Norton has unveiled two new models, the Atlas Nomad and Atlas Ranger, aimed at making the company’s machines more affordable for the average rider, or so is the claim.
Once arguably the most prestigious Brit bike brand, Norton fell on extremely hard times from the 1970s through the 1990s, until businessman Stuart Garner revived the brand in the early 2000s with the Commando 961. This beautiful cafe racer took its sweet time making it into full production, and even in the past few years, there have been complaints over reliability and pricing, and management has made a lot of fuss about lining up government funding to stay in business.
Still, the company has soldiered on, sending race teams over to the Isle of Man and developing skunk works projects, including a 650 cc vertical twin. Now, we see the result of that work, with two new Atlas models powered by that engine.
The Atlas Nomad and Atlas Ranger are both scrambler-type bikes, with spoked 19-inch front rim on the Ranger (more expensive, more dirt-oriented) and 18-inch front on the Nomad (less expensive and more aimed at street usage). Both bikes have a 17-inch rear rim. Both machines have a 178 kg dry weight.
The engine is said to make 84 hp and 47 lb-ft of torque, with a 270-degree crank. Max horsepower comes at 11,000 rpm, so while these bikes use an old-school engine design, they’re definitely not stuck in the 20th century.
There are plenty of other modern components: Brembo Monobloc brakes, composite fuel tanks, LED lighting, and Norton’s Roadholder suspension (with 150 mm of travel on the Nomad, 200 mm of travel on the Ranger, and full adjustability in front, preload adjustability in rear). There’s standard ABS, and traction control, too. So, while not as fancypants as a new Ducati Multistrada, these bikes have all the basic bits you need.
The Atlas models are supposed to come to North America, but when exactly that will happen is still up in the air. We do know the Nomad will cost £9,995 in the UK, and the Ranger will sell for £11,995. That works out to roughly $17,000 CAD and $20,700 CAD respectively. So is that really mass market affordability?
Check out all the pics that go with this story!