ANOTHER RESURGENT BRITISH manufacturer has revived an old name for its latest machine with Norton unveiling its first middleweight twin-cylinder motorcycle since the 650cc Mercury went out of production in 1969.
The new 650cc Atlas Nomad and Atlas Ranger twins are designed as entry-level machines and will be the first mainstream production machines from Norton since the 1970s. The Atlas name was last used on Norton’s 1960s 750cc Featherbed framed superbike.
The new Norton uses an engine with elements derived from the company’s own high performance V4 RR superbike in a steel trellis frame. Norton says the use of steel, rather than aluminium is ideal for a dual purpose off-roader like the Atlas.
The in-house produced 84bhp 650cc engine has a 270° crankshaft and uses the V4’s cylinder head, while the rest of the engine is completely new. The Norton Roadholder suspension has fully adjustable 50mm forks, while the monoshock rear will be preload adjustable only. Both bikes have spoked wheels and a 15-litre rotationally moulded composite fuel tank.
The new Atlas Nomad will cost £9995 with the more off-road focused Atlas Ranger edition £11,995. Norton intends to make 2000 Atlas models a year and anticipates the off-road styled Ranger will be the biggest seller. Orders for the new Atlas are now being taken.Enjoy more Classic Bike Guide reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.