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Thread: Isle of Man TT 2015 - A Visit

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    Super Moderator Old Fox's Avatar
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    Default Isle of Man TT 2015 - A Visit

    Imagine motorcycling Utopia. Imagine only high performance motorcycles all around. Imagine every rider fully geared. Imagine every other road user respecting every motorcyclist. Imagine a sweet nip in the air, 16 hours of daylight, nearly empty roads, smooth tarmac that twists up and down gentle hills. Imagine the Isle of Man. Yes, thats exactly what it was like there. What we see in videos of the TT races is just a small part of the whole atmosphere thats impregnated with motorcycling passion at its purest. And especially during this fortnight of racing when bikes outnumber cars by 10 to 1. What more can one ask?

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    Senior TT race riders hurtle down from Kates Cottage towards Creg Ny Baa IOMTT 2015

    Metzeler hosted xBhp at this years Isle of Man TT, inviting us over to witness the two final races of the fortnight-long event the Bennets Lightweight TT and the Pokerstars Senior TT, both run on the 12th of June. Yours truly was awestruck and star struck at the same time at the prospect of watching the TT live, on site. And the excitement was not misplaced at all. It is an out of the world experience as it was for me when having gone around the entire 61 km (37 mile) Snaefell Mountain Course and so having seen what the road is like, it was mind-blowing watching the likes of John McGuiness, Hutchinson, Hiller and company average over 200 kmph on it! It took us some 2 hours and 10 minutes to go around the mountain course non-stop in a double-decker bus and the senior TT riders do it in about 17 minutes flat. Crazy.

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    Track Inspection cars swoosh past at Creg Ny Baa

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    Creg Ny Baa seen from Kates Cottage end. The traffic cones were to slow traffic down a day before the race.

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    John McGuinness the winner that day in full flow astride his Honda CBR1000RR!

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    The battle royale between Guy Martin (8) and Ian Hutchinson (9). Hutchinson eventually came 3rd, Martin was 4th.

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    The Grandstand and the Start/Finish line for the IOMTT race. Seating is for about 900 people.

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    James Hiller flashes past. He came 2nd averaging 130.4 mph (or 209 kmph) over the 4 lap race and completing each lap of 61 km in 17 minutes and 13 seconds on average!

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    The road as it goes past Creg Ny Baa and towards Brandish.

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    Michael Rutter screams past on his BMW S1000RR HP4.

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    Two riders of the Bennets Junior TT battle it out through the curve.

    We watched the TT at Creg Ny Baa, a sharp 90 deg right turn just after a long down-hill run down from Kates Cottage around the 34th mile of the course. The riders flashed through the curve, knee sliders and bike parts scraping the tarmac at almost 100 miles an hour. I so wished there was someone else taking the photos for me because I just wanted to hear the banshee screams of the bikes and watch them as they hurtled downhill and then braked hard for the curve, some entering with the rear sliding away to glory at an angle to the front and gunning that throttle again as they flew through the apex and raced down the short straight to Brandish. Wow. Theres a live commentary on the PA system along the entire course with commentators placed at different points (at the start/finish, Ramsey, Glen Hill and May Hill). You go taut in anticipation as you hear the riders get nearer and nearer to your view-point, all senses switching from ears to eyes as you see them come leaning through the Kates Cottage left hander, down the hill, tiny fast moving dots that would in no time become screaming motorcycles doing insane speeds and flashing past you. You whip that head again to watch more come by. There were 69 bikes participating in this years Senior TT and this being a time-trial format, the bikes start at 10 second intervals between them. So the last participant goes past you some 7 to 9 minutes behind the first ones on the first lap. And then the first ones are gain there after a similar time gap. It is non-stop fun and excitement for the entire six lap race.

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    Michael Russel came in 33rd and yet averaged 121 mph around the course!

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    Marshals at the mountain course.

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    Mark Parret on his BMW who came 25th.

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    Mathew Rees came in 48th and was just 8 minutes behind the race winner McGuinness. He averaged some 115 mph.

