If you’re very lucky, you may one day get to see a Britten V1000 motorcycle in person. With only 10 of these bikes ever having been made, it’s rare—but definitely not impossible. There’s one that regularly makes it to vintage events at Road America in Wisconsin, so if you’re in the area, I definitely recommend making the trip.  

However, since John Britten himself hailed from Christchurch, New Zealand, you would be approximately zero percent surprised to learn that the Museum of New Zealand is one of the rare institutions in the world to proudly showcase a Britten V1000 on display to the public. While having that extremely special bike on display isn’t a new thing for this museum, what is new (and very cool) is that it’s currently undergoing maintenance. 

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t go visit it right now if you’re so inclined, and that’s what’s so cool about what the Museum of New Zealand is doing. You see, rather than remove the bike entirely from public view, they’ve instead stripped that familiar pink and blue bodywork off of it. The result is that visitors can now take a long look at a side of the Britten V1000 that even fewer people have probably ever seen. This very special bike is now standing naked in the Museum, so anyone curious to get a closer look at what’s under all that bodywork now has the perfect opportunity. 

Britten V1000
This Britten V1000 can frequently be spotted at Road America vintage racing events. Photo by Janaki Jitchotvisut.

The naked Britten V1000 is planned to remain unclothed until sometime in early 2022, with the museum not specifying an exact time when the bodywork may be restored to the bike. If you’re in the Wellington, New Zealand area—where the Museum is located at 55 Cable Street—you can stop in any day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time. The only day the Museum is closed is Christmas Day, which leaves you plenty of available options. If you or someone in your party would appreciate a guide to this exhibit in New Zealand Sign Language, the Museum has handily published one on its YouTube channel.


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