New power-packed Norton Cafe Racer costs over £40k!

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Norton Motorcycles have launched what they claim is the most powerful British café racer in production with the company’s 185bhp liquid-cooled 1200cc, 72-degree V4 engine at its heart.

The V4CR is the first all-new motorcycle produced by TVS-owned Norton, following on from the re-engineered, £44,000 Norton V4SV and new-generation Norton Commando 961 models launched last year.

Priced at £41,999, just 200 V4CR models will be hand-built at the company’s Solihull headquarters, and is, says Dr Robert Hentschel, CEO of Norton Motorcycles: “a raw expression of impeccable design and intoxicating performance”.

Norton V4CR on the road

Aesthetics aside the V4CR is packed with high-end engineering and hardware all suspended from its handmade aluminium frame, that allows riders to adjust rake angle, steering offset and the swingarm pivot.

A single-sided billet swingarm with geometry that creates a rising spring rate when measured at the wheel as the suspension compresses, secures either an OZ racing forged aluminium wheel or a carbon fibre BST. A bespoke titanium exhaust system allows the monster V4 to exhale while exposed air intakes at the front suck in the air.   

Ride quality is maintained by adjustable 43mm Öhlins NIX30 upside-down forks at the front while a TTXGP Norton bespoke rear shock with hydraulic preload adjustment is found at the rear.

Norton V4CR Öhlins rear shock

Brembo brakes gripping two 330mm front discs and a 245mm rear provide the stopping power and the rider has access to three engine modes: wet, road and sport. A quickshifter, auto-blipper system and lean-sensitive traction-control are also featured as standard.

The bike’s kerb weight of 204kg is carried relatively low due to the use of carbon fibre fairings and a 15-litre, under-seat carbon fuel tank, with Kevlar reinforcement.

Dr. Hentschel added: “We’ve taken the engineering of the V4SV and stripped back the outer shell to ensure the rider gets a truly uninhibited motorcycling experience.

Norton V4CR dash

“Our engineering and design teams have been meticulous in their approach, from initial sketches to concept production, through to the final finishing touches. The bike is the culmination of all our learnings and investment over the last three years and we’re delighted that we can now share this taste of Norton’s future.” 

The V4CR is available in two finishes – the Manx Platinum features platinum-coloured bodywork complemented by carbon panels, a striking orange seat and forged aluminium OZ racing wheels. The second option, the V4CR Carbon, features exposed carbon fibre bodywork, with a black seat and carbon fibre BST wheels.

Norton’s traditional single round headlamp is fitted with an LED unit and a full-colour six-inch TFT display provides the rider with data. A keyless ignition system is also featured.

Norton V4CR static

Maximum power of 185bhp is reached at 12,000rpm while the V4CR’s 92lb.ft of torque peaks at 9000rpm tapped into by a full drive-by-wire system, the exact same as its sister model the V4SV.

There’s no news yet on whether Norton will follow this up with a cheaper, mass produced version, although it would seem there would be plenty of takers if they did.

Café Racer version of Norton V4SV superbike unveiled

First published 6 December 2021 by Jordan Gibbons

A side view of the Norton V4CR

Norton have unveiled their first entirely new machine since TVS took the reigns with the V4 Café Racer. Publicly unveiled at Motorcycle Live, the V4CR is based on the 185bhp V4SV putting it toe-to-toe with super-naked royalty.

The bike is the first new machine to be designed, engineered and built at Norton’s recently opened global headquarters in Solihull. Until now Norton’s new facility has been solely focused on revising and producing pre-existing bikes from before the takeover.

As the name suggests, the V4CR uses the 1200cc 72-degree V4 from the V4SV, which produces a whopping 185bhp @ 12,500rpm. Torque is impressive too with 92.5ftlb @ 9000rpm.

It also shares the polished frame and swingarm along with the carbon fibre fuel tank and sidepanels. Details are scarce but the visible spec includes Brembo Stylema front calipers, Öhlins rear suspension, keyless ignition, OZ wheels, and a 6in colour TFT dash.

A front end view of the Norton V4CR

The CR mostly differs in riding position with a shorter subframe for an ‘aggressive stance’ while the bars are low and sit behind a tiny fly-screen for maximum ton-up boys style. The rest of the bodywork has been restyled too including protruding air-ducts either side of a new radiator shroud although Norton have stopped short of going for a set of wings.

Dr Robert Hentschel, CEO of Norton, says the V4CR is “the next step in Norton’s strategic growth plan on its journey to becoming the world-leader in luxury hand-crafted motorcycles”.

It’s expected that Norton will continue with these short production run, virtually bespoke machines before they turn their attention to mass production with the likes of the Atlas 650 twins.

For now there is only one prototype mentioned, although we imagine Norton will likely follow in the same path as their own V4, and numerous other manufacturers, by offering two different spec levels.

Price is anyone’s guess, especially as Norton are yet to confirm the price of the V4SV, but going on the previous selling prices of the V4RR and V4SS (£28,000 and £42,000 respectively, it’s likely to be in the £30,000 price bracket.