2023 Norton V4CR: Technical Review


Price: £41,999 | Power: 185bhp | Weight: 204kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: TBA/5


It’s been 18 months since Norton showed the prototype V4CR café racer as the first all-new model since the company’s revival under TVS ownership. Now it’s ready for production with just 200 set to find their way into the garages of lucky customers.

Although based on the engine and chassis of the V4SV superbike that was developed as the V4SS during the ill-fated, Stuart Garner-owned era of Norton’s history (but heavily reworked to become the V4SV by Norton’s current team) the V4CR is a very different machine. As a café racer it’s perched between Norton’s retro-flavoured Commando twin and the forward-looking V4SV, with styling that recalls the firm’s heritage but technology firmly in the 21st century.


Pros & Cons

  • Looks great, and you’re unlikely to bump into another
  • 185hp V4 engine is unique to Norton
  • High-end components and quality materials throughout
  • Stratospheric price
  • Lack of Euro5 approval
  • Cheaper rivals offer more performance and nearly as much exclusivity


Review – In Detail

Price & PCP
Engine & Performance
Handling & Suspension (inc. weight & brakes)
Comfort & Economy


2023 NORTON V4CR price

While rampant inflation means we’re all increasingly accustomed to seeing sky-high prices, and even relatively mundane bikes cost far more today than a few years ago, the V4CR’s £41,999 tag is still at the eyewatering end of the scale. Yes, it has no shortage of performance and equipment, but for the same amount you could add a brand-new BMW M1000R and a Ducati Streetfighter V4S to your collection, each offering even more performance than the Norton can muster.

But one thing we’ve learnt over the last few years is that despite economic turmoil there’s still a broad band of customers out there who are prepared to pay, and pay big, for exclusive, exotic bikes. Limited-editions like KTM’s track-only, £35k RC 8C and Ducati’s £56K, not-much-more-than-a-paintjob-and-some-badges Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini have sold out within hours, or even minutes, of orderbooks opening, so who can blame Norton for wanting a slice of that action? Even at more than £40k, the V4SV isn’t likely to depreciate heavily, and if Norton’s new management can turn the company into the success story that it's crying out to be, it might even be seen as a landmark classic in the future.



2023 NORTON V4CR Engine & Performance

Norton’s 72-degree V4 was unveiled back in 2016 along with the V4SS and V4RR superbikes that it was intended to power, the centrepiece of a hugely ambitious project. That engine was subject to a substantial redesign after TVS relaunched the Norton brand in 2020, with big changes to solve a laundry list of problems that hamstrung the handful of original bikes that trickled out of the factory before Garner-era Norton fell into bankruptcy.

The much-needed reworking cut 15hp from the original ‘200hp’ claims, and the new V4CR sticks to the same 185hp now quoted for the V4SV superbike. That peak arrives at 12,000rpm, but it’s substantially down on the 208hp at 13,000rpm claimed by both the 1103cc Ducati Streetfighter V4 and MV Agusta’s 998cc Brutale 1000RR, despite the Italian machines’ relative lack of capacity. The British bike’s extra cubes, achieved through an 82mm bore and 56.8mm stroke, show in its 125Nm (92.2 lb-ft) of torque, arriving at a relatively low 9000rpm. A high 13.6:1 compression ratio, four chain-driven camshafts and two fuel injectors per cylinder, along with exotic parts including titanium inlet valves, show that Norton isn’t lagging behind in terms of engine design.

The V4 drives through a six-speed box, with an up/down quickshifter and auto-blipper, and even if it’s not quite as rapid as some rivals, there’s no question the Norton’s combination of power, torque and weight set it up to be a seriously fast machine. The power is tamed by a traction control system and a six-axis inertial measurement unit, which also provides wheelie-control. Three riding modes – Road, Sport and Wet – can be selected.

One nit to be picked is that Norton still hasn’t put the V4 through Euro 5 type-approval certification. It’s being made in such small numbers that, in the UK, each machine can be registered using Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA) rules, dodging the rigorous emissions and longevity tests involved in gaining Euro 5 certification.



2023 NORTON V4CR Handling, weight and suspension

As you’d hope when parting with more than £40k for a bike, the V4CR’s chassis and running gear are choice picks from exactly the high-end brands you’d expect.

