Stuart Garner, owner and CEO of Norton Motorcycles, shared a rendered image of the upcoming Norton Atlas 650 on his Twitter account. The new Norton motorcycle will be officially unveiled at the Motorcycle Live 2018 motorcycle show at NEC (National Exhibition Centre) in November 2018. The Norton Atlas will be the first 650cc offering from the British marquee after its revival.
The new Atlas is a neo-modern scrambler with minimalistic styling. The upcoming motorcycle pays homage to the original Norton Atlas scrambler that was in production between 1962 and 1968. It is powered by a newly developed 650cc parallel-twin motor. Norton hasn’t shared specifications of the engine, but it’s speculated to have an output between 70hp to 90hp. The engine will come mated to a six-speed gearbox.
The bike features a chunky USD fork up front and a monoshock (likely to be an adjustable unit) at the back. It runs on spoke wheels and gets on/off-road tyres as well. Ground clearance is ample, there’s a bash plate to safeguard the motor and it gets a high-mounted muffler that looks appealing. It’s also reported that the Norton Atlas 650 will be offered in two versions – ‘high’ variant as seen in the image and a more street-focused ‘low’ variant. Anchorage is provided by Brembo-sourced disc brakes on both wheels, and it will get ABS as standard.
The Atlas shares the same engine layout and capacity as the upcoming Royal Enfield 650 twins, but it will be positioned as a more premium product in the market. Stuart Garner suggests that the company is targeting an entry price of 10,000 pounds (Rs 9 lakh), which is relatively affordable for the low volume brand, but is still quite high. To give you an example of where the Atlas will exist in the UK market, similar money will get you bikes like the Kawasaki Z1000, GSX-S1000 and Triumph Bonneville T120.
Norton has plans to spawn numerous models based on its new 650cc engine and the next offering could be a sportier model, with the supercharger reportedly producing close to 150hp while weighing just 150kg! Norton Motorcycles has signed a joint venture with India-based Kinetic Group and also launched the Commando 961 Cafe Racer in India. The company will commence CKD operations in India next year and also has plans to eventually locally source almost 50 percent of the motorcycle’s components. Norton has set itself an ambitious target of registering sales up to 2,000 units in the Indian market by 2021. The upcoming 650s will play a crucial role in helping the British brand achieve this target. Local manufacturing might also help the company price the motorcycle more competitively.
The Atlas is expected to go on sale internationally in 2019, but the India timeline is unclear at the moment.
Norton Commando 961 Sport image gallery