No Room For Error: Inside The Isle Of Man TT
Imagine doing what you do for a living and at the end of the day being thrilled you’re still alive. - Lee Johnston
No conversation around the Isle of Man TT is complete without talking about the very real possibility of death. More than any other competition in the world today, few, if any, are more dangerous than the Isle of Man TT. But ask anyone who competes in the legendary race (or has ever competed in it) and you’ll hear a general theme about why they do it: Passion. Love. Fulfillment.
MO Viewed: Tourist Trophy
We know that regular MO readers are fans of the Isle of Man TT. Friend of MO, Andrew Capone, gives us annual posts from the event, and the analytics tell us that they are very popular. So, the release of the feature-length documentary film Tourist Trophy should spark more than a little interest among the fans. Over the course of 90+ minutes, viewers get the opportunity to get to know some of the variety of riders taking part in the 2022 Isle of Man TT.
Insider Stories From The Ducati Museum
As a general rule, I tend to listen to museum curators once they start talking. Having someone at your disposal who is so deeply vested, and intimately knowledgeable, in the subject matter is a treasure worth hanging on to.
Livio Lodi is just such a person. As the curator of the Ducati museum in the company HQ in Borgo Panigale, Loi is more than just a Ducatista. Born and raised in Bologna, he’s lived and breathed Ducati for as long as he’s been alive. After joining the company in the 1980s, working in the factory on the production line for the Ducati Paso 750, he transitioned into a role as an accountant for the company. Away from work, his passion for history and his ability to speak fluently in multiple languages (English being the most relevant here) made him an obvious choice when then-CEO Fabrizio Minoli came looking for a museum curator. The rest, as they say, is history.
Out and About at The Isle of Man TT 2022 – Part 2
With two years of racing canceled due to COVID, the lead up to the 2022 Isle of Man TT was fraught with concern over… well, everything. The Isle of Man is a speck of a country in the middle of the Irish Sea, with only 88,000 residents, that somehow girds up and welcomes 40,000 visitors, 13,000 bikes and an army of riders, teams, volunteer Marshals and support personnel for a two-week festival around the incredible Mountain Course.
Out and About at The Isle of Man TT 2022 – Part 1
You see, here’s the thing about the Isle of Man TT. It shouldn’t be thought of as a “bucket list” event. The TT is The Bucket. The 115 year old vessel which holds the best of motorcycle racing history, technology, competition, camaraderie, and culture. It is surrounded by the places and the people and the spirits that form a shared experience unrivaled in motorsports. And once you indulge, you will know that once is not enough. This is trip number thirteen for me. And as in years past, rather than just report on the results of the TT Races, I’ll give Motorcycle.com readers a sense of what goes on throughout the fortnight, out and about on The Isle of Man.
Out and About at The Isle of Man TT 2022 – Part 2
I arrived just before Practice Week (now officially called Qualifying Week, but give it another 50 years for that to be broadly used by the locals) allowing time for copious hugging of old friends not seen since 2019. I greeted my plucky Suzuki V-Strom 650 that had sat patiently in a garage for three years on a battery tender. She fired up, and I began my rounds.
Metzeler Tires: Everything You Need To Know
Fun fact: Metzeler, the company we now know for its motorcycle tires, used to be in the business of making sausage casings. Yeah, sausages. Like the things we stick between buns and eat at baseball games. This was just one of the many different business ventures under the Metzeler umbrella during its 158-year history.
For a clearer context, let’s go back to the beginning. Robert Friedrich Metzeler founded the eponymous company in 1863 in Munich, Germany, producing rubber goods ranging from surgical equipment to children’s toys. The company’s early claim to fame, however, came in 1878, as it developed and produced an air-tight fabric made from rubber (among other things) to form the world’s largest tethered balloon for that year’s Paris World Exhibition. Spanning 36 meters (118 feet) in diameter, attendees of the fair could get a view of Paris from as high as 500 meters (1,640 feet) in the sky.
