1. Britten

John Britten

To the uninitiated, the short story of New Zealander John Britten and the motorcycle bearing his namesake is equal parts brilliance and tragedy.

From his home-based garage/workshop Britten designed and manufactured the Britten V1000 and Britten V1100. In the early ’90s (when carbon fiber wasn’t as prevalent as it is today) Britten utilized the material in the design of his bikes including bodywork, girder fork, swingarm and rims. He also cast and constructed his own engine components. The frameless design of V1000/V1100 incorporated features such as the rear shock located at the front of the motorcycle and the radiator located beneath the seat.

In its two guises the Britten stunned the international racing community in the early ’90s by challenging the established OEMs, namely Ducati. In a cruel twist of fate, John Britten passed away at the age of 45 from a skin cancer-related illness. For the full story on John Britten and his two-wheel accomplishments, check the video below.

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