Moto Martin Kawasaki: Great Racers

Date 16.2.2012

Presented by
  • Motorcycle Trader

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Scott Webster’s rare Moto Martin Kawasaki F1 racer started life in Europe as an endurance chassis built by French company Moto Martin.

The frame kit was imported to Australia in 1980 by eccentric Frenchman Bertrand Cadart to contest the 1981 Arai 500 endurance race with Scott Stephens and Dave Miller. It backed up in the 1982 Arai 500 with Ken Wootton and David Shaw in the saddle, before ending up in Webster’s possession a few years later.

Webster, a Superbike racer in the ’80s, has used the Moto Martin to devastating effect at Phillip Island’s high-profile Forgotten Era events, beating none other than Robbie Phillis in the process.

More suited to fast, flowing circuits like Phillip Island rather than scratchers’ tracks like Broadford or Wakefield Park, the Moto Martin has the aerodynamic benefit of a fairing to assist top speed – and a strong engine courtesy of renowned tuner Trevor Birrell.

“Scott’s engine has Arias 1230cc pistons, 390 Web-Cams, Ferrea valves, my own porting and Keihin CR33 carbs,” says Birrell.

“The crank is welded, and I use a Z1000J gearbox as it has bigger shafts. The clutch uses standard Kwaka plates with heavier springs.”

Webster uses a Moriwaki Monster race pipe, with Birrell indicating around 140 horses at the rear wheel.

“There’s nothing secret about the engine,” says Birrell. “The cams aren’t that radical – 390 is around 9.9mm lift – but that way you don’t have to replace the valve train or valve guides every season.”

The French bike is little changed from its 1980 configuration. Vive la différence!