650cc Nortons likely to launch late next year

First showcased in 2018, Norton’s highly anticipated 650cc parallel-twins are likely to make it to production only by late 2021. 

  • TVS-owned Norton to move into new production facility soon

  • 2021 line-up includes V4 and Commando models

  • V4 will be updated to Euro 5, Commando range to be retired.

In a recent interview with UK-based Bennetts BikeSocial, the interim Norton CEO, John Russel, has revealed the company’s plans for 2021. Norton was acquired by TVS earlier this year, and while both companies have been mostly silent about future plans, we now have an idea of what to expect in 2021. The company is also in the process of moving from its glamorous address at Donnington Hall to a new production facility in Solihull, which should be operational by the end of 2020.

Norton Motorcycles in 2021

As was stated earlier, Norton’s initial commitment will be towards meeting pending customer orders. In terms of products, the company will be focusing on the new V4 superbike, as well as its Commando 961 platform. The V4 will be upgraded to Euro-5 spec next year, but the Commando range will be sold in limited numbers before being retired. The storied parallel-twin motor in the current Commando won’t be making it to Euro 5 compliancy, but Russel says that the iconic name will be used again in the future on a new motorcycle. 

Norton 650cc bike launch

As for the highly anticipated Norton 650cc Atlas range, Russel says that the bikes are still under development and won’t be ready until late next year. The 650cc parallel-twins were first shown off in 2018 by Norton’s previous owner, Stuart Garner, but that was around the time the company’s financial issues began to get significant. Russel also mentioned that the Norton Superlight sports bike, which uses a higher-performance version of the same 650cc parallel twin is also part of the company’s planned model line-up, but the timing for that bike remains unclear. 

Norton launch in India

At the time of acquisition, TVS mentioned that they would be bringing Norton to India but did not commit to a date. With no motorcycles currently Euro-5 compliant, and UK production only beginning in earnest after the new plant is fully operational, we don’t expect an India launch any time soon, especially since the priority remains serving pending orders in the UK and other markets. 

Further, a Euro-5 compliant Norton V4 superbike will undoubtedly be an expensive affair in our market. Even if TVS manages to keep the price under control via some basic assembly, it will still probably cost well over Rs 20 lakh. That will be a hard sell against established superbike competition, especially given the troubled times the Norton V4 was born from. 

The upcoming Norton 650cc motorcycles will be a far better fit for our market, although they will be much more premium and expensive than the Royal Enfield 650cc bikes. When those bikes will go on sale here and how localised will they be are question that remains unanswered, but it’s unlikely to happen any time soon.  

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