We ride the Mountain!

Never one to miss an opportunity Malc Wheeler tagged along when Graeme Crosby got to ride a lap of the TT Mountain Course, on his original XR69 at the Manx Grand Prix Festival. Things didn't go to plan, though...


It's the first thing you forget about racing on the TT Mountain Course, sometimes it rains! Which of course is what it did the moment Kiwi ace Graeme Crosby and me were directed to the start line for our ride on the best 37.73 miles of tarmac in the world. And then it poured down.

When I heard that Croz, one of the nicest guys you'll meet in our sport, was to do a parade lap of the Mountain between races at this years Manx I started to hatch a plan to tag along. Our original plan looked pretty impressive. Croz was set to ride the original Suzuki diesel from Steve Wheatman's impressive, and still growing, collection on which he won one of his TT's and I would ride shotgun on the John Sims built XR 69 replica on which Michael Dunlop won last years Classic Superbike race.

That was before lady luck took a hand. Michael Dunlop's new 2011 XR69 replica was lacking a few horse power which saw him revert to the tried and tested winner from the year before. So it was back to plan B, which luckily I had hatched the weekend before.

A chance meeting with Chris Barratt, who has a small but very tasty collection of racing two-strokes, resulted in him offering me a ride on his TZ750 Yamaha. Chris was on the Island for the Festival of Jurby, so travel plans were already in place. Half dozen laps at the Festival of Jurby confirmed two things for me, Chris knows how to prepare a race bike and that I love TZ750's.

You can see from the short onboard clip the weather didn't play fair and the water brought the big TZ to an undignified halt when the Manx rain seeped into the electrics. It was fun while it lasted!

The Classic MotorCycle Issue 41-10 - October 2014

Where legends come to life

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