Iconic British manufacturer Norton has confirmed that it will be returning to the Isle of Man TT races in 2012.
The legendary name will once more grace the Mountain Circuit with an all-new 1000cc V4 machine, ridden by reigning TT Privateer's champion Ian Mackman, in the PokerStars Senior TT.
The bike features a Spondon chassis with Ohlins suspension front and back, Brembo brakes and an Aprilia RSV4 engine.
It has been built solely within the factory at Donington Park, with many of the parts - from wheel spindles through to throttle bodies - built at the CNC machine facility in the Norton factory.
All the styling and bodywork has also been completed at the factory and the team will operate with their traditional polished aluminium tank.
“It is a huge honour to be riding a Norton at the Isle of Man TT Races, following such iconic names in competing on the Mountain Course," said Mackman. "It will be an incredible experience and I'm confident that we can do justice to this legendary company."
The Midlands-based outfit originally made a low-key comeback to the TT in 2009, just months after Stuart Garner of Norton Racing acquired the rights to the brand. Although the team secured Michael Dunlop to ride their NRV588 they didn't qualify for the Senior Race.
However, it's widely anticipated that the new V4 bike will be more suitable to the rigours of the Mountain Course and give the team a great chance of having a British rider contest the Blue Riband Senior race on a Norton for the first time since 1992.
That race, 20 years ago, voted the greatest of all time in a recent fan survey, will be remembered for Steve Hislop giving Norton a fairytale win after a titanic battle with Carl Fogarty with the outright lap record being broken by both riders. It gave Norton their first TT win since 1961 and their 43rd in total.
Garner has conceded that victory is unlikely this year but believes the team will arrive on the Isle of Man with a more competitive machine:
“After our experience in 2009 I vowed that we would only return to the Isle of Man when we were ready,” he said. “This is a long-term project and I am confident that we can have a strong first year and add to Norton's history around the Mountain Course as well as building a strong team to take the brand back to its rightful place at the front of the field. Everyone in the factory is committed to achieving a competitive bike.