Ducati Superleggera on BST Carbon Fiber Wheels

BST Torque – Issue I

Ducati Superleggera on BST Carbon Fiber Wheels

DUCATI Superleggera – smarter, faster and on Carbon Fiber Wheels

Ducati’s 1299 Superleggera is the first ever factory bike to be equipped with a carbon fibre frame, swingarm, sub frame and wheels.
With only 500 being made the 1299 Panigale Superleggera offers an exclusive ride to its owners and during the presentation at EICMA in 2016, Dominecali insinuated that riding this bike gives exactly the same feeling as Chaz Davies’ race bike.

What makes the Superleggera stand out from the rest is that it makes use of the Panigale frameless system, whereby the engine makes up most of the frame, but what little frame there is made almost entirely of carbon-fibre. As indicated by BikeSA.net the weight saving is incredible with the main frame being 40% lighter than the unit on the standard Panigale, and the swingarm saving 18%t. The wheels are also carbon-fibre (built in South Africa by BST) and save 26% weight at the front and 44% at the rear. The rear tailpiece and the fairings are also all carbon-fibre. And all this weight saving has had an impact – the entire motorcycle weighs 167kg with Euro4 compliance, and with all fluids except fuel.

To lighten the load by 3.1 lbs and provide a 26 % reduction in rolling resistance at the front and 44 % at the back DUCATI forsakes aluminium wheels for carbon-fibre ones to enhance handling of this superb super bike.

Norton V4-SS on BST Carbon Fiber Wheels

Norton’s New V4 SS the personalised Motorcycle

The Carbon Fibre look on Norton’s VR SS has certainly grabbed the attention of motorcycle enthusiasts. Although Norton only produced 200 versions of the V4 SS, they were all claimed in November 2016.

1200cc carbon-clad sport bike, claiming a maximum output of more than 200 hp and a dry weight of 395 pounds.

Choose between the RR and SS versions both offering a unique design and style. With the RR model showing off its plain carbon bodywork and chrome being an optional upgrade you can’t go wrong. Or choose the SS version available in either the chrome effect or plain carbon, with matching carbon BST wheels. BST also produced the V4’s carbon fibre fuel tank, which has been reinforced with kevlar and chemically treated to safely hold gasoline.

Ariel ACE R

Ariel – The Exclusive ACE R a Personalised Motorcycle on BST Carbon Fibre Wheels

“Motorcyclists have a real passion for their machines. They like them to be individual and they want them to be their bike, not just another bike identical to hundreds or thousands of others. The usual route is to buy a standard bike and then add various aftermarket components to change the bike into what they want. However with the Ace the uniqueness is built in as the bike is produced and each one will be as individual as its owner.” said Simon Saunders, Director of Ariel.

Each Ace motorcycle will be hand built by one Ariel technician in an individual build bay, as with the Atom sports car, giving customers an even greater degree of personal relationship with the build of their motorcycle and the person building it, to the point of being able to visit their bike in build. Only when an Ariel technician is satisfied will the motorcycle gain his personal build plate and move on to final testing and inspection.

Recognizable by the carbon fibre minimalistic bodywork, black pearl frame, gold anodized parts, and carbon fibre wheels the Ariel Ace R comes as a Limited Edition model and only 10 models will be made and sold worldwide.

The carbon wheels show a 50% weight saving over the alloy wheels and centralise weight due to the lighter rim, resulting in improved performance and handling.

Wheel Specs:

  • Front: 17” x 3.5”
  • Rear: 17” x 6”
VUHL 05RR on Carbon Fiber Wheels

VUHL – BST gets in on the car scene / BST Carbon Wheels goes to The Goodwood Festival of Speed with VUHL

VUHL’s 05RR road registered but track focussed supercar is fitted with BST Carbon Fibre Wheels.

These exclusive carbon fibre wheels are bespoke to the VUHL 05ROC Edition weighing in at 4.5kg for the 17” wheels, designed in Turin by Esiste, they are the lightest carbon wheels on the market. Let us know which fitments would interested you by clicking HERE.

