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Isle of Man TT Race
August 21, 2007 5:28 PM   Subscribe

The Isle of Man TT race is arguably the most dangerous race one can do on a superbike, as it has claimed the lives of over 220 racers over the last 100 years. still, that doesn't seem to prevent people from competing, year, after, year.
posted by Industrial PhD (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
apologies in advance if this is a dupe. i searched it out, i really did!
posted by Industrial PhD at 5:29 PM on August 21, 2007


It's also one of the most thrilling races of any kind to watch on TV, especially the sidecars. I wish BMW would re-enter the fray.
posted by saladin at 5:41 PM on August 21, 2007


Woah, never heard of this race. And here I thought the guys in the suped-up Subarus were crazy for driving country roads. Those are superbikes on country roads. That's astonishingly crazy.

Extra bonus points for the chipper Brit who ate a hay stack at 160 mph. "Ooh-aye, me liver's wurkin' again an I did lose a spleen, but Aye can joost give it to the dog, dontchaknow."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:21 PM on August 21, 2007


Are the roads open during practice rounds? In that last youtube video, the bikes are passing cars and there's a brief near-encounter with a jogger. Anyway, yeah, crazy. Calls for the batshitinsane tag.
posted by chinston at 8:52 PM on August 21, 2007


Woah, never heard of this race.

Not exactly hidden, quite a famous race in fact, and they have been doing it for a hundred years so you should get with the program.

Next you'll be saying you've never heard of the Gordon Bennett Cup.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 8:59 PM on August 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


The roads are (or were in my day) open to spectators/visitors/assholes-on-kawasakis/sk4n after practice rounds.

That is how my right ass-cheek looks like it does.
posted by Sk4n at 9:08 PM on August 21, 2007


wow.
posted by vronsky at 9:32 PM on August 21, 2007


Respectfully, (the TT is an exceptional race and I'm glad to see it here on the blue, I'm really surprised it has not already at some point) you failed to mention Joey "Yer Man" Dunlop and Mike "The Bike" Hailwood, two riders who defined (and were defined by) the race.

Hailwood was an exceptional all-around racer (I knew him from watching formula one racing with my dad and who resuscitated Ducati with his come-back), but as a motorcycle racer Dunlop was just cooler. He was cooler than the coolest person you (or I) know. He ran a pub, raced all over Europe until he was 48 (and won most races), and in his spare time drove van-loads food and medical supplies to the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The guy was something to aspire to.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:56 AM on August 22, 2007


on review,

/derail
posted by From Bklyn at 1:04 AM on August 22, 2007


Those are superbikes on country roads. That's astonishingly crazy.

Welcome to pretty much any country road in the UK. The A65 from Skipton to Kendal is particularly recommended.
posted by vbfg at 1:39 AM on August 22, 2007


I can't believe George Formby wasn't mentioned...
posted by zemblamatic at 3:12 AM on August 22, 2007


Not a double in the blue, but previously discussed on Sportsfilter here and here.
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 3:47 AM on August 22, 2007


Yeah, you haven't really lived until you wake up with your nose pressed against the bedroom ceiling, having levitated in utter shock and awe as a stream of bikes rip past your house at almost 200mph before 6am :)

It is spectacular, and it brings a lot of people over to the IoM who would otherwise not come over - and therefore miss out on visiting a great little place.

The road surface is pretty horrible in places, though, even in a car - I'd hate to be on a bike or sidecar at 150+ when you hit one of the bumps or ripples or adverse cambers.

The only real reason that there are complaints about so many deaths is that often they'll involve spectators and/or marshalls, not just the rider. It is possible to stand really, really, really close to the track, and get right into the action. I used to sit on the wall of my parents' house, and I was separated by a 1m footpath, and then it's the road - on what is probably the fastest part of the track. Exhilirating and frightening in pretty equal parts. Oh, and deafening!

We've just had the TT100 - the centenary event - which was well received, although for a jaded local the only thing that seemed different was that there was a bajillion more people than usual.
Currently (i.e. this week and next) is the Manx Grand Prix, which is another similar bike race over the TT course, but is mostly less experienced riders, or some of the more classic bikes...

There's loads of photos on Flickr from the various TTs, and there's at least one group for it...
posted by Chunder at 6:02 AM on August 22, 2007


The TT may end someday, but it won't be because they couldn't attract enough riders or spectators. It's certainly on my list of things to do before I die as I'm sure it is on other people's.
posted by tommasz at 6:42 AM on August 22, 2007


It's certainly on my list of things to do before I die

Probably not very long before you die.
posted by rhymer at 6:59 AM on August 22, 2007


If you haven't seen V Four Victory where Joey Dunlop does the course with a camera strapped to his bike, you haven't understood the race. Awe inspiring footage, that.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:18 AM on August 22, 2007


quite a famous race in fact, and they have been doing it for a hundred years so you should get with the program

Only a hundred years? Well it's really no wonder...

Four-wheeler here, if you couldn't already tell.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:22 AM on August 23, 2007


Only a hundred years?

I saw some chariot racing a couple of weeks ago (really) -- now there's history! Those were the quintessential two-wheelers, to say nothing of the hooves, but they definitely didn't average over 130 mph.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 6:17 AM on August 24, 2007


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