A Chinese-made motorcycle will race at the Isle of Man TT for the first time in 2013.
WK Bikes has confirmed plans for the 2013 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy include entering a 650cc twin bike manufactured by Chinese company CF Moto in the Lightweight TT. It will race under UK brand name WK.
Hampshire-based WK Bikes has lined up Australian David Johnson to ride the bike on the final race day of the 2013 TT, June 8.
The Adelaide-based rider, who made his TT debut in 2010, returned to the TT last year having missed the 2011 meeting. He scored top 15 finishes in the Superbike and Superstock races and recorded a fastest lap of 17 minutes 59.45 seconds (125.831mph) around the Mountain course.
The colourful bike was first shown at Motorcycle Live in Birmingham and WK was the first importer to introduce a volume production Chinese motorcycle over 500cc to the UK market.
WK managing director Henry Maplethorpe said:
“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.”
“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.”
Hampshire Motorcycles managing director Dave Tyson added:
“I am so proud that we have been chosen by WK, whom we work closely with through our shop and our BSB supersport team, to be a part of TT history.”
“The bike will be built in-house and with our partners we are sure that we can have a competitive bike ready for the start of the TT. Being part of such an historic moment will be something we can tell people for years to come.”
“In signing Dave Johnson we have someone who I know well and enjoyed a year at BSB Superbike with and he also has good pedigree at the TT.”
Isle of Man Government TT and Motorsport Manager Paul Phillips said:
“The TT is back on the map worldwide and this campaign could well represent the start of a new era in motorcycle racing.”
“We originally introduced the Lightweight race to the TT schedule as it represents an affordable way to go racing and already in only its second year it has become an established part of the TT.”