electronics package
When was the last time a British motorcycle firm released a 200bhp TT-developed superbike? Never, that’s when. Until now.
This is the all-new V4 RR – a British-designed superbike boasting a bespoke Norton 72-degree V4 engine, and it promises to be the fastest Norton road bike ever produced. Developed from the SG5 TT bike that lapped the Mountain Course at nearly 131mph, each one will be hand-built at the East Midlands factory, and you can even opt for a TT replica chrome finish, just like the TT bike.
It’s not just a vanity project designed in a boardroom and punted out as a cynical piece of incoherent design to keep the coffers swollen, either. The engineering is truly impressive, and so is the quality, detail, fit and finish. Wherever you look there’s quality engineering, blended with cutting-edge technology.
It uses a carbon fibre fuel tank, built by carbon gurus BST in South Africa, is of full carbon construction, then reinforced with kevlar for impact resistance, and finally chemically lined to make it safe for holding petrol.
The main frame is a polished, hand built aluminium twin-tube shotgun chassis on the SS, and a cast frame and swingarm on the RR. The engine acts as a stressed member and features an adjustable headstock angle and swingarm pivot. The frame is actually 3kg lighter than the SG5 race bike’s. The RR also gets a cast swingarm and cast outriggers, but the weight difference is minimal. The frame takes around 26 hours to polish, by hand.
The standard RR model has OZ wheels, which are very light and fit with Norton’s design brief, while the top-end SS model will use BST-made carbon fibre wheels, which shave another 1.7kg off the mass of the wheels, reducing unsprung mass, moment of inertia, and increasing agility on road and track.
The engine uses titanium valves, a six-speed cassette gearbox and a race-bred slipper clutch, quickshifter and autoblipper.
Both the RR and SS boast carbon fibre bodywork, with the mudguard, main fairings, nose section and tail unit all being created in carbon. The SS is presented in a beautiful plain carbon finish, while the RR is painted as a TT replica, using a special silver-impregnated paint which is incredibly difficult to work with. The finished effect looks like chrome.
At the sharp end sits a fully adjustable Öhlins NIX30 fork, clamped by a completely bespoke machined billet triple clamp. The top yoke was the first part of the bike Simon Skinner designed. At the rear is a bespoke version of Öhlins’ TTXGP fully adjustable monoshock acting on a simply stunning single-sided swingarm which is machined from a single 70kg block of billet. The finished swingarm weighs 3.5kg.
Taking care of the brunt of the braking force is a pair of fat Brembo M50 calipers, the lightest and most powerful current production brakes.
It all adds up to the most technologically advanced Brtiish production bike ever built – and a serious contender for both TT and showroom success in 2017. In fact, the 200 V4 SS models are already sold out, and orders for the RR aren’t far behind. Rule Britannia.