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Manx Grand Prix


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Bit off topic but let's hope that DEFA have a comprehensive re-planting program on file?

TT. Hard to imagine any manufacturer using the TT as a test bed now, two weeks of practices and racing!!!! Not a particularly 'controlled' test bed? They have a factory fully fitted to R&D any new or improved bits.

Could be that the private racing teams could use it for testing but the top end of the grid are out there to win not do a few laps of testing.

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20 minutes ago, joebean said:

I think one of the many issues for the TT is the lack of interest in sports bikes. Max may be right on it being a good testing ground for machinery but the sales of sports bikes are relatively low and I wonder how much investment in TT machinery by the manufacturers will be seen to be cost-effective. Honda UK may continue to offer support but I see a future where investment will come solely from privateer teams. This is just the start of change within the motorcycle industry as the demands of buyers is reflected in what the manufacturers do and where they place their priorities. I read that Honda's most important bike launch in 2021 was the revamped NC750, which produces less than 60hp and has a fuel consumption figure of 80mpg. This bike has no relevance whatsoever to the TT. I think their biggest seller this year is either that bike or the Africa Twin. Neither has sports bike pretensions and neither will benefit from testing at the TT. As I have said before, the TT will continue for a while yet but it is difficult to believe that peak attendance is not behind us. 

And yet all the major manufacturers are releasing their new 1L+ bikes just now...

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13 minutes ago, Kopek said:

Bit off topic but let's hope that DEFA have a comprehensive re-planting program on file?

TT. Hard to imagine any manufacturer using the TT as a test bed now, two weeks of practices and racing!!!! Not a particularly 'controlled' test bed? They have a factory fully fitted to R&D any new or improved bits.

Could be that the private racing teams could use it for testing but the top end of the grid are out there to win not do a few laps of testing.

If you speak to someone like James at JHS Racing, who has built bikes for many disciplines including the TT, he'll tell you for free that there's nothing that stresses a bike like the TT. Whether manufacturers take that into account when coming here I don't know for sure, but having a TT win against a superstock bike won't do its sales any harm.

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I think you are saying that the racing tuners are seeking to expand their market thru TT . success, that is different from manufacturers using it as an R&D platform for their road bikes?

It still leaves the top ten racers trying,. above all else, to win, or at least come on the podium to enhance their future chances with the best team for the TT? For which they are paid on past performance???

Edited by Kopek
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1 hour ago, HeliX said:

If you speak to someone like James at JHS Racing, who has built bikes for many disciplines including the TT, he'll tell you for free that there's nothing that stresses a bike like the TT.

The TT is seen as the ultimate road test for both machine and rider. The circuit is absolutely brutal, it’s not just the miles covered but all the sections of the course that cause the bike to bottom out (Barregarrow, Bray hill) or the chain to stretch (Ballaugh bridge) even down to the top speed (Sulby straight), the harsh braking zones (plenty of them but Parliament Square is one of my favourites, closely followed by The Creg). Ultimately there is no other circuit that tests a machine like the TT.

 

 

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11 hours ago, joebean said:

I think one of the many issues for the TT is the lack of interest in sports bikes. Max may be right on it being a good testing ground for machinery but the sales of sports bikes are relatively low and I wonder how much investment in TT machinery by the manufacturers will be seen to be cost-effective. Honda UK may continue to offer support but I see a future where investment will come solely from privateer teams. This is just the start of change within the motorcycle industry as the demands of buyers is reflected in what the manufacturers do and where they place their priorities. I read that Honda's most important bike launch in 2021 was the revamped NC750, which produces less than 60hp and has a fuel consumption figure of 80mpg. This bike has no relevance whatsoever to the TT. I think their biggest seller this year is either that bike or the Africa Twin. Neither has sports bike pretensions and neither will benefit from testing at the TT. As I have said before, the TT will continue for a while yet but it is difficult to believe that peak attendance is not behind us. 

In 2008, Honda sold 1,760 Fireblades in Britain, by 2013 there were 1750 sales of sports bikes of all makes between 600cc and 1000cc. Quite a few things happened during that period. 

1) The credit crunch and recession.

2) Sports bikes became more race focussed and less suitable for everyday use and will probably continue in this vein until they are trackday only?

3) Prices jumped by up to 20%

4) The introduction of more stringent motorcycle rider tests and graded licences.

5) Insurance premiums skyrocketed.

6) Younger people were beginning to turn away from motorcycling as a way of getting on the road. Probably due to all of the above, plus the advances in online and computer gaming. You can ride any circuit in the world without risking anything!

All of the above have had an effect on the TT, with many fans not even ever having ridden a motorcycle. The TT and MGP still remain as a 'pilgrimage' to many people, revered remnants of a time when adventure and risk were not dirty words or unPC!

 

Edited by Max Power
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6 minutes ago, Max Power said:

The TT and MGP still remain as a 'pilgrimage' to many people, revered remnants of a time when adventure and risk were not dirty words or unPC!

They're not dirty words. People just choose to get their adrenaline hit in different ways these days. 

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Down here in Cornwall we're expecting more mask mandates and low-level lockdowns over winter. I wouldn't be so sure that COVID will be low enough to allow the TT to go ahead in 2022.

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5 hours ago, Max Power said:

In 2008, Honda sold 1,760 Fireblades in Britain, by 2013 there were 1750 sales of sports bikes of all makes between 600cc and 1000cc. Quite a few things happened during that period. 

1) The credit crunch and recession.

2) Sports bikes became more race focussed and less suitable for everyday use and will probably continue in this vein until they are trackday only?

3) Prices jumped by up to 20%

4) The introduction of more stringent motorcycle rider tests and graded licences.

5) Insurance premiums skyrocketed.

6) Younger people were beginning to turn away from motorcycling as a way of getting on the road. Probably due to all of the above, plus the advances in online and computer gaming. You can ride any circuit in the world without risking anything!

All of the above have had an effect on the TT, with many fans not even ever having ridden a motorcycle. The TT and MGP still remain as a 'pilgrimage' to many people, revered remnants of a time when adventure and risk were not dirty words or unPC!

 

Yes, I would agree with all that. However the motorcycle industry is changing and so are the customers. Whilst it is likely to remain a draw for lots of people, I still believe the days of of motorcycle racing, particularly those in the niches are numbered. I would be very careful about significant capital investment on the premise that the investment will give a return over a long period. 
Given I have some experience of how IOM Government works, I fully expect them to throw huge amounts of taxpayer cash at the Grandstand and other projects, without such consideration. It’s what they do and will keep doing until the money has run out. 

Edited by joebean
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