Retro motorcycles pile in to Britain's got Biking Talent competition

Published: 21 August 2008

Some of the UK’s coolest retro motorcycles are the latest entries in our Britain’s got Biking Talent with Carole Nash contest.

With just two days left to enter, the contest is attracting a stunning array of retro machinery to rival the more modern bikes uploaded to motorcyclenews.com.

Ninja79 has entered his extensively modified 1990 Kawasaki ZX10 in Britain’s Got Biking Talent with Carole Nash, and so far his amazing Kawasaki is one of the most heavily modified and original machines entered.

According to the owner, the bike started as a bare frame purchased from a bike breaker in 1990, and now boasts a hybrid engine using a blend of ZX10 and ZZ-R1100 parts topped up with aftermarket tuning goods – most noticeably the turbo with a massive exhaust pipe winding up the right side of the bike!

The T28 Garrett turbo requires toughened internals including Carrillo conrods and a lock-up clutch to ensure the clutch plates continue gripping as the turbo’s power is put through the transmission.

The chassis is geared towards road riding and the 1980s endurance racer style, so instead of a drop in ride height and a long swingarm, the ZX10 has a standard Kawasaki swingarm and WP forks holding three-spoke Marvic wheels, AP racing calipers grab cast iron discs.

The period look is carried right through the bike – from the cut-down front mudguard to mimic race bikes designed to allow fast wheel removal, the ZXR race fairing without headlights, right down to details like the functional rather than sexy rearsets.

Stepping further back in time is hacker62’s FJ1100 race bike. An unlikely choice for track work, the 80s sports tourer now packs 152bhp courtesy of 1188cc Wiseco pistons, new Keihin smoothbore carburettors and Yoshimura camshafts.

The hefty chassis stripped of extraneous road gear and upgraded with 17” Dymag wheels, a Brembo radial master cylinder operating R1 four-piston calipers and a Brembo rear brake. Standard bodywork is used, though the top fairing and screen is cut down as well as holes cut in the seat unit to allow the individual K&N air filters to breath cool air.

Much smaller but no less impressive is rgv250Geoff’s sublime Suzuki RGV250. With an Aprilia RS50 tail unit and a standard silhouette race fairing hiding a pair of Suzuki Katana scooter projector lights, the look is far removed from the original Kevin Schwantz-alike stroker.

An NC30 single-sided swingarm replaces the standard double-sider, and a CBR600 front wheel was fitted to match the new rear wheel. Tokico six-piston calipers bite on wavy discs of Geoff’s own design, and a Nitron shock was built to suit the new rear end.

The motor has been on the receiving end of secret tuning work, and now revs to 13,000rpm. It breathes through a set of Aprilia RS250 Cup expansions with DLR end cans.

If you think you've got what it takes to beat these impressive motorcycles then upload your bike to Britain's Got Biking Talent now

  • Ninja79 has entered his extensively modified 1990 Kawasaki ZX10
  • rgv250Geoff’s sublime Suzuki RGV250
  • hacker62’s FJ1100 race bike