Contents
BRITTEN #9 WINS AT DAYTONA - 2 March 1999
BRITTEN COMPETES IN NZRRS - 21 Feb 1999
BRITTEN TO COMPETE IN NZ ROAD RACE SERIES - 4 Nov 1998
Festival of Ducati - Oschersleben. Germany 8-10 May - 11 May 1998
BRITTEN MAKES DEBUT IN JAPAN - 30 Apr 1998
Britten dominates opening round of Sound of Thunder World Series - 8 Mar 1998
BACKGROUND ON THE COMPANY - 5 May 1997
RACING AND SUPPORT - 5 May 1997
BRITTEN MOTORCYCLES EXPANDS - 5 May 1997
DAYTONA DOMINATED BY BRITTEN - 1997?
NEW BIKES IN PRODUCTION - 1997?
BRITTEN WINS THREE PODIUM POSITIONS AT GP - 1997?
BRITTEN PROVES RELIABILITY AGAINST TOP MANUFACTURERS - 2 Apr 1997
Company Direction 1996 - 1996

11 May 1998 Festival of Ducati - Oschersleben. Germany 8-10 May

Another debut - this time at the third round of The World Sound of Thunder Series at the Festival of Ducati at Oschersleben, Germany. The new Britten, accompanied by the Britten Team and sponsored by the Festival of Ducati organisers, has been repaired after the misfortune in Japan where New Zealand Superbike champion rider Chris Haldane completed the entire race minus the clutch and still managed to obtain 4th place.

Friday the 8th saw Chris familiarising himself with one of EuropeÍs most modern tracks, 3.7kms designed to hold formula one in the near future and complete with a four star hotel that provided our accommodation and a view of very full days racing from Friday through to Sunday. It was a facility way beyond our expectations.

On Saturday there were only two qualifying sessions where Chris took poll by 2.5 seconds and came within 0.8 seconds of the official track record for all motorcycle classes. However the decision was made to race the field and not the clock on race day.

Sunday dawned, another beautiful day with the bulk of the spectator interest being in the Britten. Chris took the field by storm, clearing 9 seconds on the next rider at the end of the first lap, settling in to a rhythm to win the 14 lap race by nearly 30 seconds ahead of Moriwaki Honda TeamÍs VTR1000, thus providing a certain satisfaction, having been beaten by them two weeks before in Round 16 of the Battle of the Twins at Tsukuba, Japan.

The win is the second for the Britten team in the Sound of Thunder series. They supported the Mansson Technologies owned Britten V1000 which was ridden to victory by Mike Barnes at Round one at Daytona, USA in March of this year.

Race team Manager, Wayne Alexander said that the new Britten was proving to be a very reliable engine and it was great to see such excellent results from the development work that has gone into the new bikes over the last 12 months. He is confident that the win at Oschersleben will assist with the sale of the new bike which is to be returned to the Christchurch based factory to have the engine stripped and rebuilt.

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30-Apr-1998 BRITTEN MAKES DEBUT IN JAPAN

The revolutionary Britten V1000 made its first ever appearance in Japan on 29th April 1998 in round 16 of the Battle of the Twins, at the Tsukuba Circuit, Japan. The new bike which is the 9th to be produced by the Christchurch based factory and was only completed days before being shipped to Japan, was ridden by New Zealand Superbike champion rider Chris Haldane. This was the first race for Chris on a new Britten and the first race for Britten with some new untried developments. The debut in Japan was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Real McCoy Ltd, ICI Autocolour and Mainfreight. The members of the Britten support team were accompanied by Mrs Kirsteen Britten and her son Sam.

Practice on the 28th went well. Haldane was careful with the bike and rode to study the track which unfortunately was limited by the time allocated to each rider to practice. However by the end of the third session he was well and truly comfortable with both the bike and the track - against some very stiff competition which included the Moriwaki VTR Honda Team and a very fast 916 Ducati.

Race day started with an incredibly short qualifying session that saw Haldane on the third row of the grid. The race began at 3 p.m. with a staggered start on the warm-up lap, re-formed on the grid and then was ready to start what was a very short race of 13 laps (2.1 km each). As the Britten accelerated from the grid the clutch fused or locked (yet to be ascertained) as it performed its only action in the whole race. Sam Britten who was videoing form the sideline, caught the action as the bike almost flipped - the team say it has to be seen to be believed. Chris Haldane showed his championship riding ability as he hotly pursued the field after recovering from the mishap. Consequently he was 10th into the first corner and took a couple of laps to settle with no clutch, then he rode furiously, managing to catch up to the leaders and finish convincingly in 4th place - only seconds behind the winner. Although it was not the desired win it was a result that pleased the Britten Team immensely, especially as Haldane and 3 other riders reset the track record during the race for expert Twins (Open Twins) confirming their ability to remain a top contender against the latest Japanese and Italian Twins and top class Japanese professional riders.

