Nova completes the engineering triangle


West Sussex-based Nova Racing Transmissions is passionate about engineering and racing in equal measure, developing aftermarket transmission systems for modern and classic motorcycles. With the technical support from WNT (UK) it has been able to improve its own performance, reducing cycle times and improving tool life across a range of materials. Now, to complete the triangle it has become a supplier to WNT Burman Racing, whose rider Sam Burman is herself an engineer, working at Tata’s Scunthorpe Steel Mills.

Nova Racing Transmissions will supply Sam with its proven KTM RC250R Moto3 Dog Ring Gearbox which was developed at the highest level with the Racing Steps Foundation and the Mahindra Moro 3 World Championship squad. At British Championship level the same gearbox was used last season by runaway championship winner Charlie Nesbitt. Michael Payne, Nova’s designer responsible for the gearbox says “We were contacted initially by Mark Keen of the Racing Steps Foundation as they were having issues with the OEM. Development work took place and with the Nova design we eliminated the missing gearshift issue and also improved stability when changing gear through corners.”

Nova has worked closely with WNT (UK) to improve productivity of its machining activities making use of the latest solid carbide and indexable insert tooling to extend tool life while at the same time reducing cycle times. Among the tools it is utilising are the WTX UNI solid carbide drills, HCX1125 Dragonskin turning inserts and, W-HPC solid carbide end mills for aluminium machining. Technical support has come from direct contact with WNT’s Technical Sales Engineer Bob Thompson and discussions are underway to carry out more detailed assessment of machining processes at WNT’s Technical Centre in Sheffield, allowing Nova’s production to carry on uninterrupted while new strategies are developed.


Part of that cutting tool development work as gone into the machining of parts for the KTM gearbox and this brought up the opportunity for Nova to support Sam in the upcoming HEL Performance British Motostar Championship. “It is an interesting tie-up between Nova as the manufacturer, WNT as a cutting tool supplier and Sam who is also an engineer in her ‘day job’ when not racing motorbikes,” says Nova Racing Transmissions’ Sales Manager Mick Dearlove. “We are all passionate about what we do and our values of supporting our customers match closely those of WNT and with Sam’s background she also understands what we are doing, mutual respect all round.”


The season started for Sam at a test at Donington Park with the first race meeting taking place at the same circuit between on the 31 March and 2nd April. Sam adds her thoughts: “The Nova gearbox fitted to my KTM will give me much smoother and faster gearshifts, much faster than the standard gearbox. The advantage that I am really looking forward to, though, is the fact that the bike will feel much more settled and planted when changing gear on the side of the tyre. This should be most evident at circuits like Donington, which has some fast flowing sections of track where you are constantly accelerating.”