NZ Classic Motorcycles manager John Shand, left, and Nelson man Jason Monopoli, who worked on the Britten bike. Photo: Jacob Chandler.

Britten’s bike secrets revealed


The world-famous Britten bike had its insides revealed last night at an event which drew technical junkies and Britten fans alike to NZ Classic Motorcycles.

Manager John Shand says, after a surprise reveal in March there has been a lot more interest in the bike.

“There were a hell of a lot at the reveal. When we pulled the cover off you could hear the air being sucked out of the room.”

Monday evening featured talks about John Britten’s life from his widow, Kirsteen Britten, as well as a demonstration of the inner workings of the bike by Nelson man Jason Monopoli, a member of the engineering team who built the bike.

“It was a garagey evening, a world first, the top had never been taken off the bike in public,” John says.

Jason says looking under the bodywork gives people the chance to witness a sight not commonly seen outside the pit area.

“It’s a side of Britten that people don’t get to see. We did some pretty revolutionary stuff as far as construction. I spoke about why certain things were done and how they were done.”

Jason ran the composites for most of his time working for Britten. He made the chassis, wheels and bodywork for the bike.

“We did some pretty outlandish things, I guess. We had carbon fibre which we were using in totally new ways, really pushing the boundaries. We were just forging ahead in the dark.”