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Sep 24th 2019, 05:00 PM   #1
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
Isle of Man TT race course ride report:

My wife and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend the Isle Of Man TT, for both weeks (practice week and race week). We rented a bright-red dry-clutch Ohlins-suspended Ducati Monster 1100S with carbon-fiber Termignoni exhaust, and rode the course both solo and two-up, at triple-digit speeds- there is no speed limit on the Isle of Man outside of town (which is good, because the Police ride Ducati Panigale Superbikes).

So I wanted to post a ride report.
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Edited by MV Man on Sep 25th 2019 at 03:52 PM
Sep 25th 2019, 06:48 AM   #2
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
The Snaefel Mountain Course is located on the Isle Of Man, which is in the Irish sea, in between England and Ireland. It is 37-3/4 miles long, and comprised of public roads. It starts in Douglas (the largest town) heading south, then turns west towards the town of Peel, then turns north and heads up to the town of Ramsey, and finally turns south, goes over Snaefel mountain (which is only about 2,500 feet tall) and heads back into the start/finish line in Douglas. They drive on the right side of the road there, although during the TT, they shut down northbound traffic on the mountain section, so that you can use both sides of the road.

There are no speed limits outside of the towns.

The WORST time to ride the course, is actually the most popular time to ride the course, Mad Sunday. The problem with Mad Sunday, is that not only is the course clogged with motorcyclists of all skill levels, but a lot of them are hung over (or even still drunk) from the night before. We feel that the best time to ride the course is daybreak, as early in practice week as you can. We had the whole course to ourselves at 0500 hours several mornings early in practice week.

Edited by MV Man on Sep 25th 2019 at 06:54 AM
Sep 25th 2019, 03:22 PM   #3
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
If the "Ride Report" can also include riding public transportation (so that you can experience the pubs properly), then I humbly submit the following for your consideration:

On the Isle of Man, you can buy a "Go Card", which gets you into all (or almost all) of the museums, as well as getting you onto all of the public transportation options. Both are very cool.

The Isle of Man has ample bendy busses and double-decker busses. The double-decker busses were fun for us for several reasons- we'd never been on one, and they drive on the right side of the road there. We got a seat on the upper deck in the front, and it was cool because there was nothing in front of us except glass- the driver was downstairs. Even more fun when running into trees. There are also taxis, although the pricing seems to be rather nebulous.

For rail fans, The Isle of Man is a very cool place. There is not only the Isle Of Man Steam Railway Museum down in Port Erin at the southern tip of the Island, but there are at least four narrow-gauge railways operating: The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway that runs along the Promenade in Douglas, the Isle Of Man Railway that runs a steam train from Douglas down to Castletown and Port Erin at the southern end of the island, the Manx Electric Railway that runs from Douglas up to Ramsey at the northern end of the island via Laxey, and the Snaefell Mountain Railway that runs from Laxey (home of the world's largest working waterwheel) up to the pub at the top of Snaefell Mountain via the Bungalow curves (where Joey's statue is).

And in my opinion, pubs are the reason for public transportation. We have experienced many pubs in that part of Europe, from the Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast Northern Ireland, to the Temple Bar in Dublin Ireland. We love pub food. We accept that dry Irish stouts are almost a religion there. And some of our favorite pubs on the Isle Of Man, include the following: The Raven Pub at the iconic Ballaugh Bridge jump (they played the 2014 film "Road" on a loop), the Sulby Glen Hotel pub on the Sulby Straight (the very fastest part of the course), the Swan pub up in Ramsey, and the Creg-Ny-Baa pub at the iconic Creg-Ny-Baa corner. Bushy's Beer Tent at the north end of the Promenade in Douglas is not technically a pub, but it certainly deserves honorable mention. Bushy's WAS a pub, and they ran a beer tent on the prom every year for the TT, and when Bushy's pub closed, they continued to run Bushy's beer tent on the prom for the TT. Bushy's, like everything else on the prom, tends to get a little silly after dark, but everyone should experience it.

We used public transportation for our excursions that involved drinking, but there are other ways to get around. Our first Sunday at church, a family we had met about five minutes before, offered to loan us their car for the two weeks that we were going to be on island. I've been told that if things are slow, the bus drivers will actually divert and drop you at your door. We stayed in Peel (not interested in the party scene in Douglas), and we simply walked from the luxury cottage we had rented, to the local Shoprite, along an absolutely spectacular abandoned railway bed.

