Now TVS-owned and out to regain credibility Norton has joined forces with the University of Warwick to provide engineering support to the students’ electric race bike project.
The assistance includes an entire chassis as well as access to Norton’s race data, plus support, mentoring and technical guidance from the firm’s designers and engineers to create the university’s ‘Frontier’ electric bike.
A 13-strong team of students is at the centre of the project, which sees the Norton frame fitted with a 201hp electric powertrain that provides up to 295lbft of torque. That powertrain, developed by the team, is powered by a innovative immersion-cooled, 16kWh battery pack that allows both increased range and bursts of high peak power. Despite being a racer, the bike can be fast charged in around an hour, with 80% charge hit in just 32 minutes, using a standard CHAdeMO charger. Although not required for racing – the bike is targeting the TT in future – the fast charge means there’s less lost time during development and testing.
That battery sits inside a purpose made, laser-welded case created using a process designed to be easily replicated in mass production, suggesting that the team is using racing for promotion but has an eye on developing the powertrain into a marketable commodity.
“We are thrilled to be able to support the engineers of the future, who are developing tomorrow’s technology today, on the basis of a Norton frame,” said Dr Robert Hentschel, CEO of Norton Motorcycles, “Our support by means of donation of the frame is just the beginning. Norton’s team of designers and engineers have been very interested to observe how this project is taking shape, supporting the student team wherever possible with advice and guidance.”
Aman Surana, Chief Engineer the Warwick Moto team, adds: “Ever since we started the Warwick Moto project, the overall goal has always been around learning and enhancing our engineering experience. We have gained practical experience in our research that is required to deliver a real-world project, along with balancing considerations such as tight budgets and deadlines, while learning logistics and everything around delivering an industry project. This has made us all the more proud with the way the Frontier looks.
“To have access to Norton’s engineering team, years of experience and data has been a great resource, integral to the design of the bike. Combining the motorcycling knowledge from Norton, with the leading research at WMG, University of Warwick has been a fantastic learning opportunity for all students involved. We’re very excited to see what this collaboration leads to.”