Mori­waki VTR1000 Firestorm

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Moriwaki Vtr -

In the 1960s Mamoru Mori­waki was a racer, rid­ing for Yoshimura. Over the years he taught him­self me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing, learned how to tune en­gines, and found time to marry Pops Yoshimura’s daugh­ter. By the 1970s he’d es­tab­lished his own epony­mous com­pany, de­vel­op­ing alu­minium as a frame ma­te­rial as well tun­ing big Kawasaki en­gines. Graeme Crosby, Dave Al­dana and, most fa­mously, Wayne Gard­ner raced for Mori­waki in the 1970s and 1980s, beat­ing fac­tory teams in the Suzuka 8hr and in na­tional races in Aus­tralia, the US and the UK. Mori­waki ran an RCV in Motogp be­tween 2003 and 2005 with a steel tube Mori­waki frame and then won the de­but Moto2 world ti­tle with Toni Elias.

But back in 1997, Mori­waki-san was run­ning a VTR1000 Firestorm at the Suzuka 8hr. The bike was a mis­sile that Mori­waki reck­oned was mak­ing 145bhp, us­ing only high-lift cams, head work, valves, high comp pis­tons and his in­take, ex­haust and carb tricks. Rods and crank were stock: “Very strong metal,” ac­cord­ing to the man.

The frame and swingarm were stock but heav­ily braced, with Nissin brakes and Mori­waki­mod­i­fied forks and shock link­ages. The bike suf­fered elec­tri­cal prob­lems in the race and limped home a few places be­hind Du­cati’s 916 en­try. Later the next year, Mori­waki brought the same bike over to the UK, when Jim Moodie raced it at Don­ing­ton Park.

But­ter­fly and cater­pil­lar

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