The race results were 1st - 916 Ducati 13:06.658, 2nd - Honda VTR1000F 13:06.749, 3rd - Ducati 916SP 13:18.435, 4th - Britten V1000 13:22.051.

Team Manager Wayne Alexander said their visit to Japan has been greatly facilitated by the support of Real McCoy who have provided the accommodation and on-track facilities for the team to use, and who have acted as interpreters for all the teams requirements. Other race teams have also been very supportive. He also commented that the Japanese Teams had been totally blown away by the performance of the Britten V1000 as they had not expected it to perform so well on a small track.

Race mechanic Tim Stewart will strip the bike today to ascertain the damage - hopefully it will be easily repaired before the Britten Team continues on to Germany where the Britten is to race at the Festival of Ducati at Oschersleben from 8 - 10 May.

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8 Mar 1998 Britten dominates opening round of Sound of Thunder World Series

On March 3 the Sound of Thunder World Series kicked off in sunny conditions at Daytona International Speedway. American Michael Barnes took home the full 25 points for winning on a Britten V1000. "Barney" was not only a happy but also a lucky man as a broken exhaust almost forced him to stop in the last lap. The Boca Raton, Florida resident was second after the first lap, while Pete Johnson on the Manfred Hecht Moto Guzzi 1200 led. However the real danger for Barney came from Calvin Rayborn III on his Harley Davidson VR 1000. Rayborn was moving to the rear of Barney but then things went wrong for him as he crashed (oil leak) in the seventh lap. The crash left him with a broken collar bone. Also Jay Springsteen on the Daytona Weapon 1 did not complete the 14 laps. Earlier in the week the new Saxon framed Sundance Harley - also known as the Daytona Weapon II - was pumping oil out. A problem team boss Shibazaki-san unfortunately could not tackle rapidly.

The Sundance Harley team was not the only Japanese team as Team Mimasaka rider Teruo Fukuda scored a well deserved sixth position on the Magni Moto Guzzi. Best of the three European riders was Wolfgang Bax who retrieved from his start problems in the Formula Twins race. The German Ducati rider was not in the top ten after the first lap but slowly forced his way through the field to finish fourth. As Sound of Thunder regulations allow singles, twins and triples engine configurations were very various. Californian Larry Schnur scored a respectable fifth aboard a Ducati Supermono while fellow Californian James Lickwar gained a seventh on his carburettor 595 Triumph triple. To comply with local Pro Thunder rules the San Fancisco resident used a 509 engine (885 cc) but a 595 cylinderhead. After the race there were some emotional moments as Kirsteen Britten and the Britten team celebrated their victory. All our minds went back to the late and brilliant John Britten.

Results Sound of Thunder World Series - Round 1, Daytona, U.S. 1 Michael Barnes USA Britten 1000s 2 Pete Johson USA Moto Guzzi 1200 3 David Kieffer USA Buell 4 Wolfgang Bax D Ducati 5 Larry Shnur USA Supermono 6 Teruo Fukuda J Magni-Moto Guzzi 7 James Lickwar USA Triumph 885

Note: 1 Result of a crash (Hi Side) in the second practice

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2 Mar 1999 BRITTEN #9 WINS AT DAYTONA
For the 5th year in a row a Britten has won the Sound of Thunder (previously BEARS) at Daytona. The 9th bike, respendent in the Pro Britten's team colours of silver and gold with black trim and sporting a fern amongst the stars on the tank, was shipped to Daytona last week for its new owner South African,Gary Turner. It was ridden to victory by Dutch rider Lex van Dijk in a field that included Ducati 916's, 955's, 966's and Suzuki TL1000R's.

The bike was originally to compete in the Battle of the Twins the previous day but due to a combination of a new hi-octane slower fuel, damp conditions and a very finely tuned fuelmap, the engine nipped up in practice and had to be transported to a nearby workshop for what has become nearly a traditional last minute engine rebuild by the Britten support team. This was completed at 4 a.m. so the team managed to fit in an hours sleep before having to return to the track.

Without time for a warm-up lap, Van Dijk got off to a poor start but soon warmed up to ride an exquisite race, diving under Carl Raybourne III Jnr. on his Ducati 955 at the infield horseshoe in the 3rd lap and taking the lead. The crowd, the largest to be seen at Daytona for some time, were right behind the Britten and were rewarded for their support by a wheelie on the infield straight on each of the remaining 7 laps.

