After Saturday’s racing, the electric bikes set off on a lap of practice. There were only eight bikes (well seven because the other one was a scooter), with one team not arriving in time but given dispensation to run only one qualifying lap on Monday.
I wasn’t here at the TT last year and was looking forward to seeing the ‘electric bikes’ this time around but apart from the new MotoCzysz that looks absolutely mind-blowing, and the new Agni, which looks workmanlike, the rest of the bikes left me a little cold.
And considering only two bikes completed the full lap it doesn’t bode well for Wednesday’s race. The trouble is, firstly that most of the bikes are still in their infancy and there’s not the investment in most of them to take it to level of preparation we see in the conventional racing classes here - and the fall-out with the previous organiser has divided the field and, to be frank, such a limited field simply doesn’t warrant track time at such a prestigious event.
Interestingly the American electric bike race at Elkhart Lake on the same weekend attracted just seven bikes so maybe it’s not really had an impact at all and the zero emission bike sport isn’t taking off as some people would like to have had you believe.
Mad Sunday looked as mad as ever, sportsbikes guys riding though Ramsey, weaving all over the road through the town ‘warming their tyres up’ for a bit of a knees down on the Mountain.
We avoided all those shenanigans by taking the bus and the tram over from Douglas to Ramsey, enjoying some of the fantastic Manx scenery.
Plan was to take the tram all the way (done it before and the scenics are awesome) but there was some kind of ‘tram driver tummy’ afflicting the drivers so there were buses laid on to take up the slack of several tram runs being cancelled.
The aim was to get a proper Sunday lunch after dieting on salads all week (well we didn’t finish work till gone ten at night all through practice week) but ended up with a bowl of chilli when we couldn’t find one place doing a good old British roast!
Bumped into Cal Crutchlow in the town – well he nearly bumped into us trhying to park his van. As he girlfriend Lucy says, he races a bike better than he drives a van!
Cal’s living over on the Island these days. 10% tax rates here. Who can blame him?
He said he’d been out riding his bicycle over the Mountain that morning. Blimey, I thought he was brave on a race bike. With all the road bike guys going hell for leather over there it must have been dead scary on a bicycle!
Parliament Square was full of interesting bikes – a really mint Yamaha LC500 in old KR yellow and black stood out but I thought the three guys on stripped down C90s and suchlike looked like their were having a lot of fun and not taking life too seriously.
We wandered over to the Sprint and copped an awesome V-Rod called Lucifer, one of the most polished R1s I’ve ever laid my eyes on, and a couple of proper full on drag bikes that just ripped.
Suzuki were there and John Reynolds was right down in the mouth having been beaten in the sprint by Alastair Seeley. Both took runs on the same bike and JR lost out by split seconds and then worked the book of excuses on why he’d finished second. “I think the wind had got up when it was my run.” Yes john, and you went second so the tyre was already past it’s best. “Oh yeah, that’s a good one.’ Ah, once a racer…..
Going back to Douglas we did the bus to Laxey, hoping to catch the end of the Harley rally but they had long-since gone. But we found a crazy shop, with four bikes (including an FN) in various stages of build in the front window.
Caught the tram back to Douglas: top speed 25mph, 115 years old, totally original save for an air-brake system – and a ton of fun, especially when the tram is so full and you get to sit in the conductor’s seat and chat with him all the way home about the merit of the tram system. Oh dear, I’ve caught Guy Martin’s lust for all things related to the industrial revolution. But what an absolutely wonderful way to travel.
Now let’s get back to the bikes!
Get the latest MCN out on the 9th of June
- Rossi speaks from his hospital bed
- Schwantz on Rossi's come-back chances
- Yamaha Tenere V Ducati Multistrada V BMW R1200GS V KTM 990 Adventure
- TT: Find out what's gone into Hutchinson's Honda