    The races aside, the Isle of Man is a beautiful tourist destination in its own right. In fact any place with great weather, the sea and the hills thrown in and the organised neatness of the Western world makes for a wonderful destination. The high latitudes promise almost 20 hours of light with the sun shining for some 13 hours on clear summer days. And we had two of them in a row. We arrived by air, a short half hour hop from Manchester in a propeller driven Dash 8. Just after take-off from Manchester and owing to the unusually clear weather, we could make out hundreds of motorcyclists on the motorways below making their way to Liverpool where theyd catch the ferry to the Island. The fever set into us then on. We were put up at the Metzeler Village, a tented colony set up at the National Sports Center (NSC) of the Isle of Man. It is their big and beautiful sports stadium equipped with all modern paraphernalia expected in a present day sports facility.

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    The Metzeler Village at the National Sports Center of the Isle of Man.

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    A lovely house, a functional car and a couple of bikes what more can a man want!

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    Laxeys wheel, a very old water wheel at IOM, considered a national monument now. It still works though, the 72 ft diameter and 6 ft wide wheel turns at 3 rpm!

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    A tramcar full of people being pulled by a single horse!

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    A sea gull in full flight over The Nook.

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    Some 25ft of water comes in at high tide at the Isle of Man. The level rises in some 4 hours, stays for an hour and then recedes in another 4.

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    The local bus transport there.

    The accommodation was a novelty and we also were stationed right next to the famous Quarter Bridge Corner. The NSC parking greeted us with some hundred odd big bikes neatly parked and we kept hearing the scream and roar of a variety of engines as bikers rode up and down the roads around the village. It was non-stop, even at 3 in the night! But we werent complaining. Needless to say the Isle has lovely roads, traffic is disciplined and almost any and every amenity that one might need is at hand there. The weather though is supposed to be fickle and there had been a severe storm just 4 days before our arrival that led to cancellation of flights, the ferry and even the scheduled practice run on the TT course. But for us there couldnt have been clearer days and they were long, really long smack in the middle of summer. We found ourselves squinting in the sun even close to 8 at night!

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    Riders riding through Rhencullen, a small kink in the race track that sees riders go past well over 100 mph!

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    Bikers at the Mountain Hill

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    May Hill with its sharp ascending right hander coming up.

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    During the race the riders scream through such villages at well over a 150 mph!

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    Hillberry curve

    The Isle of Man TT races are a part of the five-race season with another, the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man which will be held between 6-8 July, two of them are held in similar conditions in Ireland (the North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix) and another on the streets of Macau the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix. Put together, the five are considered the most dangerous motorcycle races in the world. Unlike the time-trial format of the Isle of Man TT, the ones in Ireland have all riders racing together as in a normal circuit racing event. Making it even crazier. But then probably it is the extremely heightened sense of danger that makes these events so exciting and increasingly popular among motorcycling enthusiasts.

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    Visiting riders and their bikes at the town hall square.

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    Custom bikes on display. It is all a pretty informal affair there.

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    An impeccably maintained Suzuki 250 2-stroke twin.

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    Visiting riders enjoying the road, the sun, the weather and the passion.

    METZELER and the Isle of Man TT
    The story of RACETECTM RR

    Metzeler has been closely associated with the Isle of Man events as well as the Ulster Grand Prix. In fact this year Metzeler is the title sponsor for the Ulster Grand Prix. The company also promotes the races through initiatives like the Metzeler Village at the Isle of Man where race enthusiasts can ride in for boarding and lodging during the race weeks.

    More than fifteen top riders have placed their trust in the Metzeler brand for this season of races too and shall be riding with tyres carrying the elephant logo. Some of them are Guy Martin, William Dunlop, Ian Hutchinson, Martin Jessop, Gary Johnson, James Hiller, Ben Wilson amongst others. Metzeler shall also be collaborating with many noted motorcycle brands like BMW, Yamaha, Suzuki, Triumph, Kawasaki and MV Agusta for the road racing rounds. Metzelers tyre development efforts have borne rich fruit again this year and they have 4 wins and 11 podium finished in this years Isle of Man TT. The Senior TT itself saw two podiums with James Hiller and Ian Hutchinson finishing second and third respectively behind John Mc Guinness. Notable is the fact that the three top Metzeler riders including Guy Martin (who came 4th in the Senior TT) are now in the 130 + mph club a tribute to the contribution made by Metzeler tyres they were riding on.

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    The man with his tyre. Guy Martin Special Edition Metzeler RACETEC RR tyre.

