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WEDNESDAY MAY 8, 2013. £2.10
‘MARQUEZ
DID
NOTHING
WRONG’
Jerez MotoGP: Riders back hard-charging rookie
NORTON
G E T
T H E
I N S I D E
L I N E
E V E R Y
TT
PLANS
FOUR-PAGE
W E D N E S D AY
REVEALED
NEW BMW GS
800 now offers
Adventure too
SPECIAL REPORT
QThe Bikes
QThe Team
QThe Riders
Tested: Ducati
Hyperstrada
Most practical mad bike yet!
OLD V NEW
FJR1300
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SPECIAL
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SCHWANTZ
COMEBACK
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02 08/05/2013
NEWS EVERY DAY AT MOTORCYCLENEWS.COM
First look at the
machine Norton
will race at the
Senior and
Superbike TT
next month
Everything you need to know from seven days in biking
ISLE OF MAN TT
Norton’s TT bike
is a quantum leap
The return of Norton to our roads has, at times, been a
difficult one. The return of Norton to the roads of the Isle
of Man has, arguably, been harder still. But the manful
groans of lust-laden appreciation that reverberated around
the offices of MCN this week as we first clapped eyes on
the new Norton TT race bike suggest that they’ve certainly
succeeded in making it look the part. If noise alone could
get you a trophy on the island, then the aural assault from
the unsilenced 200bhp motor would doubtless result in
some silverware, too. But the reality is that this bike is
unlikely to propel Norton CEO Stuart Garner’s dreams to
a podium result. So what are its chances?
> Read the exclusive on the team and bike – p8
MCN READER OFFER
£10 off Donington
WSB tickets!
and entry to the Friday of the Classic
would be a tenner.
■ To take advantage of this incredible
ticket offer go to www.doningtonpark.co.uk or phone 0844 8737343.
WORLD
FIRST
SHOTS
MOVE TO AUSTRIA
Husqvarna closes
Varese factory
Three months after being sold by BMW
it has been reported that Husqvarna’s
factory in Varese, Italy, is to be closed
with all production moving to Austria.
The shock move comes weeks after
its new owners visited the plant and
follows assurances that the facility
would remain open.
The closure was confirmed by former
press officer Martino Bianchi and
comes after the firm was sold to Pierer
Donington Park is offering MCN readers
a red hot deal on 2013 WSB tickets.
Order your weekend or Sunday, May
26 tickets online using the offer code
MCNDP13 where prompted and you’ll
not only receive £10 off each ticket
ordered but you’ll also get a Friday
ticket for the all-new Donington
Classic Motorcycle Festival on August 9
TOTALLY FREE! Weekend adult tickets
are normally £52, Sunday tickets £42,
The new 2013 Burgman 650 ABS
Executive is now in dealers. The £8799
maxi-scooter boasts heated rider and
pillion seats, over 50 litres of storage,
three drive modes, heated grips,
electronically adjustable screen and
fold-in mirrors.
Win your money back
KTM will be refunding the cash price of
one bike to a UK rider this month. Book a
test ride during May and go on to purchase
a KTM and you could be a winner.
Belgian builders, First Notion stripped
their Yamaha SR250 to create this cafe
racer. The tank was replaced with a
Yamaha RD50 item, a custom exhaust
was fitted along with Brembo brakes.
had been based in Varese since being
bought by Cagiva in 1986. The firm was
sold to BMW in 2007 with the German
firm reported to have spent millions
revamping the Italian facility.
Grab a Burger-van...
BIKES IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK
Crew cut
Industries AG, a company owned by
KTM boss Stefan Pierer (above right).
It’s believed production will resume at
one of KTM’s Austrian plants.
Husqvarna, originally from Sweden,
Two brothers go racing
Tai fusion
Two brothers from a small Spanish
village customised this 1977 Kawasaki
KZ750 to meet an off-road challenge.
They produced the bodywork from cast
aluminium, designing the fenders, side
covers and tank themselves.
A Taiwanese industrial design
student based this concept on the
trellis structure of old seaplanes
using a Honda Super Cub 90. In
case you’re wondering, the middle
bit is the fuel tank.
www.motorcyclenews.com
08 FOCUS
3
1
2
4
6
7
10
8
Norton’s IOM TT History
MARK MANNING
9
5
Norton boasts Isle of Man TT history dating
back to 1907 and including the legendary
1992 win in the hands of Steve Hislop but
the newly reborn and British-owned firm
returned to the famous 37.73-mile course
in 2009 with the 588cc rotary NRV with
Irish road racing star Michael Dunlop. The
bike was hardly changed from the old
bikes that were racing years previously
and it was dogged by reliability issues with
Dunlop unable to complete a single lap.
