Hitting Twins peak
ABIKE built by a Melbourne company has won the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association’s Battle of the Twins at the Daytona International Speedway.
Australian pro twins champion Craig McMartin rode the 1600cc Irving Vincent — named after Vincent design engineer Phil Irving and company owner and engineer Phil Vincent— to third place in the Monday race and returned to the high-banked oval the next day to post a nine-second win in the second heat and secure the title.
The aircooled 50-degree V-twin is a modern interpretation of Irving’s original design, mounted in a retro-style spine frame.
Belying the classic looks are the latest Ohlins shocks, AP Racing brakes front and rear, and a Motec engine-management system to keep everything in sync.
The bike weighs 175kg dry, so there’s not too much machine to push around. It was built to showcase the ability of Horner Brothers Engineering and give recognition to Phil Irving, its original Australian designer.
McMartin, a seven-time champion in the domestic Pro-Twin class, earned praise for quickly adapting to the unique Daytona Speedway circuit.
The Aussie rider was exiting the 31-degree banking at about 275km/h during his race-winning run and the team is already planning modifications for next year’s campaign.
The machine was built under the supervision of Ken and Barry Horner, who decided to create their own purpose-built race bikes.
The first model was a sidecar, which debuted in 2004.
The next year it won the New Zealand Historic title and the Ken McIntosh Trophy for outstanding engineering.
The brothers also produced a 1300cc bike that complies with the Period 4 race rules in Australia, and a the top-shelf 1600cc unit.
The racing is part of the annual Daytona Bike Week, which draws hundreds of thousands of fans of two-wheelers from across North America.
Adding to the Aussie celebrations, Mat Mladin won the opening AMA Superbike round on the following Saturday.
Victory: Craig McMartin on track at Daytona. Picture: firstname.lastname@example.org