According to VUHL technical director Iker Echeverria they have upgrade this car in every area to make it faster, more engaging and more aggressive and the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a Mecca for performance car enthusiasts and also the perfect place to reveal the stunning new 05RR.

Top pro-drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Juan Pablo Montoya and Travis Pastrana had the chance to push VUHL 05 ROC Edition to the limit. This lightweight model is perfectly fit for short and curvy circuits and for this reason the Mexican sport car is a 6-speed manual, with a 2.0 litre engine that produces 288 hp, and 420 Nm of torque. How quickly does the VUHL sprint from 0-60? It takes 3.2 seconds, reaching maximum speed at 152 mph. And the car only weighs 1,488 pounds, thanks to all the carbon fibre body parts.

After more than 10,000 km on My BST’s

I have your wheels on my Multistrada, I could write a book on how awesome they are, best money I ever spent on a bike aftermarket part.

After more than 10,000 km on these rims I couldn’t be happier, and they still shine up like new.
Most of my rides are long distance into peninsula Malaysia, with six hours and more in the saddle on a normal day.

When I fitted the wheels I noticed three things:

The smaller radius of gyration completely changed the acceleration and braking characteristic.  The are a lot of toll gates here, and I have a pretty standard acceleration and short-shifting routine back up to cruising speed, and when I subconsciously did it the first time with the new wheels I was 30 km/h faster than I thought, it was so effortless pulling away.  Similarly braking is much easier and stopping distances are shorter as well.  This effect is well documented, but it truly can be felt.

 The second thing is the nimbleness of the steering and how easily the bike changes direction, again a noticeable difference, at all speeds.

 The third thing I noticed is not often described, but one of the biggest improvements to my mind, and that is because of the lower unsprung mass, the tyre does less rebound work and the springs and shocks work sooner, so where before going over a one inch expansion joint step was a jolt, the bike now does not feel it as much.  Quite remarkable to feel and a very noticeable difference.

I tell everyone that this is the best performance part that can be added to any bike !

They don’t break any laws and won’t get you into trouble.

 Best regards


Alta Motors Redshift ST Street Tracker Concept on BST’s

Electric startup Alta Motors will be debuting a street tracker concept to the masses.

The concept bike is built off Alta’s Redshift platform, with changes made to the bodywork (made via rapid prototyping), lowered suspension, and an LED headlight, along with the addition of 19″ carbon fiber BST wheels shod in flat-tracking rubber.










A bit of history was made this past weekend, at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm event in Pomona, California.

Amongst the star-studded lineup of riders who competed head-to-head in the straight-line supercross races, we were also treated to the return of Josh Hill, who pulled himself out of retirement to ride the electric-powered Alta Motors Redshift MX. Winning his quarter-final heat, Hill gave Alta Motors its first national-level supercross win, the first for an electric motorcycle. However, succumbing to Mitchell Oldenburg in the semi-finals, Hill finished the day fourth overall, meaning Alta Motors narrowly missed out on a podium debut.

Still, the weekend must surely be counted as a success for Hill and Alta, putting electrics squarely on the map as machines that can best the best gas bikes in the industry. Alta has eyes on furthering its racing résumé, targeting the Redshift MX to compete in other lites class races. We could soon see the Alta Motors Redshift in various 250cc motocross, supercross, and supermoto events in the USA.





Race Of Champions

VUHL 05 ROC EDITION on BST Bespoke Wheels

0-100 KPH 3.2 seconds
Top speed 245kph (152mph)
Power 285bhp, 422bhp per tonne

Engine 2-litre, 4-cylinder
Weight 1488lbs / 675kg

The VUHL 05 ROC Edition is a road-legal lightweight supercar that has been precision engineered for the track and endowed with exhilarating performance. The car’s provenance is truly international – its handling was optimised in the UK and the carbon fibre bodies are fabricated in Canada, while the chassis production and final assembly are conducted in Mexico City by Adman Leku.

The exclusive carbon fibre wheels are bespoke to the VUHL 05ROC Edition provided by Blackstone Tek (BST). Weighing in at 4.5kg for the 17” wheels, designed in Turin by Esiste and TUV approved, they are the lightest carbon wheel on the market, which are now available on sale. Contact BST for more info .

