John Britten

Britten Motorcycle

Britten Motorcycle - John Britten

Other countries are good at and renowned for quite refined and artistic things - like fine coffee table design, and the world's most elegant china or lace bedspread manufacturers.

In New Zealand we reject this. We like motorbikes. In 1994 the name of John Britten (b. 1950, d. 1995) joined those of Richard Pearse and Bill Hamilton (who Britten named as his inspiration) as New Zealand's most famous inventors. Sometimes fame outstrips deserving, but in this case his exploits are if anything more incredible than the legend surrounding him. Throwing away the motorcycle manufacture manual and starting completely from scratch in terms of design and materials technology, John Britten and his small team built the fastest 4-stroke superbike in the world.

On the way they pioneered technology that is now being exploited by motorcycle manufacturers everywhere.