Isle Of Man TT – MHKS Tue, 22 Nov 2022 14:50:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Isle Of Man TT – MHKS 32 32 This University of Michigan team runs with the pros Tue, 22 Nov 2022 14:50:04 +0000

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan apparently has countless student clubs and teams, and Michigan Engineering is no exception. From concrete canoes and human-powered submarines to steel forges and bridges, there seems to be a group for everyone.

But did you know that UM has an electric racing team?

Known as SPARK, the team builds competition-worthy electric motorcycles at the Wilson Center on North Campus and doesn’t stop there. They race them against some of the biggest manufacturers in the world like Ducati and Zero Motorcycles.

SPARK has approximately 100 student members who work together to design, build, market and race the record-breaking bikes. The team’s latest prototype, Atlas, was completed in June.

SPARK’s third electric motorcycle prototype, Atlas, was completed in June 2022 and exceeds 150 mph. (SPARK Electric Race)

“This bike was our most ambitious thing,” said team project manager Peter Jaskoski, a mechanical engineering student. “Instead of taking an old street bike and converting it, we decided to do it all from scratch. Everything from wheels and brakes to building its own battery from scratch.

Jaskoski said the team raced Atlas at New Jersey Motorsports Park and South Haven.

“We were really happy with the performance,” he said. “We got second place in New Jersey against production bikes and people who have a lot of industry behind them.”

Racing against professionals isn’t typical for college teams, Jaskoski said.

Members of SPARK Electric Racing at the University of Michigan built the Atlas prototype from the ground up in 2022. (SPARK Electric Race)

About 50 students were involved in the design and construction of Atlas, which exceeds 150 mph.

“We basically have people from all over campus, and a large majority are engineers,” said SPARK president and graduate student Leo Lavigne. “We take people from commerce, chemistry and all different types of engineering (trainings).

“We (are) a professional racing team, but we also try to develop the skills of young engineers, balancing high innovation and learning as you go. real-world experience.

Business, art, and design majors fuel the team’s marketing efforts, which are essential to the self-funded program.

“We get support from the university, but those are all the grants we have to apply for,” Jaskoski said. “It’s not just handed over to us. We have to work with many corporate sponsors, where we get the majority of our parts and funding. We have to act like a business.

The team hires pro racer David McPherson to race their bikes in competitions. (SPARK Electric Race)

How much does a prototype cost? Atlas cost around $55,000, team representatives said. And the next project will be almost double that. The team also hires a professional racer from Florida to race their bikes.

As for what the future holds, they have their sights set on their first international race – the Isle of Man TT. The world famous race takes place on the small island between England and Ireland, and it has an electric class.

Jaskoski and Lavigne said it would be a game-changer for SPARK.

To learn more about the team, you can visit its website.

Copyright 2022 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All Rights Reserved.

A detailed look at the Kawasaki motorcycle that Tom Cruise rode in Top Gun Thu, 17 Nov 2022 19:16:00 +0000

Hollywood films have always seen extravagance take center stage. The more action there is, the more entertainment there is and, of course, the more money comes in for the studios. Motorcycles have always added drama like nothing else, from heroes to villains. That’s because motorcycles are cool! Right? Well, motorcycles have impacted the lives of many young people, so that says a lot there. Many people would agree that the motorcycle is indeed a cultural icon.

Some films that have featured motorcycles and have had a huge cultural impact include the A savage with Marlon Brando and of course Superior gun which sees Tom Cruise riding an old Kawasaki superbike.

One person who has had enough screen time with a number of motorcycles is Tom Cruise. The Hollywood action hero’s influence on bikes goes far. With how many motorcycles he’d thrown in movies and owned a few, it’s better to say that when it comes to motorcycles, Tom Cruise and Hollywood go hand in hand, and everyone remembers the Kawasaki GPZ900R Maverick rides in Top Gun.

