In 1992 design engineer and glass artist John Britten set up the Britten Motorcycle Company in Christchurch New Zealand.
A driven individual, Britten produced his own drawings, constructed his own patterns and designed the engine and chassis.
He designed two engines of differing capacities to suit varying racing formulas – the Britten V1000 and the Britten V1100 racer versions in four and five valves per cylinder, with power varying between 155 and 170bhp.
Britten built the prototype of this machine in his backyard workshop, with a group of interested types, famously casting the engine block in his lounge room.
In 1991 the bike was ready and the team travelled to Daytona to take on the world’s best at the BEARS Championship, gaining an amazing second place.
At Daytona in 1992 the Britten was leading, but retired due to an electrical fault.
In 1993 the bike set records including Fastest Top Speed at the Isle of Man TT, first BEAR at Bathurst, winner NZ National series, world standing and flying quarter mile record.
In 1994 the Britten won the Daytona BEARS Championship, but sadly it was in that year that Britten passed away from melanoma.
Only 10 Brittens exist today, making it one of the most sought-after bikes on the planet.
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.