Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum: 1996 Britten V1000

Barber Motorcycle Museum Fuzzygalore Girlie Motorcycle BlogThe first time that I saw the fabled Britten V1000 was in 1998 on the top floor of the Guggenheim Museum at the Art of the Motorcycle exhibit in New York City. As we wound our way up the museum’s ramp to the top floor, it sat there like a jewel.

I remember feeling exited to see this thing that I’d read about and looked at grainy pictures of on the web at that time. It was unlike anything else I’d ever seen. With only 10 ever produced, the chances of seeing another were fairly slim. Fast forward 12 years later…

1996 Britten V1000 Barner Museum Fuzzygalore Motorcycle Blog

The Britten V1000 was the brainchild of an industrious dreamer named John Britten. Combining passion with engineering, Britten created one of the most fabled sport motorcycles of the last 50 years. He did so, not in a high tech factory but in his home workshop. The concept of the V1000 started as a model made from some wires hot-glued together.

With their collection of over 1,000 motorcycles, the Barber Museum chose the V1000 as one of their advertising images. It’s candy colored blue paint and likeness are splashed across billboards and on their admission ticket stubs. Given the museum’s beautiful and interesting collection, that says a lot about the emotional response that this machine evokes in people.

Britten V1000 Motorcycle Museum Fuzzygalore Girlie Motorcycle Blog

Britten V1000 Barber Motorcycle Museum Fuzzygalore Barber Motorcycle Museum Fuzzygalore Girlie Motorcycle Blog Britten V1000 Barber Fuzzygalore Motorcycle Blog


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

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9 Responses

  1. jon risor says:

    The v1000 will always be the top of my list for great bikes. I worked the Art of the Motorcycle when it was at the field museum here in Chicago and I would show up early and walk up to that bike first. Second favorite bike to me is the Cyclone board track racer.

    BTW: I dig the blog!! 🙂

    • Fuzzygalore says:

      Hi Jon & thank you 🙂

      Working for that show must’ve been a pretty unique experience. That was the first time I’d ever seen so many amazing machines assembled in one place. Truly works of art 🙂

  2. Pimmie says:

    Brainchild of a dedicated man, in a sense he even gave his life for this bike…

  3. Pinto says:

    Check out “One Man’s Dream – The Britten Bike Story”. It’s a 1995 documentary covering the early development of the bike, the people who supported the effort and of course John Britten and his family. It’s quite a sight seeing racebike parts being cast on a garage floor while children run in and out of the scene. Amazing and sad at the same time, as we all know the rest of the story, but the film ends while Britten is still enjoying early successes.

    The documentary was put out by a small NZ company, and I don’t think you can find it for sale easily. However, someone uploaded it in multiple parts to youtube, or you can download the entire thing as a torrent.

  4. CrudMop says:

    Just watched it the other day – here are parts 1-6 for online viewing 🙂

  5. Geoff James says:

    I’ve had the privilege of seeing it running at NZ tracks numerous times and the sound sends shivers up the spine. Last time I saw it was in Jan this year at a classic bike race meeting in Auckland. There are more pictures here: , including many other classic race bikes.

  1. May 17, 2010

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