Spirit Motorcycles have unveiled their two first production bikes, the GP Sport and GP Street along with two unhinged R models
Spirit Motorcycles are new manufacturers that have been formed by the guys from T3 racing and Spirit of the Seventies. They have launched four new models, the GP Sport, GP Sport R, GP Street and GP Street R, all of which will be made in the UK. The Street is effectively a naked version of the Sport, and the R models have a more powerful engine and better electronics package. This is the first production run for Spirit and they will be producing 50 of each model. As proof of the Sport’s capability, Spirit will be entering it British Supersport in 2017.
Chassis & bodywork
Looking at the GP Sport and Street for the first time, the most striking thing about them is the steel trellis frame. Unlike Ducati and KTM, the trellis frame on the Spirits has been brazed together rather than welded. Not only does this allow the frame to flex slightly (in the right way), it also means that if you ever damage it, the damaged piece can easily be replaced without cutting up the whole frame. The swingarm is handmade from aluminium and has been made to MotoGP spec. The rest of the bodywork is made from carbon fibre as it the subframe and the wheels. All of this weight saving means the bike weighs just 140kg wet.
The whole lot is fully adjustable too, so you can alter the rake, trail, headangle, wheelbase and swingarm position but don’t worry, Spirit will set it up for you before sending you on your way.
Powering all four models is a 750cc triple that’s derived from a Triumph 675 motor. Spirit have lengthened the stroke from 49.6mm to 55mm to increase the displacement. In fact, Spirit say they have done so much work to the engine that pretty much the only things left from Triumph are the cases. As part of the chase for more power, the compression ratio has been increased from 13.1:1 on the 675 to 13.5:1 on the standard models and 13:8.1 on the R models. This has resulted in a power increase from 126bhp at 11,900rpm to 156bhp at 14,200 and a whopping 180bhp on the R models. Despite all the performance increases, Spirit say that the bike will be no less reliable and will have reasonable service intervals as the new parts are more than capable of taking the strain.
Where the Spirit bikes really stand out is the impressive array of electronics, especially on the R models. The R models use a Motec M130 ECU that enables Spirit to fit a vast array of sensors that get you as close to MotoGP bikes as possible. These include: engine parameter sensors, adjustable traction control, adjustable anti-wheelie, adjustable electronic slipper clutch, front and rear wheel speeds, suspension travel and speed, throttle position, brake pressure, fuel pressure, fuel/air monitor… The list goes on and we’re not even at the really clever bit – the 4G connection. The Sport R and Street R are constantly transmitting on a Vodafone 4G sim that keeps them connected to the cloud. So you can go to a track, do a few laps while the bike records the data and sends it back to Spirit. Then you can call Spirit, talk through the data and they can make changes to the bike and push chose changes over 4G to the bike. It’s the closest thing to a pit crew we can think of.
Production & Price
Spirit will have the first production models ready over the winter, so that they can take people who have ordered a bike out to Spain for testing in January. Full production will begin in early 2017, with the first customer deliveries in March. As for the price, the GP Sport and GP Street will both set you back £44,999 plus any extras such as bespoke paint or a fancy exhaust. The R versions are quite a bit pricier: the Sport R starts at £64,999 while the Street R starts at £69,999 and both climb even higher rather quickly when you start adding on all the racing extras. There are some boons though, a seven year warranty for instance, but what else were you expecting for a small production run bike that’s made in the UK?
Spirit have said that they would like to produce a scrambler too that would be priced a lot lower (around £20,000), as they appreciate that these bikes will be out of the reach of a great deal of people.
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