Whangarei motorcycle racer Duncan Coutts has a new bike ahead of his next big meet - and this one has a bold theme.

The wrap on his bike pays homage to the potential building of the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art Gallery.

The Hundertwasser project moved a step closer to construction this week with a building consent application now in the hands of the council.

"I see the design as a victory for the people of Whangarei who battled the odds," said Coutts.


"It's a celebration of their belief. Now we'll see if Hundertwasser can get some victories on the racetrack."

The artwork is not painted on the bike but instead is done as a vinyl wrap by Whangarei firm Frankensignz.

Coutts is taking the bike to race as part of a New Zealand team in the Island Classic at Phillip Island in Australia in January.

"The Island Classic features an event called the International Challenge which involves teams from NZ, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland and the US," he said.

"The International Challenge is a bit of a Frankenstein event as there's bikes in it that aren't legal to race in most countries.

"There's a lot of complaints about some of the bikes but I like that it's different and my bike is a case of if you can't beat them, join them."

The Island Classic is the third-largest motorcycle event at Phillip Island and increasingly attracts the world's motorcycling superstars. Colin Edwards and Troy Corser are the latest entries to go along with regulars, Jeremy McWilliams, John McGuinness, Conor Cummins, Peter Hickman and many more.

"It's very cool to be sharing the pits with these superstars," he said.

"The teams are pitted side by side and unlike MotoGP or World Superbikes, the fans can come into the pits and mix around. We get to race in front of 20,000 people whereas at home it's usually only the street races where we get a few thousand."

The bike's frame is a replica of an XR69 designed by Harris in England in the early 80s. However this frame is made by Canadian firm CMR using chrome molybdenum.

It is powered by a highly modified Yamaha FJ1200 engine which gives the bike the official title of being a CMR F1 model.

"For those gearheads, the frame is light and has a shorter wheelbase and modern geometry," said Coutts.

"The engine is 1251cc with nikasil bores, compression up to 13 to one, worked cams, oversized valves in a highly ported head and Mikuni flatslide carbs going out a Hindle exhaust. The rolling chassis is fairly light but the engine is heavy."

The bike is raced in the increasingly popular post-classic pre 1989 class in New Zealand.

Coutts' last bike was a Suzuki GSXR 1100 on which he won at the Burt Munro Festival, Paeroa Battle of the Streets and the Suzuki Series.

"The new bike is taking some time to set up so I'm not up to speed yet, however it should be a mean piece of kit," he said.

"I'm getting plenty of ribbing about the artwork. Things like 'Who stole Joseph's coat?' and the like. It's all in good fun and my bikes have always looked a little different."