The bike never raced that year.
Norton vowed to return when it was
ready with a more reliable bike. It took
another two years but last year the British
team returned with the Aprilia-engined
SG1 which had a Spondon frame and was
ridden by Ian Mackman. Niggling issues
prevented the bike getting enough test time
and the bike was put together at the last
minute. It still managed a 115mph average
speed on its fastest lap. The Senior race
was cancelled because of bad weather. The
bike completed a parade lap – but everyone
has high hopes for 2013.
11
www.motorcyclenews.com
THE WEEK
02-06
FOCUS
08-35
COMMENT
36-39
BUYING &
SELLING
41-76
EVENTS
77-79
SPORT
80-92
08.05.2013
WEDNESDAY
09
02.05.2013 WORLD EXCLUSIVE
12
14
13
NORTON’S
TT BIKE
REVEALED
The Norton V4 that will tackle the Senior and Superbike
Isle of Man TT races is virtually new from the ground up
THE TEAM
1. Name: Simon Marshall
Job: Mechanic
2. Name: Aaron Astbury
Job: Mechanic
3. Name: Jez Tyson
Job: Mechanic
4. Name: Stuart Garner
Job: Norton owner
5. Name: Joe Adams
Job: Overseas sales
6. Name: Ian Morgan
Job: Mechanic and test rider
7. Name: Dom Murfin
Job: Mechanic
8. Name: Simon Skinner
Job: Head of design
9. Name: Paul Raven
Job: Mechanic
10. Name: Johnny Cusack
Job: Mechanic
11. Name: Arthur Reeves
Job: Mechanic
12. Name: Sean Kynnersley
Job: Mechanic
13. Name: Darren Sharpston
Job: Mechanic
14. Name: Mark Butler
Job: Mechanic
orton is putting the finishing touches to the first
of two V4 racers that will
contest the 2013 Isle of
Man TT in just three
weeks, with virtually
every part of the bikes
being new for this year.
The team hope the two unsilenced
200bhp monsters will be good enough
to bring credible results for the team,
after a difficult 2012 campaign where
the bike’s planned race debut was
scuppered by the cancellation of the
Senior race. The V4s will be ridden by
Ian Mackman, who rode the bike last
year, and new recruit Dan Hegarty.
This year will be the second time the
iconic British brand has competed with
a bike powered by a 1000cc V4 that’s
essentially an Aprilia RSV4 superbike
engine. Last year’s event was a test and
data gathering process, but Norton are
looking to make progress this year.
The new SG2 model has a host of
modifications over the first-generation
SG1, with all changes gleaned from the
huge learning curve the team experienced during last year’s event.
The bike has an all-new chassis
with redesigned swingarm and Öhlins suspension that can run in passive, semi-active or even fully active
modes. Norton has also worked to
improve aerodynamics, increase fuel
capacity and have introduced an F1derived electronics control system for
the engine.
Norton boss Stuart Garner and head
of design Simon Skinner gave MCN an
exclusive look at the bike as it was put
together with a fairing for the first
time last week. They explained why
they were back for more at the TT, the
changes they have made to the bike
and what they are expecting from
the 2013 TT.
Garner said: “As we were heading back from the TT last year we all
WHAT’S
THE STORY?
■ Norton was brought back
into British hands in 2009.
After two previous attempts,
Norton is back at the TT in just
a few weeks with two almost
completely new 1000cc V4
bikes, two riders and a bundle
of determination to make this
the start of a new racing era for
the firm.
real in three weeks’ time.
Boss Garner is adamant the TT is
vital to Norton – not just to honour
the marque’s heritage but to secure
the future development of the firm.
He added: “We took some stick last
year because people weren’t happy that
we were using an Aprilia engine and a
Spondon chassis. But we always said it
was a learning year and there was no
way I was going to spend a lot of money
for what we knew was just a chance for
us to see what it was all about.
“That’s one of the things about
Norton that people don’t seem to understand. We don’t spend money on
things we don’t need. I spend the
money like it’s my own for a very good
reason... it bloody well is!”
Norton’s not going to
win, so why race?
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL.
N
By Andy Downes
Ian Mackman’s hopes of a 2012 TT
replica were thwarted by the rain
promised ourselves we would be back.
