London, England – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
There is no doubt that the Tourist Trophy is a mad race. It’s about going very fast on very narrow lanes flanked by stone walls and through small Manx villages. The race transforms the sleepy little island into a petrolhead nirvana. Unlike other racetracks which feel a bit manicured, this one is the real thing, the public roads of the Isle of Man. Riders say it’s a bit like going to work on your bike – except going very fast.
Talk to one of those petrolheads and they will tell you about the stresses on the bike, suspension strike through, the shaking and near wipe-outs on the 37 ¾ miles (60.7 km) and its 200 bends, going from sea level to 1,300 ft (396m) and back.
The TT race is biking in the raw and it has not changed much since the days when Charlie Collier won the first race in 1907. His 500cc (500 cm3 Matchless clocked an average speed of 38.21mph or 61.5km/h. A hundred years later and John McGuinness’s average speed was 131.578 mph or 211 km/h with a top speed of 200 mph (321 km/h).
Not surprisingly, the sponsors of this quirky race are equally quirky Anglo-Swiss watchmakers GRAHAM-LONDON who designed the special winners’ watch for this occasion. Eric Loth, founder of GRAHAM-LONDON, is also a keen motor cycle rider: “We like this race because it’s historic, it’s real, it’s mad and it’s British and gritty and we want to see it prosper. In the Isle of Man, one can still do one’s own thing. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that it’s also the
home of fellow petrolheads Jeremy Clarkson and Nigel Mansell.”