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From childhood on I always wanted to visit the TT one day. Up to ‘76 it belonged to the motorcycle world championchip. But after it was banned from that (because it was so dangerous) I lost interest in it.

A friend of mine had visited the TT every year since the early 70‘s and he always invited me to accompany him to the Isle of Man. Finally I went there with him in ‘86. In the 80‘s (and until 15 years ago) I occasionally rode 500cc 4-cylinder 2-stroke racing bikes on several race tracks in Europe, but what I saw there was something I‘d never have dared to do. … Joey Dunlop participated as a Honda works racer at that time. My friend knew him and others (Andy McGladdery, Trevor Nation, Gary Padgett, Steve Parrish, Steve Hislop) personally and introduced them to me. … I knew I‘d come back there and since then I did 15 times. My last visit there was in 2015, when 43 years old John McGuinness spectacularly won the big one - the Senior TT.

This week is practice week of this year‘s TT. Up from Saturday will be race week which ends with the Senior TT next week Friday. The first attached video is from practice 2 days ago (made in the village of Kirk Michael). … :)

The second video shows, what a simple (and also strange) guy the legendary Joey Dunlop was. … :)

H.D.

 

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Purple Moderator
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These was a time when this race was on the what is now the MotoGP series schedule a very long time ago up through 1976.
Agostini won it 10 times in a row.
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #4
These was a time when this race was on the what is now the MotoGP series schedule a very long time ago up through 1976.
Agostini won it 10 times in a row.
Absolutely, Giacomo Agostini was my hero. What a great champion and at 75 still around to tell the tale :smile
The discussion whether Agostini or Hailwood were the greatest seems to be ongoing....
I remember my friend and I spending a holiday in Estoril, Portugal when dictator Antonio Salazar was still around. It had worked once before on Mallorca, for someone unable to read the language, my German sailing license looked exactly like the old drivers license, and I was able to rent the Italian or Spanish build version of the Mini 1275. We went to explore the Estoril F1 race track and found everything open. Track, start tower, pits etc were all unlocked, and barriers raised up. Doing laps on the track with a several quite banked corners was a bit of a challenge in the under powered car. I remember it as not too wide and somewhat bumpy.
In the little parking next to the start tower was a Bedford type large van in either green or dark blue (forgot which) with Mike Hailwood's name on the sides.
That was the closest we ever came to the man.

Actually, Tazio Nuvolari is probably my first choice. Champion on motorcycles and open wheel race cars. Who ever heard of a driver losing his steering wheel and finishing on the podium by steering his car with a spanner. They don't make them like that anymore.
 

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That is fantastic. In the Mann TT from 2015 Agostini and The Doctor(Rossi) were there to watch the race. It was a great race week. Rossi was thrilled to see Agostini and likewise from Agostini was thrilled to see Rossi face to face. Somewhere on the interweb there is a very brief video of them meeting. In that Rossi was amazed by the whole TT. Agostini said it is just another race. Agostini praised Rossi as the greatest Italian rider ever. Rossi replied and basically said if this was a track on the modern MotoGP he would have no idea how to deal with it.

I got my driver's license in England back in 1981. My first car was a Mini 1275 GT. I loved it, wish I still had it and the only time I had more fun driving a car was on open tracks. Long live the 1275 GT!!.
Years ago I thought about bringing one back to the US, but the prices were amazing. They were selling used and beat for more than my 1 year old 1275 we got at a used car lot in Weybridge for 3000 quid. IMO the best ever first Mini ever made.

Thank you for the great ride down memory lane. :)
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #6
That is fantastic. In the Mann TT from 2015 Agostini and The Doctor(Rossi) were there to watch the race. It was a great race week. Rossi was thrilled to see Agostini and likewise from Agostini was thrilled to see Rossi face to face. Somewhere on the interweb there is a very brief video of them meeting. In that Rossi was amazed by the whole TT. Agostini said it is just another race. Agostini praised Rossi as the greatest Italian rider ever. Rossi replied and basically said if this was a track on the modern MotoGP he would have no idea how to deal with it.