November 2022 Update: Tom Cruise may have had another big blockbuster with the new Top Gun: Maverick movie, but we still can’t stop talking about the old Kawasaki GPZ900R motorcycle he rode in the original Top Gun movie, and which also made an appearance in the new one.

RELATED: Here’s What Top Gun Got Wrong About The Planes As Well As Their Flight

The Kawasaki GPZ900R is special

Top Gun Maverick Tom Cruise rides the Kawasaki GPZ900R
Via: Fox News

One of the reasons that made the GPZ900R a legend is the fact that it was considered the predecessor to modern sports bikes, just like the Lamborghini Miura is to supercars. Part of the reason this Kawasaki superbike became famous was its appearance in Top Gun. That aside, the bike on its own was very innovative for the mid-1980s. Kawasaki released the GPZ900R, affectionately known as “GPZ” in 1985. It was a sub-litre sport bike, considered the spiritual successor to the Kawasaki Z1. A year before the GPZ launched, the ZX750 Turbo garnered a lot of attention for the amount of engineering it brought to the table. But the GPZ was a closely guarded secret for nearly six years, while development of the ZX750 began in 1981.

The ZX750 was introduced much earlier despite its short development period, while Kawasaki took its time with the GPZ900R. When the GPZ came out, the bike left everyone in awe of the amount of fancy technology it had at the time. It was so capable that six months after it was unveiled to the press, dealers entered three factory GPZ900R motorcycles in the Isle of Man Production TT and finished first and second on the podium.

Given that the Isle of Man is one of the prestigious but notoriously dangerous motorcycle races known to mankind, to excel in this race was an incredible feat for the bike. This, combined with an important factor, which we will come back to later, made Tom Cruise choose the Kawasaki GPZ900R for Top Gun. In Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise was spotted riding a Ninja H2R; the fastest Kawasaki to date, and which is heavily influenced by the GPZ900R, which also makes a nostalgic appearance in the film.

The Kawasaki GPZ900R was built to go flat out

Top Gun Kawasaki GPZ900R
By: Pinterest

Right off the bat, the Kawasaki GPZ900R used a 908cc 16-valve inline-4 engine with liquid cooling. The GPZ develops an astonishing power of 115 hp at 9,800 rpm! Remember that was 1985, where numbers like these are rare for race bikes, let alone a homologated production bike.

The turbocharged ZX750 (often called the GPZ turbo), often compared to the GPZ900R, produced 112 horsepower but used an entirely different setup. The GPZ900R used a steel frame, 16-inch front wheels and 18-inch rear wheels, air suspension and an anti-dive fork as part of its chassis, while using the engine as the stressed member.

Importantly, however, Kawasaki has positioned the engine lower in the frame, allowing it to maintain a lower center of mass and enabling stunning levels of performance. The Kawasaki GPZ900R can complete the standing quarter mile in under 11 seconds – 10.976 to be precise! It’s an amazing feat for a production motorcycle with license plates to achieve such levels of performance in the 1980s.

Despite its tire-shredding performance, the GPZ was a comfortable city bike, thanks to the new suspension and a crankshaft counterweight that eliminated secondary vibrations. Along with that, the smartly designed aerodynamic fairing along with the comfortable riding position made the Kawasaki GPZ a good companion for long distance trips.

RELATED: Yamaha VS Kawasaki: Which Offers the Best Value?

Many firsts were seen in the Kawasaki GPZ900R

Top Gun Motorcycle: Kawasaki GPZ900R
Via: BikesRepublic

Being the grandfather of modern superbikes, the GPZ brought many industry firsts. For starters, the Kawasaki GPZ900R was the first production motorcycle in the world to break the 150 mph mark. With a top speed of 155mph, Maverick had no doubts about which bike he’ll be riding in Top Gun, especially when he’s more used to flying supersonic fighter jets.

