Norton V4SV (2022-on) review


  • Long-awaited replacement for the Norton V4 SS/RR models
  • Missing a little top-end insanity of a 200bhp superbike
  • Focus on road manners rather than track performance

At a glance

Power: 185 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.7 in / 830 mm)
Weight: Medium (426 lbs / 193 kg)


New £44,000
Used £42,500 - £44,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

After TVS-owned Norton claimed to have identified 35 faults with Norton’s original V4 platform design, things had to change. New owners, a new factory and ostensibly a new bike have preceded this much-awaited second coming. This ‘new’ Norton V4SV superbike shares its fundamental design with the V4 SS/RR briefly sold by previous owner Stuart Garner’s failed Norton. But 'new Norton' assert that 428 of the bike’s 900 components have now been redesigned. The firm say the cooling system is new, lubrication is heavily revised, and that the valvetrain has received a great deal of attention.

Detail changes to the gearbox should ensure reliable shifting and longevity. The electronic side has been on the receiving end of more reliable firmware, as well as changes to the settings.

Norton V4SV right turn

The V4SV’s performance isn’t bad, but it’s some way from being competitive. Rivals have anything up to 30 years continuous development in their flagship superbikes. Meanwhile, the current Norton team have spent just 18 months backtracking on an undeveloped first effort with critical issues.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The manually-adjustable Öhlins NIX30 forks and shock are set relatively soft for road-going compliance as standard. The kit has plenty of scope for adjustment, so an on-the-hoof increase in front preload/compression, plus some rear rebound, is dialled in to the ‘Carbon’ model I’m riding.

It has bare carbon bodywork with BST carbon rims to differentiate it from the silver ‘Manx’ model with OZ Racing forged aluminium wheels.

It now supports itself better on the brakes, holds a line and doesn’t react so badly to ripples which cause enough chatter to lift the front tyre clean off the floor out as you enter Gerrards in fourth. It’s now behaving roughly as I’d want on a track.

Norton V4SV rear shock

By now I’m in Sport mode with full power at hand. Off-corner drive is strong with superb natural feel for the grip available, allowing you to ride around the traction control.

You can nibble up to the grip limit using your own feel and control, something you can’t say of highly-digitised rivals, the Panigale in particular. But then, their systems are so good, you can leave them on and not worry. The claimed power feels about right – it’s fast, but missing a little top-end insanity of a 200bhp superbike.

The Brembo M50 calipers on 330mm discs are a step behind the ‘Stylema’ calipers on the Italian V4s in terms of control, power and ABS intervention. Shifting back to first for the hairpin is more than the slipper clutch can stand too, causing the wheel to hop and fishtail, aggravating the ABS further.

Norton V4SV front


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 1200cc motor makes a claimed 185bhp and 91lb.ft of torque. That’s 30bhp down on rivals – and what was claimed for the SS too. Norton say that’s partly because they’ve focused on its road manners, where they believe most will be ridden, likely fairly sedately too.

It doesn’t feel like a friendly road bike from the tiny diamond-stitched leather seat. The tank is narrow enough to require my thighs to clench to grip it. The clip-ons are low but only a short reach away. The riding position screams track bike.

True to Norton’s word, the V4 motor itself proves friendly, flexible and well-fuelled apart from a slight snatch from closed throttle. There are three modes: Rain is reduced power, reduced throttle response. Road gives you full power in 5th and 6th, and faster response from the electronic butterflies.

Norton V4SV rear

Sport is full power and direct response. Cornering ABS and traction control have fixed settings linked to the modes. You can’t turn them off though.

The rider aids catch me out, when they fail to stop it snapping sideways in Rain mode (on a dry track) as the camber drops away at Mallory Park’s Devil’s Elbow, shutting the motor down to correct it after the event. There’s no way traction control this liberal, and reactive rather than pre-emptive, will work on greasy roads.

Some of these limitations are addressed by switching to the Manx model (with the same quick-and-dirty suspension improvements carried over).

Norton V4SV on track

The heavier wheels make it slower to change direction through Mallory’s chicanes, but feel and stability everywhere else more than makes up for it. The ABS kicks in less, rear wheel hop is less pronounced, and Gerrards has suddenly lost its entry ripples. I’m able to enter and exit corners faster almost immediately.

On the road it’s likely many will favour the reduced effort felt in the Carbon, without running into the issues found when you push it at track speed. For the few who’ll book a trackday and tick the box for ‘fast group’, the Manx is undoubtedly the one to have.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Build quality appears good: it’s beautifully engineered, though the Spondon-inspired frame’s welds are not ‘stack of pennies’ perfect as the famed British chassis manufacturer would have done it.

Reliability is a massive question: the V4’s previous issues are extensive. It would be an incredible achievement if they have been fully fixed, but they’ve certainly made the right steps.

Minor, easy-to-solve niggles are not uncommon on low-production, hand-built bikes, so you’d do well to approach the V4 SV with the mindset that it will require more care from both owner and the manufacturer as miles rack up.

Norton V4SV swingarm

None of the bikes failed on the day: I suspect they’ve capped power with that in mind. It’s a good first move, but the next one needs to come very soon.

We don't currently have any Norton V4SV owners' reviews, but you can leave one here.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The importance of making a reliable and serviceable bike that will still appeal to the purists is probably more important than pushing boundaries at this stage. The V4SV will work well as a road bike and the Manx can cut it on track.

But at £44,000 the V4SV will be compared to the apex predators of the superbike world. Machines like the BMW M1000RR (£30,935), Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 (£34,295) and Aprilia RSV4 Factory (£23,000) and it isn’t as good as any of them. At least in pure performance terms.

Related: Watch our latest superbike shootout video review

But it has more soul than the effective but charmless BMW and more grunt than the peaky Ducati. The Aprilia however is better in every way: and almost half the price, just less exclusive and a touch more ordinary than the British offering.

Norton V4SV rear on track


3 out of 5 (3/5)

Norton say they want to be ‘on the bleeding edge of technology’. Gimmicky rear view camera aside, the V4SV is far from it – for now. It is, however, a solid foundation to work towards being competitive, as long as the bike meets their aim for reliability.

Norton V4SV rear view camera


Engine size 1199cc
Engine type liquid-cooled, 16v 72° V4
Frame type Hand welded tubular aluminium
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 193kg
Front suspension Öhlins NIX30, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Öhlins TTX GP, fully adjustable shock
Front brake Brembo 2 x 330mm floating discs, radially mounted monoblock calipers
Rear brake Brembo 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70-ZR17
Rear tyre size 200/55-ZR17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost -
New price £44,000
Used price £42,500 - £44,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 185 bhp
Max torque 91 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2017-2020 Norton V4SS/RR: Only a handful of the intended production run delivered. Owners were later informed by subsequent Norton management that the bikes may have 20 safety critical issues requiring attention as well as 10 further items to be checked and five to be examined during servicing. Engine seizures, fuel tank leaks and electronic issues are among the items on the list, with the potential for seizures, fire and chassis failure noted as potential outcomes.
  • 2023: Special edition V4SV revealed to celebrate 125 years of Norton.

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