June 07, 2006

The Isle of Man: TT - road racing for the hardcore biker. This year's festival of lunacy has already seen the lap record broken (37.75 miles at an average speed of 127.93 mph), and a death (close to 180 people have been killed since racing started here in 1907). Joey Dunlop once described the experience of racing on the Isle of Man: "There are grey bits and there are green bits and you just try your best to stay on the grey bits."

posted by JJ to other at 06:35 AM - 17 comments

Should really have found this link [You Tube] before I posted the FPP. Unreal. It's telling that half the field is usually from Northern Ireland. I think you need to be fairly well unhinged to do this.

posted by JJ at 06:44 AM on June 07, 2006

Ooooo - and this one, charting the history of the races. Quality footage.

posted by JJ at 07:07 AM on June 07, 2006


posted by tieguy at 07:36 AM on June 07, 2006

Awesome post, JJ. Thanks. Motorcycle racing related: did you catch the MotoGP race at Mugello this past Sunday? That was one of the most exciting races I've ever seen.

posted by NoMich at 10:42 AM on June 07, 2006

I did - and Moto GP is really starting to drag the (admittedly small) part of my brain devoted to motor sports away from F1. That said, those TT racers make the track guys look like children. Or vice versa (in terms of the mentality required).

posted by JJ at 10:51 AM on June 07, 2006

Do you know if the Speed Channel shows any of the Isle of Man TT races? That would be pretty cool to see.

posted by NoMich at 12:23 PM on June 07, 2006

The TT races on the Isle of Man have been on my "Must Do" list for years and years. I'd love to ride the course a few times and imagine what its like at speed. I mean, they get air over some of the hills! This is insanity!

posted by fenriq at 12:44 PM on June 07, 2006

Oh yeah, and watching the videos really, really makes me want to go for a long and dangerously high speed ride on my bike!

posted by fenriq at 12:46 PM on June 07, 2006

What do you ride, fenriq?

posted by NoMich at 01:14 PM on June 07, 2006

Low-rider BMX, hopefully.

posted by yerfatma at 02:06 PM on June 07, 2006

That would be a very funny sight: fenriq's legs pumping like mad to get his little BMX up to 15 miles per hour around the IoMTT courses.

posted by NoMich at 02:26 PM on June 07, 2006

I love it, but I'm wincing the entire time I'm watching. All those poles, curbs, stone walls, blind corners... it's a death trap. The guys that ride it balls all out are certifiably insane. And yes, the MotoGP race at Mugello was OUT-FUCKING-STANDING. One of the few times the big bikes were more exciting than the little ones.

posted by dusted at 03:08 PM on June 07, 2006

Exxcellent post JJ. Insane race. I know in the past SpeedTV has shown some coverage of the race. Anybody out there know of schedule? I would love to see the race in person some time. I missed the MotoGP race for some reason and now I am pissed.

posted by chuck'n'duck at 03:51 PM on June 07, 2006

If only one person dies this year, we're under the average! I always knew the stat was an average of 2 deaths a year, and that figure seems to back it up.:( I think last year 2 riders AND a marshall were killed. Though from reading that story, it's still possible we'll reach the average this year:( Speed: Who knows with those idiots. They might show it. They've dropped WRC though, so who knows... All I care about right now is Le Mans! I just can't get into bike racing outside the TT, which sucks as I've been told, as an F1 fan, I'd probably love MotoGP and WSBK.

posted by Drood at 03:21 AM on June 08, 2006

In that same interview with Joey Dunlop (which I can't seem to find a transcript of anywhere), he took the interviewer through a lap. At one part of the course he used to take a long chicane at about 170mph and on the exit, he would flick his head to the right to avoid a dry stone wall. "So there, as you're coming out, you just move your head over to one side so you can get in close to that wall and not have to lift off the throttle..." "You do WHAT?! Are you serious? What if you get that wrong?" "*laughing* My cuosin go one wrong the other week in a race, clipped a wall and lost a finger, so I suppose if I got it wrong, I'd lose me head! *laughing more*" He was a quiet man who didn't laugh much - interesting to note what did make him laugh. chuck'n'duck - you're right about it being insane, but if you ever do get to go and see it, you'll discover to your joy that it's not just one race, but a whole week of practice followed by a whole week of racing on all different classes of bike (including sidecars). If any of you really fancy going, here are the dates for coming years. Bring your bikes - they have a day when the circuit is opened up to the amateurs.

posted by JJ at 04:21 AM on June 08, 2006

"My cuosin go one wrong" was just bad typing, not dialect.

posted by JJ at 09:03 AM on June 08, 2006

Note that the *really* high fatality rate associated with the TT isn't the race itself, but when they let the general public loose on the course. Turns out a lot of sports bike owners bear the same relationship to shit-hot riders that most Harley owners bear to bad-asses: Only in their minds.

posted by rodgerd at 05:58 AM on June 10, 2006

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