MCN Fleet: A lap of the TT course by SV650

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Mad Sunday. Not as mad as people tell me it used to be, but there’s still plenty to suggest it’s a big event.

I couldn’t come to the TT and not at least attempt a lap of the course, so the SV and I are out on the road soon after 8am before the supposed madness reaches its height. The course is sleepy this morning and campsites still slumbering, but this is no ordinary Sunday rideout. There are far more bikes than on a normal Sunday, all keen to reach the sections that don’t have a speed limit.

Traditionally this day, the middle Sunday of TT fortnight, was the one where the Mountain section between Ramsey and Douglas was made one-way and bikers could head out and sample it as the racers would see it. Now the road is one-way for the whole of TT fortnight so there’s less focus on Mad Sunday, but it’s still an occasion to be reckoned on.

I’m pleased to be on the SV as it’s no threat to the boys who are clearly intent on a fast run over the Mountain. I don’t treat it as a racetrack but rather a road that I can ride and use my own common sense to judge my speed. My mirrors are more important than on any other rideout I’ve been on as there are bikes and cars coming at me from most angles.

But the SV has the punch for a fun run over the top and I soon get into the swing of things. The appeal of the 650 V-twin for me was that I can ride it relatively hard without getting myself into trouble. Even without a speed limit on the Mountain, the same applies. Speed limit or no limit, I don’t know the course well enough to be trying to hammer across at 120mph. The SV is my ideal companion for this ride.

By the time we get to Creg-ny-Baa and stop for a morning cuppa I’ve had my fun. Others talk of a second lap, but the smell of bacon is alluring. The rest of the day is dedicated to MotoGP on a pub telly, where the atmosphere and attention is akin to a big football match in a ‘normal’ boozer. Then later we take part in the world’s longest pub quiz, which keeps us drinking for so long that our whole house is hungover on this Monday morning.

But the cloud will have to lift soon. The Island is waking up and it’s a couple of hours till race time. I didn’t fancy a second lap yesterday, but I do now.

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Tony Hoare

By Tony Hoare

Former MCN Consumer Editor