The past few years have been a tumultuous time for Norton Motorcycles and its fans. After TVS bought the historic British brand in 2020, though, there was room to be cautiously optimistic. By October, 2021, the revamped Norton Motorcycles was excited to pull the covers off its 2022 V4SV designs and specs. Seeing something on paper is one thing; getting seat time with it is another. Norton wasn’t at the stage where riders outside the factory could take it for a spin just yet, but that day was surely coming.
It’s now mid-June, 2022, and Norton invited the British moto press to experience the 2022 Norton V4SV up close and in person at Mallory Park. The bike is almost ready for the public, although an exact on-sale date hasn’t yet been announced. Still, we gain a greater understanding of exactly what’s going on under all that glorious and head-turning bodywork.
If you’re familiar with the Norton saga over the past couple of years, you may recall that the Norton V4SS—as sold under the previous Garner administration, prior to the TVS takeover—were found to have multiple defects in their craftsmanship. After a thorough examination, the new Norton folks identified a total of 35 defects, about 20 of which it deemed critical items. The company issued a “stop-ride” advisory to owners, saying they should not ride their V4SS bikes unless they got those issues sorted out. Norton’s new administration went on to say that it would not be fixing those issues, and whether or not existing owners of V4SS bikes were happy with that outcome seemed beside the point.
Gallery: 2022 Norton V4SV
Instead, Norton said, it would re-engineer its own take on the V4 SS project—which is what went on to become the 2022 Norton V4SV you now see before you. It’s a bit of a ghost, in a way. Essentially, the new Norton team took what the previous Norton team had learned through all its Isle of Man TT testing, but engineered it properly this time. Bike World presenter Chad, who you see flogging the new V4SV around the track in this video, is one of the few people who rode both the previous administration’s V4SS and the new Norton V4SV—and that’s the basic summary he gave.
How will the 2022 Norton V4SV strike its intended audience? As is plainly obvious, it’s a specialized, boutique type of bike. Although Norton is arguably in the best health that it’s been, as a business, in years, it’s still a small company. Claimed power figures of 185 brake horsepower at 12,500 rpm and 92 foot-pounds of torque at 9,000 rpm matter, but a direct comparison to, say, a Ducati Panigale V4, hardly seems fair.
In any case, the V4SV is one step closer to an on-sale date. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with details as and when they’re available.