Whitham’s Wild Wocket!
It’s worth digging out a quote or two from James Whitham’s entertaining autobiography, What a Good Do!, to put us in the picture as regards the Fast Orange bikes. In it, he says: “To turn the YZF into a Superbike you bought a factory race kit. The A-kits were for the hotshots who were going places – we had the B-kit. Terry Rymer got an Akit and he said it made 145bhp on the dyno. A week later our B-kit arrived and no matter what tweaking we made on the Micron dyno we had 127bhp and I thought we were knackered. “The first meeting of the year was the ‘Irish’ round of the WSB calendar at Brands Hatch and in practice I hooked up with El Tel early on and my 127bhp was the same as his 145. I thought: ‘either he’s got a tuned dyno or he’s full of sh*t!’ To be honest, in pre-season testing the bike felt just like what a racebike should feel to me. It steered and stopped just like I wanted it to.” Little wonder then that he took 20 wins on the Fast Orange YZF in 1993 and took the British Superbike title. As you can see from the pictures, Whitham’s riding style was very ‘hang-off’ which he says was developed from the year-before’s Suzuki GSX-R750WN that he called ‘the ironing board’ as it wouldn’t want to turn.