If the high-performance 2023 Norton V4SV we recently revealed isn’t to your liking, Norton is also planning to design, test, and build an electric motorcycle. Co-funded by the UK government via the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC), the Zero Emission Norton (ZEN) initiative will coordinate six companies to assist Norton in its mission. The objective of the 30-month project is to create a UK-based supply chain that simplifies the manufacturing process of the all-new electric Norton motorcycle.Powering the ZEN will be a battery pack by Delta Cosworth, which is part of the UK Automotive Battery Supply Chain project. The motor and inverter will be created by HiSpeed Ltd. Charging technology will be shared by Indra Renewable Technologies, with WMG Warwick (an academic department at the University of Warwick) working on modeling, toolchain (software) development, and battery technology. Dielectric direct immersion cooling will be performed by M&I Materials’ Mivolt fluids. Composites used in the ZEN will be developed by Formaplex Technology.
“This significant funding investment is a momentous milestone for the brand as it marks the beginning of our electrification journey and fulfilling our ten-year product plan,” according to Norton Motorcycles CEO Dr. Robert Hentschel. “Norton is an exemplar of modern luxury and unafraid to challenge the status quo, innovating for the future of mobility while staying true to our British heritage. It also brings into focus our desire to support the UK in its mission for a net-zero automotive future. Working alongside our world-class partners, we’re confident that project Zero Emission Norton will eliminate the current dispute between a conventional and electric motorcycle to create EV products that riders desire—motorcycles that blend Norton’s uncompromising design DNA with racing performance, touring range, and lightweight handling.”There is no word on the budget for the ZEN project, or how many pounds sterling the APC will be investing.“The projects receiving today’s investment highlight the breadth of technologies needed to help the UK accelerate to net-zero emissions,” APC Chief Executive Ian Constance explained. “They’re reimagining not just vehicles, but transport in general. Norton is an iconic British brand with a proud history. From making motorcycles to supporting the second world war effort to developing the world’s first production superbike, they are now looking to the future with an electric bike that will deliver both performance and range. This will radiate from a UK manufacturing base and strengthen highly skilled jobs and green growth.”Norton Motorcycles has been owned by India’s TVS Motor Company for just over two years.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to the Ultimate Motorcycling podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by the Yamaha YZF-R7—Yamaha’s awesome supersport machine that is as capable on the racetrack as it is on the street. …and it’s comfortable too! Check it out at at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the BMW K 1600 GT. This is the sporty bagger version of BMW’s K series of machines, those are the models with the awesome 6-cylinder engine. The GT has been given a little makeover for 2023, and Nic gives us his take.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my all time heroes—three-time World Champion racer ‘fast’ Freddie Spencer. I’ll do my best not to come off as too much of a fanboy here, but frankly it’ll be tough!
In my humble opinion, Spencer is a contender for the GOAT—greatest of all time. Sure, his career was a little shorter than some, and his number of championships falls behind the likes of Lawson, Doohan, Rossi, and of course Marquez. But at the time, Freddie literally changed the way motorcycles were ridden. 30 years before Marc Marquez, Freddie was able to push the front wheel into a slide, corner after corner, lap after lap in order to get the bike turned faster than anyone else. Freddie took completely different lines and was able to get on the throttle so early he could out accelerate anyone off a corner.
In the modern era, of course Freddie is the chairman of the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel. This is the panel of referees for all three classes of Grand prix racing. I talked to Freddie about his task there, and although for contractual reasons with Dorna and the FIM he cannot talk about specific riders, teams, or events, nevertheless his explanation of the job makes for interesting listening. It’s a tough job, and frankly I wouldn’t want to do it!
Actually—Ultimate Motorcycling is giving away five copies of the book—signed by Freddie himself—to the first five listeners who contact us with the correct answer to the question: How many national AMA championships did Freddie win, and which years were they?
Please email your answers to email@example.com and we will contact the winners and send you a signed copy of Feel. Those five winners will be announced on a future episode. Unfortunately for legal reasons this offer is ONLY open to US residents.
So, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!