U.K. importer WK Bikes will race the first Chinese-built motorcycle in the 2013 Isle of Man TT, making it the first Chinese-built motorcycle to compete in the famed island road race.
The team will enter Australian racer David Johnson to race in the Lightweight TT race on the CF Moto 650i which is marketed in the U.K. as the WK 650i. Not much detail was released about the racebike but it is likely a faired version of the naked WK 650i (pictured below the jump), which is powered by a 650cc parallel twin engine claiming an outout of 60 hp at 9000 rpm and 46 ft-lb. at 7000 rpm.
Chinese motorcycles have been gaining in popularity in the United Kingdom, with U.K.’s Motorcycle Industry Association estimating Chinese imports would surpass Japanese imports in 2012. Most of those Chinese vehicles are small-displacement models but the WK 650i stands out as being one of the largest-displacement Chinese bikes offered in the U.K.
“We are very excited and proud to be working on the world’s first Chinese Motorcycle to enter the TT. The race is synonymous not only with thrilling riding but is also recognised worldwide as providing one of the best platforms to launch and develop motorcycles,” says Henry Maplethorpe, managing director of WK Bikes. “Hampshire Motorcycles will be building, developing and running the bike and they have our full support. They are now putting a lot of time and effort into ensuring that the bike will be ready for testing shortly. The bikes are produced for WK Bikes in the UK by CF Moto in China who are also showing great interest in the project and its development.”
[Source: IOMTT, WK Bikes]