    RACETECTM RR is the latest road racing competition tyre developed by Metzeler using inputs from multiple successful years of participation in the TT races, especially the IOMTT. A successor of the RACETEC INTERACT, the RACETEC RR has been designed to provide excellent traction, stability and performance across a variety of riding speeds and conditions. Races like the Isle of Man TT are an excellent test-bed for new tyre compounds as the race conditions are just an extreme and highly scaled up version of the usual road conditions a normal rider subjects them to. These tyres are thus excellent for usage by any and every rider across the globe.

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    Metzeler RACETEC RR series tyres are high performance rubber the kind of stuff a proficient riders wants on his machine.

    The RACETEC RR Guy Martin Edition is for example the exact same tyre that Guy Martin uses during the racing season. It carries the special logo on its tread. This is quite unlike what most other manufacturers do as they provide their riders with custom tyres built to specification for each race. No one can get those very tyres for his/her personal use as the ones from Metzeler.

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    Gary Johnson during the SuperSport race (photo courtesy Metzeler)

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    Ian Hutchinson during SuperSport Race 2 (photo courtesy Metzeler)

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    Guy Martin hard on throttle during SuperSport Race 2. The Guy Martin Special Edition RACETEC RRs in action! (photo courtesy Metzeler)

    The RACETEC RR is available in all three, K1, K2 and K3 compounds, which in essence are soft, medium and hard respectively. Though these descriptors are relative since even the hard K3 is pretty soft compared to the tyres we use on our bikes here back home. Motorcyclists can easily distinguish one compound from the other thanks to the labels on the side and the coloured stripes on the tread.

    K1 - SOFT in soft compound. It has a label on the side with K1 written in blue and a blue stripe on the tread
    K2 - MEDIUM in a compound of medium hardness. It has a label on the side with K2 written in green and a green stripe on the tread
    K3 - HARD is the harder compound. It is distinguished by a label on the side with K3 written in yellow and a yellow stripe on the tread

    With regards to the rear tyres, the choice of the compound is based on the roughness of the asphalt, on the external temperatures and on the duration of the performance required. For example, hot asphalt loses some of its natural mechanical grip becoming smoother and more slippery. In these conditions a soft compound (such as K1) is necessary, as it can penetrate the asphalt surface as much as possible.
    Cold tarmac, on the other hand, tends to be more aggressive and rougher, offering more mechanical grip which, while on the one hand is an advantage, on the other hand can cause the tyre to rip and tear, which therefore needs a compound with more mechanical resistance (such as K2).

    In the case of the tyres for use up front, the criteria is based not only on outdoor temperature and track layout (many bends or long straights, etc.) but also on the rider's aggressiveness/riding style which affects the front tyre. In general, with regards to weather conditions, when the track temperature increases, the compound tends to lose its compactness and rigidity. This behaviour can cause movement problems in the leaning stage making the rider feel as if the front is trying to side away, something which can be very confidence sapping. A more rigid compound such as K2 can reduce this effect.

    Conversely, when the track is cold, the compound tends to become more rigid and this leads to a drop in the grip and stability while braking. In these conditions it is better to use a soft compound such as K1. The K3 compound is dedicated to non-competitive use and can be used at any temperature, in any condition or for any value of abrasiveness of the asphalt, and is able to offer a significantly greater mileage.

    Another distinctive feature of Road Racing is the presence of very long straights, where the bikes keep speeds above 300 kph for a long time. This situation typically generates a heating of the central contact patch of the tyre that is in contact with the ground and a relative cooling on the sides. As a result, when entering the curve after a straight, the side may not be in the correct operating temperature and so might not generate the necessary grip. RACETEC RR uses a bi-compound rear solution with a "Cap and Base" structure in which the centre compound supports the lateral compound positioning in the substrate of the tread. While generating less heat, this centre compound is able to distribute the heat laterally across the tyre cross-section thus heating the compound present on the sides. With this solution, the longer the straight and so the more time the central compound will be in contact, the better will the sides be heated and ready for that sharp turn coming up.

    The tread pattern too follows the logic of design and contrary to the myth of it being a black art, is very much a science in its own right. The layout of the central longitudinal grooves is designed to have a compact tread in the central section to optimise straight line stability. The position of the transverse grooves provides cornering grip in all road conditions while minimising the effects of wear.
    Stability is a key factor in road races. High speed straights trigger vibration through the bike which can affect performance. The innovative carcass material used in the structure of the RACETE RR elevates its lateral stiffness to minimize these problems.
    In the case of a road circuit, its peculiarities represented by manholes, repair patches and jumps etc, can also create a sudden loss of adhesion. The profiles of the crown and sides have been designed to absorb roughness and, at the same time, dampen the deformation of the impact without generating vibration.