2020 Isle of Man TT Cancelled Due to COVID-19
The 2020 Isle of Man TT has officially been cancelled in order to help protect the island’s residents against the novel Coronavirus pandemic. The news should not come as a surprise, as other major events around the world, not just motorsports events such as MotoGP, World Superbike and the Daytona TT have been either postponed or outright cancelled to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
This year’s TT was originally scheduled to take place from May 30 to June 13, and the fortnight will not be rescheduled. The Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix will remain scheduled for Aug. 22, though obviously, that may change.
Economically, the cancellation is a huge blow to the Isle of Man’s economy, but the health of Manx residents is a bigger priority.
The Isle itself is still open to travelers, but anyone arriving on the island will be required to spend 14 days under quarantine, whether they are showing symptoms or not. As of this writing, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Isle of Man.
Those who have already purchased tickets to attend the 2020 Isle of Man TT events will be able to get a full refund.
Press Release Below
Motorcycle Traveler - Book Review
What would you do if you came face to face with your own mortality? For many of us, especially in this sport, it’s a scenario we think about in the abstract; we’re either going to go out in a blaze of glory doing something we love, or Father Time will continue undefeated. We don’t think, much less expect, something like cancer to get in the way of our plans. Peter Starr was one of those people, living comfortably – some would even say successfully – thanks to motorcycles.
One fateful day in 2004 would turn his world upside down. Starr was diagnosed with colon cancer, bringing into crystal clear focus how finite his life really was. It was then that he stopped giving in to the excuses he told himself and decided to check off something he’d always wanted to do: explore the world on two wheels. In his book, Motorcycle Traveler, Starr takes us through his six-year journey, crossing 12 countries off his bucket list long before that was ever a phrase.
Riding, And Racing, The Lightfighter LFR19 Electric Motorcycle - Part 1
The history book (or Wikipedia page, if that’s your thing) on electric motorcycles is rather slim, especially compared to its internal combustion counterparts, but what you’ll find is a myriad of ideas and concepts. Such is the beauty of a technology in its infancy. The section on electric racing motorcycles is even thinner. If you discount the inaugural MotoE championship running alongside MotoGP this year, the biggest stage for electric racing motorcycles has been the Isle of Man TT Zero race, wherein each entry tries to complete one full lap around the 37-mile course as fast as possible. Well, it was until the event was put on hold for at least two years. The machines you would have found at the TT Zero are full of ideas and concepts to win the race, but the one constant is the fact the batteries dominate the vehicle’s overall design. It’s understandable, considering you need a lot of battery to travel nearly 40 miles at 150-plus miles per hour.
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Isle of Man TT 2019 Wrap-up
Yes, it rained for the better part of two weeks. Until it didn’t. And then all hell broke loose on the Mountain Course. The pubs, hotels, and campsites emptied, the Parc Fermé lit up, and qualifying and racing got underway as an unusual and stirring race fortnight on the Isle of Man drew to a fitting climax.
Race officials jammed five races and Senior TT qualifying in to Thursday, with the Senior moved forward to early Friday morning, in a NASA- like quest to get the mission off in a narrow window of benign atmospheric conditions.
Out and About at the Isle of Man TT 2019
Peter Hickman became the rare rider to win two TT races in a day, with Superstock and Supersport victories. Ben and Tom Birchall made it ten TT wins in the sidecars, winning both 2019 tilts. And, in a dramatic finale, Dean Harrison won the Senior TT with the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider grabbing the lead on the fifth lap of six, as Hickman nursed his illin’ BMW to second, with Manx native Conor Cummins taking third.
Out and About at the Isle of Man TT 2019
As Sunday unfolded, an unfamiliar yellow orb rose in the sky over the Isle of Man, and a stiff wind blew the eerie mist known as The Cloak of Mannanan out to the Irish Sea. Weary sojourners emerged from crowded pubs and soggy tents. The TT Paddock buzzed with energy. After five consecutive days of qualifying canceled and racing delayed, motorbikes and sidecar outfits took to the 37.73-mile Mountain Course in anger. The 2019 TT was finally on.
