It’s been 20 years since John Britten passed away from Melanoma, and to commemorate the life and achievements of one of New Zealand’s national heroes, the Christchurch BEARS Motorcycle Club announced that this year’s annual Sound of Thunder race meeting will be called the “John Britten Tribute Sound of Thunder.” Britten V1000 owners all over the world have been invited to participate and many have accepted the offer. The seven confirmed attendees (and counting) make this meeting the largest gathering of Brittens in one place since John’s passing.  

In this video, we see Black Beauty, the second Britten V1000 built and the first customer Britten, being completely rebuilt from the ground up in preparation for the historic BEARS event next month. See and hear the history and innovation around the bike, and watch the painstaking attention to detail involved with stripping the V1000 down to its last bolt and putting it back together again.

Britten tributes exist all over the internet and for good reason: his rise to success is the stuff of legends, and his untimely demise was a cruel fate to the motorcycle world. The V1000 is still awe inspiring today, a testament to Britten and his vision. See the video below to learn why the bike was so special.

Black Beauty Lives from Eric Gulbransen on Vimeo.