Juan Pablo Montoya emerged victorious in his first participation in the Race of Champions, defeating Tom Kristensen in the final of the individual competition of the Marlins Park, Miami event.

Montoya  pushed out the world’s best drivers including Jenson Button, Travis Pastrana, Petter Solberg and last year’s Champion Of Champions Sebastian Vettel to take on the challenging circuit in the new VUHL 05 ROC Edition supercar.

The VUHL 05 ROC Edition has been specially modified and tested exhaustively in the run-up to the Race Of Champions to ensure the finest drivers in the world experience all of the car’s capability around the challenging tight and twisty circuit. The bespoke rear wing will provide maximum downforce whilst the limited slip-differential will demand respect from the drivers.

Coulthard  and Kirstensen in the Vuhl’s


Inside the BlackStone Tek/BST factory where the world’s only race and road-legal carbon fiber wheels are made

These BLACK GOLD wheels will save anything between 40-60 percent in unsprung weight, depending on their size, says Turner. But more importantly, they have much lighter rims, and carry the bulk of their weight in the metal hub. The hub has far less effect on the performance of the wheel than the rim, because of what amounts to a flywheel effect. The further the mass represented by the weight of the rim is located away from the rotating axis, the more energy it takes to accelerate it. And that energy comes directly from the bike’s engine, which is why our carbon wheels with a much lighter rim than any conventional metal wheel, even a forged magnesium one, effectively improve engine performance via easier, faster acceleration. BST claims that a standard set of 17-inch cast aluminum wheels fitted to a Yamaha R1 or Honda CBR1000RR streetbike weigh a total of 22 poundssplit 7.7 pounds for the 3.5-inch front, and 14.3 pounds for the 6.0-inch rear while a set of its carbon race wheels by contrast scales in at 11 pounds (4.6 pounds for the front, and 6.4 pounds for the rear). Halving the unsprung weight is already impressive, but because the bulk of that saving comes from the wheel’s rim and spokes, there’s an even greater saving in rotational inertia according to Turner, who claims that this is the equivalent of a five-horsepower increase when accelerating the wheels from zero to 124 mph. I discovered a dramatic drop in lap times when acting as the development rider for British wheel manufacturer Dymag in the 90s, racing that company’s prototype carbon fiber wheels before it went out of business. Just adding the carbon wheels dropped more than one second a lap on a 2.5-mile circuit on the same day with no other mechanical improvements to the motorcycle.

Back in the mid-90s Turner was living in the Netherlands and racing one of his two Ducati Supermono singles in the hotly contested European Supermono Championship run as a World Superbike support class. Carbon fiber had recently started appearing on factory Superbikes, and I was helping pay for my racing by running a company called Pro Carbon, which basically manufactured and sold many different carbon fiber parts to Joe Average, recalls Turner. I hadn’t yet got round to making a wheel. But then you showed up with the prototype Dymag carbon wheels on your Ducati Supermono, and that got me thinking. The Japanese maxi-singles like the Over Yamaha and BMR Suzuki were getting punched out to 750cc and more, and our 578cc Ducatis were struggling to keep up. So I thought, Well, we’ve got to get a bit more juice out of the bike,’ and so I took to developing the carbon wheels as a way of reducing the rotational inertia, which helped improve acceleration and countered the extra torque those big singles had over us exiting a turn. So that’s how we got started.



South Africa had already been active in developing the application of carbon fiber as a material, specifically in creating the Rooivalk (Red Kestrel’) attack helicopter with a largely carbon fiber airframe. The knowledge spun off from that project allowed Aerotek the aeronautical division of CSIR, South Africa’s government-run technological R&D; operation, whose job is to seek other applications for technical advances made in aviation design to produce a prototype carbon motorcycle wheel in 1991 in conjunction with Adept, a local wheel manufacturer. Attempts to commercialize that idea foundered when Adept went bankrupt in the mid-90s.

