Obviously, it's no surprise that Norton tossed a bike into the fray at this year's Isle of Man TT (and actually a different bike the year before too). The 2014 bike, featuring a frame hand-built by Norton and incorporating a tweaked version of the motor found in the in the Aprilia RSV4 (generating 200hp), is certainly something of a hybrid monster ... but it's mere existence perhaps suggests that Norton has designs on developing a market-ready sportbike...
Anytime a new manufacturer wants to enter the sportbike arena it's interesting. For me it's even more so; my Dad grew up in the UK in the 60s and 70s building race "Tritons"
. The basic concept was to take an existing (specific) 650cc Triumph twin-cylinder engine and matt it to a Norton frame and bike... the rest of the parts and combinations were really at the discretion of the individual but the basic Triton platform was very potent.
I love Triumph and deeply appreciate the 675R but I genuinely feel that development of that platform has stalled relative to the rest of the market (especially with some of the amazing stuff coming out of Japan, Italy and Germany over the last 18-24 months). I think the 675R is riding (no pun intended) on a phenomenal chassis and terrific motor but it now lacks the slew of rider-aids that are creating separation between it and it's rivals.
I would love to see a fellow British manufacturer enter the category for obvious, competitive reasons.
wishful thinking perhaps but I don't care!