I got my driver's license in England back in 1981. My first car was a Mini 1275 GT. I loved it, wish I still had it and the only time I had more fun driving a car was on open tracks. Long live the 1275 GT!!.
Years ago I thought about bringing one back to the US, but the prices were amazing. They were selling used and beat for more than my 1 year old 1275 we got at a used car lot in Weybridge for 3000 quid. IMO the best ever first Mini ever made.

Thank you for the great ride down memory lane. :)
Btw, I found the my old trusty sailing license a few month ago between old documents. Its the same color grey plasticized or waxed linen, the same size, and even has the rivets through the pic edges with a stamp covering part of the pic. The German drivers license has Führerschein, the sailing license Fahrerlaubnis on the cover. Translating to 'drivers license' and 'driving permit respectively.
I think I still have my original drivers license somewhere. New licenses issued from 2013 have 15 year expiration/renewal dates, but the old ones never expired, and if I can find mine, issued when I was 18, it will be valid until 2035.
 

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Wow, that would be cool to find it.

Somewhere I have first DL and it was issued in the UK. It was just a green piece of card stock with a lot of official stuff on it.
I can not remember what expiration intervals were back then.
 

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These was a time when this race was on the what is now the MotoGP series schedule a very long time ago up through 1976. ...
At that time the TT was part of the motorcycle world championchip which comprised 6 racing classes (50cc, 125cc, 250cc, 350cc, 500cc and 500cc sidecars). MotoGP is the successor of only the 500cc class. Each of these former classes had more participants than the MotoGP ever had. On the TT all these classes participated.

... Agostini won it 10 times in a row.
I saw Joey Dunlop race on the Isle of Man, but I never saw Hailwood or Agostini race there. Those I talked to, who saw all three race there, all said that Mike Hailwood was the best TT racer.

Absolutely, Giacomo Agostini was my hero. What a great champion and at 75 still around to tell the tale :smile
The discussion whether Agostini or Hailwood were the greatest seems to be ongoing...
Agostini liked Francorchamps very much … he and MV Agusta still participate in the “Biker‘s Classics“ in Francorchamps every year. Hearing these 3-, 4- and 6-cylinder MV‘s and the Hondas of the 60‘s at that event always brings back great memories. The anual motorcycle GP (with all 6 classes) at Spa-Francorchamps from the early 60‘s through the 70‘s (and until 1990 without the 50cc & 350cc) belong to the best motorsport I‘ve ever seen … until the end of the 70‘s I saw all motorsport events there. … I usually stayed in the paddock Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoon around the racers and their bikes. Hailwood and Agostini and a little later Barry Sheene were everybodie‘s heros, of course, also mine, but I was also impressed by private riders, like Jack Findlay who did all the work on his 500cc Suzuki himself, calmly and with his attractive girlfriend helping him. On race day (Sunday) you had to be on the stands already early in the morning in order to get a seat.

One of the races at Francorchamps that‘s burned into my memory is the 500cc race in 1967. Mike Hailwood risked his neck on his 4-cylinder Honda RC181 trying to keep pace with Agostini and his 3-cylinder MV. But it was impossible … Ago’s MV was unbeatable on the super fast Spa-Francorchamps race track. Each time Hailwood flew past the pit lane his whole crew was trying to slow him down. At that time the pit lane was separated from the race track only by a white line on the tarmac. Each lap Hailwood’s crew, including Honda team manager Michihico Aiko, stood there at that white line wildly gesturing with both arms … but Mike Hailwood didn’t seem to care. The way he flew through ’Eau Rouge’ was absolutely scary. The whole crowd (and in those days there were up to a quarter of a million spectators at the motorcycle GP at Francorchamps) stood up cheering each time when Mike Hailwood passed the start-finish area … unforgettable. … Listen to the sound of their bikes in the attached videos. … :)



Also in the 80‘s the Belgian motorcycle GP was my favorite motorsport event with many amazing racers like Roberts, Mamola, Lucchinelli, Uncini, Spencer, Lawson, Gardner, Sarron, Rainey, Schwantz. … :)

H.D.
 