On top of that, the GPZ was the first production bike to feature liquid cooling and 4 valves per cylinder with an overhead valve design. The list does not end there, the GPZ is the first bike to introduce a variable damping system which was used in the forks and marketed as anti-dive forks. The GPZ900R also featured an aircraft-inspired recessed spring-loaded fuel cap that replaced the cumbersome twist cap. To top it off, the GPZ900R was the very first Kawasaki motorcycle to wear the Ninja badge. The GPZ900R was definitely one of the most exciting motorcycles on the planet back in the days of the first Top Gun movie, and that’s why it made its way to the big screen. He also touched the hearts of many young motorcycle enthusiasts and certainly had a huge influence on young people around the world.

Source: Cycle World, Kawasaki

]]> John McGuiness Honda CBR1000RR-R SP 100th TT Start replacement… Wed, 16 Nov 2022 09:03:08 +0000

A living legend of Isle of Man TT Races gets a very special limited edition bike this fall, like John McGuinness’ 100e The departure of the TT is commemorated by an exclusive Blade of Fire CBR1000RR-R SP.

Much of John’s success on the Isle of Man has been aboard Honda powered machines, be it the archetypal Fireblade or the smaller capacity CBR600RR. This success has led to a lasting relationship with the Honda brand, both here in the UK and in Japan. The fruits of this relationship led Honda UK to create a series of very special edition CBR1000RR-R SP Fireblades, completed to celebrate its 100th anniversary.e IoM TT starts.

Strictly limited to just 30 units, the bike is based on the latest generation SP variant of the 30e Anniversary Fireblade, making it about as nifty as it gets. It is also based on the same bike we rode on a track day at Donington Park with John earlier this year.

John McGuinness Honda CBR1000RR-R SP 100th Start Replica Details

Setting the bike apart from the stock machines are a host of add-ons and, of course, that commemorative paint job. The gold paint job features gold detailing and a film strip showing all John’s TT starts on a Honda engined machine. Lucky owners will also receive gold wheel stripes, perfectly replicating the bike he rode on Sunday June 5e, 2022; its 100e TT departure.

Going even further, the new bike is adorned with a bolt-on kit from Honda and stocked with trinkets for the man/woman cave at home. Bolts include carbon fender and fender, seat cowl and taller screen. The bike will also arrive shod in Metzeler Racetec RR tires, with the stock, OEM hoops supplied in the crate. Each machine will be individually numbered, with a plaque on the headstock marking the importance of the bike. As an added special touch, John will hand sign all the bikes, and since no two signatures are the same, each machine is fundamentally unique.

To spruce up the space these bikes will likely sleep in (at least until they double in value), the new owner will also receive a custom Fireblade garage mat, bike cover, and 3D laser etched crystal with a design of the John McGuinness 100th Start Replica. Not only that, but MCPint himself will be camped out at Honda Racing in Louth for delivery of the machines, patiently waiting to hand them over to their happy new owners.

Hopefully he won’t be there too long, it’s cold in Louth!

The John McGuinness CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP 100th Start replica will be showcased at Motorcycle Live 2022 later this month, and orders can be placed through your local Honda dealership. It has also been confirmed that no more than 30 copies will be produced, with a price tag of £30,000.

Speaking of the new bike, John said:

“The stars have aligned for me to be back on a Honda Fireblade for my 100th TT start. It’s a great bike and it meant a lot to me throughout my career. And, if I think about it, so many other runners over the past 30 years too. I’m proud of my connection to his place in TT history and of that, my cue. There is no event like the Isle of Man TT in the world and this bike celebrates Honda racing, and my own part. It feels good. Very well.”

Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade 30th Anniversary Review

Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body aims for 10th consecutive T2 victory in Dakar Tue, 15 Nov 2022 05:11:34 +0000

While the T2 class is generally overshadowed by its other four-wheeled T1 counterparts, Team Land Cruiser Toyota Body dominated T2 at Dakar Rally winning it every year since 2014. For 2023, they will attempt a decade sweep.