    Tyre technology is a pretty involving thing and nowhere does it really come to the fore and be visible for all to see than at races like the Isle of Man TT. Engine performance and frame design can totally lose meaning if the bike is not shod with the right rubber. And seeing the manner in which the tyres perform during the race, where conditions vary so much, the importance for choosing the right rubber for ones machine becomes so very apparent.

    The Isle of Man TT experience was not just memorable but also pretty educative; especially as far as tyres and tyre technology goes. The Metzeler boffins were very open and forthcoming in discussing the nitty-gritty of tyre design, development and choice and it was fun getting this inside view of what is usually considered a very confidential topic among race teams.

    Even a week after the event, I can still see those men of steel flash past me on that curve, knee down, head up and the engine screaming. A salute to the modern day gladiators on two wheels.

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    And they ride to glory.....
    Last edited by The Monk; 06-23-2015 at 04:46 PM.
    I don't let my motorcycles interfere with my motorcycling...

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    Moderator Divya Sharan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Isle of Man TT 2015 - A Visit

    Wow! Sir, it must have been an experience of a lifetime.
    I simply have no words to describe their valor. They do it not for the prize money (which is not staggering), but pride!

    Modern gladiators indeed!

    Rated 5*

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    Default Re: Isle of Man TT 2015 - A Visit

    A motorcycle lover's life can be declared successful after visiting and watching such a thing..
    The Chronicles of Motorcycling - The Man, The Machine and The Road

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    Default Re: Isle of Man TT 2015 - A Visit

    One word "BEAUTIFUL", article, photos, attention to detail, information, etc. I just love the way you put things. Thank you for making us feel how Isle of Man will be and the races. Please do post videos if you had taken any.

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    Default Re: Isle of Man TT 2015 - A Visit

    :thumbup::thumbup:

    Sent from my GT-I8262 using xBhp Connect mobile app

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    Moderator Divya Sharan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Isle of Man TT 2015 - A Visit

    Quote Originally Posted by joe_marvy View Post
    Please do post videos if you had taken any.
    Would be awesome to see a few flying bikes in case OF sir took videos.
    But, for the time being; here you go - Isle of Man TT Races

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    Default Re: Isle of Man TT 2015 - A Visit

    A must visit place before I die.

    Sent from my Panasonic P81 using xBhp Connect mobile app

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    Super Moderator Old Fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Isle of Man TT 2015 - A Visit

    Quote Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
    Wow! Sir, it must have been an experience of a lifetime.
    I simply have no words to describe their valor. They do it not for the prize money (which is not staggering), but pride!
    Modern gladiators indeed!
    It sure was Divya. I did make a couple of videos but all from a static position and at full wide angle. So not very exciting. You people can find better and more exciting stuff on the net that that

    Quote Originally Posted by Satellite.kid View Post
    A motorcycle lover's life can be declared successful after visiting and watching such a thing..
    True that. Because it is not just the race but the entire island and the life there.

    Quote Originally Posted by joe_marvy View Post
    One word "BEAUTIFUL", article, photos, attention to detail, information, etc. I just love the way you put things. Thank you for making us feel how Isle of Man will be and the races. Please do post videos if you had taken any.
    Thanks Joe. Makes the effort worth its while.
    Divya Sharan and abhinesh4r15 like this.
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    Default Re: Isle of Man TT 2015 - A Visit

    Its really a great site indeed. I have been to the Island once..Just to visit the streets/track. But I couldnt get a glimpse of the epic event itself..I went during the wrong time of the year...Damn my assignment.
    R15S - Current
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    Default Re: Isle of Man TT 2015 - A Visit

    Quote Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
    Would be awesome to see a few flying bikes in case OF sir took videos.
    But, for the time being; here you go - Isle of Man TT Races
    Thanks Divya, I have gone through the thread and other Youtube videos several times. Just wanted to watch exclusive videos from our man!
    Divya Sharan likes this.

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    Throttle Blipping is an art!
    Caution: Master it before you do it on the streets or on your loved steed.

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