Britten Race Team Manager, Wayne Alexander said the team were justly elated with the victory. The bike will go on to Europe where the Pro Britten Team are contemplating racing in the European Sound of Thunder series before coming back to New Zealand later this year. The #9 Britten will be based in the Netherlands. Before returning to New Zealand they will visit Mr Michael Iannuccilli in Las Vegas. He is the new owner of Britten #10 which was also shipped last week.

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21 Feb 1999 BRITTEN COMPETES IN NZRRS

The NZ Road Race Series consists of five rounds, two races in each. The first round at Teretonga, Invercargill had an extra air of caution as the rider Andrew Stroud and his wife Karen were expecting their first child. This was less apparent as the helmet went on and the race face was being worn. The local PPG Re-seller, Lionel Mason, made a huge day of it with a classic southern Beer & BBQ Bonanza on the deck of a Mainfreight curtain-sider, and we joined in the celebrations after the racing with two wins from two starts.

Within the week baby Jacob Stroud was born and Andrew reluctantly left his wife at the hospital to ride at Levels Raceway, Timaru - much to the delight of the strong Timaru crowd. Again he showed the field a clean set of heels taking out both Superbike races convincingly.

The following weekend was the third round, consistently the hardest fought as it carries the NZ Grand Prix Title. With the full Britten Team hosting guests and supporters in the Driving School building on the main straight and the intense local support it had to be the meeting of the series. The scene was set for a great days racing with high media interest. Andrew was in great form, new born in one arm , helmet in the other, a camera constantly in his face - all seemed to have little effect once on the track.

The first race was hard fought between Andrew and Tony Rees. However after Rees had left the track in a spectacular fashion, Andrew proceeded to run away with the race. The second race, and the one that mattered - The NZ Grand Prix - was a different story. Andrew was taking no chances and ran away with it from the starting grid.

This is where our good fortune ended. Once leaving the sanctity of the South Island for the hostile shores of the North things came majorly unstuck with an accident on Saturday in practice at Pukekohe - eye witness accounts suggesting that the bike had stepped out from the rear. The result was a refinishers nightmare, but without fully understanding the cause of the accident, and Andrew in hospital with a dislocated shoulder, the decision was made not to race the next day. A rapid retreat was made to the factory in Christchurch to effect repairs and investigate the cause.

After a week without sleep and round 5 at Manfield looming, the van seemed to find its own way onto the ferry. This desperate attempt to make the meeting would end in a strange parallel of the previous meeting where in the second practice on the Saturday Andrew again came to grief. Back in hospital with the same shoulder dislocated and the team no wiser as to the cause, the bike, splendid in its new livery of gold and silver was placed on display with its good side showing. The public interest, although dissappointed not to see the bike race was extremely high. Andrew, out of hospital the next day and needing 8 point to clinch the series, rode a sports production bike in the first superbike race of the day, netting the 8 points required and securing the NZ Superbike Title for 1998.

It could be said that this was the year we really put our paint finishers to the test. In every sense this was a PPG victory. The good news is we have located and rectified the cause of both incidents. Extensive testing has been done by the new owner, Gary Turner and his Dutch rider Lex Van Dijk in preparation for Daytona on March 1st and 2nd, 1999.

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4 Nov 1998 BRITTEN TO COMPETE IN NZ ROAD RACE SERIES

Bike #9 which has undergone further development since its spectacular win at Oschersleben in Germany in May is to be campaigned in the NZ Road Race Series this year at Teretonga, Levels, Ruapuna, Pukekohe and Manfield.

This has been made possible with the permission of the bikes new overseas owner, the generous sponsorship of PPG Industries Ltd (formerly ICI Autocolour), Mainfreights Ltd and of course the dedicated staff at BMC.

Andrew Stroud, recently returned from overseas where he has been campaigning his Kawasaki has agreed to be our rider for the series - subject to pending fatherhood."

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2 Apr 1997 BRITTEN PROVES RELIABILITY AGAINST TOP MANUFACTURERS

The final National Points Superbike Series round was contested at Teretonga, Invercargill, this Easter Weekend.

Perfect practice conditions resulted in Stephen Briggs (CR&S BRITTEN) setting the fastest times, points of a second off the lap record set by Stroud on a Britten V1000 last season.

Race conditions proved to be the reverse, with drizzle and cold winds prevailing throughout day.

Billed as the "Battle of the The Twins", the Superbike class has been hotly contested by Briggs (Britten V1000) and Haldane (Ducati Corsa). This was not the case to be the final round, Haldane's latest factory Ducati Corsa experienced gearbox and drive problems in the practice session. The mechanical problems were not able to be repaired in time to compete in the final race day.