The team revealed the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport at Sanage Adventure Land at Toyota City on Monday. Chairman of Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd. Keiji Masui highlighted the importance of using the Dakar Rally to build a “a car that can go anywhere and come back alive.”

Akira Miura will return as a main driver after winning T2 in 2018, 2021 and 2022. Miura joined Toyota Auto Body in 2005 before becoming a mechanic for the Dakar team in 2007 and becoming a driver in 2016. He represented the team in various events, including the Silk Way Rally in Russia, the Mint 400 and Vegas to Reno in the United States and the Rallye du Maroc in Morocco. The latest event, a stage of the World Rally Raid Championship like Dakar, was won by Miura in October.

Miura and copilot Laurent Lichtleuchter worked together for eight years and were involved in the development of the Land Cruiser 300.

French Touring Car Champion Ronald Basso will once again be Miura’s teammate. He made his Dakar debut in 2009 alongside his father Jean-Claude Basso, then raced an SSV with Julien Ménard before being hired by Toyota in 2021 to replace the three-time T2 winner. Christian Lavieille. Jean Michel Polato will work as his teammate.

Yuji Kadoya continues as crew chief, a position he has held since 2015. Nineteen crew members will maintain the two Land Cruisers.

The 2023 Dakar Rally begins on December 31, 2022.

Michael Dunlop eyes Superbike charge at Isle of Man TT in 2023 Tue, 08 Nov 2022 09:24:26 +0000

The Ballymoney man became just the third rider in history to claim more than 20 Mountain Course victories after taking victories in both Supersport races in June on his MD Racing Yamaha.

Dunlop also smashed his 2018 lap record in the class, raising the bar to a remarkable 129.47mph as he closes in on his prediction of a 130mph lap on a Supersport machine.

The 33-year-old’s double this year propelled him to 21 total wins, leaving him two behind John McGuinness and five behind his uncle Joey, who remains the most successful TT rider of all time with 26 wins.

Michael Dunlop had a better result in third on the Suzuki Hawk Racing in this year’s Superbike race at the Isle of Man TT.

Dunlop finished on the Superbike TT podium in third place on the Hawk Racing Suzuki this year after securing a deal to race a Ducati Panigale V4R for Paul Bird’s team.

His last premier class success was at the 2018 Superbike TT, when Dunlop triumphed on the Tyco BMW in difficult circumstances for Northern Irish team TAS Racing following the tragic death in practice of Manx rider Dan Kneen.

Since then, Peter Hickman has been the rider to beat in Superbike and Senior TT races and holds the absolute lap record of 135.452 mph.

Dunlop, however, believes he can raise his level with the right preparation and a fully “sorted” Superbike next year.

Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop has won the Isle of Man TT 23 times after claiming his last victories with a one-two finish in Supersport races this year.

“We were supposed to ride a different Superbike but it fell through so we were really on the back foot this year,” Dunlop said.

“Even with the 600 we were pretty on the back foot – the bike was pretty good but we probably didn’t have enough time when we thought we should have.

“The problem is I don’t have much choice because I probably pissed off all the team managers, all the constructors, 95% of the paddock and probably most of the TT press people on the island of Man – and I’m socially awkward!

“But it was good and it made me believe that we still have something, and if we get our Superbike sorted out properly, we can get back to riding hard as well.”

Michael Dunlop on his way to victory on his MD Racing Yamaha at Rhencullen in the first Supersport race of this year’s Isle of Man TT.

Dunlop rated himself an ‘underdog’ this year as the TT returned for the first time in 2019 and says it’s getting harder than ever to emerge victorious.

“The work is getting harder and probably 99% of people don’t do road races anymore like we used to,” he added on TT+.

“I learned from the legacy and I can only trust the way my dad did it and the way Joey did it. These boys drank beer and smoked cigarettes.

“Nowadays people wear sunglasses and everyone is an athlete now.

