First showcased in 2018, Norton’s highly anticipated 650cc parallel-twins are likely to make it to production only by late 2021. 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.
As noted above, Norton's initial commitment will be to fulfill customer backorders. In terms of products, the company will focus on the new V4 superbike, as well as its Commando 961 platform. The V4 will be updated to the Euro-5 specification next year, but the Commando range will be sold in limited quantities before being retired. The historic parallel twin engine in the current Commando will not be Euro 5 compliant, but Russel says the iconic name will be used again in the future on a new motorcycle. We hope Norton 650cc will hit the Nepalese market in a good way in upcoming days.
As for the highly anticipated Norton 650cc Atlas range, Russel says the bikes are still in development and won't be ready until the end of next year. The 650cc parallel twins were first showcased in 2018 by Norton's previous owner Stuart Garner, but it was at this point that the company's financial woes began to become 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, but the timing for that bike remains unclear.
With no motorcycles currently Euro-5 compliant, and UK production only starts in earnest after the new plant is fully operational, we don't expect a Nepal launch anytime soon. Furthermore, a Euro-5 compatible Norton V4 superbike will certainly be an expensive affair in our market. Even if TVS manages to keep the price in check through a basic assembly, it will probably cost more than Rs 30 lakh. The upcoming Norton 650cc motorcycles will fit our market much better, although they will be much more premium and expensive than the Royal Enfield 650cc motorcycles. When those bikes will go on sale here, and how localized they will be, remains a question that remains unanswered, but unlikely to happen anytime soon.