You may see a lot of strange vehicles on the road on the Isle of Man. If it has an engine, you can probably get a license plate for it there. We saw dune buggies, off-road quads, side-by-sides, motocross race bikes, and all sorts of other things with license plates. Your vehicle doesn't even need to have any lights to get a license plate there (although you can't drive/ride after sunset without lights).
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Edited by MV Man on Sep 25th 2019 at 03:38 PM
Sep 25th 2019, 03:49 PM   #4
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
I guess I can only upload 8 pictures per post...

...and yes, that is a Desmocedici parked next to a Superleggera in front of a pub in Ramsey. Like I said, the Isle Of Man TT is absolute motorcycle Mecca.
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Sep 25th 2019, 04:10 PM   #5
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
While we're on the subject of pubs, I guess a word of explanation is in order here- every year, Arai does an extremely limited-production commemorative edition of that particular year's Isle Of Man TT races (only 500 worldwide), with artwork by Alberto Drudi (the guy who does Rossi's helmets), based upon their top of the line RX7/Corsair helmet. They run about $1,200 each, so after one too many visits to the Okell's beer tent behind the main grandstands in the TT compound for cider...I only bought two of them (one for each of us) at the Arai Village.

In my defense, I must say that cider in that part of the world is not like our sugary, fizzy, low-alcohol hard cider here in the U.S.- their cider has a higher alcohol content, and is not sugary or fizzy at all.

...and yes, that's ANOTHER Desmosedici. Just about any motorcycle you can imagine, was there. Try me...
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Edited by MV Man on Sep 25th 2019 at 04:19 PM
Sep 25th 2019, 04:50 PM   #6
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
The Raven pub is the tan-colored building across the road just after the Ballaugh Bridge jump at 0:07 in this video:

DarthVader and stripler like this.

Edited by MV Man on Sep 25th 2019 at 05:05 PM
Sep 25th 2019, 05:29 PM   #7
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
Another word on cider (I don't know why I'm feeling so defensive):

The Isle Of Man is a sovereign nation under Crown dependency of the U.K., meaning that they are a sovereign nation and are not part of the U.K., but they depend upon the U.K. for their international defense.

This is relevant, because the Isle Of Man TT is considered to be part of "Irish Road Racing". Irish Road Racing, ironically, does not have anything to do with Ireland. Irish Road Racing is something that is centered in Northern Ireland, which is a completely different country.

Anyways...there is an old Irish drinking song that we learned while doing a musical pub crawl in Dublin Ireland. It is reportedly based upon an actual historical event, a beer drought, which, if you've ever met any Irish people, you would know that a beer drought would be a national emergency.

In order to address this crisis, a bunch of cider (commonly referred to as "hard" cider here in the U.S.), was hastily loaded into used oak whisky barrels, and shipped off to Ireland. The cider had not finished fermenting when it was loaded into the barrels, and it was pretty much rocket fuel by the time it arrived in Ireland.

The cider was named "Johnny Jump Up". Now that you know that, the following song will make sense:


Edited by MV Man on Sep 25th 2019 at 05:46 PM
Sep 25th 2019, 05:40 PM   #8
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
There is also a terribly addictive substance in that part of the world, known as "HP Brown Sauce". I would eat it on ice cream, if I could find it here in the U.S....

Sep 25th 2019, 07:15 PM   #9
 alienbogey's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Gig Harbor

Don't stop!
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Sep 25th 2019, 07:56 PM   #10
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienbogey
Don't stop!
Well, what do you want to see? The world's cleanest Honda CB500 Four? A hand-built Italian Beta off-road enduro race bike with a license plate? A Yamaha off-road quad with a license plate parked on the promenade next to an MV Agusta F3 and a mid-70s Ducati Super Sport painted up in the livery of Mike "The Bike" Hailwood's 1978 Isle Of Man Formula-1 race-winning "Comeback" bike? A Suzuki RG500 Gamma? A purple, ported, and piped Kawasaki H2 "Widowmaker" 750 2-stroke triple? Joey's Isle Of Man TT race-winning Honda RS125R Grand Prix race bike? A Honda RVF400R (NC35)? A Honda CBX inline-6? A Bimota Tesi 3D? Just ask...