Gary Turner found out about the Aerotek carbon wheels, and tried to track down the remains of the project on returning to South Africa in 2000. He discovered crucial technology was still available that he was free to adopt in developing his prototype BST wheels. I wanted to make a monocoque design, but hadn’t yet worked out the technique of doing the hollow spokes, he says. Eventually I came up with the silicone idea, and then we had to get it all to work. One good thing is that composites as an engineering material offer you far more flexibility on what you want to do than any of the metals. It’s very difficult to forge or cast a piece of metal in your garage. But up to a certain point you can do a lot of experiments with laminates or composites in your home workshop, and that’s basically what I did to come up with the silicone idea. In order to create a hollow interior for less weight, Turner developed a silicone jigsaw on the inside of each spoke, over which the carbon could be wrapped and shrunk.

Meeting Terry Annecke in 2001 saw the creation of BlackStone Tek. A former IBM Systems Engineer turned marketing wiz, Annecke was headhunted by Microsoft to eventually become the U.S. software giant’s South African Marketing Director, a job she held for four years before taking a break and looking for something new. The two partners today own 75 percent of the company, although its minor shareholders include some prestigous names such as Thales, the high tech French defense contractor.

BST makes more than just wheels. Carbon fiber parts for various bikes ranging from the fuel tanks for a KTM RC8R or a Confederate Wraith, to numerous fairing and pipe bits.

BST moved into its new home in July 2002, and the first customer BST wheels left the Johannesburg factory in October that year; production has gradually ramped up to 2000 wheels per year. Here are some of the 30 different wheel molds, in sizes ranging from a narrow 2.5-inch-wide wheel for a 125 GP bike, to an 8.0-inch-wide design statement for a custom cruiser.These are split between 30 different designs ranging in size from 16 to 21 inches in diameter and in rim sizes from a 125 GP wheel’s 2.5-inch width, up to an American power cruiser’s 8.0-inch design statement. All are built in the same way by BST’s team of skilled assemblers, around half of them women, working in two separate clean rooms with positive air pressure to ensure there’s no dust on any of the parts which might compromise the integrity of the finished product further down the line. The wheels are made from special pre-preg carbon sheet, with a combination of woven and unidirectional formats, embedded in an epoxy resin matrix with a bonding agent attached to one side of the sheet. Each BLACK GOLD BST wheel design comprises from 130 to 180 different individual carbon components, each of which must first be CNC laser-cut off the roll of pre-preg material, then individually numbered. The assemblers are provided with a full set of these parts for the type of wheel they’re building, which they then start laying up in numbered order on the half-a-wheel skeleton mold whichlike all the metal parts involved in production, including the high-precision hubs-are manufactured in-house on one of its bank of 13 CNC machines.

Each wheel is initially built in two halves, which are then joined together into a sturdy but light unit before baking. Every step of the process is logged, and the entire history of each wheel is stored with its unique serial number, which means that BST wheels can be repaired or refurbished, even in the event of crash damage or a rim damaged by a careless tire fitter. Interestingly, the carbon fiber pre-preg material must be kept cold to avoid degradation, so each new roll is flown out from the UK to South Africa packed in dry ice, then stored in a freezer room at the BST plant at -4 degrees Fahrenheit. In this temperature, the material will remain durable for up to one year—but it must be removed from there once a day and warmed to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, to keep the resins fresh.

Gary Turner’s insistence on the unitary hollow design of BST wheels, to reduce the weight in the spokes and rim without compromising strength, was made feasible by his invention of that jigsaw of specially shaped silicone intensifier inserts (originally starting as a liquid to which hardener is added) that are laid in the mold’s metal spokes, then wrapped with carbon sheet. The complete wheel is then wrapped in a special plastic bag, and baked for between four and five hours together with up to seven other wheels at a time, in one of BST’s two pressurized autoclave ovens at 257 degrees Fahrenheit and 87 psi of pressure. The silicone expands under heat and pressure to fill and shape the spokes, but then as it cools it shrinks back to less than its original size, which means the jigsaw can be extracted via the holes left in the wheel’s unstressed sections.

