Made From Scratch to Beat the World: The Britten V1000

If you’ve followed motorcycle racing closely for many years, you probably already know about the unlikely success of the Britten V1000, a motorcycle almost entirely handmade of bespoke parts. And that includes the engine, cast in aluminum in John Britten’s own shop. Make the jump for an excellent video overview of the Britten story. So the video is clearly mistitled – it’s probably a Fifth Gear piece, but aside from the over-enthusiastic delivery of the announcer (another sign it’s a Fifth Gear segment) it goes into wonderful detail about Britten’s moment in the sun. The V1000 was competitive, as the video points out, against works bikes from 1991-1994, which is pretty remarkable. Going toe-to-toe with Ducati and Honda at Daytona and the Isle of Man takes some serious moxie. [youtube][/youtube] Because the video’s a little sparse on hard specifications, you should know that the motor was a hand-cast 999cc quad-cam V-twin making about 166 HP at nearly 12,000 RPM. The body and chassis (such as it was – the engine was the main stressed component) were mainly carbon fiber and titanium. And they only made 10, so you probably shouldn’t fire up craigslist and go looking for one. Image courtesy Britten Motorcycles New Zealand

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