Race 1 - under threatening but clearing weather conditions Britten opted for intermediate tyres (as opposed to full wet/rain tyres) and set a good pace in the first quarter of the race. However heavy rain set in and traction became the major issue, Haldane now riding a 1000cc Yamaha running full wet tyres took the lead. Suzuki's of Tony Rees and John Hepburn also on wets reeled in Briggs as he was forced to ease off the pace with the treacherous tyre and weather combination. The final finishing order - Haldane, Rees, Hepburn and Briggs.

Race 2 - Started in clearing weather and a drying track, some exciting racing developed between Briggs and Rees now only 5 points apart. Haldane again on a Yamaha set a rapid pace, hotly pursued by Brigg's (Britten V1000) and Rees (Suzuki). Reliability again became the deciding factor, Rees retired with engine problems in lap 4 of the 12 Lap race.

Briggs came under increasing pressure from John Hepburn (Suzuki) as they both pursued Haldane. The Britten V1000's powerful exciting drive coupled with Stephen's riding ability held of the challenge. The final result maintained that order - Haldane, Briggs, with Hepburn third. The NZ Superbike Series was a successful race campaign for the Christchurch based Britten Team. Briggs achieved consistent top results, while allowing continued development of the Britten V1000 in a competitive race environment. The reliability of The Britten V1000, proved superior compared to the top of the range latest models from both European and Japanese manufacturers, it is the reliability factor which is often jeopardised during development to achieve faster times.

Final results for the Series:
1 Haldane - Ducati Corsa & Yamaha YZF 1000
2 Briggs - Britten V1000
3 Rees - Suzuki
4 Hepburn - Suzuki

We wish to thank our Sponsors:
ICI AUTOCOLOR, MOBIL 1, SBS BRAKES, AEI BANNER and CLIVE WILSON COMPUTERS, our fellow competitors, and supporters.

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5-May-1997 BACKGROUND ON THE COMPANY - 1997

The Britten Motorcycle Company Ltd operates on secure premises in central Christchurch, New Zealand. The small factory, with eight full time staff and a pool of freelance workers available, includes all facilities necessary to design and manufacture the V1000 racer, such as carbon-curing, dyno-testing, machining, painting, etc. Access to an international-length race track is just a short drive away.

Being a university city and the major centre of New Zealand's South Island, Christchurch contains other facilities essential for the design and production of a motorcycle, such as a wind tunnel, foundrys and electronics support industries.

The city also has an international airport and freight dispatch centre by sea or air.

The Britten Motorcycle Company keeps in contact with its worldwide core of supporters by the internet, while its main sponsors and helpers are kept up to date with faxed PR releases after major race events. Often the presence of the Britten team at a race meeting raises the profile of the event as interest in the innovative motorcycle transcends the sporting boundaries.

The aura built up around the Britten V1000 is largely due to the fact that is was the first prototype-motorcycle to achieve consistent race success. The ideas incorporated in the machine all worked and the technicians and riders drawn to the project combined different areas of ground-breaking expertise to develop the concept.

They are inspired by the project the same as fans around the world are when a V1000 appears at their local racetrack.

To meet the immediate needs of these fans in a tangible way, the company has developed a merchandising arm selling a range of affordable quality, in-house-designed products.

These are available by mail order, on the internet or trackside wherever the V1000s' race.

As well the Britten Motorcycle Company has a portable display featuring the work of the company and one of its race-winning motorcycles available for promotional activities. This creates a drawcard for fundraisers, tourism facilities, trade shows and retailers.

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5-May-1997 RACING AND SUPPORT

Buying a Britten V1000 is just the first step in a long term relationship with the creators of the unique racer. The Britten Motorcycle Company Ltd is actively involved with all race teams who own a V1000. Raceteams have the latest specifications updates available to keep them at the forefront of their racing class.

One Italian owner who shares the team's passion and vision has granted the use of his racer as a "factory flagship". Though the first customer bike to be sold (in 1994), this particular Twin Cylinder race machine has been developed extensively, very little of this racer is now original. It has competitively raced solidly for the past 18 months to test the latest design work of the shop. These improvements have been redesigned into the latest two new 1996 racers, the first bikes sold and delivered since 1994. Both bought by American race teams, with the contracted services of Britten M/C's, they are racing in America as front contender in their classes, along with an earlier but respecified version of the V1000.

