Royal Enfield, the global leader in the mid-size motorcycle segment, this weekend heads out racing with two newly built Nought Tea GT version 2.0, developed in collaboration with Harris Performance. The project sees Royal Enfield return to the race track for the first time in 54 years, with its last factory supported racing effort back in 1965 with its GP5 250cc racer project led by none other than Geoff Duke. This year, a few passionate staff from the factory’s UK Technical Centre have worked nights and weekends to make it a reality.
Following the enthusiastic reception of Royal Enfield Factory Custom and Harris Performance’s build – “Nought Tea GT” that was revealed in May at Bike Shed 2019, work began in earnest to build two out and out track developed Harris Performance “Nought Tea GT” successors – this time with the focus and intent of being race ready for the Bike Shed Festival 2019. The project has again seen Royal Enfield and Harris Performance work with carefully selected collaborators, partners and suppliers such as Brembo, Ohlins and HEL which has seen a reduction in weight of 18.5 kg and an increase in power of 26% at the rear wheel.
Speaking on the eve of racing, Lester Harris, Head – Performance Engineering, Harris Performance, said
Having been involved in the new Continental GT 650 right from the concept stage it is going to be a thrill to see these bikes racing at Lydden. The stock GT 650 has proved to be a great platform on which to build a cafe racer and I think the public are going to be surprised at the performance level the design team have achieved
Adrian Sellers, Group Manager Custom Program – Royal Enfield commented;
“It’s great to see these two bikes come to fruition – after presenting Nought Tea GT at the Bike Shed event in May, and getting such a positive response, the next logical step was to see how well it could really go on track. As part of our custom initiatives, it’s very important to us that all of our builds work as good as they look – showcasing creativity not just in aesthetics but also to demonstrate the capabilities of our new 650 Twin cylinder engine. Royal Enfield’s support of the custom motorcycle community has grown exponentially over the past three years, and we are very excited to keep challenging the expectations of what can be done with our motorcycles. The Twins have added to this, opening up a whole new avenue of creative possibility, and it has been exciting to see Harris pull the best out of this platform. Working with Harris Performance is always a great experience – the knowledge they bring to projects like this, never mind our daily production work, is something that can only be gained through time and experience. After working with them on last year’s Lock Stock drag bike, it’s great to have an opportunity to have some fun with them in the type of racing they built the Harris name in.”
Explaining on the development project, Neal Coope, Group Manager Genuine Motorcycle Accessories – Royal Enfield said
“having kicked this off in August 2018 with the milestones of the project being both of the Bike Shed events this year, it is great to be in a position to see the bikes out on track. Working alongside Lester and the good folks at Harris Performance, as well as taking all of the learning from the Factory Custom build, we’ve put together two very track focused motorcycles to demonstrate the potential of the Continental GT 650. Prior to coming out for this weekend’s event we’ve been fortunate enough to get out at both Donington Park and Cadwell Park, where we might have ruffled the feathers of some bigger and more powerful motorcycles which is a credit to the bikes and all of the hours put in by the whole team. At this moment in time we are where we wanted to be, but we do know there is more to come from both the engine and the chassis from the results we’ve seen so far.”
This weekend’s racing action will see Paul Young (Official Factory Test Rider) and Curtis Wright (Factory Custom Rider) take to the track with the two Harris Nought Tea GT 650 v2.0 in what is looking to be a very competitive field in the Cafe Racer Cup. Mark Wells (Head of Product Strategy and Industrial Design) will head out in the Commuter Cup on a Royal Enfield Genuine Motorcycle Accessory fully accessorised Continental GT 650 and Kevin Kennedy (Factory Custom Dirt Rider) takes to the dirt in the Malle Dash on board the skunK650 – an Interceptor 650 which has been lightly modified for trial and scrambler racing.
The full photo gallery of Harris Racing Motorcycles can be found below:
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