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Isle of Man TT 2011


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Trip is over, had a massive amount of fun and will likely go again with a few schedule & logistic tweaks. As it stands, we started out meeting at London Victoria Station (I flew to Heathrow, friends to Gatwick - for direct flights) and took the Tube to Essex for a final cab ride to Superbike Rentals where our steeds awaited:

KTM 990 Adventure, Honda VFR 800 and BMW R1200GS Adventure



From there we're off to Liverpool where we missed that night's ferry due to a massive pileup on the M6 wherein they landed a helicopter in the lanes. Onboard the ferry it was a light load of bikes since it was the Saturday before practice week started:



We'd rented a house (http://www.sebagolodge.com/index.htm) just outside of Ramsey, securing the reservation almost a year in advance. Wonderful place with a great view:



Just up the road from the house the countryside take on a bit of a rural flavor:



Monday we popped down to the southern shore at Castletown for the Pre TT Classic on the Billown Course. Those older bikes are loads of fun to watch & hear, and the riders are pushing hard:



Managed to capture a chain failure during the last race that day, posted it on YouTube as a high-def video:


That night we stopped at the grandstands to watch a few bikes enter tech inspection:



And to see a few sidecars coming off the track following their opening practice sessions:



Another night we stopped in Ramsey to see a few bikes exit the hairpin:



Roaming around the course we also stopped at the Bungalow on top of the mountain:



Before heading back down to watch the riders leaving Ramsey in a fast manner:



Even took the train one day just to break things up, and see parts of the island without the pressure of riding:



The Marine Drive out of Douglas affords a great view of the harbor and waterfront:



But the southern tip with the Calf of Man is my favorite area of all:



Between practice session it's interesting to wander around see what other folks are riding, both old and new:





I rode the KTM just over 1100 miles on our 11-day rental, and that includes the marathon to-from the ferry port and Essex. We swapped machines at one point and I nearly cried with joy at the GS performance and handling, meanwhile my friend was wide-eyed with shock at the KTM's off-idle gymnastics and braking reduction. However, the KTM has a pent-up desire to run at high rev's and will accelerate surprisingly well compared to my RT. But anything over 75mph and the buffetting is too strong for comfort, and I'm unsure if I ever hit more than 105mph with it -- it'd run faster, but I couldn't see anymore! Roads on the Isle are surprisingly rough, and I used nearly every bit of suspension on that bike before ever taking it down a green lane.

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