Norton Motorcycles working on Royal Enfield 650 rival - Report

Nov 16, 2017 - 10:53am IST | ,   | Praveen M

Autocar Professional reports that Norton Motorcycles is working on a 650cc twin cylinder motorcycle which will take on the likes of Royal Enfield 650 twins in the Asian markets, including India.

Norton Zongshen agreement
Other than the 650cc engine, Norton will continue to hand-make all of its own Norton engines in the UK at its Donington Hall factory.

On July 27, 2017, Norton and Zongshen signed a 20-year design and licence agreement over an all-new 650cc twin engine. The 650cc twin engine jointly engineered and developed by Norton and Ricardo has been specially designed to the requirements of Zongshen; and will be Euro 4 compliant. The engine and its IP developed by Norton is exclusive to Zongshen, and it is expected the engine will be produced under the ‘Zongshen’ or ‘Cyclone’ brands. Norton CEO, Stuart Garner commented:

It’s a great endorsement of our new 650cc engine platform and shows the high level of engineering expertise we have here at Norton. Working with Zongshen going forwards will enable them to deliver high quality low emission engines compliant to current global standards. The commercialisation of our IP is a key area for Norton and we will be investing the substantial revenue received back into our skills, training and engineering capability, thus ensuring long term sustainability to our British made Norton motorcycles here in the UK.

Norton Motorcycles 650 cc parallel twin engine
The 650 cc parallel twin engine would use liquid cooling and fuel injection.

Norton Motorcycles this week signed a 49:51 joint venture with Motoroyale of the Kinetic Group. With the Joint Venture, it will begin the launch of limited edition all-British CBU version of its existing models in the first quarter of 2018; and also set up a CKD assembly in parallel at Kinetic’s Ahmednagar plant. Garner told the media house in the sidelines of 2017 EICMA show:

The next engine to come from Norton is the 650cc, twin-cylinder for India and the Asian territories, be it Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand or Taiwan. We see the start of this relationship (with India’s Kinetic Group) with the 961 but we think the volumes and a lot of commercial sense will come from the 650s (650cc models). The 650cc, twin-cylinder bike is still under development. It will commercialise the whole venture. It’s going to be a very good engine, very compact and I think it will be a very suitable bike for the partnership.

Also Read: Norton Motorcycles partners with Kinetic; to launch CBU bikes in 3 months – Report

Garner confirmed with the publication that they would not be able to achieve the Royal Enfield’s cut-throat pricing, but would be placed between Ducati and MV Agusta. This would make the upcoming bike a premium option in the mid-capacity segment.

[Source: Autocar Professional]

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