Factory racing is partially funded through long term sponsors MOBIL 1, ICI AUTOCOLOR, SBS (Scandinavian Braking Systems), AEI and a variety of event sponsors. The cost in competitively racing these machines is substantial and is a limiting factor dictating the racing Britten M/C's can compete in as a full factory entry.

This combined support and focused team effort is reflected in an array of successful race results. The highlights of these being: Smashing 3 world sanctioned Land Speed Records for the class of machine. Winning all 6 rounds of the WORLD BEARS Series - to take the championship and second place in 1995 the Inaugural Year of the the event.

Setting current lap records at Ruapuna Raceway Christchurch and Teretonga Park Invercargill, while taking out the New Zealand National Superbike Championship Title and the New Zealand Grand Prix for two consecutive years in the 1995/96 seasons.

Dominating Daytona Speedway (Florida) class events from 1994 to 1997 - winning Battle of the Twins and the opening rounds of the three World Championship Series in as many years (1995/96 & 97).

In June of 1996 the team returned to the gruelling Isle of Man and competed in the Formula 1 and Senior TT's, deemed to be the world's most demanding road race. The factory supported CR&S /BRITTEN gained Britten's first finish in the 226 mile Senior event, being the second Twin cylinder machine home.

In defence of their previous wins, the team headed to Holland, and achieved two years of consecutive wins of Pro Twins racing and the World BEARS Championship rounds at Assen. The Italian owned CR&S BRITTEN was then freighted to Australia. The factory entered the Australian National BEARS round at Phillip Island, a support race for the final World Superbike Championship of 1996. The Britten dominated racing, to the delight of a crowd of over 30,000 spectators, to win both it's class races.

Defending two consecutive season's National Superbike Championship Titles in New Zealand wrapped up the expanded race campaign of 1995/97. Ongoing development and testing throughout this series with a highly modified racer and a new rider, proved the reliability of the Britten V1000 with consistent top finishes in all rounds, to complete this series second on points.

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5-May-1997 BRITTEN MOTORCYCLES EXPANDS

Having completed an 18-month phase of consolidation as a manufacturer of the world's most innovative four-stroke racer, New Zealand's Britten Motorcycle Company Ltd is preparing to expand its role as a prototype design studio.

Says company manager Perry Rees: "In the past 18 months the Britten Motorcycle Company has confirmed its existence as a self funded company specialising in motorcycle design and small-run manufacturing, backed up by worldwide racing successes financed by sponsorship and a thriving merchandising arm.

"It is from this string of proven race results, reliability and performance on the world's most demanding circuits that we can launch the next phrase of our business development."

The Christchurch-based company is ready to take on contracted design work ranging form single componentry to a complete motorcycle.

Says Perry Rees:"Developing three generations of the V1000 racer has brought together a pool of design and development talent that has been moulded into a tight and efficient structure."

"The result has been the creation of a thriving, locally-based business with international recognition, contracts, support and following.

What started out in the late 1980s as a hobby racing effort is now a stand-alone operation. Commercialisation is the inevitable phase we must go through to stamp the Britten marque in the international marketplace against those we have challenged and beaten on the racetrack."

The radical, girder-forked, 60-deg V-twin, Britten V1000 racer, which shot to prominence with stunning performances against major factory entrants at Daytona's speedbowl racetrack in 1992, has been continuously developed by technicians and riders at the Britten Motorcycle Company.

The V1000 racer pioneered the use of carbon fibre in stressed componentry, ram-air induction, aerodynamics, and showed major factories how a big-bore, high-revving V-twin engine could be a reliable powerplant.

Further improvement of it's power output, reliability and handling have been proved again in the past year at the gruelling Isle of Man TT races and, most recently, with emphatic victories in the two major support races at the Daytona 200 meeting. As well the V1000 has won events in Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, both as a factory racer and as a customer entrant.

Says Perry Rees: "There are now five Britten V1000 racers competing around the world. The company contracts a range of services to Britten owners, including race preparation of machines, riders contracts and trackside technical support anywhere in the world.

These services, built up and costed out over the past two years, allows the Britten Motorcycle Company to keep the marque to the fore in its racing class against some fomidable odds and competition around the world.

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1997? DAYTONA DOMINATED BY BRITTEN

The Britten Motorcycle Company has commenced another year of international racing with their second consecutive wins in all their class races at the daytona Speedway Florida. The two pronged campaign organised and backed by the Christchurch based company was well rewarded with wins in all races entered and a second place. The Britten backed Venator Racing entry with rider Andrew Stroud utilised the Formula USA open class race to prepare the setup of improved suspension components to suit the demanding high speed 3.56 mile speed bowl for their main events later in the week.