The cooked—as in finished— BLACK GOLD wheel is now removed from the mold and closely inspected for any visual defects, then weighed to ensure it meets specification. The rough wheel is then machined to spec and finished off, fitted with the hub unit and bearings, sprayed by a special South African-made Aer-o-Mix automotive paint which is supposedly good for fifty years of UV protection, then inspected once again. The hub is attached to the carbon wheel using a unique fastening system combining high strength aerospace fasteners with mechanical locking mechanisms, as well as high strength aerospace adhesive. All rear wheels are then fitted with an appropriate size Metzeler tire and pressure tested at 58 psi overnight, with absolutely no leakage. BST is now also making carbon fiber single-sided swingarms for the Ducati 1098 models, including designing and making the complicated tool to wrap the carbon sheeting around it. Various other structures are continually in the works.

BLACK GOLDHere are some of the 30 different wheel molds, in sizes ranging from a narrow 2.5-inch-wide wheel for a 125 GP bike, to an 8.0-inch-wide design statement for a custom cruiser.To keep checking the validity of its manufacturing process, BST makes regular impact tests which are TV compliant, subjecting the front wheel to a 661-pound impact load, and the rear to a 1000-pound hit. We maintain our carbon wheel is much stronger as well as lighter than a forged magnesium metal wheel, says Turner. There’s also a twisting test, using special software to replicate the cyclic bending moment and applying up to 398 ft-lb of torque to the front wheel, and 443 ft-lb to a conventional rear wheel, or 516 ft-lb to an offset wheel for fitting to a single-sided Ducati/MV wheel.

BST makes a product that is rare in motorcycling, one that performs as well as it looks—and its wheels do indeed look great. Carbon fiber’s stark beauty is one that meets the criteria for both form and function, and to be able to produce a composite material wheel that is able to pass the strict TV tests while offering unrivalled performance benefits is an engineering and manufacturing feat to be proud of. We can only hope that as production techniques progress, perhaps there will be a time when carbon wheels come stock on OEM production motorcycles. 


Thank you  to -SR  http://www.sportrider.com/    BLACK GOLD

Hitting a curb square at 80mph on BST’s

Comment from – Jerry J Morris · Principal and Founder at Veracity Traffic Group
I have BST Wheels on all my bikes, and the thing nobody picks up on is the safety side for street riders. I had my bike hit a curb square at 80mph, thanks to my brother hitting me from behind and on the side that it veered him into a curb. He stepped off and the bike hit very hard.

When we picked the 1198M up, the front tire was intact and holding air. WHAT??? Yes, holding air just fine. When you’re ripping down the freeway and you hit a 4×4 strut or something in the road, hold on, your tire and wheel will be fine.

No catastrophic shatters like a Marchisini or any other alloy wheel set out there. My icon pic, is the bike that hit the curb. Still on the road, with the same wheel. I love’em enough to put them on every bike I own and its the first thing I do to a new bike.

So far, 1198, 1098, 1299s, MV Agusta F3 800…
That’s how much I love BLACKSTONE TEK products!!!!

DRAG RACING ON BST’s Pushing the limits of man and machine!

“BST Wheels are used on the rear and the front of these monster drag machines. Pushing the limits of the carbon Fiber Wheel specifications by factors of up to 300%   BST Carbon fiber wheels hold out long after other parts have given way  – BST salutes these brave teams for pushing the limits of man and machine! “

NHDRO Champ, Top of the G.O.A.T List—Paquette Looks Back on Successful ‘16

 Mark Paquette Racing/McIntosh Machine team report
NHDRO/Manufacturers Cup/NHRA motorcycle drag racing

With or without wheelie bars, Mark Paquette has always been known for setting dragstrips on fire with blistering performance. But in 2016, Paquette—also the tuner on his 700 horsepower, turbocharged, Pro Street Suzuki Hayabusa—added season dominating consistency to his resume.

After skipping the NHDRO season opener on the eighth mile at Huntsville, Paquette won every round from then on, easily walking away with his first McIntosh Machine & Fabrication Pro Street championship at the Midwest’s largest motorcycle drag racing organization.

Paquette won APE Pro Street in the stifling heat of the Manufacturers Cup race at Rockingham Dragway, then ran the class’ quickest ever pass with a 6.70 in the DME Pro Street Shootout preceding the Man Cup World Finals in Valdosta. That placed Paquette at the top of the Pro Street G.O.A.T. list as the season closed down for the winter.