The hand TIG-welded aluminium tube frame, with adjustable rake, swingarm pivot and steering offset, is fitted with 43mm Ohlins NIX30 forks and an Ohlins TTXGP shock, both fully-adjustable, and a steering damper from the same source. In standard form, the rake comes in at 23.5 degrees and the wheelbase at a fairly long 1435mm, but the race-style chassis adjustments mean those numbers can be tweaked.

Two variations of wheel are on offer. If you pick the ‘Carbon’ version of the V4CR, with bare carbon fibre bodywork, you get BST carbon fibre rims to match. Choose the silver ‘Manx Platinum’ paint – the bodywork beneath is still carbon – and the wheels are switched for OZ Racing forged alloys. Either way, the claimed kerb weight is just 204kg.


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2023 NORTON V4CR Comfort & Economy

Customers of the V4CR probably don’t have either economy or comfort at the top of their priority list, and at the moment we’re not in a position to comment on either factor. The lack of Euro 5 certification means there’s also no official fuel consumption figure to be had, but the under-seat fuel tank carries 15 litres of unleaded.

When it comes to conveniences, the V4CR has keyless ignition and steering lock, and a 6-inch colour TFT screen to select the riding modes and traction control settings, but you’ll have to use the old-school key to get into the fuel filler. Venture out at night and there’s LED lighting all round, including main and dipped beam.


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2023 NORTON V4CR brakes

The Norton’s brakes are from Brembo, naturally, with radial monobloc calipers at the front on the usual 330mm discs and a two-pot rear caliper on the 245mm rear rotor. Brembo also supplies the master cylinders for both ends, and ABS is standard.



2023 NORTON V4CR Rivals

The crazy-powerful naked bike market isn’t short of options at the moment, and even if you can’t afford the Norton there are plenty of bikes with similar specs at a much lower price.


Ducati Streetfighter V4 | Price: £21,095

Who’d have thought a Ducati would ever look like a bargain? In this company, though, the Streetfighter V4 looks like a lot of bike for the money. Even the ‘S’ version with better suspension is ‘only’ £22,895.

Power/Torque: 208bhp/91lb-ft | Weight: 180kg (dry)


BMW M 1000 R | Price: £19,480

Until this year BMW has shied away from putting its full-fat superbike engine in a naked bike. Not anymore. The ‘M’ badge might stand for ‘Motorsport’ but it could as easily be ‘Madman’ on the M1000R, with 210hp for less than half the price of the Norton.

Power/Torque: 210bhp/83.3lb-ft | Weight: 199kg (wet, including fuel)


MV Agusta Brutale 1000RR | Price: £29,300

If BMW and Ducati don’t have the rarity you crave, MV Agusta might be the answer. The Brutale 1000RR’s 208hp four is right up there in terms of performance, and there are pricier, rarer options in the range including the £35,600 Nurburgring Limited Edition and, if you can find one, the £34,660 Rush, which has more of a café-racer stance.

Power/Torque: 208bhp/86lb-ft | Weight: 186kg (dry)


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2023 NORTON V4CR Technical Specification

New price

From £41,999



Bore x Stroke

82mm x 56.8mm

Engine layout

72-degree V4

Engine details

4-valve, liquid-cooled, DOHC, fuel-injected


185bhp (138kW) @ 12,000rpm


92.2lb-ft (125Nm) @ 9,000rpm


6 speed, chain final drive, slipper clutch, up/down quickshifter with auto-blipper

Average fuel consumption


Tank size

15 litres

Max range to empty

TBA miles

Rider aids

Traction control, 6-axis IMU, three engine modes, ABS


TIG-welded tubular aluminium

Front suspension

43mm Öhlins NIX30

Front suspension adjustment

Fully adjustable

Rear suspension

Öhlins TTXGP monoshock

Rear suspension adjustment

Fully adjustable

Front brake

2x 330mm discs, four-piston Brembo Monobloc radial calipers

Rear brake

245mm disc, two-piston Brembo caliper

Front wheel / tyre

BST carbon fibre or OZ Racing forged aluminium wheel, 120/70-17 Dunlop SportSmart TT

Rear wheel / tyre

BST carbon fibre or OZ Racing forged aluminium wheel, 200/55-17 Dunlop SportSmart TT

Dimensions (LxWxH)




Seat height



204kg (kerb)





MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated




Looking for motorcycle insurance? Get a quote for this motorbike with Bennetts bike insurance


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What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.