What’s arguably even cooler than a brand new 200 horsepower superbike from Norton? The marque’s Domiracer, obviously. Coming up on its first birthday the short-lived Domiracer has to be one of the most eye catching ‘new’ motorbikes to have been sold in the past five years and it’s not hard to see why the £20,000 limited production run of 50 sold out so quickly.
While loosely based on the 2014 Norton Commando 961, the Domiracer had a number of tricks up its sleeve to not only justify its extra cost, but solidify the appeal of this Donington made diva. The rear end lost a shock thanks to a Spondon built swing arm that brought the back of the bike up to modern specifications, while vast inverted Ohlins forks and six-piston radial mounted Brembos teamed up at the front to complete the frame’s modernisation. While the brakes and suspension were of this century, Norton forgot to invite the engine and gearbox to the party. The parallel twin employed pushrods to actuate its valve train and used air to cool it but it did get a 270-degree crank unique to the Domiracer and fuel injection. While the tech’ was relatively low the performance was nothing to sneeze at, with just over 80 horsepower and a chunky 90 newton metres of torque pushing along a bike that weighed in at 173 kilograms wet. It didn’t take long to click through the bike’s five-speed gearbox, however England’s Motorcycle News said in its 2014 road test, that the ‘old’ girl wouldn’t be going much over 200 kilometres per hour.
As full of beautiful design details as the Domiracer is, the exhaust soon takes pride-of-place when the parallel twin is fired up, thanks to its lack of silencers and stunning welds. Running from exhaust port to megaphone styled tip un-linked (and un-silences), the exhaust note is pure old-school racer but sounds more v-twin than you’d expect thanks to the unique 270-degree crankshaft. This particular bike was spotted completing laps of the notorious Isle of Man TT course this year during the public sessions and was thankfully also in Norton’s pit area for all to ogle.
While I have no doubt that Norton’s new superbike will be as stunning as it is fast, there’s something in me that would prefer to park the Domiracer in my dream garage. I’d like to think it’s the fact that I’d feel like the 80 horsepower would be a better fit for the road, but to be honest I’d probably spend as much time looking at it as I would riding it. Can you blame me?