16-1202-b_yoder_mancupsge22001“The thing is, we left something on the table with that pass,” said Paquette, a Michigan-based surgical instruments sharpener by profession. “My back-half numbers were 3/100ths off my best. With the conditions the way they were, I knew I should have had my best back-half numbers ever. So that was disappointing.

“I went a low 1.14 60 foot earlier in the weekend and wheelied at the top of first. Usually when that happens, I calm it down at the top of first for the next pass, but this time I softened up the whole thing, thinking if it goes a high .70-low .80, I’m OK. But it went a .700 with that tune-up, with a 1.157 60 foot. So I think I had a hundredth or two still left in the front and definitely three to four hundredths in the back. For sure I should’ve went a mid-.60—a .66 or .67 at least. So it was a disappointment.”

Paquette burnt a spark plug strap on that pass, then spun out of contention for the Shootout in the next round when a quick thrash left some sensors unresponsive.

After running a 6.72 and getting the winlight against Jeremy Teasley in Sunday’s World Finals eliminations, Paquette had to make a controversial rerun when Teasley’s clocks showed no times from 1000 feet to the finishline. Without the prep that had greeted Pro Street bikes every other pass all weekend long, Paquette spun in the rerun—depriving the Pro Street world of a Paquette vs. Joey Gladstone final—NHDRO champion vs. IDBL champion, current number one on the G.O.A.T. list vs. the previous number one, both riders making waves in NHRA Pro Stock, chassis fabricators McIntosh vs. DME. As it was, Teasley’s bike owner Ronnie Mitchell was unable to stay around for the final, which would have been run on Monday morning after curfew closed South Georgia Motorsporst Park for the night. So there was no final at all.


It was a bit of an anticlimactic end to an awesome season for Paquette and the team. “We really didn’t hurt motors this year, we really were consistent. Somebody posted that we had the most 6.70 passes of anybody. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I have to think we probably do. I remember weekends where we went 6.80s and 6.70s all weekend.

“So to not lose one NHDRO round, including the Shootout at Indy, that was something to be proud of. That was over 30 bikes we had to march through at that one—that was a long weekend. To double up there showed how awesome our team is.”


Paquette also tried his hand at NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle in 2016, putting both a Suzuki and a Buell through the paces. Paquette qualified for the Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway on a Matt Smith Racing Buell, and we can expect to hear more about Paquette’s interest in Pro Stock soon.

Paquette’s teammate—the three-time NHDRO champion Bud Yoder—saw his season disrupted as he attended to his daughter Katie’s recovery from very serious injuries sustained in a car crash. Yoder missed the last two NHDRO races, only making it back on track for the Man Cup Finals.

“Bud’s back in the 6.80s again, and if he’d been able to run more he’d be in the 6.70s for sure,” noted Paquette.

You can contribute to Katie’s recovery fund at: https://www.gofundme.com/2sr9rruf

Occasional teammate Jamie Lopes makes all the big races from his home in the Netherlands Antilles, and saw some dramatic improvement in his personal bests in 2016. “Jamie made his first 6 second pass this summer, something he’s been trying to do for a while,” said Paquette. “After that, he went a bunch of 6.90s at the Man Cup. He went a .95, a .94, and he moved up the G.O.A.T. list. For someone who just comes over here a few times a year to ride, he’s doing a great job.”


“It’s a pleasure to be a part of this team,” said Lopes, who owns a construction company. “I’m looking forward to next year.”

“At the end, you have to look back and be thankful,” said Paquette. “I have the world’s quickest Pro Street bike, we hold the ET record at NHDRO and the Man Cup, and I think we showed horsepower too. We went 177.8 or .9 in the eighth mile twice, and to go that fast in the eighth mile is gettin’ it.


“Special thanks to my wife Kerry and daughter Brooke, because without them I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing. Also thanks to my crew/nephews Brent and Thomas Paquette and my brother Tony, Bud and Kelly Yoder, and Terry McIntosh.

“The crew worked their butts off on my bike over the weekend at the Man Cup. I really can’t thank them enough for all they do for me.”


