Norton's entry in the 2012 Isle of Man TT enters testing

Norton's entry in the 2012 Isle of Man TT enters testing

Norton motorcycles has today launched its new race bike and announced entry into the Senior TT race 2012.

Over the last 12-18 months Norton have been looking at a return to racing. Given that WSB and BSB only allow Homologated Road bikes into their racing classes, Norton has to look for ‘open’ or ‘prototype’ race classes to enter the new race bike in.

For all of the above, the TT stood out as the very obvious choice for Norton. The hard edge style of racing which gets much closer to fans and supporters in a true and real world way which is a very genuine and passionate form of racing, appeals to Norton far more than the energy drink and lycra clad pit lane of homologated road bike racing.

Riding the bike for the TT will be Ian Mackman who is hugely passionate about his racing. The bike is currently being put through its paces at Donnington who have spared some valuable track time to enable Norton to run tests and for Ian to fuly familiarise himself with the bike.

The bike itself is a Spondon chassis with Ohlins front and back, BST carbon wheels are shod with Dunlop’s. The engine is an RSV V4.

The bike itself has been built solely within the factory at Donington Park, with many parts made onsite within the CNC machine facility at the Norton factory. Fuelling system and electronic package for the bike has been supplied by Active Technologies Limited.

Sporting a traditional polished aluminium tank, all the styling and bodywork has been put together at the factory and Replicast are working with Norton to complete the aero package.

Norton see this as a three year project, and are genuinely happy to come home with a solid finish this year. Over the three years they have stated that they would like to be in a position to be podium competitive, although totally understand it is a huge mountain to climb and have their work cut out to achieve this.

Only racing on the budget available from sponsors and other commercial racing income, means the racing team have taken no money from the factory road bike business. This Norton believes offers them a sustainable route to racing. Some suppliers to Norton’s road bike business have been really helpful and this have helped reduce costs to develop and make the racing bike.

Despite making the bike race ready, focus remains on Norton’s road bike business and they are totally committed to growing volume in the road bike business to meet growing demand for the Commando 961.

The Norton team are looking forward to getting to the TT and providing some excitement and fun for the crowd, and have even lined up a TV presenter to serve brews for the fans front of garage!!

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