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Norton confirms Atlas 650 will not go into production

By Ollie Barstow

Content and Features Writer



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Norton Motorcycles has confirmed it won’t go ahead with production of the Norton Atlas 650, the last new model previewed prior to the company’s near-collapse in 2020.

A project developed under the stewardship of disgraced former CEO Stuart Garner, the Atlas nameplate was revived on a brand-new retro-style naked equipped with a 650cc twin-cylinder engine co-developed with Chinese firm Zongshen.

Pitched as Norton’s entry-level, more affordable offering, the Atlas was unveiled at the 2018 Motorcycle Live show with its order book for deposits open.

However, the already glacial paced project was thrown into major doubt just over a year later when the company slipped into administration amid claims of serious fraud levelled against Mr Garner and sub-standard manufacturing practices.

Eventually rescued from entirely collapsing after being bought out by Indian firm TVS Motors, the company is once more on strong footing with a brand-new production facility and a management overhaul.

Completing the drawn out process of meeting existing orders and transforming its production and quality control processes, Norton is now focusing on updating its range, beginning with the launch of the heavily revised Norton V4 SV sportsbike.


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However, with a new focus on developing both more premium models and investing heavily in an all-new electric model, the decision has been taken to scrap the Atlas altogether.

“Over the last two years, our passion and focus has been to develop a new range of Norton motorcycles that will deliver the brand into the modern era,” Norton CEO Dr Robert Hentschel said in a statement.

“As such, we have now confirmed that there are no plans to produce the Atlas range in the near future.”

Referring to those who have paid a deposit towards the Norton Atlas, Dr Hentschel continues by saying individuals are advised to get in contact with liquidators working on behalf of Norton’s previous owners, NMUL.

“We have notified all individuals who placed a deposit for the Atlas with the previous company ownership, NMUL.

“We are advising these individuals to make a claim with the NMUL Liquidators (BDO) imminently for their deposit placed with NMUL.

“BDO will set a deadline for making a claim and this is out of our control, therefore we have recommended that customers who have paid a deposit to NMUL start the claims process as soon as possible.”

While the Norton Atlas will remain stillborn, the 650cc engine has been put to use in a range of Zongshen (known as Cyclone in some markets) in its native China, including the RX6 adventure motorcycle.


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