Limited-edition £42k edition of the firm’s 185bhp supernaked V4CR café racer
One of the several problems facing the new owners of the Norton firm was its lineup. Okay, it had a very fancy V-four 1200 superbike, and the elderly Commando 961 roadster. But high-end sportsbikes and old-tech nakeds aren’t exactly where the market is booming these days.
So rejigging the V-four into a modern mega-trick supernaked café racer made perfect sense – tapping into the popularity of both the heritage sector and unfaired machinery.
The firm showed off a prototype – dubed the V4CR – at the end of last year, and it attracted a lot of attention on the Norton stand at the NEC show.
And now the final production machine has been released, launched at the Bike Shed Show in Wapping, London.
It’s a limited-edition launch edition: just 200 examples of the V4CR will be hand-built on Solihull, with a steep price tag of £42k, and a very posh spec list. It’s fair to say that the TVS-owned firm has kept almost all of the kit that makes the superbike so exotic – so you have the 185bhp 1200cc 72° V-four motor with eight fuel injectors, ride by wire throttle, hand-made titanium exhaust and a full suite of electronic aids.
It’s bolted into a hand-made aluminium tube frame, with machined billet single-sided swingarm, and the finest running gear. Bespoke Öhlins forks and rear monoshock, plus radial monobloc Brembo brakes and an Öhlins steering damper is all out of the top drawer – and the frame is also fully adjustable at swingarm pivot and steering head, for the ultimate in fine-tuning.
Styling is an interesting mix of new and old. The stance is pretty hardcore, with the engine and massive water/oil radiators dominating the centre of the bike.
The clip-on bars give a classic ‘ton-up’ 60s Ace Café run feel, and the orange seat contrasts nicely with the polished aluminium and silver finish on the Manx Platinum version.
That variant also comes with forged aluminium OZ Racing wheels, while the all-black Carbon version of the V4CR has carbon wheels and more exposed carbon bodywork.
It looks top – and should ride well too. You’d also expect that a cheaper, more accessible unlimited version will follow too. More on Norton as we get it…
2023 Norton V4CR TECH HIGHLIGHTS
- Engine: 72° liquid-cooled V4, 1200cc. Chain-driven cams with idler gear for reduced engine height. Titanium inlet valves. Slipper clutch
- Bore/stroke: 82mm x 56.8mm
- Compression ratio: 13.6:1
- Fuel injection: Electronic fuel-injection system. 8-fuel injectors. Full drive-by-wire system independent on front and rear banks of cylinders for ultimate control and feel
- Power: 185bhp@12,000rpm
- Torque: 125Nm@9,000rpm
- Bodywork: Full carbon fibre
- Fuel tank: Under-seat carbon fibre 15-litre fuel tank, with Kevlar reinforcement
- Footrests: Billet footrests and pedals
- Chassis: Aluminium tubular chassis. CNC-machined outriggers and headstock. Frame is hand TIG welded at Norton HQ and hand-polished to a mirror finish
- Adjustable geometry: Adjustable rake, steering offset and swingarm pivot position
- Swingarm: Braced and underslung single-sided billet swingarm with rising rate linkage geometry developed from the TT race bikes
- Wheelbase: 1,435mm
- Kerb Weight: 204kg
- Headstock Angle: 23.5°
- Wheels: Carbon fibre BSTs (Carbon model), OZ racing forged aluminium (Manx model)
- Steering Damper: Öhlins
- Front brakes: 2 x 330mm floating discs. Radially mounted Brembo monobloc calipers. Brembo discs, and Brembo master cylinder.
- Rear brakes: Brembo 245mm rear disc. Brembo caliper and master cylinder
- Front suspension: 43mm Öhlins NIX30 fully adjustable upside-down forks
- Rear suspension: Öhlins TTXGP Norton bespoke fully adjustable rear shock with hydraulic preload adjustment
- Lighting: LED lighting for low beam, high beam, indicators and taillight
- Instruments: Full-colour 6-inch display with auto brightness adjustment. Engine Mode adjustment
- Engine modes: Wet, Road and Sport
- Quickshifter: Full quick shift system and auto-blipper
- Electronic aids: Linked to engine mode. Lean-angle sensitive traction-control using six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU). Front and rear ABS. Wheelie control.
- Ignition: Keyless ignition system with electronic steering lock (manual fuel filler cap).
- Manx Platinum