The Isle of Man TT has seen great growth over the last several years, and visitor figures suggest TT 2014 is the most successful since the centenary festival in 2007. Steam Packet boats will have carried more than 12,000 motorbikes and about 40,000 passengers to the island during the past two and a half weeks.
So, with 12,000 bikes coming to an island hosting the greatest road races on earth, one would expect there would be some cool ones. Indeed, there are.
Unlike motorcycle gatherings in the U.S., it is virtually impossible to find bikes of the cruiser variety. Sport, standard, touring and adventure bikes reign supreme, with hundreds of vintage machines of every stripe also on the roads.
Bike shows, club gatherings, and rallies are scheduled almost every day, and The Ramsey Sprint sees ‘run what you brung’-style 1/8th-mile time trials. There are several museums on the island, including the charming A.R.E. Classic Bike Collection in Kirk Michael, with over 100 mint, and running, vintage European bikes, including a brace of Manx Nortons.
Here are some of the machines that caught my fancy over the TT fortnight, some old, some new, some weird, and many that you can’t get in the USA.