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The Isle of Man TT races have earned the distinction of the wildest motorcycle competition on pavement. Rocketing around public roads lined with houses, fences and cliffs at up to 190 mph around a 38-mile course is distinctly unlike the relatively safe confines of a modern racetrack. The specter of death walks close to riders at the IoM – more than 200 people have lost their lives on the course over the event’s 100-plus years.
Dangerous? Yes, but the moto world would be poorer without it. I was there in 2000, and it was the most amazing event I’ve ever witnessed, with seemingly 100% support from the local inhabitants who enjoy an influx of tourism cash from the historic races.
Mainstream media reports of the TT often gloss over the unique challenge and thrill of the event, instead angling it toward the bloodsport angle and the foolishness of the competitors. But in the video below. HBO Sports presents a feature report that does a decent job of balancing perspectives of the wildest motorcycle race in the world.
Yeah, the “danger lurks around every corner” aspect is played up, and non-riders will surely consider the racers foolhardy. But interviews with ex-GP pilot Steve Parrish and American racer Mark Miller speak to the unique allure of the famed Isle of Man. Miller finished this year’s TT Zero race for electric-powered motorcycles in third place, while teammate and local legend Michael Rutter took the win on the MotoCzysz E1PC.