Last week we were talking about the project being carried out by Norton, which will be featured at this year's races on the Isle of Man. This project includes an Aprilia RSV4 engine mounted on a Spondon chassis with state-of-the-art suspensions and brakes signed by Brembo and Ohllins. The first reaction was to think that the current owners of Norton, with Stuart garner, they had gone a little crazy. What happens is that in the motorcycle world, when reviving such a mythical brand with the current economic panorama, things have to be done with great care and leaden feet. After reading the interview that the current owner of the brand has given Visordown, I think things are clearer and he offers us a more than interesting future.
We could do the summary of the interview with a couple of sentences. The first is that today it would take them three years to get a competitive engine built from scratch. The second is that in Norton they have not gone crazy and they do not want to invest their entire budget in competition, this is destined to the development of street motorcycles, which is where the business of any brand really is. So with these premises very clear in Norton they have done the best they could do to gain some "luster" for the brand in competitions. In a very short period of time they have built a sufficiently competitive motorcycle that they hope that in 2014 I will be in a position to reach positions on the IOMTT podium. And while this comes, they can consolidate the market for their street bikes and "make a name" again through the brand's merchandising.
The current competition outlook for a low-key brand like Norton is pretty bleak. On the one hand, they cannot afford the investment that must be made to put a team in the MotoGP World Championship. And if they could do it through sponsors they would not be satisfied at all when see your investment five or six seconds behind official motorcycles of other brands. Position that is in which the CRT are currently. The Superbike World Championship or the BSB requires that competing motorcycles have to comply with a minimum number of manufactured units for homologation, thus closing this other door in competition. So the final option is to prepare a prototype to participate in the IOMTT, which is also a race closely linked to Norton's own name.
Of course Norton will continue to develop its own engineTaking advantage of the fact that they have the Donnington circuit a stone's throw away, they can prepare the bikes at the factory, go to the track, test, return to the factory, make the necessary improvements and get back on the track on the same day. In this way they hope to make the most of the development time of the motorcycles and engines and meet the three-year deadline that has been set.
Things like the praise that Stuart Garner makes to the Aprilia engine, the explanations he gives about the Spondon chassis, which closely resembles that of the last bike he won in the race, left me in the pipeline. Senior TT in 1992 Norton 588 F1 with a rotary engine piloted by a certain Steve Hislop against the Yamaha OW 01 of a certain Carl Fogarty. But I think that the most important thing is outlined here, because I think it is the most thoughtful and realistic strategy that I have ever read in a brand that wants to re-enter the disputed world of two wheels. Anyway, if you are interested in reading the interview, you can find it in the link at the end of this article. Things have become very clear to me and I can only sit and wait for the results at the IOMTT next June.