Norton launches Superlight supertwin racer for the road

Norton Superlight uses highly-tuned version of 650 Atlas engine in race-ready chassis

Norton Superlight

IT'S PROBABLY the sauciest new bike on show at the NEC bike show - though it's unlikely you'll see many on the roads. Norton unveiled its new £20k Superlight 650 - a road-legal race version of the Atlas 650 twin roadsters also launched on the Norton stand.

Clad in carbon fibre bodywork, with carbon wheels and a single-sided swingarm, the 105bhp, 158kg Superlight promises amazing performance. But its main job will be to win road races at the TT, where John McGuinness will race it next year.

The 650 range uses a parallel twin engine that's basically half of the Norton 1200 RR V4 engine. So there's the same heads, the same 81mm bore and a slightly longer stroke, with a 270° crankshaft. The Atlas bikes make 85bhp - a decent peak power output - with the Superlight making a stunning 105bhp - great figures from a 650 twin.

The road bikes all use a steel tube frame, but the Superlight has a slick aluminium tubed design, similar to that on the V4 superbike. That, plus the carbon wheels, fuel tank and fairing helps the super-skinny all-up weight, with an optional titanium race pipe cutting another 6kg off.

The chassis and electronics spec is also top-end superbike stuff. Suspension is Ohlins front and rear, NIX 30 forks and TTX GP monoshock, and the brakes are by Brembo: 330mm discs and M50 calipers. There's an up- and down-quickshifter, colour LCD dash, full IMU-based traction and ABS functions, and much much more.

It looks to be an impressive beastie for sure, but with a £20k price tag, it's probably mostly destined for collectors, Norton obsessives and racers...