Norton to race the Isle


Norton to run in Isle of Man – not the one on the right

Back on October 16 we reported that a British businessman named Stuart Garner claimed to have taken over all rights to the Norton name and planned a revival of the marque.

Now BBC news is reporting that Garner plans to have a bike entering the Isle of Man TT in 2009, none other than a revival of the Norton Rotary that had mixed success, albeit winning the U.K. F-1 series in 1989.

Famed British racing engineer Brian Crighton and the Spondon engineering team have been developing the bike, Crighton doing much of the work on his own time with funding from the National Motorcycle Museum (where he’s worked for some years).

Crighton was the main engineer of the bikes when they were originally raced.

The new machine still uses a 588 cc twin-rotor Wankel engine, but is updated with fuel injection, variable inlet tracts, and modern electronics including "fly-by-wire" controls. The chassis is a typical Spondon twin-spar aluminium frame, with Ohlins suspension.

The rider tapped for the entry in the TT Senior race is Michael Dunlop, son of Robert and nephew of Joey, two of the most famous names in TT history. That part is good, but the design is three years old, and the big manufacturers have hardly been standing still in the meanwhile.

Could be interesting, nevertheless.


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