AHRMA Battle of the Twins included a range of Ducatis form the top of the range Corsa to earlier heavily modified 888's, the new Suzuki TL1000, the Honda VTR 1000 and Alan Cathcart's purpose built Yamaha TRX850 were among the field of starters. The Britten took the lead in turn one of the 10 lap race was never headed, crossing the line second was Cathcart and third Jeff Jennings (Ducati).

The first round of the World Sound of Thunder Series - this is a new class being an extension of the previous World BEARS SERIES won by Britten in 1995. The class is now opened to Japanese twins and the new Triumph Triples, thus increasing fields and competition. A field of 41 entries including, MOTOGUZZI, HARLEY DAVIDSON, SUZUKI, YAMAHA AND HONDA TWINS, BIG BORE DUCATIS, BUELL and TRIUMPH T595'S.

Stroud on the VENATOR/BRITTEN took the lead of the 15 lap race late in lap one, again hotly pursued by Cathcart on a Yamaha. Stroud maintained his lead throughout the race. The main threat came from the second Britten factory backed entry the 10k/MANSSON TECHNOLOGIES/BRITTEN ridden by Daytona expert Michael Barnes. This was the first outing for the new (No 8) Britten V1000 delivered to the US in early Jan. Barnes started from the 10th row of the grid and powered his way through the large field to take second place on lap 8. This brilliant ride resulted in the win and the second placing for the Britten entries (6 seconds) behind Stroud.

Barnes commented after the race on the power and nimble handling of the Britten V1000 claiming it is "an awesome machine" and he is looking forward to his involvement with the team through the remainder of the US season. To date there are no confirmed dates set for the next event in which this bike will run.

Both races were run in perfect dry conditions and were a a lead up to America's fasted and most prestigious Superbike race, the Daytona 200. The leading edge technology n the Britten V1000 and the continued development of the past 18 months continues to keep Britten Race Bikes the centre of attention at this international event. Britten has won various races at this demanding venue since 1991, this is the second consecutive year their results have been so dominant in the twins class of international racing.

Britten Motorcycle Company Ltd wishes to thank 10k Racing, Mansson Technologies, VENATOR Racing, Mobil 1 SBS, ICI AUTOCOLOR and AEI for their continued support.

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1997? NEW BIKES IN PRODUCTION

Presently completing design modifications and development in readiness to create another two Britten V1000's, these will be the 9th & 10th to be built.

These two Racebikes will carry a number of improvements on previous models and are intended to be completed in the final quarter of '97. As you know R&D takes priority and this is progressing well.

Racing.

Southern Hemisphere season:

AUSTRALIAN National BEARS Round as support races to the World Superbike final at Philip Island Oct 26th - 28th. Britten V1000 (ridden by Andrew Stroud) totally dominated the event winning all races entered by significant margins. In addition the original Girder Britten V1000 was displayed at several venues in central Melbourne.

NZ SERIES - Nov 30 & Dec 1 was the start of the opening round of the New Zealand Road Race Superbike Title. We are halfway through the series and currently running second on points. The series resumes at Ruapuna Christchurch Mar 23 and finishes Mar 30 at Teretonga Invercargill. This year we have chosen Stephen Briggs as our rider, Stephen has considerable international experience, having raced in Europe for the last three, including some rounds of the '96 World Superbike Series (Muzzy Kawasaki) and won the Assen round of the '96 World BEARS Series on the CR&S/Britten, in 1995 Stephen was second to Andrew Stroud's World Series Championship Title win also on a Britten.

WANGANUI BATTLE of THE STREETS - The first Robert Holden Memorial race at the notorious Cemetery Circuit was won by Britten with Jason McEwan at the helm. Britten dominated this meeting with Jason putting on a fantastic display on the Britten's stunning power and agility on the rough tight and demanding street circuit.

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1997? BRITTEN WINS THREE PODIUM POSITIONS AT GP

Contesting Britten's NZ Superbike Title Stephen Briggs riding in National Points Superbike Series on the CR&S BRITTEN raced by Britten M/C's, was supported by Andrew Stroud (fresh from his dominating Daytona victories on a Britten Racer) for round three of the National Points Superbike Series at the NZ GP meeting Ruapuna Park Mar 23.

The meeting was conducted under threatening skies, but the weather remained dry.

As expected Race 1 became a Battle of the Twin Cylinder machines with the leading contenders Briggs (Britten V1000, Haldane Ducati, and Stroud Britten V1000, locked in fierce competition during the initial stages of the 9 lap race. Stroud gained second position off Briggs (his team mate) and then hounded Haldane (Ducati Corsa) for the second half of the race to take the lead on lap 6 with a stunning display of the Britten V1000's power and nimble handling. Stroud held off the Ducati for the remaining 3 laps to take victory with Briggs a closely place third.

