John Kenton Britten (1 August 1950 – 5 September 1995) was a mechanical engineer from New Zealand who designed a world-record-setting motorcycle that was galaxies ahead of it’s time, all by himself. A dyslexic, he needed to have exam questions read to him at school and his answers recorded by a writer, but that didn’t stop him from developing into a remarkable engineer. Britten worked on motorcycle design for some years, developing innovative methods using composite materials and performance engine designs. He created the Britten Motorcycle Company in 1992 to produce a revolutionary machine like the Britten V1000. John designed the bike and built the engine that powers the V1000, all by himself.
The Britten V1000 and Britten V1100 are rare, hand-built machines with only 10 plus 1 prototype having been constructed. The body work, rims, front suspension fork and swingarm were all made out of Carbon fibre. The V1000 featured a Frame-less chassis with the engine acting as a stressed member. It had a radiator that was located under the riders seat, a rear shock located in front of the engine and a double wishbone front suspension. It even boasted of engine data logging, and all of this, back in the early 90’s. The only components sourced from elsewhere were the Tires, brakes, cylinder liners, gearbox, suspension shocks and the electrical bits. The Britten V1000 was so innovative, it did not feature even a single gasket in the motor. It held the record for the fastest bike at the Isle of Man TT among many others. Did we tell you it made 166 hp at 11,800 rpm and could hit a top speed of 303 km/h. Watch the video, amaze yourself!