This momentum carried Norton into the 1960s. Then the Japanese arrived and the brand retreated. It seemed, for the most part, that the last people to really appreciate these bikes were our grandparents.
In 2008, after years of afterthoughts, the company was acquired by Stuart Garner. Garner was to be the brand savior.
He promised new bikes and the revitalization of the business. Norton would once again become a massive global player. A new V4SV was going to be produced and raced.
Within a few years, he ended up receiving a suspended sentence for illegally investing in the region of £11 million (€12.8 million) belonging to hundreds of pension scheme members in Norton, when he shouldn’t have used more than 5%.
When Norton entered administration, the cat was out of the bag and Garner was in court. A number of judgments followed, including motions to put him out of business as well as orders to return the funds. He was later declared bankrupt.
Now the company has been taken over by an Indian company called TVS Motor. The company manufactures a huge amount of small-capacity motorcycles and scooters. Its products can be found all over the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia as well as India and South America. Last year, TVS made 4.95 million two-wheelers and has now invested £100m (€116m) in Norton.
The first project of the company on which we will come back is the V4SV. The new bike has been redesigned to bring it up to date. Going back to Norton’s heritage, the first color will be called “Manx Silver”. Finished with Oz Racing wheels, front number panel and carbon detailing, it looks the part. The second is carbon. It has a carbon fiber body and wheels. They both have a carbon fiber tank as well as a hand polished TIG welded aluminum frame.
Then there is the engine. This V4SV is much more than a pretty face. The 1200cc, 72 degree V4 produces plenty of power. The new Norton generates a nice 185 hp at the crank when revving up to 12,500 rpm. At just 9,000 rpm, it develops 125 Nm of torque. Who knows, maybe the TT will be Norton’s again.
Finishing touches show off the quality of the bike and include lean angle traction control, keyless ignition, lightweight LED lights, a choice of engine riding modes, an autoblipper as well as a lever fast speeds. The traditional clocks have disappeared and are replaced by a 6-inch color TFT screen.
Expect to pay somewhere in the region of €62,000. If you’re lucky enough to be in the market, head over to nortonmotorcycles.com/range/v4sv/ to get your name on the list.