Race 2 The NZ GP and second National Points race of the day for the Superbike Class was set to be a major contest between these three machines. At turn one the placing were Haldane, Briggs, Tony Rees (Suzuki) and Stroud. Stroud rapidly disposed of the Suzuki and was gaining on the No 1 Britten of Briggs, thru lap two Stroud out braked Briggs to take second place. In the tight in field entry Stroud highsided his Britten V1000 and was thrown from the machine. The race was stopped, the machine removed from the track. Stroud (who set the current Ruapuna lap record of 1 minute 32.8 seconds at the GP meeting last season on a Britten to win the National Superbike Championship), received only minor bruising, the machine was cosmetically damaged but neither competed in the restart.

Briggs raced the restart and went onto a third placing with Haldane placed first and Tony Rees trialing in second place. National Superbike Point after round three: Haldane 117, Briggs 94 and Tony Rees 81.

The final two races will be held at Teretonga Invercargill New Zealand March 30.

We wish to thank our Sponsors:ICI AUTOCOLOR, MOBIL 1, SBS BRAKES, AEI BANNER and Motorcycling Canterbury for their support.

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1996 Company Direction 1996

 

 Still winning and building bikes

New Zealand's Britten Motorcycle Company is looking forward to an exciting year in 1996, having already won several major races and completing the construction of another two new racers.

The company which manufactures the Britten V1OOO, regarded as one of the most avant garde motorcycle in the world, recently won the first round of the BEARS (British European and American) World series at one of the most demanding circuits in the world.

Factory rider Andrew Stroud, riding American Jim Hunter's Factory supported Britten VIOOO, defeated a class field that included the experimental Saxon-Triumph of American Scott Zampach, as well as two Harley-Davidson VRIOOO Superbikes. Earlier Stroud and the V1000 devastated the AHRMA Battle of the Twins event, finishing 43 seconds ahead of two Harley Superbikes, and the latest model Bimota and Ducati V-twins.

Stroud's victory at Daytona's speedbowl, in defence of the world title he won so convincingly last year on the Britten VIOOO, carried on from his New Zealand Superbike Championship and NZ Grand Prix wins. It was the second time in a row that this New Zealand designed and built V-Twin had won the National Championship. Its main challenge came from the Ducati importer-backed 955 Corsa and prepared by British Ducati guru Steve Wynn.

 

 The Britten factory plans to contest the remaining BEARS World Series rounds as well as compete at selected international events. The BEARS series is the world's major showcase for alterative motorcycle technology - last year Britten Motorcycles came first and second in the championship but the factory has not been resting on its laurels.

Two new Vl000 racers are currently being built, one has already been sold. Existing Britten's, now in Europe and America, have been updated in a policy the factory has put in place to support Britten customers who go racing.

The Britten Motorcycle Company is an efficient adaptable operation, capable of putting it's engineering designs into reality in a short space of time. The continuing success of the VIOOO racer against the world's best proves this.

 Future Directions

The following section is an interview with the Britten Motorcycle Company's general manager, Perry Rees.

What brought you to the Britten Motorcycle Co ?

I'd known John Britten for a long time. Before he died he restructured his business affairs. Part of this was to make the Britten Motorcycle Company an entirely separate entity and appoint me as general manager. In effect, he gave a group of his loyal supporters the opportunity to make the enterprise a viable, self-funding business. In simple terms, it is a new privately owned company with a board of directors to whom I answer. The company is committed to consolidate and expand in the field of leading-edge motorcycle design and technology. John gave the team an incredible opportunity and offered me the challenge of realising the potential the factory has in expertise and core personnel.

It sounds like a huge challenge considering that just a few years ago it was a group of friends building a racer in their spare time. Now it's a small, thriving factory with staff to support and bills to pay ?

Of course it is a huge challenge but we are fortunate that there is a lot of support and determination that it succeed. The Britten VIOOO is a national icon in New Zealand and has fired the imagination of people around the world. John Britten's greatest gift was that he could inspire the best brains and expertise to build a bike that could beat the best the world could offer. In my business travels I'm greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm and support shown for our work. The factory receives many visits from people who have made a detour in this part of the world to see where the Britten VIOOO's are made. We get numerous calls from people wanting to work for us and offering their skills. Like these people, the attraction of the job for me is the combination of the passion I have for motorcycling - and this project in particular - and to be involved in taking this unique operation to it's next level of development. There are experts in several fields of motorcycle design and technology working at the Britten Motorcycle Company.

