Harris Moto2

Pretty, ain’t she?

Although Suter and Kalex are running the Moto2 show, there are still a number of chassis manufacturers capable of winning. During the class’ inaugural first year, the bookies were having a ball. Realistically, any of 30 riders could have won a race, and the guy who won the previous round was usually mincing around mid-pack. Dunlop wasn’t sure about tyres, chassis manufacturers weren’t sure on chassis direction, and the GP racers weren’t sure on riding four-strokes. It was a captivating set of circumstances.

Can you remember who bagged pole position at Le Mans in 2010? Kenny Noyes on the British-built Harris bike. This Moto2 steed is an original testing mule, set-up and eventually raced by CRT champion, Aleix Espargaro. Asparagus raced the bike in the Spanish CEV Moto2 class and blitzed the opposition. This exact bike laid the foundations for Harris’ return to GP racing in Moto2, and we were lucky enough to blag a spin on the old girl.

A GP bike at Donny. Lovely…
To ensure the correct weight distribution and balance, the fuel tank has been relocated under the pilot’s botty. This also meant modifying and re-routing the ECU and loom. Whatever you do, don’t fart sparks…
The frame is aluminium perimeter-type but Harris use Ducati-style trellis around the headstock, for the best combination of rigidity and strength, but also to allow for the best route of air induction. Getting fresh air into the airbox is essential. A carbon fibre induction tube starts the process.
Top-end Öhlins FGRs boss the front of the bike, and are mounted to Harris’ own multi-adjustable yokes. Brembo HPK calipers are far from the best/most expensive, but are more than up to the task. They bite 290mm, extra-thick Brembo GP discs and provide evil but controllable stopping power. Wheels are PVM 5-spokes.
Before Öhlins UK was born last year, Harris was the official importers of the Swedish suspension, and have years of racing know-how. This shock is built specifically for the Moto2 project. The build finish and quality of the linkage engineering is mind-blowing.
Although Harris could have built a one-piece swingarm (like the KR units), the reality is that it would have been too costly. The CNC-machined item has an adjustable pivot and holds an AP ‘GP’ underslung caliper.

A massive oversized Bora radiator keeps the engine cool, designed for GP racing in foreign climes. An HM dash displays everything you need to know. It seems the only thing that’s non-adjustable on the Harris bike is the seat foam. Screwdrivers, compression and rebound aside, the swingarm pivot, head angle and offset can be adjusted

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Small bike, big boy…

It was easier to ride than a Kiddimoto, falling into corners without the friskiness or edgy attitude. Every angle of lean is controllable. Nothing I’ve ever ridden boasts the metronomic consistency, gliding from apex to apex with consummate ease and using every inch of the circuit. The Harris Moto2 is an ignorant, selfish bastard, which makes it seamless from braking, through to apex and corner exit. The formula for riding the Harris bike is simple; wait until you see God, brake later than late and trail the stoppers deep into the bend. The unfathomable clinical precision of the front end allows piss-taking levels of commitment and trail-braking. The balance and the way in which the two ends work in unconditional synchronisation means the bike is perfectly poised.

The Harris Moto2 is indisputably the best bike I’ve ridden.

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