“I’m the last of the pure road racers, apart from a few other guys back home. But there is no longer anyone from Ireland who comes to win TTs.

On his last success in June, he added: “It was good because I was the only person to break a lap record all week at the TT, so that means we still have the speed. There is definitely more in the tank.

Read more

TT 2022: Michael Dunlop takes famous 20th victory in opening Supersport race…

Gone with the Greats: Isle of Man TT claims two of its own Wed, 02 Nov 2022 18:16:01 +0000

The motorcycle racing industry has just lost two key members of its heritage in the Isle of Man TT – and with that news comes a slight misunderstanding.

According to the report of Multi-channel networkthe first lap of the opening sidecar race saw Frenchman Olivier Lavorel sustain serious injuries at the scene, with driver César Chanel succumbing to the incident.

The news comes with a bit of confusion; apparently the two TT newcomers had originally swapped dog tags before the race, which led to misidentification of the men after the accident itself.

A view of Cesar Chanel and Olivier Lavorel in the sidecar category opening race for the Isle of Man TT. Media sourced from The Mirror.

With the late ‘Lavorel’ then confirmed to be the hapless Chanel, the real Lavorel was rushed to hospital, where he eventually (and more recently) gave in to the damage done.

“The Isle of Man TT Races are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sidecar competitor Olivier Lavorel, of Sillingy, France,” reads the official press release.

“Olivier was seriously injured in an incident on the opening lap of the first sidecar race of the 2022 Isle of Man TT Races on Saturday June 4. The accident happened at Ago’s Leap, just under 1 mile into the course, and also cost the life of Olivier’s teammate, César Chanel.

A view of Cesar Chanel and Olivier Lavorel in the sidecar category opening race for the Isle of Man TT.  Media sourced from MCN.
A view of Cesar Chanel and Olivier Lavorel in the sidecar category opening race for the Isle of Man TT. Media sourced from MCN.

“Olivier was airlifted to hospital in Liverpool before being transferred to a hospital in France at the end of June where his treatment continued… Olivier and César [won] numerous victories and podiums in the French Sidecar F1 and F2 Championships.

Our deepest condolences to Lavorel’s family and loved ones during this time; just as we here at WBW seek to inspire new generations of riders, we also see it as our duty to cover the widest possible spectrum of the motorcycle industry – and that includes unfortunate news like this -this.

For other industry-related news, be sure to sign up for our newsletter; our main man, Cameron Martel, handles the thing himself and hand-delivers it to your inbox twice a day – no filler, so don’t miss it.

Drop a comment below to let us know what you think and, as always, stay safe on the bends.

*Media from Multi-channel networkas well as ITV HUB and The Mirror*

KTM Europe to take over CFMoto distribution in UK and Ireland in 2023 Fri, 28 Oct 2022 19:34:00 +0000

KTM and CFMoto are two peas in an OEM pod. The Austrian company and the Chinese brand first teamed up in 2013. As part of the deal, CFMoto manufactured small-capacity KTM models for the Chinese market. In return, KTM shared its technology and engineering. So far, this agreement has helped CFMoto reuse the LC8c parallel twin from the KTM 790 Adventure for the 800MT adventure bike and the LC8 V-twin from the 1290 Super Duke for its 1250 TR-G grand tourer.

As CFMoto entered the European market, Quadzill LTD. distributed the brand’s motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-side vehicles in the UK and Ireland. Market trends are now dictating Quadzilla to focus its business on the booming ATV and UTV industry, dropping distribution of CFMoto motorcycles to KTM Europe.

“Given the rapid growth of the ATV and UTV sectors in our market, Quadzilla Ltd has decided that the time has come to abandon the distribution of CFMOTO motorcycles in the UK and Ireland in order to focus on CFMOTO products. ATV, UTV and SSV,” explained Paul Miller, Senior Quality Service Representative at Quadzilla.

