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Britten V1000

Year of specifications 1987-1995
Engine 985 cc, 60° V-twin
Transmission 5-speed 6 optional, chain
Top speed 180 mph
0-60 MPH -
Horsepower 155 hp @ 12,400 rpm
Weight 145 kg, 320 lbs
Seat height -

The creator of the Britten V1000 was John Britten, a New Zealander with an engineering and design background, as well a motorcycle racing hobby.

The V1000 was a triumph of ingenuity and perseverance over mass producing manufacturers. The highly unique and brilliantly engineered Britten V1000 was constructed to compete against other racing motorcycles, except where large Japanese and Italian manufacturers had access to multi-million dollar research and development facilities for their race bikes, John Britten and his enthusiastic helpers/friends built the V1000 bikes using a backyard Kiln to make the prototype engines, and comparatively simple tools and home-manufacturing processes to construct the body and mechanicals.

The V1000's frame is highly unconventional, construction materials of lightweight carbon fiber and Kevlar composites meant extra speed and acceleration was available on the track. Front suspension was done by Britten's own 'girder parallelogram, semi intelligent front suspension' as opposed to conventional fork type suspension.

When the Britten V1000 hit the race tracks it took the motorbike racing world completely by surprise, the underdog privateer V1000 turned the international circuit on its head, breaking world speed records, and leaving the factory built Ducati and Honda racers wallowing in its wake.

Many people put the success of the Britten V1000 down to the fact that John Britten's design's and idea's were not confined by conventional thinking, he had not been told 'that doesn't work' or 'that can't be done' because he had not been officially schooled in the art of motorcycle design, therefor he was able to look at any problems with a fresh unconstrained mind.

Tragically, just as the V1000 was becoming a force to be reckoned with, John Britten died of cancer in 1995 aged 45. And although he has been immortalised with the creation of this bike, it would be interesting to see how his influence and radical design theory's would have continued to shape modern superbikes.

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