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Norton’s new Atlas scrambler | Manufacture News | News

Norton had to use the Atlas name to protect its trademark

Last November Norton showed the first sketches of its planned 650cc parallel-twin scrambler. Now it’s revealed the final design, along with its name – the Atlas.

The original 1962-68 Atlas wasn’t a scrambler, but the decision to reuse the Atlas name is, at least in part, a necessary one. Norton needs to use the title or face losing its rights to the trademark. And the old 1960s Norton name for scramblers – Ranger – is owned by Ford these days.

It’s the first model to use Norton’s upcoming 650cc parallel twin, which is effectively the front two cylinders from the 1200cc V4 of the upcoming RR and SS models. A long-throw crank adds 25cc to each cylinder’s capacity, and Norton estimates the engine should be good for around 75kW (100hp). Later, it plans to build a sportsbike around a supercharged version of the motor, good for as much as 128kW (170hp), but that’s still a couple of years away.

In the meantime, the Atlas is a road-oriented adventure bike with a retro scrambler style. It’s due to be officially revealed in the metal this November, with production starting in 2019. Norton promises a price of just under £10,000 in the UK ($A17,800), making it significantly cheaper than anything else in its range.

The engine itself is being developed with the help of engineering firm Ricardo, which is also behind the V4. Norton also did a deal last year to licence the design of the twin to Chinese manufacturer Zongshen, which will build a lower-performance version for use in its own bikes. 

By Ben Purvis