Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2002 13:27:08 -0700
From: David Kath <[email protected]
To: Vintage Roadrace <[email protected]
Subject: Bikes on the Island
Message-ID: <[email protected]
I've cross posted this to some other Lists, so you may see a duplicate.
dave - NV
Yeah, there were lots of very interesting bikes on the IOM both
racers and spectators. I'm impressed with the amount of older putters
out of the early days '20s and '30s being ridden about by mostly Brit
Many of these rode the Parade lap too. Nice. And many gents from the
Continent were also everywhere. It's fun to chat with them (in English
The majority of visitors bikes on the IOM are modern CRs. This is
one of the few opportunities the Euros have to go really fast you know
as there are no speed limits outside the towns. It's really quite
frightening to be cooking along at a good pace and have a Euro CR
whoosh past your elbow at 140 per... Had you heard about the @#$%
speed cameras in Britain? Ye gads... what a deal.
And of course the selection of race bikes at the Manx GP is a sight to
see! Bear in mind the Manx is the amateur race and the pros race in the
spring at the TT. Interestingly the pros are allowed to ride in the
Classic classes at the Manx GP but not on the 'modern' bikes races.
Signed up for the Senior Classic were 99 500cc racers. Mostly 'modern'
Manxs, Seeley G50s, Hondas, a few Goldies, Velos, Nourish/Weslake
The winning Stainless Eng./Molnar Manx averaged 107+ for his 4 laps/150
miles. oohh yeah!
In the 350 Junior Classic there were 79 signed up. There was quite a
selection of brands of bikes, i.e. AJS 7R, Aermacchi, Honda, Ducati,
Goldies, Manx, etc. There were also 34 Classic 250s that raced
concurrently with the 350 Juniors. The winning 350 (Honda?) averaged
around 100 per and the 250 ran about 97-98 as I remember.
Bear in mind these vintage Classic racers are not just old bikes being
putted around. As I've heard and read many/most of them have a value of
US$30k on up. FI The 'modern' Manxs and G50s are available brand
spanking new for US$35k +. If you want to go really fast with a
competitive vintage bike add +++ $!
There was about a 20- 30% DNS and DNF.
There's a complete series of modern bikes raced too. 125, 250, 400, 600,
and 1000cc classes. I believe the fastest average race time for 4
laps/37.5 miles was 117 per by a gent on a Honda 600. During the
Senior (1000cc) they announced a 1000 Kawa was radared at 175+ at the
bottom of Bray Hill in Douglas! We watched the Senior and lightweight
races from the grandstands.
Think about this as a racer. ooohh. Two lane street, curbs either side
and then rock walls, throttle to the max past the start/finnish headed
for Bray Hill. Head shake at the top over the cross roads, dropping
over what appears to be a cliff at speed, throttle pinned down the
curving Bray Hill running 150-175 per, gotta handle the head shake
quickly, suspension bottoms out at the bottom, gotta have it sorted
out for Ago's Leap (near our digs)
Keep the throttle wire stretched and on down the road/street towards
Braddan and Quarter Bridge, and then hard on the brakes.....
Wusses need not apply!!
Interestingly a 600 won the Senior. I believe the big Kawa I mentioned
took 2nd place.
This time I didn't ride the VMCC parade lap on the closed course. I
neglected to sign up and then for that matter I was dealing with a
'funny engine noise' (more later after I strip Her down) My friends did
two sessions on the closed course after the last race of the day
on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. The 3rd session was canceled due to
a race rain out on Friday which was ran Saturday but no Parade. What's
great is there were pro photogs around the course that took pictures
of the guys as they do for the racers. Prolly one of the best is the
shot of Steve Fischer getting 'big air' over the Ballaugh Bridge.
You can't see his 'big eyes' tho!
It seems he had forgotten the bridges location and hit it wacked on!
And yeah, I hear the USr Goldie Guys certainly did well.
(Gentlemen, this is not a race. However you can ride as fast as you want
but please don't pass your assigned marshall.) (Guess what happens!)
I hear pal GStarRon 'won' the parade each day after passing many many
riders and a lot of them were on really tricked out bikes.
Bear in mind they start the 'Parade' with the bikes being released in
small groups at 5 sec intervals too string everyone out
Pals Steve, Gus and the others were close behind Ron too. USr Goldie
>... woof, woof.
And yup, everyone in our group managed to keep the shiny side up for the
3 week trip with 1 1/2 weeks on the Isle. This is a very good thing.
And I believe the 'chicken strips' on most tires are darn narrow!
However sorry to report that 3 of the IOM racers went home in boxes
this year. Not a good thing. But Mona's Isle is very unforgiving of
screw ups at speed.
dave - NV