This year’s races are wide open. Conor Cummins, Michael Rutter, Peter Hickman, Dean Harrison, Lee Johnston, Ian Hutchinson, James Hillier, Michael Dunlop, and the back-from-the brink John McGuinness (pictured above on the new Norton) are all in the mix, and despite the travails of this week, will be fighting for the podium.
2019 Isle of Man TT Preview
The 100th meeting of the Isle of Man TT is nearly upon us, with competitors getting ready to tackle the 37.73-mile Snaefell Mountain Course.
Qualifying is already well under way, leading up to the first day of racing this Saturday, June 1, with the RST Superbike TT and Sidecar TT Race 1 (weather permitting, of course). As usual, our TT correspondent Andrew Capone will be filing reports from the scene, giving us a look around the paddock and around the Isle of Man. UPDATE: Due to weather affecting the qualifying schedule, the first day of racing has been pushed to Sunday, June 2. —Ed.
Isle of Man TT Gets Mainstream Respect In New Documentary Co-Produced By Tom Brady
The thing about the Isle of Man TT is that we can’t get enough of it. Thus defines the magic of the race. There’s speed, there’s intrigue, there’s gasoline, there’s adventure – and looming not far off in the background is death. When you distill what makes the Isle of Man TT so interesting to so many of us, the essence of it all comes back to this: death looms large at the Isle and every competitor stares it right back in the face.
The race, and those who take part in it, has been documented numerous times by so many entities, both in and out of motorcycling precisely because of the bravery and skill of everyone involved. Its mainstream relevance is a tribute to the people, machines, organization, and the island itself. And now a new mainstream entity has chosen to create a documentary around this historic race.
Audience Network’s original documentary series, Religion of Sports, is back for Season 3, premiering Wed, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Co-Produced by Patriots QB Tom Brady and Hall of Fame Defensive End Michael Strahan, the series highlights various cultural and historical experiences in sports across the globe, from famous rivalries to unforgettable hardships. The first episode of Season 3 features the incredible story of the Isle of Man TT. Located on a small island between Ireland and North England, this story follows the most dangerous motorcycle race in the world, featuring riders who navigate old, windy roads of a small English village at speeds close to 200 mph.
In the sneak preview clip below we don’t see any motorcycle racing, and yet the production quality ensures it’s one in a string of Isle of Man TT documentaries that can’t be missed.
The Sarolea Manx7 Electric Superbike Is A Carbon Fiber Lover's Fantasy
The major bane of every electric motorcycle’s existence, at least so far, is weight. As battery technology stands these days, there’s no getting around the fact that batteries are heavy. No matter how many trick components you surround the battery with, a plump curb weight is a killer when it comes to performance. Case in point, the Energica Eva Esse Esse 9. A trellis frame, Marzocchi fork, Bitubo shock, OZ wheels, Brembo brakes, and the finest in Italian electric motorcycle technology can’t hide the fact that the bike weighs 621 pounds.
Contrast that with this, the Saroléa Manx7. Born out of Belgium, Saroléa developed a pure racebike, the SP7, to contest the Isle of Man TT Zero race for electric motorcycles. Technical difficulties meant the team came short of their goals, which is too bad since rider Dean Harrison was on fire all week. Nonetheless, the lessons learned from the SP7 filtered directly over to the Manx7, and the first thing you notice about it is the styling. Like an old school grand prix racer reimagined for the modern day, the rounded nose/headlight combination and stubby tail visually takes you back in time. Meanwhile, the broad-shouldered mid-section gives the machine a visually muscular appearance – and the gold stripe down the middle is a nice touch.
2018 Isle of Man TT Video Highlights
The 2018 Isle of Man TT turned out to be one of the most spectacular fortnights in the storied history of the meeting. Virtually every race saw new lap records set, at speeds that were unthinkable a decade ago. The weather was glorious, and a host of new dining and imbibing options have proliferated. There were some tragic losses to go with the glory, but that is part of the unparalleled history, character, and danger of this extraordinary contest.
Other than the 40,000 visitors to the TT, though, millions of additional motorbike enthusiasts around the globe settled for watching the race coverage in the comfort of their homes. But not live. Instead, the TT programming is distributed as a set of same-day highlights programs, which spawns considerable production challenges.
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