What is the set-up at the factory following the restructure of the Company ?

We have eight full-time employees and can call on several more to help us as needed. We have a core of technical and practical expertise that dates back a long way. Several of the key people have worked on earlier versions of the V-twin and our main rider, Andrew Stroud, has been with us since we first started winning major events. We have people dedicated to design and development, machining and assembly, and laminate composites.

We're a self contained team, really. We have our own engine testing equipment. We produce or modify nearly all the componentry for the VIOOO in-house. We also have a large merchandising operation that sells quality logo clothing, a pewter model of the V1000, a popular video of the history and building of the V-twin, posters, calenders, etc around the world. When you win races and championships people want to be a part of that success and the merchandise is a way of letting the fans into our world. We have more than 5000 supporters who have bought products from us, their purchases have helped fund racing and the day-to-day running of the factory. When we go racing we have the support of several long-term sponsors, including Mobil and ICI-Autocolor, SBS and Michelin.

What do you see as the future for the Company ?

Well, at this stage it could move in several directions. To start with we have built on the initial racing success of the V1000 by defending our New Zealand Superbike title and contesting the World BEARS Series again. Our race policy is level, taking advantage of the race environment to further develop the twin. For example, before and during the New Zealand series we undertook extensive testing and development. We refined our racer by moving the engine power around the rev range to suit the various circuits. We also undertook development work on the heads and exhaust system as well as the handling. Our race bike was very reliable throughout the New Zealand summer. One of our polices in place this year is to support customers racing the Britten V1000. For example, in the New Zealand Superbike championship we ran Roberto Crepaldi's CRS V1000. Although it was nearly three years old, by the end of the season it was one of the fastest of the Britten's and Andrew Stroud set a new lap record at our local racetrack, Ruapuna, in the New Zealand GP. We can offer total support for an event or series anywhere in the world. This includes a rider, mechanic and technical back-up. We support people who buy a Britten and want to race it. But consolidating the V-Twin is just one part of the equation. We have had several approaches from New Zealand and international companies to design and develop products. A major advantage our company has is the ability to rapidly design and produce prototypes. Our location in New Zealand takes us out of the mainstream of Europe and America, which means we can work without many of the distractions of a large population base. In the long term I see our future in joint-venture operations with partners that already have a manufacturing sales distribution system in place. This could involve getting the V1000 into greater production, possibly a street version. It would require a major redesign but that is just the sort of challenge the factory would relish. Another joint venture project could involve applying facets of our expertise and technology to develop other motorcycles.

What is the attraction of a joint-venture ?

The advantages of a joint-venture operation is a common goal, motivation, interest in the project and our technology and a funding arrangement all rolled into one. Since the domestic economy has been freed up, New Zealand has become a nation of small businesses exporting to boutique markets in every field from wine-making to agricultural technology. Many of these are very successful and achieved by joint-venture arrangements.

The Britten Motorcycle Company is viewed as an international company. Will it remain in Christchurch ?

Christchurch is ideally suited to our work. As the main population centre of the South Island it has all the infrastructure of support industries, from the computer sector to specialist engineering technology, such as heat treating. We have access to an international-standard race track just fifteen minutes from the factory, wind tunnel testing facilities are available in Christchurch. Because of the size of the place all this is within a small radius, making a highly efficient environment for such R&D work.

Is the Britten perceived as an exotic bike ?

We certainly see the VIOOO as an exotic but relatively affordable race machine. We've found that many race bike owners are prepared to spend $US50,000 for basic production racers and then spend endless development hours and another $US30,000 in hot-up parts and factory race spares. The end result is a machine that will not outperform a full factory-spec Britten race bike. Our V1000 was clocked as the fastest through the official speed trap at the Isle Of Man on it's debut with rider Shaun Harris. It was faster than the factory-supported Honda RVFs. Similarly, at Daytona our V1000 is unofficially the fastest bike through the high-speed part of the circuit, and this includes the bikes qualifying for the 200-mile race. There is a definite niche market out there for people wanting an exotic bike. We know of people spending over $US60,000 building customised Harley Davidson cruising bikes. Recently an Australian motorcycle magazine ran a test of two street-registered motorcycles, an RC45 Honda and 916 Ducati, claimed to be worth $US75,000 each. There are people out there that want the bike we make. The Britten V1000 has been described as a "kinetic sculpture". We're proud of our work. You could spend a lot of money trying to turn a production motorcycle into a bike that would compete with a Britten V1000 yet not be reliable or as inspiring in form and feel. These machines are a work of art, bristling with cutting-edge technology, with years of factory development in the racing environment.

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