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Norton Motorcycles and WMG team up for new TT project

Norton Motorcycles has teamed up with Warwick University to help develop an all-electric TT capable motorcycle

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NORTON is assisting a team from WMG, the University of Warwick to design and develop an all-electric, 200+bhp motorcycle, capable of racing at the Isle of Man TT.

To help out the engineering students, Norton has donated a motorcycle frame along with data to assist them with the project.

The research team have developed an electric motorcycle powertrain, using the frame from a Norton V4 as a platform. The electric powertrain designed to work in the Norton frame is rated with a power output of 201bhp, and delivers a staggering 400Nm (295lb-ft) of torque from a standing start.

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The electric motor draws power from an immersion-cooled battery pack that has been designed and tested by the students and is the first of its kind for application in an electric motorcycle. The battery has a capacity of 16 kWh is designed to last longer with the application of robust thermal management strategies, while also allowing for larger short term power peaks required by a racing motorcycle.

In addition, the cooling system will enable the team to operate at a more efficient temperature range by optimising the starting temperature of the dielectric fluid prior to a race or testing, based on the requirements of the track.

Students have been able to craft a functioning electric motorcycle based on the Norton frame in just seven months. The project began in October 2020 with the donation of the frame and associated parts, with students working hard to realise their goals alongside studying for their degrees. The bike has undergone significant testing including much computer-based validation such as CFD of battery cooling, modelling around thermal management, along with physical testing of cells and modules – whilst constantly reviewing engineering decisions to minimise and mitigate the risk of failure.

Dr Robert Hentschel, CEO of Norton Motorcycles, said:

“We are thrilled to be able to support the engineers of the future, who are developing tomorrow’s technology today, on the basis of a Norton frame. Our support by means of donation of the frame is just the beginning. Norton’s team of designers and engineers have been very interested to observe how this project is taking shape, supporting the student team wherever possible with advice and guidance.”

Aman Surana, Chief Engineer of the Warwick Moto team, said:

“Ever since we started the Warwick Moto project, the overall goal has always been around learning and enhancing our engineering experience. We have gained practical experience in our research that is required to deliver a real-world project, along with balancing considerations such as tight budgets and deadlines, while learning logistics and everything around delivering an industry project. This has made us all the more proud with the way the Frontier looks.

“To have access to Norton’s engineering team, years of experience and data has been a great resource, integral to the design of the bike. Combining the motorcycling knowledge from Norton, with the leading research at WMG, University of Warwick has been a fantastic learning opportunity for all students involved. We’re very excited to see what this collaboration leads to.”

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