Mark Paquette, Bud Yoder, Jamie Lopes and Terry McIntosh would especially like to thank McIntosh Machine & Fabrication, Portable Shade, Ward Performance, and MTC , along with Energy Coil, Robinson Industries, Shinko Tires, Penske Shocks, RCC Turbos, Worldwide Bearings, Comp Turbo, Bellman Oil Company, Brock’s Performance, Schnitz Racing, and Vanson Leathers

This report was prepared by Tim Hailey.

This report was prepared by Tim Hailey. Enjoy everything there is to read, see and watch about motorcycle drag racing and more at http://www.eatmyink.com pushing the limits of man and machine

Norton’s beautiful new bikes

BST is proud to be making the tanks for both models and the wheels for the SS … congratulations Norton on a beautiful job!

Norton V4 RR & SS highlightsnorton_v4_rr_05

  • All-new Norton V4 British-built engine
  • All-carbon fibre bodywork
  • Carbon fibre fuel tank
  • Carbon fibre wheels by BST
  • TT developed chassis
  • 7″ high-def dash with rear-view camera
  • Full electronics package

“The Aprilia V4 engine is a 65-degree, ours is 72. Their engine is a 1000cc, ours is a 1200cc. The layout of our engine is very different to theirs, and we’ve used a lot of engineering tricks to make ours more compact. Even though it’s 20% bigger in capacity, with a bigger V-angle, it’s the same size as Aprilia’s in profile.

“Ideally what we needed was a 90-degree V, so you can ditch the balancer shaft, but then you end up with really weird chassis geometry. So the 72-degree is a compromise between chassis geometry, weight distribution and engine performance. A slightly wider V, like ours, also gives a better looking engine, and that’s important further down the line so we can make a naked version. I wanted the engine to be beautiful in its own right.

“The electronics are still in development, but electronics won’t make a bad bike good, they can only make a good one better. So you need a good fundamental bike beneath you, and that’s what we’ve developed at the Isle of Man.

“But this isn’t the TT bike with lights bolted on – this was a clean-sheet design. So while this bike came from everything we learnt with the SG5, this is a completely different bike, and will become the basis of next year’s TT bike.

“Engine-wise the output had to begin with a 2. Whether it’s 205, 206, 210bhp – it doesn’t make much difference, but it has to start with a 2. The race system on this bike will give it another 10bhp. The standard road system will have a twin underseat exhaust, and is Euro4 compliant.

“I lost the most sleep over making sure that we could deliver this level of motorcycle from a supply chain and quality point of view, because this really does raise the game for Norton.

“We’ve completely gone to town on making everything real, I don’t want it to be fake style like a new Thruxton R, we had to go another step to make everything a level above. We’ve mixed proper engineering with high technology.

“The Dominator is core to the brand, and if you turn up anywhere on one you’re absolute superstar, and it’s a bit special. But this is a really different project – an all-new Norton. I had to ask myself so many times, ‘What is a new Norton?’, and if Norton had carried on building superbikes from the F1, or Commando 850 days, what would we be building now? I’ve had to fill that gap in, and this is what I think we would be building.

“We’ve beaten all the production constraints into submission to deliver the vision, and it was really awkward at time, but we’ve made it happen. It’s exactly what I wanted.”

New Norton V4 SS & RR in detailnorton_v4_rr_06

Radical liquid retention

There has been a glut of new bikes revealed over recent weeks using carbon fibre in ever-increasing applications, but the new Norton V4 is the only one to use a carbon fibre fuel tank. The tank, built by carbon gurus BST in South Africa, is of full carbon construction, then reinforced with kevlar for impact resistance, and finally chemically lined to make it safe for holding petrol.

Holding it together

The main frame is a polished, hand built aluminium twin-tube shotgun chassis on the SS, and a cast frame and swingarm on the RR. The engine acts as a stressed member, and features an adjustable headstock angle, and swingarm pivot. The frame is actually 3kg lighter than the SG5 race bike’s. The RR also gets a cast swingarm and cast outriggers, but the weight difference is minimal according to design chief Simon Skinner (see right). The frame takes around 26 hours to polish, by hand.