Current owners of CFMoto motorcycles don’t worry. Quadzilla will remain the parts provider during the transition. The company will also continue to honor warranties on registered bikes. KTM will take over the distribution reins in January 2023, while accepting warranty claims on CFMoto motorcycles distributed by Quadzilla. The transfer from Quadzilla not only strengthens the KTM-CFMoto relationship, but also allows new distributors to get started on track.

“Through our dedicated dealers and promotions, as well as our racing department, we have had the pleasure of supporting CFMOTO in the growth of its motorcycle division for ten years,” added Miller. “We have not only raised the brand’s profile in the UK motorcycling market, but have also had racing success in the Isle of Man TT and No Limits twin classes,” added Miller.

With new models like the 450SR sportbike slated to arrive in Europe in 2023, CFMoto and KTM couldn’t have picked a better time to join forces again.

2023 Isle of Man TT race calendar confirmed Wed, 26 Oct 2022 21:54:18 +0000

Press release | October 26, 2022

The Department of Enterprise has today confirmed the final 2023 Isle of Man TT racing schedule.

Michael Rutter, Ian Hutchinson, James Hillier and Michael Dunlop (closest) wait their turn to take the most famous start of the race at the 2022 Isle of Man Senior TT.

The 2023 Isle of Man TT races will run from Monday 29th May (Bank Monday which includes a full day of qualifying) to Saturday 10th June, with the first race on Saturday 3rd June. The senior TT race is now scheduled to take place on Saturday June 10th.

The Isle of Man Government has also confirmed that although Senior Race Day has now been moved, Friday June 9 will remain a public holiday which will be known as ‘TT Bank Holiday’. A full copy of the schedule is available at

The new 10-race calendar for 2023 will hopefully promote the long-term sustainability of the event, providing a range of benefits including:

  • Increase overall visitor numbers and economic benefits by creating two long weekend options for visiting fans, most of whom prioritize holidays when deciding to attend events.
  • Filling accommodation capacity towards the end of the race schedule, which will give visitors greater flexibility and further benefit accommodation providers where currently over 65% of fans have left before the Senior TT.
  • Reduce the length of race days, reduce the impact on residents and reduce the demand for volunteers and officials, including marshals, crews and competitors.
  • Improved offer for racing fans with more races and both offer Superbike races positioned during prime time (weekend afternoons).

The Department’s decision to move forward with the timeline was made based on extensive research previously conducted, including two separate public consultations, as well as clearly identified benefits that align with the overall strategy and mission. of the TT” to deliver a sustainable world-class TT that increases the economic benefits for the Isle of Man.

Tim Crookall MHK, political member in charge of tourism and motorsport: I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our research over the past few years, including those who took the time to contribute to the public consultations. I firmly believe that the confirmed 2023 schedule will bring a number of long-term benefits to the event and the Isle of Man.

The TT returned in 2022 after a two-year hiatus and ushered in significant changes intended to move the event forward into a new era of success. The new calendar is a key piece of this puzzle and opens up greater potential for more visitors to come to our island and experience the event at a time when it is attracting new audiences around the world with broadcast content and increased distribution.

Lawrie Hooper MHK, Minister for Enterprise: The TT 2023 schedule was developed following a great deal of research and stakeholder feedback. This research revealed that the existing TT schedule, the travel capacity of the island, the accommodation infrastructure of the island, the costs taken into account in relation to the current economic climate and the changing habits of customers are no longer compatible and do not meet the needs of event customers.

Given these clear challenges identified in the research and TT’s overall strategy, the new schedule for 2023 is a proactive step to support visitor growth and offers clear benefits to local businesses and the economy. The island’s current TT capacity is limited to around 28,000 visitors at a time, with the current visitor curve highlighting pressures on infrastructure mid-weekend. In its simplest form, the new calendar aims to maintain current visitor numbers while promoting growth. We expect this new schedule to encourage new visitor patterns and capitalize on capacity, resulting in an additional 50,000 overnight stays over time, which would represent an additional expenditure on the island of £6 million.

