Norton have announced their intention to build a new family of 650cc parallel-twins, showing a new scrambler, road, and supersport model to canvass input from potential owners. The firm are developing two scrambler-styled bikes, one road focused, and the other a more serious dual-purpose option for riders who want to get their kicks in the dirt. As well as a scaled- down version of the V4-RR supersports model.

650 Offroad

“It started off life as half of the V4,” says Norton head of design Simon Skinner. “We always knew we wanted to do a 650 parallel-twin to create a new range of bikes, the first of which will be a Scrambler. “The engine has been designed to have three power levels, with the top-end high-spec 175bhp supercharged version, then a normally aspirated high-performance version at 100bhp, the a low-powered one with just under 70bhp. It’s the same core 650cc parallel-twin engine with a 270-degree crank, which gives it a nice sound and vibe – and matches the firing order of the Commando engine.“

650 Offroad Touring

The engine shares a lot of its architecture with the V4, including the cylinder head and valve train. The engine is very versatile, and has been designed to work across a range of applications and both steel and aluminium chassis. “The Scrambler will use a steel trellis frame with aluminium bolt-on sections to give it more rigidity. It will be a lightweight bike, with performance that’s a step up from the competition.”

Norton Euro 4 650 Engine

“One of the stipulations for the design,” says Norton boss Stuart Garner, “is that if I’m out greenlaning and I drop it, I want to be easily able to pick it up on my own and carry on with my ride. It has to be durable, with items like the bash guard being able to do the job, rather than just being there for show.” “The more off-road focused version will get a longer swingarm for more capability off-road,” says Skinner. “We intend to offer both versions from birth, a street scrambler version, and a more off-road capable desert racer. The rears will be 17in on both models, and the more road biased bike will get an 18 in front, while the more off-road bias one will get a 19in rim. “The tricky part is getting the styling right – paying homage to our heritage, without being old-fashioned, or retro. It’s got to be an authentic Norton, but it’s got to be modern, too.” “This is an everyday Norton,” says Garner. “It’s honest and faithful, and the sort of bike you can use as an all year-round ride. We expect it to be our biggest seller, and we’re targeting a £10k price tag for the base model . If this bike is a success, it’ll enable us to build a 650 sportsbike within a year of the scrambler going on sale.”

650 Road Classic

NEW 650 Supersport

650 Supersport

Even more exciting for those who yearn for a V4 RR, but aren’t able to raise the funds needed to buy one, Norton also confirmed that the Scrambler will be followed into production by a sportsbike version using the same 650 parallel-twin. But don’t start thinking this is a budget clone of a Ninja 650, this is a proper TT lightweight contender. Weighing in at a projected 140kg, and developing over 100bhp in standard trim – with the possibility of a supercharged version even further in the future that could see the output rise to 175bhp – it will redefine how we think about parallel-twin 650 sportsbikes – and should they choose to campaign it at the TT Lightweight, it’s not too far fetched to assume that we might see a Norton winner on the island at its debut outing. But the faired sportsbike versions are still a long way off, with a arrival date of early 2019 with any luck.

Norton Motorcycles (UK) Ltd

Donington Hall Castle Donington, Derby, DE74 2SG United Kingdom

Head Office +44 (01332) 811988

Sales & Service enquiries +44 (01332) 812119

Norton Motorcycles Dealer for The North Of England

80 Long Street, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 1AU

TEL: 01845 523310 EMAIL: alan@teasdale-motorcycles.co.uk


Norton Motorcycles UK Ltd & MCN

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