Innovation of the day: The Britten motorbike

The Britten V1000

[Photo credit]

Who: John Britten (b. 1950, d. 1995)

Innovation: Britten V1000 Motorcycle

What does it do?

It is a hand-built race motorcycle that goes really, really fast.

What problem does it solve?

How to beat the competition in international motorcycle race events.

A success?

Christchurch born and bred, Britten had a talent for building moving vehicles, even as a kid - at age 12 he constructed his first motor powered go-kart. The Britten V1000 was built in the early 1990s, and it had some serious racing success: it won the Battle of the Twins in Daytona, reached the fastest top speed at the Isle of Man TT in 1993, and it set a number of world speed records. Only 10 V1000s were ever produced, and one is on display at Te Papa.

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