© 2019 Steve Plater / Martin Knighton

Test Rider

Steve started racing in 1994, the year after his first circuit experience on Cadwell Park's Honda Race School. Three years later he returned as an instructor fast tracking from newcomer to semi-pro racer.

“The main reason for instructing on circuits, firstly I had to analyse myself on track to understand the art of circuit riding”.

It’s very easy to rely on natural talent to achieve some great results, but stepping up to the next level will only happen after analysing your own style/approach, refining any negatives and maximising the chance to reach your own goals!

I enjoy coaching on circuits from track days, my young KTM Cup riders to professionals pushing for bigger achievements. 

Most of my coaching happens in Spain, Italy and Portugal, during the winter months of course, with a better climate. There's a choice of one to one coaching down to a maximum four to one depending on budget, with filming and importantly, great de-briefs to explain any negatives.

Norton first asked me to test the SG5 TT race bike back in 2014.

Until this time their machine was being raced at the TT by Ian Mackman, a decent rider with good TT experience. 

Stuart Garner had employed Mick Grant to oversee the TT project and between them negotiated a deal with TT winner Cameron Donald to compete the IOMTT races in 2014, that’s where I came in...

Rider Coach

With Cameron based in Australia my job through the winter months was to develop the chassis/electronics into a usable package for him to fly in and race the TT. Since that time I have been involved with development with the SG6 ready for Dave Johnson to race at the 2016 TT, and spent many hours preparing the chassis and electronics ready for Davo’s first ride. 

 

He flew in to the Isle of Man for the 2016 TT launch where I had been testing at Jurby, half way through day two I told Granty the bike was ready and any more riding from me was a waste of mileage. Davo needed to get on the Norton and personalise it to his riding style etc. Sure enough he rode the SG6 and didn’t change a thing, very complimentary of my set-up and then continued to fine tune the Norton at other tests before his 2016 TT assault.

The 2016 NEC Motorcycle Show saw Norton release the V4RR, a beautiful machine to be powered by a V4 1200cc unit. Until now the SG6 had been RSV Aprilia powered but Norton were now building their own engines for this gorgeous road bike that of course will also be raced at the TT and possibly even the British Championship in time.

2017 will see Norton back at the TT with the V4RR new chassis and fairings but for the last time being powered with the RSV Aprilia motor, it’s been an interesting winter developing the new chassis in preperation for Davo and his new team mate Josh Brookes to race the 2017 TT.

As soon as the TT is finished this year I will get to work on the new V4 1200cc engine testing.