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 Post subject: Isle of Man TT
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12928
Location: CT
The tiny Isle of Man is an idyllic green 220 square-mile farming and fishing island in the Irish Sea, halfway bwtn Ireland and England. It's home to about 80,000 permanent residents. It's quiet and lush and beautiful, and lapped by the sea in every direction. But each summer for the past 104 years (except during the two World Wars), Man has been invaded by another 40,000 tourists for about 2 weeks, half the number of the actual population of the island. This year that event begins at the end of May and lasts until 10June.

The reason for the invasion is the wildest, oldest, fastest, most-terrifying, most-dangerous motorcycle road race in the history of mankind; the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy.

There almost aren't words to describe the TT; you have to watch it on video to believe what actually happens there. The world's greatest names in motorcycle racing gather there annually on the wildest Superbikes man has ever produced. They race each other fairing to fairing at sustained speeds of up to 200mph...not around a professional race track, but around the island's back-country roads. :shock:

The roads are lined with trees, stone walls, houses, barns, barbed-wire fences, and spectators...each of those coming right up to the edge of the road. And being a farming community, there have been a whole dictionary full of animals which have stepped out into the roadway during the race, usually with disastrous results. There are no shoulders, no run-off ramps, no safety skid zones. There is just the road, lined with hard objects. It's a death race, where a single mistake or just one mechanical problem can leave the bike-less rider flying thru the air at 200mph, 30ft above the ground. More than 200 people have been killed at Man, some of them spectators. It is, in all honesty, the world's last true road race.

The course is 38miles long, and they run 5 laps in the Seniors (Superbike) race, for a total of 190 miles. That generally takes less than 2hrs. The course is normally run Clockwise, but the officials have been known to suddenly announce 'this year's race will be run Counter-clockwise', just for fun. And, they don't cancel the race due to rain.

What drives men to dangle their lives on the thinnest of threads, where a single mistake will snuff them out in an instant? These are professional motorcycle racers, who have spent 20 or 30 yrs being groomed to become World Champion on safe, ("safe") pristine road racing courses around the world. They employ dozens of people on their big-named, factory-sponsored multi-million-dollar race teams, and earn 6 figures for winning a single Grand Prix race. What would prompt them to leave their 'clean' professional race circuit and risk everything on this hideously dangerous road race? The TT is not about money; indeed, it's the poorest-paying race in the world. Five races are run each year (different classes of motorcycle), and the 5 First Place winners SHARE minuscule prizes such as last year's $82,625.59 divided among them (that's right; they each got about $6500 for risking their lives). The five 10th place winners (the lowest position which earns any cash prize) divided $1,734 last year, awarding each rider $345. You can't even ship a motorcycle to Man from ANYwhere for that amount. Fuel, food, pit crew, tires, and motels easily cost far more than the first place prize earns you. Clearly, this is not a profit scheme.

What the riders DO get is a form of immortality. Their names are listed on the winners' roster for as long as mankind remains to read it. They earn the prestige of saying they won the TT at Man. Some riders (like Agostini, Dunlop and Hailwood) have won multiple times.


Or, in some cases, they can get buried alongside the road and have the corner they died in named in their memory.

Here's what they do for a living at Man; 38 miles per lap, 5 laps per race. 190 miles per race. Take a look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7HlrI1 ... tsmorevidz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmNXCJt ... =dukevideo (this is a single 38 mile lap, run in 17min 30sec, for an average speed over 180mph)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_7dOOG ... w43LjrsNpQ (here the bikes are entering Quarry Bends, the half-way point around the 38mi course. They enter from a top-speed straightaway nearly a mile long, but must slow to about 180-185 to negotiate the bends).

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1970 240Z


Last edited by Frank T on Fri May 13, 2016 7:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Isle of Man TT
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 7:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:21 am
Posts: 755
Location: Somers CT
One of my High School friends has raced there the last 4 years. I can't imagine going the speeds he has gone on that windy track.
He is far more adventurous the I for sure.

Image

Thats him on #40 leading this group round the course.

Image
and here catching a bit of air . . . . .

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W.Karl Walton
Somers CT



75' - 280Z - HLS30203249 - #304 Gold Metallic (stockish)
96' - 300zx TT - JN1CZ24d3TX960293 - Black on Black (enhanced)


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 Post subject: Re: Isle of Man TT
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 11:09 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12928
Location: CT
Send him this link with our respect and regards. Maybe he'll tell us something about the course!