Power and control

The V4 uses the ubiquitous Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to give the rider full control of the 200bhp on offer. It features multi-level traction-control, anti-wheelie, engine braking strategies, cruise control and launch control along with a datalogging system for use on the track. There’s launch control as standard, too. In addition, there’s a quickshifter, autoblipper, fly-by-wire throttle, with all functions being controlled via the full-colour high-definition 7-inch screen.

Rolling stock

The standard RR model (pictured) will roll on OZ wheels, which are super-lightweight and fit with Norton’s design brief, while the top-end SS model will use BST-made carbon fibre wheels, which shave another 1.7kg off the mass of the wheels, reducing unsprung mass, moment of inertia, and increasing agility on road and track.

The power to move you

At the heart of Norton’s new V4 is the, er, V4. Completely designed and developed by Norton and engine specialists
Ricardo, the 1200cc 72-degree V-twin is delivering 200bhp+ in standard road trim, and another 10bhp with the race system fitted. The engines will all be built at Norton’s factory. The engine uses titanium valves, a 6-speed cassette gearbox and a race-bred slipper clutch, quickshifter and autoblipper.

Dressed to thrill

Both the RR and SS boast carbon fibre bodywork, with the fender, main fairings, nose section and tail unit all being created in carbon. The SS is presented in a beautiful plain carbon finish, while the RR is painted as a TT replica, using a special silver-impregnated paint which is incredibly difficult to work with . The finished effect looks like chrome.

Total control

At the sharp end sits a fully adjustable
Öhlins NIX30 fork, clamped by a completely bespoke machined billet triple clamp. The top yoke was the first part of the bike Simon Skinner designed.  At the rear is a bespoke version of Öhlins’ TTXGP fully adjustable monoshock acting on a simply stunning single-sided swingarm which is machined from a single 70kg block of billet. The finished swingarm weighs 3.5kg.

Top-spec anchors

Taking care of the brunt of the braking force is a pair of fat Brembo M50 calipers, the lightest and most powerful current production brakes. They bite down on a pair of 330mm discs, with all the pumping force coming from a Brembo radial master cylinder, fitted with a bespoke machined Norton brake lever. At the rear there’s a single disc matched to another Brembo caliper.

norton_v4_rr_04Norton V4 Technical Specifications

Norton V4 SS £44,000 / V4 RR £28,000

Engine Norton 72-degree liquid-cooled V4, 1200cc. Chain-driven cams with idler gear for reduced engine height. Titanium inlet valves. Slipper clutch

Bore x Stroke: 82mm x 56.8mm

Compression Ratio: 13.6:1

Power 200bhp+ @ 12,500rpm

Torque 95.88ftlb @ 10,000rpm

Fuel injection Electronic fuel-injection system. Constantly variable inlet tracts. 8-fuel injectors. Full drive-by-wire system independent of front and rear banks of cylinders for ultimate control and feel.

Engine modes Road, Sport, Pro-Race

Chassis Polished aluminium twin tube Shotgun frame with single-sided swingarm.

Suspension Fully-adjustable Öhlins NIX30 fork. Fully-adjustable Öhlins TTXGP rear shock.

Brakes 2 x 330mm full-floating discs. Radially-mounted Brembo Monobloc calipers. Brembo discs, and Brembo master cylinder.

Dry weight 199kg

Fuel capacity 18L

Electronics Multi-setting traction-control, wheelie control, launch control and cruise control. Uses six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), quickshifter and autoblipper, plus built-in datalogger

Dash Full-colour 7-inch screen with Road, Track and Pro-Race and rear-view camera and build-in datalogger.

Ignition Keyless ignition system

Wheelbase 1430mm

Dry weight 179kg 

Front suspension Öhlins NIX30 system front fork. Fully-adjustable.norton_v4_rr_15

Rear suspension Öhlins TTXGP Norton bespoke fully-adjustable rear shock.

Steering damper Öhlins damper

Lighting  Full LED lighting system including super bright low beam & high beam, angel eye DRLs, rear lamps and indicators

Race exhaust Full titanium race system supplied with aftermarket tune, approx 8kg lighter and approx 10bhp more.



BST at EICMA 2016