Norton has revealed its long-awaited Atlas 650 model and surprised everyone with not one, but two variants of the Atlas. The new model will be available in both Nomad and Ranger versions with the Nomad being the more road going version, while the Ranger has better off-road credentials.
Because Norton took its time in developing the new Atlases, some thought that the new machines were just an afterthought. But it turns out that the Atlas was conceived at the same time as Norton’s V-4RR superbike. It just took two additional years to arrive at the new Atlas’ final production version.
Released specifications look promising. The Atlas uses a 650cc liquid-cooled, fuel injected DOHC parallel-twin engine with a 270-degree firing order. Claimed power is 84bhp @11,000rpm with 47 lb-ft of torque. The chassis consists of a twin tube steel trellis mated to a braced aluminum twin spar swingarm.
Since its revival by CEO Stuart Garner, Norton has been premium boutique low volume models. But with the release of the Atlas, Norton seems set to change that with lower pricing and higher volumes. The Nomad is be priced about £9,995 (~$13,000) and the Ranger is priced at £11,995 (~$15,600).
Suspension duties are handled by Norton’s own Roadhandler components. The front suspension is comprised of a Norton Roadholder 50mm fork adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping. On the rear is a Norton Roadholder monoshock with rising rate linkage and is adjustable for preload.
The two variants have different amounts of suspension travel. The Nomad has 150 mm (5.9 inches) of travel on both the back and front. The Ranger ups the ante with 200 mm (7.9 inches) of travel on both the back and front. Wheelbase is 1446 mm.
Both front and rear use Brembo components. The front uses two 320 mm discs clamped by Brembo 4 piston calipers. Stopping power at the rear consists of a single 245 mm disc with a Brembo twin piston caliper.
This is another area where the two variants differ. The Nomad uses an 18 inch conventionally laced spoked rim in the front with a 17 inch conventionally laced spoked rim at the rear. The more off-road Ranger starts with a 19 inch conventionally laced spoked rim in the front and the same 17 inch conventionally laced spoked rim at the rear. Avon Trailrider (Nomad) or Trekrider (Ranger) tires are standard.
Norton claims a dry weight of 178 kg (392 pounds). Add fuel, oil, and coolant and you are likely looking at a bike weighing 430 pounds wet.
The Atlas’ rotationally molded composite tank holds 15 liters (~4 gallons) but without a fuel efficiency rating from Norton, its range cannot be determined.
The flat two passenger seat height on the Nomad is 824 mm (32.5 inches). The Ranger sports a more lofty perch of 875 mm (34.5 inches).
Lighting is all LED and information is displayed by an analog instrument panel.
Although production quantities will be boosted for the Atlas, it won’t be produced in the quantities manufactured by the Japanese manufacturers. At the upcoming NEC show (Motorcycle Live), only 250 units will be available for placing a deposit. Norton says UK deliveries will start in May, 2019, with European bikes released later in 2019. There is no word on availability for the rest of the world.