Norton Launches V4CR Motorcycle, Claiming It's the Most Powerful British Cafe Racer

Norton Motorcycles announced that it launched its first naked sports motorcycle, the Norton V4CR. The company boldly claims that it's the most powerful British café racer.
Norton V4CR 11 photos
Photo: James Archibald
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Norton's history goes back to 1898, when James Lansdowe Norton, also known as "Pa," founded the company. It evolved from a manufacturer of fitting and parts for the two-wheel trade into an iconic British motorcycle brand, making itself especially known in motorsport. In April 2020, TVS Motors, India's third-largest motorcycle manufacturer, acquired Norton after it went through mismanagement issues and wasn't doing too well.

The TVS-owned Norton reengineered the V4SV, another of its motorbikes, and launched a new-generation Norton Commando 961 last year. But the newly launched V4CR is the first brand-new motorcycle produced under the new management. Dr. Robert Hentschel, the CEO of Norton Motorcycles, said that the company's engineering and design teams have been meticulous in their approach, and this bike is the culmination of all the learnings and investments over the last three years. The V4CR is a taste of Norton's future.

Before I go into more detail regarding this two-wheeler, you'll probably want to know about pricing. Norton Motorcycles will manufacture only 200 units of the bike at the company's Solihull headquarters, each priced at £41,999 ($51,850 or €48,320). Let's see what you'll get for this hefty price tag.

As Norton describes, the V4CR is essentially "the rebellious younger sibling of the V4SV." The Norton DNA is observable at first glance, as the motorbike features the signature hourglass silhouette, flowing lines, and an angled engine. It measures a wheelbase of 1,435 millimeters (56 inches) and has a curb weight of 204 kg (450 lbs.).

Norton V4CR
Photo: James Archibald
It's built on an aluminum tubular chassis, while the frame is hand welded and hand polished to a mirror finish. What's more, the chassis design was developed at the world's most rigorous racetrack, the Isle of Man TT.

At the front, you'll notice exposed air intakes combined with a short body and compact tail unit, giving the bike an overall aggressive stance. Furthermore, the V4CR is fitted with stripped-back carbon fiber fairing, as well as a titanium exhaust system.

The V4CR boasts the exquisite engineering of the V4SV – that means that the bike will deliver the same excellent handling and pinpoint power delivery. Norton's own liquid-cooled 1,200cc, 72-degree V4 engine is at the core of the bike, enhanced to produce an impressive 185 hp at 12,000 rpm and 125 Nm (92 lb-ft.) of torque at 9,000 rpm. The sound of the engine will echo through your surroundings via the handmade exhaust system.

The engine is fed by a 15-liter (4-gallon) fuel tank located under the seat – it's reinforced with Kevlar and surrounded by carbon fiber body panels. Moreover, the bike is equipped with a quick shifter and auto blipper system, enhancing the riding experience.

Norton V4CR Manx Platinum Version
Photo: Norton Motorcycles
This amount of power should be paired with high-quality components to offer adequate performance. In this regard, Norton fitted the V4CR with an adjustable Ohlins suspension – there's a 43–millimeter Ohlins NIX30 fully adjustable upside-down forks and Ohlins TTXGP Norton bespoke fully adjustable rear shock. You'll also find aerospace-grade aluminum billet-machine yokes. Brembo brakes offer plenty of stopping power, with two 330-millimeter discs at the front and a 245-millimeter rear disc at the rear.

Regarding electronics, customers will find plenty of modern components that make the riding experience more comfortable, pleasurable, and, most of all, safer. As standard, the V4CR sports a traditional single round headlamp fitted with an LED unit and a keyless ignition system with an electronic steering lock.

There's also a full-color 6-inch display with auto brightness adjustment – that's what riders can use to select their preferred engine mode: Wet, Road, or Sport. Lastly, there are various electronic aids linked to each engine mode, such as lean-angle sensitive traction control that uses six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), front and rear ABS, and Wheelie Control.

The V4CR is available in two versions: Carbon or Manx Platinum, each with a slightly different aesthetic. The Carbon variant features exposed carbon fiber bodywork, complemented by a black seat and carbon fiber BST wheels. The V4CR equipped with the Manx Platinum option boasts a platinum-colored bodywork with carbon panels, an orange seat, and forged aluminum OZ racing wheels.

Norton V4CR Manx Platinum Version
Photo: Norton Motorcycles
According to Norton Motorcycles' official website, you can choose a single accessory for this motorbike – an aftermarket race exhaust, which the company clearly states is not meant for road use.

This isn't your ordinary café racer, but more like one on steroids. Even though you must empty out a large amount of your bank account for the Norton V3CR, it's clear that the company didn't skip any steps in designing and manufacturing the motorbike, fitting it with adequate components to achieve excellent performance. Given the low production figures, you won't see many of these on the streets.

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About the author: Mircea Mazuru
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Starting out with a motorcycle permit just because he could get one two years earlier than a driver's license, Mircea keeps his passion for bikes (motor or no motor) alive to this day. His lifelong dream is to build his own custom camper van.
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