The Chinese 650cc motorcycle could be released even before Norton’s own models based on the same twin-cylinder engine in parallel.
Zongshen Cyclone RX6 is based on Norton 650cc twin engine
Chinese motorcycle brand Zongshen has officially revealed the production model of the Zongshen Cyclone RX6, and at first glance, Zongshen may well beat Norton to release the first model based on the Norton 650cc engine. In fact, Norton had big plans for a line of 650cc parallel-twin models before the British motorcycle brand fell into a financial crisis. While Norton was acquired by Indian firm TVS Motor Company in April 2020 and the brand is slowly rebuilding itself, Norton’s 2017 “ Design and License ” deal with the Chinese company allows Zongshen to produce and use the engine in his motorcycles.
Read also: Zongshen Cyclone RX6 based on Norton 650 nearing completion
Read also: Norton to design 650cc engine for Chinese company Zongshen
The 650cc parallel-twin engine was to be used in the Norton Atlas and Superlight models, but before these Norton models could reach production, the engine design was cleared at Zongshen under a 20-year agreement. Prior to his pre-2020 financial crisis, Norton even featured prototypes of Superlight models in the Isle of Man TT 2019 Lightweight category, featuring John McGuinness, Peter Hickman and Davey Todd. With the Norton brand on the brink of extinction, before being rescued and slowly rebuilt by TVS, Zongshen continued his own projects with the 650 twin.
Read also: Zongshen unveils Cyclone RX6 with Norton 650cc engine
Two versions of the Zongshen Cyclone RX6 have been approved, one with cast alloy wheels and the other with metal spoked wheels and longer suspension travel for a slightly more off-road style. Both are built around the same chassis and the 650cc engine designed by Norton. The Cyclone RX6 looks well built and comes with all modern features like LED lighting, TFT instrument console, with Bluetooth connectivity, an electrically adjustable windshield, a 21 liter fuel tank and keyless ignition. The braking material is from Nissin, suspension by Kayaba, with Pirelli tires and Bosch ABS. The only downside could be the 245kg curb weight, which is on the heavier side. Zongshen is expected to offer the Cyclone RX6 in China and other neighboring Asian markets, but launch in India is unlikely, at least for now.
Read also: Norton Motorcycles moves to new headquarters under TVS ownership
Norton’s own version of the 650cc parallel-twin will likely take a while, but it’s something that will certainly be in the works. TVS has set up a new state-of-the-art production facility for Norton, which will also become the brand’s new headquarters. As a first step, Norton Motorcycles will focus on fulfilling existing orders for 961 Commando models, which were placed prior to the TVS acquisition. This in itself is a laudable move to maintain brand strength and loyalty, and going forward the Atlas and Norton V4 could very well be on the production radar.
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