Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Isle of Man TT in slow motion


I've twice mentioned the 2012 Isle of Man TT motorcycle race in recent months.  It's probably the world's premier event of its kind - not to mention probably the most dangerous motorcycle race in existence, as this 2005 article makes clear.

I just came across this video clip of the 2009 race, showing what happens to motorcycles as they negotiate some of the most tricky parts of the course.  It's in very slow motion, so you can see details as small as the deformations in the tires as they come down after a jump, or the impact of a rider's knee on the tarmac as it sends ripples up his leg.  I strongly suggest watching it in full-screen mode.




As a commenter said about the video, it 'captures the true essence of the [race]'.  I think so too - and also its danger!  Remember that you're not watching motorcycles on a purpose-built racing circuit, but on regular, narrow streets.  They're re-paved before the race each year, but as the close-up shots make clear, that doesn't remove all the bumps.  Hazardous indeed!

Peter

6 comments:

raven said...

A real illustration of how highly skilled those riders are- amazing!

Toejam said...

I'd give it a go if they allowed "training wheels".

PISSED said...

Those guys are nuckin futts!! :)

Old NFO said...

Great video, and #15 over the ridge shows how FAST they must react... Any of us had that happen, they'd be mopping up a wet spot in the road! And agree with all 3 comments above!!!

Will said...

The racer that lands on his front wheel first, came close to loosing it, and he caused that problem himself. He backed off the throttle just before, or after, his bike left the pavement. That rotated the bike nose down, and if he had jumped farther or higher, he would have been in a world of hurt.

I think the most impressive is the last batch of 3+1 bikes that jump over the crest. For some unseen reason, all the bikes have a noticeable side vector, and when they land on the rear wheel the front tries to continue that sideways drift. The resulting off axis landing of the front wheel makes for some interesting control inputs to counter it. Would have been much less dramatic if the riders could arrange for both tires to hit together.

Sometimes what looks totally scary to the spectators is no big deal to the rider. Other times, though...

Anonymous said...

You should also have a look for the North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix. Road racing is very much a part of Northern Irish life and public roads can be closed by an order from the Secretary of State. For 4-wheeled fans, they also run time trials and hill-climbs on similar roads