Just let me know, and I'll post it.
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Edited by MV Man on Sep 27th 2019 at 04:50 PM
Sep 25th 2019, 08:18 PM   #11
 alienbogey's Avatar
 
  Feb 2016
  Gig Harbor

Okay, since you're offering, I want to see

• Where you stayed

• Video of riding the course

• More pubs

• A Motus

• and more
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Sep 25th 2019, 09:13 PM   #12
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienbogey
Okay, since you're offering, I want to see

• Where you stayed
That's actually the most relevant question when visiting the Isle of Man for the TT.

Accommodations are the hard part- once you have that figured out, everything else will fall into place. Typically, accommodations for the TT are reserved two years in advance. So if you want to go, you can put down a deposit for the 2021 TT races now.

There is all manner of accommodations- tent-camping, "glamping", hostels, home-stay, bed & breakfast, and hotels, in addition to short-term rentals of cottages, apartments, and homes.

My wife and I chose to rent a luxury cottage in Peel. Douglas is where all the party action happens. Peel is one of the quietest towns. And Ramsey falls somewhere in between. We paid about the equivalent of about $2,000 USD to rent our two-bedroom luxury cottage for practice week and race week. Things get more and more expensive as the TT moves towards the Senior TT race on the last day, so it really wasn't that much money extra, for us to stay for practice week once we'd already paid for race week. That's one of the reasons that I recommend doing BOTH weeks.

Quote:

• Video of riding the course
We Go-Pro'd our laps, but do not have them hosted anywhere.

They're probably not that impressive anyway. Nearly 300 people have died on the Snaefel Mountain Course over the years. It is not like any other race course I have ever been on. We've done the Nurburgring Nordschleife at triple-digit speeds, and it was nothing compared to this. The Senior Superbikes reach speeds of about 209-210mph on the Sulby Straight (the fastest part of the course). We went out at sunrise early in practice week two-up on our rental Ducati Monster 1100S, and didn't go much over 100mph. I went out solo the next morning, and had every intention of whooping it up a little bit, but to be completely honest, it just wasn't worth the risk, and I didn't really go much faster.

Quote:
• More pubs
I'll get on that. There were a few I left out before. If you're really into pubs, there are a bunch of them that we did in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland during the same trip. I gained 20 pounds in one month.

Quote:
• A Motus
You may have me there. Would you settle for an MZ side-hack?

Quote:
• and more
I can do that. Let me get some sleep, and I'll work on it tomorrow.
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Edited by MV Man on Sep 25th 2019 at 09:42 PM
Sep 25th 2019, 09:39 PM   #13
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
If you have not seen the "Purple Helmets" (I should not have to explain the name to you) motorcycle show, it is not to be missed. They typically do several shows in Douglas, and one in Peel on "Peel Day":

Sep 26th 2019, 12:31 PM   #14
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
Okay, so we'll start with the requested pub pics here. This was one of a number of pubs that we tried in Peel, within walking distance of our cottage. I do not remember the name of it. The exterior shot may just be a random street shot, and not the actual pub. And just to round it out to 8 pics, I threw in a couple of Peel Day posters. Peel day is a hoot, and we can go into that later, if anyone wants.
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Sep 26th 2019, 12:49 PM   #15
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
This is the famous "The Raven" pub, located in Ballaugh, right after the iconic Ballaugh Bridge jump. If you've ever seen Isle Of Man TT photos or videos, you've seen the Ballaugh Bridge jump, and because the best viewing location is on the left side of the course, The Raven is almost always going to be in the background of those photos and videos. We showed up hours early, ate pub food, had pints of cider and pints of Guinness, and watched the 2014 Liam Neeson narrated documentary "Road" playing on the big screen, before crossing the road to our super-secret viewing location before they closed the road.

And I just gotta give a shout out to the Isle Of Man police- they were SO nice to us, even before they found out that I was a cop. They even let us carry our last couple of pints across the street to our viewing location. I even traded a shoulder patch from my agency, for an epaulette pin from theirs. We studied online photos and videos of the Ballaugh Bridge jump, to determine where the best place to stand was, and after the officer told us EXACTLY where the barricades were going to go up, we took up our position, and the barricades went up at our toes, giving us an absolutely unimpeachable view of the action.

If you could only do one pub on the Isle Of Man, this one should be it.
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