What a show! We made our debut appearance as the new Norton company at this year’s fantastic Motorcycle Live show in December, and it was brilliant from start to finish. Visitors came to our stand in the hundreds, first marvelling at our V4SV superbike, then landing their eyes on our new V4 Café Racer prototype, which certainly attracted the crowds! What’s more, many guests stopped to chat with our staff on the stand, inundating us with your words of support and relief that Norton is back again.
Many of you already knew that we recently revealed our new headquarters in Solihull, however, others were yet to discover the scale of the investment made in our new top-quality equipment and processes enabling us to showcase exquisite craftsmanship. From the look on many faces at the show, and based on the feedback we collected, we definitely exceeded all expectations. But it was our new café racer prototype derived from our V4SV superbike that made a serious impression. Ever eager to capture the thoughts of our fanbase and community, our team took to the stand with a voice recorder to secure your observations of the V4CR up close and personal. We picked out some of our favourite quotes below…
I just love the way it’s hand-crafted and hand-built, it’s just lovely. They would sell. It just shouts out quality. You know, stuff that’s on there that actually works instead of being gimmicky. The quality Ohlin’s forks, the Brembo brakes, they all work together in harmony and I just can’t be doing with bikes that have gizmos on that you’re never going to use – what’s the point?
We agree David, sometimes less is more! Laurence from Doncaster was thinking along the same lines too, commenting on the V4CR’s flowing elegance. Laurence said:
“I think it’s a beautiful bike. The design is very elegant, it isn’t fussy but it’s still quite interesting, and I like the fact that it isn’t covered in angles. You know, in comparison to some of the other modern bikes where there’s a sort of folded paper approach. But this has got sort of a hydro-form like it’s been formed in water, it’s got a beautiful flowing elegance. I love the bits of bare carbon as well, but the silver paintwork with the orange contrast is very nice too. Though there is something beautiful about naked carbon. And as I’ve got older my taste has moved towards naked bikes – I think that’s because you can see so much more of the workings. But yeah, both of these (pointing at the V4SV and V4CR) are elegant but I would buy the café racer because it’s much more interesting to look at.”
COULD THERE BE ROOM FOR TWO?
“The only thing I would suggest if you were to change anything, is to design it in such a way that it could take a pillion for passengers. My wife and I ride together, and probably half the time I ride on my own and the other half of the time I ride with my wife. My wife loves to ride! So having a bike as beautiful as that (V4CR) with the flexibility to have a passenger would be the only thing I would change – BUT, that wouldn’t dissuade me from buying one if you didn’t give it a pillion.”
We hear you, Laurence! We can’t promise anything, but it’s a great suggestion. Alex from Ipswich appreciated both colour schemes too, and even said that we had the best bike at the show! Alex, we like you. With a huge smile on his face and a ton of enthusiasm, he stated: “It’s fantastic! I’m really impressed with the looks, the styling, everything! Best looking bike here. I personally think both colour options are impressive, I wouldn’t say no to either. The carbon fibre is really smart, but I think you just can’t beat a painted finish and with the orange seat and extra touches of carbon the silver Manx is very nice. If you fancy giving one away, I’m more than happy to leave my details…” (Cheeky!)
STYLISED TO DEFINE CHARACTER, THE V4CR IS NATURALLY AGGRESSIVE IN STANCE.
Pointing out these defined character features, Paul from Rugby also had some suggestions for future customised options of the V4CR:
“I like the short seat unit. Simple things that would be minimal on a Japanese bike, like the air intakes, Norton have thought about and gone out of their way to stylize. However, for me, I think you should offer a version with higher bars because that’s great but it’s a race bike so it’s got lower bars, but for those buying on the market, we ride that kind of bike for a reason and we want to be comfy.” You’re not the first to suggest this Paul, nor will you be the last!
IT’S A MODERN INCARNATION OF THE PAST…
“It’s a nice looking bike, nicely packaged, the rear looks great, that rear single-sided swingarm looks fantastic, it’s just a bit different because it’s a café racer in the modern times. I must admit, the full carbon looks good but the little touch of orange with the silver sets it off nicely. (Norton said: Anything else to add?) – No, just make it, just sell it!” – Heard you loud and clear, Dave from Shropshire.
WHEN YOU SPOT THE ATTENTION TO DETAIL…
Robert, who travelled all the way from South West Wales to visit the show, said:
“I was looking at the V4CR online last night. My friend and I have a very strong engineering background so it speaks to us in a different way maybe than it speaks to other people. What we were just commenting about is the quality that you can see from the outside. Good quality welding, and to the likes of me, that means that all the elements that you can’t see must be done well because what you can see is also done well. I like the over-engineering on the brackets because it’s unnecessary but it has a form and a function and that’s really good. The chop-off tail is nice and aggressive like a good café racer with good lines there too. And I love that, (pointing to the drive cover for the front sprocket), again because it’s absolutely unnecessary and gorgeous – really, really good!” Robert’s friend also chipped in to give us his thoughts, adding: “It’s a work of art. I’d have that in the front room!” Who needs a television when you have a Norton?
IF THE V4CR WERE A PERSON…
William King – “I think the bike is pretty special and one of a kind. The relationship between classic and 2022 style is on point. If it were a person, it would be a very well-dressed gentleman with a smartwatch! I like the fact it has a single swingarm that emphasizes the very minimal silencer, the ‘tan’ leather seat is a very classy touch and contrasts beautifully against the silver, black tones, and carbon fibre components. The stance of the bike is very aggressive but without all of the contours and sharp edges like some other naked bikes. The only thing I’d change would be the brake/clutch levers to something shorter. It will be interesting to see what changes will need to be made for it to be on the road once in production, hopefully, nothing too excessive in way of the reg plate hanger, silencer, and mirrors!”
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEEING SOMETHING IN A PICTURE AND SEEING IT UP CLOSE.
“To me, the quality is absolutely outstanding. I didn’t think I was going to like it when I first saw pictures of it in the press, but in the flesh it’s beautiful. I do like the orange seat, I know some people have been slating it but I think it’s great. I think it could actually do with the stitchwork on the seat of the V4CR to match the V4SV because I think that’s another Norton trait that showcases an attention to detail.” – Ian Whitby from Eastbourne. And Lewis from Newport, a Norton fan and owner, had a similar reaction to Ian when it came to seeing the V4CR in real life: “When I saw the V4CR before the show I thought it was absolutely gorgeous, loved it, but it’s even better in person. I wouldn’t change a thing, just put it in production because I think it’ll fly off the shelves and be a future classic!”
We’d like to thank all of those visitors that took the time to leave their feedback with us. Keep an eye out for updates about our V4CR prototype (as well as other exciting Norton news) over on our social media channels and website.