A full copy of the schedule can be found here:

Click here for all the latest Isle of Man TT news.

Glenn Irwin: ‘Decision on 2023 race will be based on wanting to be BSB champion’ Mon, 24 Oct 2022 10:20:43 +0000
Glenn Irwin finished second in the British Superbike standings on his Honda Fireblade

Glenn Irwin says his decision on which team to ride for in the 2023 season will be based on which machine he believes will give him the best chance of becoming British Superbike Champion.

The Carrickfergus rider finished second in his career in this year’s BSB series, including five race wins, as part of the Honda Racing team.

He has been linked with a possible move to the PBM Ducati team for next season.

“I have to decide what gives me the best chance of winning the series,” Irwin said.

“It’s not about the money – if it was about the money, I’d probably choose the option that I don’t take.

“And it’s not about ‘he should stay there because he could do the TT forever’ as some people say.

“My answer to that is that I’m about to have my third child in a few weeks, so TT is not at the top of my priorities. It never was.

“Since day one, BSB has been my bread and butter.

“The TT, North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix, Macau…it’s always been a vacation for me, I’m going to enjoy these events in front of massive crowds of people, I love riding my bike.

“First and foremost, I want to be the British Superbike Champion. Whatever decision I make is based on that, nothing else.”

The 32-year-old has won six successive Superbike races at the North West 200 and made his Isle of Man TT debut in June, lapping the fastest lap ever by a newcomer at an average speed of over 129 mph.

Previously, he rode for the PBM Ducati team from 2016 to 2018, achieving the best overall classification in the championship in 2018.

The Cumbria-based team are the most successful team in the history of the BSB series.

“It’s a bike that won the BSB in 2019 and 2020 and I think it’s a bike that can win the championship,” said Irwin of the PBM-prepared Ducati.

“Having said that, I’ve outclassed any driver in the last four rounds of this year’s BSB series, so I have to weigh everything.

“I had a fantastic season and achieved everything I set out to achieve, including second place in the championship.

“I’m racing to win obviously, but given the packages we were up against, we probably exceeded our targets.

“Did we think second place was achievable? Probably not.

Isle of Man champion completes 24-hour Tiger 1200 off-road test Fri, 21 Oct 2022 16:33:29 +0000

We’ve seen Triumph’s Tiger Rally Pro 900 in recent headlines, scoring impressive finishes in both the Bassella Enduro Race in Spain and the Baja Aragon Rally with enduro champion Ivan Cervantes at the helm. Now is the time for Triumph’s all-new flagship Tiger 1200 Rally Pro to enjoy its moment of glory, having over the summer become the world’s first high-capacity adventure bike to conquer grueling HARDI Australia. 24 Hour Trial, a monster in a sea of ​​lightweight. enduro bikes.

This event is not a local fun ride, but rather a highly respected and extremely difficult endurance race – a machine and rider test that has been going on in South Australia since 1924. It’s not a kind of thing team, but more of a rugged rider enduring four- or six-hour laps over tough terrain in freezing temperatures (remember the Australian winter is our summer). Each lap consists of 12 competitive timed sections and 13 transit stages. Four 15-minute breaks are included to refuel bikes and cyclists.

The Isle of Man champion takes part in a 24-hour off-road test on the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro

Triumph brought in two-time Isle of Man TT champion Cameron Donald to race one of two Tiger 1200 Rally Pros, the other was steered by Cameron’s best friend Donald Owen, an enduro rider from Expert class that also races on the road and in motocross. In a high-quality video produced by Triumph, you get a front row seat to watch these pals – just two weeks before the trial – get to grips with heavy-duty adventure bikes, initially skeptical of the 1200’s potential to perform in a such a brutal event, where the “normal” input is 250-450cc.

