MCN tests the Spirit Moto2 racer
‘It turns like nothing else’
Beautifully styled by renowned designer John Keogh, the Spirit is tiny – more compact than any 600 and full of stunning details, from the braised frame, to the delicately-machined yokes, to the beautifully-manufactured Harris swingarm. The level of fit and finish shows that Spirit mean business.
Once you get over the limited steering lock, everything feels familiar. Despite being small, the riding position is fine for six-foot riders, with wide bars and enough room to move around.
The bike’s running a near-stock 130bhp Daytona 675 motor, but when it’s combined with a wet weight of less than 150kg, you’ve got the recipe for some seriously quick acceleration.
Race-style gearing and a whipcrack race quickshifter means the Spirit growls menacingly and rapidly eats ratios. The front lifts in second and third gear and floats in fifth on the crest on Starkey’s straight. I can’t imagine how fast it’ll feel with another 30bhp.
But it is the speed of the steering that takes the most getting used to. I’ve been lucky enough to ride quite a few toplevel racebikes over the years, from a Schwantz-era Suzuki RGV500 to current-model WSB racers, but nothing turns as fast as this. The bike shares geometry with the Daytona 675, but feels lighter and far more responsive. On my first lap I actually run over the kerbs at the Melbourne Hairpin and have to steer left when I should be turning right…
Once you get used to it, riding the Spirit is an amazing experience. You guide the bike with your finger-tips, never having to bully it towards an apex, never needing more than one finger on the brakes to pull up so quickly that you have to get on the gas again.
As a man more accustomed to volume production bikes, the GP Corse’s limits are so much higher that it’s impossible to even get near without plenty of laps.
But the idea of owning one, and getting to understand its extraordinary abilities will appeal to both wealthy trackday purists and racers heading to the top. I wish I was either.
‘You can guide it to each apex with your fingertips’
Fit and finish of the racebike is up there with the best Spirt GP Corse machine is racing this year in British Supersport Even the brake lever guard on the racer is stunning K-tech’s DDS Pro shock is one of the best available