The Britten V1000 is a handbuilt race motorcycle designed and built by John Britten and a group of friends in Christchurch, New Zealand during the early 1990s. The bike went on to win the Battle of the Twins in Daytona International Speedway's Daytona Bike Week festivities in the United States and set several world speed records.

Britten V1000
ManufacturerBritten Motorcycle Company
Also calledThe Britten
AssemblyCarlyle Street, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand[1]
Engine998.7 cc (61 cu in) Water-cooled, 60 deg V-Twin quad cam 4-stroke
Bore / stroke98.9 mm × 65.0 mm (3.89 in × 2.56 in)
Top speed303 km/h (188 mph)
Transmission5-speed constant-mesh, manual, chain-drive / opt. 6-speed
BrakesFront: Dual 320 mm (12.6in) cast-iron discs, Rear: 210 mm (8.3in) disc
Wheelbase1420 mm
Weight138 kg (303.6 lb) (wet)
Fuel capacity24 L (5.3 imp gal; 6.3 US gal)[2]
The No.7 Britten V1000 at Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum in Alabama, USA

The bike was designed from first principles and hosts a number of innovations including extensive use of carbon fibre, the radiator located under the seat, double wishbone front suspension, frameless chassis, and engine data logging.

A total of 10 Britten V1000s were produced by the Britten Motorcycle Company and now exist in collections and museums around the world.

Motorcycle journalist Alan Cathcart wrote in 2008:

"It's an easy bike to ride, in the sense it's got a very wide power delivery, but to really get top performance, you have to ride it like a grand prix bike...And having ridden all the superbike contenders in the world today, I can say that the Britten is the closest to a grand prix bike...It's incredibly ironic that instead of Europe or Japan, the most sophisticated and technically advanced motorcycle in the world comes from New Zealand".[3]

Specifications edit

  • Wheelbase 1420 mm
  • Weight 138 kg
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 24 litres
  • 166 HP @ 11,800 rpm
  • Maximum safe engine speed 12,500 rpm
  • Maximum speed 303 km/h

Engine edit

  • Water-cooled 999 cc 60 deg V-Twin quad-cam 4-stroke
  • 4 valves per cylinder, belt driven
  • Compression ratio 11.3 : 1
  • Bore x stroke 98.9 mm x 65 mm
  • Piston, flat-top slipper
  • Titanium conrods with oil feed to little end
  • Titanium valves Inlet Ø40 mm Exhaust Ø33 mm
  • Wet cast-iron cylinder sleeves / opt silicon carbide–coated alloy sleeves
  • Composite head gaskets
  • Back torque dry clutch
  • Wet sump. Oil feeds to bigends, gudgeon pins, camshaft lobes & gearbox shafts
  • Programmable engine management computer with history facility
  • Fuel injection - sequential, 2 injectors per cylinder

Transmission edit

Chassis edit

  • Fully stressed engine with ducted under-seat radiator. Top chassis, girder & swing arm all constructed in carbon/kevlar composites
  • Front Suspension: double wishbones, Hossack suspension.
  • Rear Suspension: swing arm with adjustable three-bar linkage
  • Shock Absorbers: Öhlins
  • Rake: adjustable
  • Trail: adjustable
  • Front Wheel: 3.5" x 17" in-house carbon composite
  • Rear Wheel: 6.0" x 17" in-house carbon composite
  • Front Brakes: Twin 320 mm cast-iron rotors with opposed 4-piston Brembo callipers
  • Rear Brakes: 210 mm rotor with opposed-piston Brembo calliper[4]

Racing Achievements edit

1991 edit

  • 2nd and 3rd Battle of the Twins, Daytona, USA

1992 edit

  • 1st Battle of the Twins, Assen, Netherlands
  • 2nd Pro Twins, Laguna Seca Raceway, USA
  • DNF Battle of the Twins, Daytona, USA

1993 edit

  • Fastest Top Speed at the Isle of Man TT
  • 1st (BEARS) 2nd (Formula 1) Australian TT Bathurst
  • 3rd Battle of the Twins, Assen, Netherlands
  • NZ Grand Prix title
  • World flying mile record (1000 cc and under)
    • 188.092 mph (Rider Jon White)[5]
  • World standing start 14-mile (400 m) record (1000 cc and under)
  • World standing start mile record (1000 cc and under)
Jason McEwen's 1994 Britten V1000 on display in the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum

1994 edit

  • 1st Battle of the Twins, Daytona, USA
  • 1st and 2nd New Zealand National Superbike Championship[6]

1995 edit

  • 1st World BEARs, rider, Andrew Stroud

References edit

  1. ^ Britten rules OK! Motorcycle Sport, June 1995, pp.268-270. Accessed 9 December 2021
  2. ^ "1993 Britten V1000". Motorcycle Classics.
  3. ^ "Faster and Faster: Britten V1000: The greatest motorcycle ever built". Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Britten Motorcycle Company".
  5. ^ Motorcycle News, (UK weekly newspaper) 22 December 1993, p.4 Britten sets new flying mile record. "New Zealander John Britten, the creator of the V1000, lent rider Jon White the race bike he took to Isle of Man TT in June after White had twice crashed his Britten-powered streamliner" [img]. Accessed and added 28 September 2014
  6. ^ One Man's Dream - The Britten Bike Story (video), 1995, Ruffell Films