An Isle of Man inquest has recorded a verdict of accidental death on James Cowton, killed at last year’s Southern 100.
But while it was found that a wiring fault had contributed to the accident, no blame was attached to either the manufacturer or people involved with the machine’s preparation.
According to Manx Radio news, a broken connection between two wires linked to the kill switch on his Kawasaki was believed to have caused the crash in the 600cc Challenge Race at Stadium Bends.
It was said this would have caused a power loss heading into the corner causing the 26 year old to clip the wall, thrown onto the other side of the road and hit by another rider.
Three riders, Ivan Lintin, Jamie Coward and Michael Evans, also crashed while trying to avoid the accident. Lintin was taken to hospital.
Police said that sound taken from video on Cowton’s machine and from Greenlight Television’s stationary camera showed the engine had cut out. While vehicle examiner Anthony Bode had initially found no mechanical issues with any of the machines, the sound on the footage caused him to look into the electronics behind the instrument cluster where he found a loose multi plug which connected the kill switch.
Further testing found that a clip fastening the two halves of the plug hadn’t been locked together which could have resulted in the connection coming apart. He said it could have existed for some time as this was something not usually checked by scrutinisers or doing regular servicing.
A statement from Kawasaki said that this had never happened before although the connectors had at some point been modified for racing.
The Coroner Mrs Hughes, in delivering the verdict of accidental death, said it was very clear that no blame could be attributed to anyone involved in preparing or checking the bike ahead of the race in terms of lack of care or malicious intent.