We also said there was no way we were
going to leave it as late as last year to be
ready and to some degree we have done
that right. We are massively ahead of
where we were this time last year, the
bike is much more developed, the team
is clearer about what we need to do and
we have a series of short circuit tests
to get the bike even better.”
Norton will run track tests in the
UK at Mallory Park, Oulton Park and
Donington Park, which is next door to
its factory. This year it will also have the
time to take part in a test around the
Isle of Man course before the practice
and racing fortnight commences for
Norton knows full well it’s not going
to win the race this year but that’s not
the point of making another go of it.
Garner explained: “The foremost reason
is that we are all bikers and we love it.
There wouldn’t be any way of going to
the TT, with all of the work and time
that has to go into it, otherwise. The
second is the chance to try out new
engineering things that will be of use
to Norton as the brand continues to
expand and develop into the future.
“The TT and racing in general is a
fantastic proving ground and there
are advantages in taking part for that
reason. The active/semi-active suspension we are developing and the new
ISR brakes are a good example of this.
“The third reason to go is commercial. The TT allows us to have a huge
amount of global exposure and it allows
us to get some money back from selling
merchandise. I have always said racing
can only happen if it costs nothing to
the factory. I’m not going to bankrupt
the factory by going racing, now or
ever. We have three title sponsors for
this year, which is a nice place to be.”
Continued over
www.motorcyclenews.com
10 FOCUS
NORTON V4 WORLD EXCLUSIVE
Tech analysis:
Norton V4 spec
sheet highlights
RAM-AIR SCOOPS
AERODYNAMICS
BRAKES
ELECTRONICS
ENGINE
CHASSIS
Redesigned from last year
with new twin ram-air
scoops mounted either
side of the front of the
fairing. While they’re not as
good as one large central
duct, they are a lot more
efficient at getting air
into the airbox than last
year’s bike, which had one
central scoop and two
additional ones on the top
of the fairing cowl. Note the
enormous screen bubble.
A lot of work has been
done on the fairing to
improve aerodynamics,
engine cooling and also
to provide more wind
protection for the riders.
Last year, Ian Mackman
was having to slow down
so he could see where he
was going because the
fairing wasn’t big or tall
enough, and he was being
battered and exhausted by
the wind-blast.
New for the 2013 bike
are Swedish-made ISR
brakes, which have
enormously powerful
six-piston calipers at the
front with a pair of 320mm
discs. These replace the
Brembos used on the bike
last year. At the back is a
260mm disc with a fourpiston caliper. The range
of adjustability in the ISR
units is wide (see detail
picture 3, right).
Cosworth developed this
dashboard for F1 but it
has been tailored for bike
applications. It uses bespoke
Norton electronics that
control everything from the
ride-by-wire throttle to the
fuelling, ignition and overall
mapping. The system has the
capability for fully integrated
traction control software.
It’s not going to be used yet –
but it does make the system
more future proof.
Essentially this is an
Aprilia RSV4 999cc V4
superbike engine making
around 200bhp, but Norton
has modified and changed
an undisclosed number
of internals as it seeks to
carry on development of
its own V4 for the future.
Norton is not releasing
any details of the internal
changes to the engine,
which is managed by their
own electronics package.
Completely redesigned
tubular alloy chassis
designed and built with
the primary aim of making
the bike more adjustable
so it can be tweaked to
suit the ultra-demanding
TT course. The range
of adjustments include
including fork offset and
ride height.
‘What we learnt last year created this bike’
Last year’s steep learning curve has shaped the 2013 Norton TT machine
Norton design boss Simon
Skinner and his small team of
engineers, designers and mechanics sat down the week after
the 2012 TT and sifted through
notes and reams of computer
data to work out what a bike
would need for the 2013 TT.
The results, seen here for the
first time in an MCN world exclusive, are an almost completely new
bike that has been created as a result of what the team and rider Ian
Mackman learnt. Norton has designed
a new tubular alloy chassis that’s built
by Norton-owned company Spondon.
The bike has a longer swingarm, a bigger hand-built fuel tank and Öhlins
suspension that can run as traditional
passive suspension, semi or even fully
active mode where it links with a GPS
unit to adjust the suspension as the bike
travels around the TT course.
The aerodynamics have been
changed with a new fairing feeding
air to a modified Aprilia RSV4 999cc
V4 superbike engine. For 2013 the team
has been working on the internals as
Norton learns lessons it can use in its
own V4 engine project, which is still
underway.
