Arron Rogers created this Norton design concept for the 21st century and it shows a lot of creative thinking. Arron, 22, recently graduated from the Vehicle Design course at Coventry University and this Norton M28 concept motorcycle was part of his final year’s work. The design has quite a few interesting features, the central fuel tank under the seat, the open framework in place of the usual tank which keeps the engine in full view, a girder front suspension and pay special attention to the rear swingarm.
I wonder how a design like this, inspired by the early Nortons but brought up to date, might fare as a production motorcycle compared to the recent version which Kenny Dreer tried to bring to market. Very nice work, Arron!
Full details and many more images below:
I’ll let Arron explain what he did here:
The project forms part of my final year on the Industrial Design course at Coventry University, alongside a second design project and dissertation. These projects are self generated, starting from initial research in order to create a design brief. The project spanned 8 months, beginning in October and ending in May.
The Norton M28 concept is a modern interpretation of a Norton motorcycle for the 21st century. The concept takes direct inspiration from the racing success of the International & Manx Nortons of the pre/post-war eras, blended with state of the art materials and technologies.
To achieve a lightweight motorcycle with optimal handling characteristics, an emphasis has been placed upon simplification, with exposed structural features taking the place of external bodywork. The concept uses a single cylinder 500cc Norton engine, which is also used as a structural element within a carbon fibre chassis.
The concept utilizes a front girder suspension system, similar to the original, and introduces a VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) rear suspension system to the motorcycle world, inspired by downhill mountain bike technology. This allows the mass of the rear shock to be mounted centrally on the motorcycle, as well as maintaining a progressive rear axle path and minimal chain growth.
The 15 liter fuel tank, designed into the chassis, has been relocated under the seat, again centralizing mass, allowing the area above the engine to be exposed. This creates a unique aesthetic to the motorcycle where the rider can view all the mechanical elements of the motorcycle whilst riding.
The engine is an air-cooled 499cc Norton single, running on bio-ethanol and featuring a desmodromic valve drive, originally patented by Norton in 1924. With modern materials and technologies, this fuel injected engine should be capable of an estimated 70 bhp at 8,000 rpm, giving performance figures of 636 bhp/tonne, with an estimated weight of 110 kg.
The Norton characteristics continue throughout the detailing, such as the silver, black and red livery and the fuel filler cap mounted at the front of the seat.
There are two versions of the M28 concept.
The race bike, which is in the form of the full scale model (studio photos).
The road bike, which is in the form of the CAD model.
Arron adds he designed the bodywork for the Coventry University Formula Student racing car, along with two colleagues, which took part in events at Silverstone and Fiorano, Italy. He also had a 4-month internship at the Ducati Design Centre, Bologna last summer and he’s currently seeking an opportunity as a motorcycle designer. From the look of this work, he seems to be well on his way.
Link: Norton M28 image gallery