Spirit Motorcycles are new manufacturers of beautiful hand built classic motorcycles. The company formed by a partnership headed up by Rob Mc Donagh, who’s vision to create a machine capable of taking on the might of Japan on the track, the beauty of the Italians on the eye and the exclusivity of Hesketh on the streets.
Ambitious enough? I was invited to Donington Park for the for the inaugural outing of the race bike at the opening round of the British super bike championship. It’s a glamorous affair these days motorcycle racing and clearly budgets are big for many of the teams.The line up of brightly liveried pantechnicons looks more like a formula one paddock not a national championship motorcycle event. The Spirit team were in very much an ‘under the radar’ mode by comparison. That was until qualifying took place. This beautiful hand crafted British projectile in the capable hands of flying Ulster man Alistair Seeley took pole position on it’s very first attempt. That has never ever happened before and against the huge budgets of Japan and their decades of experience, the Spirit was faster. It was an emotional moment for all involved and rightfully proud one too, Spirit have launched four new models that us mere mortals can buy for use on the road and track. 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.
I’m told by Rod that the technology of this machine will help even mere mortals find lap speed they could not have achieved on other machines. The electronics, 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 you can get.
As for the price, the GP Sport and GP Street will both set you back £44,999. while the Street R starts at £69,999 and both climb even higher rather quickly when you start adding on all the racing extras. But it’s important to remember that this is Grand Prix technology which usually has many more noughts on the price ticket. I’d buy one just to look at, it’s gorgeous, it’s performance is now proven and it’s British through and through. Beyond Bespoke without doubt!