Skinner said: “This has always been
a three or four-year plan for us and
the first year was nothing more than
a learning time. This second attempt
allows us to go with all that we have
www.motorcyclenews.com
THE WEEK
02-06
FOCUS
08-35
COMMENT
36-39
1
BUYING &
SELLING
41-76
EVENTS
77-79
SPORT
80-92
08.05.2013
WEDNESDAY
RIDER VIEWS
What do the riders think?
24
Days left before first
qualifying session of the
Senior TT
2
3
4
SUSPENSION
SWINGARM
Stonkingly expensive Öhlins
FGR forks and shock have
electronically controlled
valves and hydraulics to
operate the active/semiactive suspension. These
are essentially the same
as those used on MotoGP
bikes. They allow three
modes of use, being able to
deliver simple old fashioned
suspension, semi-active
control, or fully active,
predictive, damping.
Last year the swingarm
wasn’t long enough and
the team still hadn’t
found a completely
stable setting for the
bike in terms of overall
wheelbase. This year
they’ve added flexibility
to the old 580mm
swingarm, and now boast
a dragbike-rivalling
swingarm that gives
an extra 50 to 60mm of
wheelbase if needed.
learned and we have also built the bike
around that knowledge and data. What
we learnt last year created this bike and
that will take us forward for the next
couple of years at least.
“There were some big lessons for
the team last year and the biggest was
working on the geometry of the bike
to make it more stable. It’s hard to
explain how tough the TT is on a bike
in terms of the bumps and the speeds
– and we ran out of time to be able to
tackle them at the event. We learnt the
speed of many of the TT sections were
amplifying minor instability issues and
11
ÔThis year’s bike
appears to be more
stable, even without
a steering damper’
ÔLast year’s bike
was an animal.
This one is not
like that at all’
Ian Mackman
Dan Hegarty
‘At this time last year the bike was
a real handful, especially over
the bumps. This year I have not
even noticed them. It’s a massive
relief that there has been a big
step forward. The bike feels like a
motorcycle that needs setting up
rather than a complete make-over.
Every change we make is improving
the bike and it appears to be much
more stable overall and we haven’t
even got a steering damper fitted
yet. It’s a bit lazy in the steering but
I would rather that than it being
unstable. Making a stable bike turn
faster is a lot easier than making a
fast-turning bike stable.’
‘It’s been a great test so far.
We have a nice general bike to
start with and we have been
concentrating on setting up
the electronics, working on the
damping and it all seems to
be going in the right direction.
I heard last year’s bike was an
animal to ride; this one is not
like that at all. It’s nice to be
associated with the Norton
brand and I am excited about
the TT. We need to sort some
fuelling issues, which can be
fixed on the dyno. Right now we
are concentrating on getting the
chassis right.’
Team mechanic
Ian Morgan
puts the Norton
through its paces
1. F1-derived dashboard developed by Cosworth
2. Notice the lack of silencer? You will when it starts up
3. Swedish-made ISR brakes are works of art
4. Tubular alloy frame made by Norton-owned Spondon
making the rider slower. Hopefully
these have been addressed.”
The biggest technical leap this year
is the introduction of full active suspension. It uses Cosworth F1-derived
electronics, a GPS satellite receiver and
Öhlins FGR forks and shock to change
the suspension as the bike travels
around the course, and also to react
to bumps. This system can also run
in semi-active mode so the damping
is changed according to the way the
bike is being ridden, or traditionally
passive where it just soaks up bumps
with a spring and damper unit.
‘The chassis and swingarm
have been designed to
make the bike as stable as
possible on the fastest
sections of the course’
NORTON DESIGNER SIMON SKINNER
Skinner told MCN: “We are not going
to run the suspension in active mode
until we are confident everything
works with the bike in normal mode.
Riding at the TT is all about the riders
having faith and trust in the bike to
do what they want it to do. We need
them to know it’ll do exactly what
they expect.
“The chassis and swingarm have
been designed to make the bike as
stable as possible on the fastest sections of the course and the swingarm
length is already 580mm, which was
the maximum we were able to go to
last year. This year we have another
50mm to 60mm of extra wheelbase
available if needed.”
Norton owner Stuart Garner already
owned 50% of the frame-building firm Spondon, but earlier this
year he completed the takeover
of the firm. Using Norton’s designs the experienced Spondon
workers are able to build and
ship a new swingarm or chassis
component within two days.
Skinner added: “One of the
challenges this year is explaining
to riders how much adjustability there is. Everything can be
changed and that will be a shock
for the guys. We will have to be
careful to avoid confusion.”
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