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I forgot to mention in all of this that in 1979 and 1980 I was at a boarding school for Americans called TASIS in Windsor and classes were over by the time the TT was running so we got there and lived in tent for 6 days and loved it.
We went all over the isle, but when it was time for the races we carefully picked great vantage places to see the riders just do insane speeds within inches of of curbs and stone walls.

Not sure about the current regulations for the Isle, but at least up until 2012 which is the last time I was there the Isle had no posted speed limits for daily driving. The residents just knew how safe it was to be driving at the correct speed depending on what part of the island they were driving on. If I could make a living there I would move there in a heartbeat.
 

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... Not sure about the current regulations for the Isle, but at least up until 2012 which is the last time I was there the Isle had no posted speed limits for daily driving. ...
There is a speed limit of 50mph between Douglas and Ramsey over the two TT weeks for the first time this year. But it seems that the road signs displaying it are too small for the fast racers to recognize them … they registered a speed of 206 mph when James Hillier passed the Sulby Glen Hotel during practice last week. … :wink_2:
 

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Peter Hickman won the Senior TT this afternoon and set a new absolute lap record of 135.452 mph. He finished the 226.4 miles long race (6 laps) in 2 seconds less than 2nd Dean Harrison. 3rd was Conor Cummins with 1 minute and 40 seconds behind Harrison.

The picture shows Peter Hickman on his Smiths BMW in today‘s Senior TT.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
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TT 2019

In 4 weeks it‘s time for some serious road racing again … TT time on the Isle of Man … (1 week qualifying / 1 week racing … ending with the annual TT highlight, the “Senior TT“ on Friday, June 7). :)

 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #14
Here is a video of Peter Hickman (last year‘s “Senior TT“ winner and lap record holder) explaining the new camshaft control system called “Shiftcam“ which the new and, IMO, beautiful BMW S 1000 RR, which he‘s going to use this season, is equipped with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dG5DYLhjdM
Always those bloody Germans :grin
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #15
A long time ago I actually drove on that track by accident in a completely underpowered Mini/Innocenti clubman and remember some pretty steep banked corners.
A friend and I spent the holiday in Estoril and the track was right at the town's outskirts.
Lots of pines around there. The gate, track, control tower, everything was wide open and unlocked, so we had to take a spin.
If I remember correctly, a UK license plate mid size van was parked there with Mike Hailwood's name on it.

I believe at the time Estorils claim to fame was the number of deposed European monarchs among its residents
 

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Always those bloody Germans :grin
It could have been the Americans or the British, if they could have let go of their horse-and-buggy non-metric units which unnecessarily complicate the application of Newton‘s laws of motion and other calculations, occupying brain capacity that German engineers have left for ideas. I think the Americans could have gone to the moon without those bloody Germans if they would have been used to the metric unit system. … :D
 

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Since the first time I was there more than 30 years ago the TT has become more and more spectacular. The circuit is practically still the same, but the bikes have become more and more powerful (and beautiful :)).

MotoGP racers, let alone F1 drivers, get a lot more attention & money for less risk & effort than the TT racers. These guys are quite extraordinary people … some with impressive personalities … some with unusual personalities, like Guy Martin, for instance .. LOL .. who, BTW, has never won the TT.

 

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... These guys are quite extraordinary people … some with impressive personalities … some with unusual personalities, like Guy Martin, for instance .. LOL .. who, BTW, has never won the TT. ...
Here is a video that gives a rough idea of Guy Martin. He was neither the best nor my favourite, but one of the most unusual among the TT racers during his racing career. He enriched the TT in his way. Listening to him talk with his strong East Midlands accent always amuses me, even if I don‘t understand every word he says. … LOL

 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #20
Here is a video that gives a rough idea of Guy Martin. He was neither the best nor my favourite, but one of the most unusual among the TT racers during his racing career. He enriched the TT in his way. Listening to him talk with his strong East Midlands accent always amuses me, even if I don‘t understand every word he says. … LOL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tftEVo8du1M&t=338s
Working with 4 wheels



 
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