Norton is a name synonymous with performance, in the older days. Names such as the Manx and the Commando can still make the hair on your back stand, especially if you know the British motorcycle maker’s history that started back in 1898. However, like most British brands, the company folded and over the years, it changed hands, and came up with new motorcycles.
Norton Motorcycles came up with a few new motorcycles, even a rotary-powered model called the NRS, but it could never bring back its glory — until now. Over the years, investors made small investments, enough to manufacture a model or complete a prototype, but nothing substantial was invested until TVS bought the British marque.
TVS invested enough to give Norton Motorcycles a new production facility, inject some more funding to build motorcycles, and the result is the Norton V4SV — modern, yet retaining some classic British motorcycle touches. The overall result is a powerful street-focused sportbike.
On the whole, the new Norton V4SV gets over 400 re-engineered components, has seen over 1 lakh km of testing on the road and track, and the engine was tested extensively before Norton unveiled the motorcycle to the world. Let’s get to know more about the Norton V4SV.
Let’s admit it, looking at the V4SV dead on from the front, it does have a hint of the Triumph Daytona’s design essence. Now that’s out of the way, the Norton V4SV is fully hand-built, it features a full carbon fibre bodywork with a Kevlar-reinforced carbon fibre fuel tank that sits under the seat. The chassis is an aluminium tubular frame, tig welded, and hand-polished — in other words, a mirror-finished buffed chassis that is visible. Norton takes pride in saying that the chassis was developed at the world’s most demanding racetrack, the Isle of Man TT.
It sports a twin headlight setup, a stubby rear, and billet footpegs and pedals, along with shiny engine covers that are seldom seen on sportbikes. The Norton V4SV features a sporty, sleek stance that means business, tipping the scale at 193 kg, dry with a wheelbase of 1,434 mm.
Engine and performance
The Norton V4SV is powered by a 1200cc, 74-degree V4 liquid-cooled motor that makes 185 bhp and 125 Nm of peak torque. The engine uses 8 fuel injectors – two per cylinder – with an independent drive-by-wire system for the front and rear banks of cylinders and uses chain-driven cams. Power goes to the rear wheels via chain drive with the help of a 6-speed gearbox and a slip-assist clutch.
The V4SV features a standard bi-directional quick-shifter with auto blipper, and three riding modes — Wet, Road, and Sport. The latest Norton sportbike also gets a six-axis IMU with lean-angle sensitive traction control.
Features and tech
The Norton V4SV gets the best when it comes to cushioning out the ride, as it gets a fully-adjustable Ohlins NIX30 system front fork and an Ohlins TTXGP fully-adjustable rear shock. Brakes are by Brembo and the front and rear get radially mounted Brembo monobloc callipers.
Other bits include LED lighting, keyless start, and a 6-inch display with auto-brightness adjustment. The V4SV also gets a rear view camera functionality though it does not replace the traditional mirrors.
Unlike many bespoke hand-built motorcycles, the Norton V4SV has a naked sibling called the V4CR. The cafe-racer-styled Norton V4CR gets all the goodies from its sportbike sibling, however, at the moment, it is still in its prototype stage. More details will emerge as and when Norton feels its time, but what we can say is that it will get the same chassis, the instrumentation, and the engine.
The V4SV competes in a segment that consists of European and Japanese motorcycle manufacturers that have dominated this space for many years with a deep understanding of motorsports. The V4SV competes with the likes of the Ducati Panigale V4, The Aprilia RSV 1100, the BMW M1000 RR, and others.