The Isle of Man TT races are a throwback to the original days of motorcycle racing. Credit must be given to the politicians on the Isle for continuing to promote the race year after year despite the numerous tragedies. No one is forcing the riders to enter; they ride at their own risk.
And ride they do — it takes beyond incredible motivation, skill and certain body parts made of steel to lap the TT course averaging over 100 mph. The current lap record was set in 2004 by John McGuiness at 125.38 mph.
For those not familiar with the race, the course is unique in the world of motorsports. It winds through narrow city streets and out into the barren mountainous countryside over a tortuous 226.5 miles (see map). On each 38 mile lap, riders encounter stone walls, telephone poles, slippery curves under the trees, and lumpy city streets with no runoff areas.
The danger is so overwhelming, and the speed so mind-blowing, that watching the race is an edge-of-the-seat experience. Duke Video has sponsored the race for several years, and they’ve perfected the telling of the Isle of Man TT story with a series of “On Bike TT Experience” videos.
We picked the On Bike TT Experience 5 video based on a recommendation from a webBikeWorld visitor and we weren’t disappointed. The film was shot during the year 2000 TT races, and features Iain Duffus, John McGuiness, Nigel “Cap” Davies and Roy Hanks on the Molyneux Yamaha 600 sidecar.
Television coverage of the TT races is usually cut up for the sake of drama. Rarely, if ever, has an entire TT lap been shown on television. On Bike TT Experience 5 includes several complete laps of the course, with minimal narrative and an occasional small graphic to show the viewer the rider’s position on the course. This is Isle of Man TT racing at its best — if you’re a TT junkie, this is your fix. It’s hard to take your eyes off the screen while the bikes go screaming through the villages and crowds with wheelies, power slides and gut wrenching action.
One of the most surprising segments to me is the sidecar action. I’m not sure if it’s the low height of the camera or the shaking and vibration of the sidecar, but this point of view seems to speed up the race by a factor of 3, and it really illustrates the brute force necessary to run this course.
I previewed this video for some non-motorcyclists who had never heard of the Isle of Man TT races, and they were completely fascinated. One viewer sat on the edge of her chair, covering her mouth with both hands!
We paid $34.95 through the Cycle News online video store, but Duke in the U.K. has the On Bike TT Experience 5 on sale for a steal at £2.99 ($5.39).
This video is highly recommended!
webBikeWorld has no connection with the producers of this video, financial or otherwise. All I can say is that this is a ripping good tale, and I highly recommend it