WK Bikes has returned from this year’s Isle of Man TT on a high with Gary Johnson securing an impressive fourth on its factory-supported CFMOTO WK650 in the Bennetts Lightweight TT, and Craig Neve taking 16th.
WK Bikes made its TT debut in 2013 and has continued to defy critics of Chinese-manufactured ‘real’ racing bikes, proving its initial eyebrow-raising 109mph practice lap in the hands of frontrunner Johnson to be more than a promotional fluke. In just four short years, the Lincolnshire-based distributor has firmly placed its WK Bikes CFMOTO Factory Team on the TT map, enjoying hard-won and positive acceptance in the process.
Since that early outing, WK Bikes has taken its WK650 to a new level in terms of race-specific technical advancement. Thanks to its successful racing history in the hands of its sister company Quadzilla, the team has applied its passion, drive, experience and motivation to the manufacturer support from CFMOTO and, together with rider input from TT-specialist Johnson, has focussed on building a winning package.
The team’s 2016 results stand out for a number of reasons with reliability and performance taking top billing. Johnson held onto third place for the first two laps of the Lightweight TT class before slipping back to fourth spot after a pit stop, yet was only two seconds off the podium after 150 miles of gruelling road racing. Neve started 32nd and made up 16 places to finally finish in 16th ahead of many other experienced teams and riders.
Summing up his team’s 2016 success, WK Bikes boss Mike Hinkley said; “After the early failures at the TT, I took control of the race team two years ago and, during this time, we’ve worked hard to rectify those early mistakes and further the technical advancement of the bike. I also appointed a new rider to get additional feedback and this meant we spent more time testing and improving the bike than we’d ever managed before."
“The WK650 is a real-world bike that started out as a commuter. We’ve proved that our CFMOTO bikes are capable of beating some of the biggest manufacturers such as Suzuki and Kawasaki, at the world’s most punishing road race. Over the past few years our involvement at the TT has created a great deal of excitement and brand awareness, and there’s little doubt that the 650 can run with the very best Japanese machines. WK Bikes, together with CFMOTO, are at the forefront of the Chinese motorcycle revolution in the UK and we’ve already started working on our 2017 TT spec.
Watch this space!”