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1970 240Z


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 Post subject: Re: Isle of Man TT
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:16 pm
Posts: 381
Location: Ansonia, CT
Ive watched many videos of the TT event. It is truly the most dangerous and terrifying motor event I've seen. :shock:

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John Kish
1971 240Z original owner


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 Post subject: Re: Isle of Man TT
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:21 am
Posts: 755
Location: Somers CT
His wife posted this on facebook today : Its from his quest to be allowed to really race.
Bill Blythe Racing
2013 Isle of Man Manx Grand Prix on the TT Mountain Course

My long career of motorcycle competition was crowned with a race at the 2013 Manx Grand Prix on the world famous Isle of Man TT Mountain Course. It was a true privilege to participate in this, the 90th running of the MGP. Over the two weeks of practice and racing, I competed in two classes and was awarded finishers medallions in both. The races are four laps on closed public roads which represents about 150 miles of almost indescribable intensity. The course is 37.73 miles long and there are well over 200 turns to memorize and it is certainly a challenge. Speeds are from barely a canter on very tight turns to top speed which was just in excess of 140 mph on my little 650cc bike. All of my years of racing and riding were brought to a sharp focus and the skills I had acquired were put to good use in 650 miles of racing and practice there.
In 2011, as I began my initial investigation in into attempting to get over to race in 2012, I spoke with Dave Roper and asked his advice. Dave is the only American to ever win a race on the TT Mountain Course and has had vast racing experience. He commented that going there to race is a monumental logistical task, and he suggested that if I planned to race there that I should go and spectate first. There have been racers who go to the Island with their bikes from other countries and get a lap or two of practice, and pack up and go home. The course is very complicated and can be intimidating. I made arrangements to go in 2012, and fell in love with the Isle of Man. I knew right away that I wanted to race there on that hallowed ground, and over the next 12 months was very busy getting ready for the 2013 MGP.
Amongst many other tasks, I needed to qualify for the race by finishing 6 races here in the 13 months prior to June 30, 2013. That meant new leathers, preparing 2 bikes and renewing my expert racing licenses after 25 years, travelling to South Jersey, New Hampshire and numerous other places. A second trip over was planned for July of 2013 to practice on my great friend Bob Taylor’s Yamaha 600. Twenty laps later, I had a better idea of where the course goes. There are no speed limits on the Isle of Man (except for in villages), so after 750 spirited miles, Bob’s Yamaha had bald tires.
In speaking with past champion racers while there in 2012, I was advised to ride a 650cc twin Kawasaki for the MGP, as my race bikes were finicky and as two strokes were in need of lots of tuning. It is best to concentrate on learning the course and not worry about tuning etc. I found one and modified it to race spec, and shipped it to the island. Jill and I flew over for the third time for the races in August of 2013. We had sponsorship from Wobbly Bob Racing and others which really helped, but the cost of flying, race entries, lodging, building bikes and travel in the US meant heavy expenses.
I am sending this letter to you to invite you to participate in my 2014 race effort. I plan to go back to the Isle of Man this year for the Manx Grand Prix, and would be grateful for any contributions you could make. If applicable, your logo will appear on my bike and you will receive a tee shirt as a thank you for joining our team. If you would like to support me, you may donate to the cause via PayPal at jennings541@cox.net or by check to the address below. Thank you!

Sincerely yours,

Bill Blythe
541 Main Street, Somers, CT 06071

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W.Karl Walton
Somers CT



75' - 280Z - HLS30203249 - #304 Gold Metallic (stockish)
96' - 300zx TT - JN1CZ24d3TX960293 - Black on Black (enhanced)


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 Post subject: Re: Isle of Man TT
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 10:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12928
Location: CT
THANK YOU, Karl; I would consider it an honor to send him a donation. I could get starry-eyed thinking I contributed in some tiny way to the MGP! Does he intend to race again this year? Or in 2018?

Frank :thumbs_up:

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1970 240Z


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 Post subject: Re: Isle of Man TT
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12928
Location: CT
Karl, awtg news about your friend's episode(s) since this was posted?
Frank

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1970 240Z


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 Post subject: Re: Isle of Man TT
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12928
Location: CT
Ummm, Karl?
Earth, calling Karl......

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1970 240Z


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 Post subject: Re: Isle of Man TT
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:21 am
Posts: 755
Location: Somers CT
Frank he did not race in 2017 and I have not seen him to ask about 2018 at this point.
He owns a small business making specialty spray nozels
I will try and find out. :thumbs_up:

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W.Karl Walton
Somers CT



75' - 280Z - HLS30203249 - #304 Gold Metallic (stockish)
96' - 300zx TT - JN1CZ24d3TX960293 - Black on Black (enhanced)


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