Cameron laughs that it was all kind of a joke at first, but when he swings a leg above the majestic 1200 for the first time, he says things looked serious, fast. The pair made adjustments to the handlebar and shifter positions of their bikes, saying that while it looked like minor things, it made a huge difference. Their first test was also on the stock tires, which would be upgraded to aggressive, road-legal knobbies before the trial.

The Isle of Man champion takes part in a 24-hour off-road test on the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro

Additionally, the bikes were fitted with Triumph accessory upper crash bars and a 0.8-inch LED light bar to aid visibility at night, while center stands and passenger racks were removed. Otherwise, the Rally Pro models were completely stock.

Both riders quickly got to grips with the big bike, a new machine from the ground up for 2023 with a series of upgrades aimed at off-road adventure. There’s a 21″/18″ spoked wheelset and purpose-built off-road suspension with 8.66 inches (220mm) of travel front and rear, along with a new double-sided swingarm and 55-pound weight reduction over the 1200 XC the Rally Pro replaced. Its new 1160cc triple T-Plain also develops an aggressive 147.9 horsepower and 96 lb-ft of torque. And being the comfortable, gear-laden travel machine that it is, the guys of course packed up their kit and rode their 1200 Rally Pros 8 hours from home to the start of the 24 hour endurance event hours.

The Isle of Man champion takes part in a 24-hour off-road test on the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro

After arriving to much fanfare, they were somewhat dismayed to learn from a competitor who had completed the race 24 times that this year’s course was by far the most technically challenging ever. “A lot of people told us we were crazy, not expecting us to finish a single lap let alone four laps to finish the race,” Cameron said.

The longtime friends, whose immediate intention was simply to complete the grueling endurance event, staged a friendly competition to see which of the two could have the fastest accumulated stage times. It turned out that a Donald Owen, worn out by freezing weather, would smash his front wheel into a deep, square hole in the 16th hour and be unable to continue with his bike, instead focusing on supporting Cameron to get to the finish line.

The Isle of Man champion takes part in a 24-hour off-road test on the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro

By all accounts, the course was both grueling and very technical—not the ideal terrain for a 550-pound, 1200cc adventure bike. “There were traps everywhere, including four-foot-high ledges and two-foot-deep dust, often hiding rocks and roots,” Cameron says of the gnarliest sections, which he would navigate 4 times in the 24 hour period, although he says the bike is 21” front wheel and the weight, which translated into momentum, actually gave it a “point and pull” feel “.

“You had to be careful in the tight, technical terrain but, once open, the Tiger 1200 was unstoppable.” He also said the transit sections were impressive thanks to the bike’s spaciousness, plush seat, heated grips, cruise control and shaft drive, which negated stops for chain lubrication.

In the competitive stages, Cameron says riding in Off-Road Pro mode ensured that the power delivery from the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro “felt nice, linear and easy to use – just what you want when you’re in really tight technical terrain. who would test a 250!”

Of the 138 competitors who took part in this year’s Hardi Australia 24 Hour Trial, Cameron was one of 91 hardcore riders who finished the event, settling in 60th out of 75 two-wheeled entrants.

The Isle of Man champion takes part in a 24-hour off-road test on the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro

Although Cameron was gutted his friend Donald didn’t make it to the finish line, he made another deep connection during his time on the 1200 Rally Pro. “I formed a special relationship with this bike,” he says. “We fought, we argued, we laughed, we cried, but I brought her home safely, just like she brought me. Together we crossed the finish line. I can’t believe we made it! I feel like I won a race!

Cameron’s advice for those who ride big-bore adventure bikes like Triumph’s Tiger 1200 Rally Pro? And really, these wise words apply to just about everything in life: “As long as you’re moving forward, it’s fine.”

Pictures of Triumph motorcycles

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for over 30 years, testing the full range of motorcycles for major print magazines and specializing in stories related to adventure travel. To date, she has written and provided photography for articles describing what it is like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her toughest adventure to date was competing in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as an embedded reporter for Team AusAmerica.