Author Topic: one for the knockers and sneerers  (Read 411 times)


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one for the knockers and sneerers
« on: August 03, 2019, 07:00:33 PM »
Back in 2007 I was fortunate enough to spend a week at the Isle of Man TT

It was my 50th birthday present to my motorcycle-enthusiast self.  It was also the 100th running of the famous event - so it was a big party.  Back then my then GF and I were both freelance writer/photographers for various motor/motorcycle publications so it was a rare opportunity to see, photograph and write about something special

The racing was as spectacular as you might imagine.  It was the first year riders cracked the 130MPH lap average speed, and the weather was fine

But my favourite memory is the old guys from Honda who had come back 40 or50 years later with their old race bikes and their memories.

Almost without exception their stories went something like this:

When we first began to build motorcycles the British laughed at us and said "Let then make and sell little toy bikes; what do we care?"

Then, ten years later when we first arrived to compete at the Isle of man - they looked at our small motorcycles and sneered and laughed

When we got out onto the track and began to win races - the laughter stopped . . .

"This year (2007)" one of them said "you will not find a race here at the IOM - apart from specialist ones - where all three bikes on the podium are not Japanese"

Small beginnings . . .

OK so, see below.  This is a beginning and (like some of the early Japanese motorcycles) by God it's an ugly duckling of a car.  BUT, IMHO, I think it might be a sign of things to come

And, at the complete other end of the scale, hands up anyone who is familiar with the Goodwood Festival of Speed sprint?.. It's a BIG fish in a small pond

This year, an electric car knocked a couple of seconds (significant in a sub-40 second sprint event) off the record set 20 years ago by a McLaren F1 car which no-one (despite million-dollar attempts) had managed to ever beat

Check it out.  it won't take long to watch lol

And it's a VW - which says something about where the company is going.  Same car smashed the Pikes Peak hillclimb record last year and beat the previous electric car record at the Nurburgring this year in a time that's less than a minutes slower than the current outright record-holder, its cousin the Porsche hybrid


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Re: one for the knockers and sneerers
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2019, 08:25:23 PM »
My mate was telling me he met Guy Martin in the IOM a few years ago. I asked him what he said to him and he said I have no idea! He's brilliant and fearless tho!
It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness


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Re: one for the knockers and sneerers
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2019, 12:59:15 AM »

I used to shoot with a Guy that had Done the IOM about 10 times.  His storys while always overly modest, ( I looked him up) were always fascinating. I asked him if he still had a bike,. He said only about 50.  And what a collection it was too... original Honda Dreams, Triumph, Nortons, Ajs, H3 Kwakas....  and a WLA.  All quality and collectable gear. Several hundered thou of bikes in his shed but we used to Split big cartons of ammo because he could get it about .50C box cheaper when he bought in bulk.  :0)
I remember offering him a ride on my Harley for which he thanked me for but said he couldn't possibly ride it. When I asked why not he pointed out all the controls were Different to what he had been so used to.
Not sure I could ride a Hand shifted bike with a foot clutch so I understood.

I look at vids of that race and can't figure out how there aren't 20 People killed every year there.  All I can say is there must be a lot of guys walking round that place with extra room in the crotch of their leathers to fit the coconut size balls they must have in there.
One thing to go fast in a car and the protection it offers, another on a bike and they just go 11/10ths the whole time.

There is no doubt electric Can be fast but I am still very much in 2 Minds about the practicality of it as a replacement for the IC engined Vehicle.
Using Veg oil in a Diesel works too but it's not a Viable replacement Fuel for the world wide fleet as some people 10 + years after its heyday are still ignorantly saying trying to push the RE cause at all costs.  They are still pushing the old lines of algae and other things like they were back then too but that has gone no where at all in a decade so hardly the soloution round the corner as they are always made out to be.
 Anything to pull in the R&D investment Bucks.

The whole idea of the world going to RE AND electric vehicles is at odds to me.  I'm sure it will happen one day, but My Daughter will be older than I am now before it's mainstream rather than the Magical 2030 date that's always bandied around.
Electrics may be OK for the daily city Commute but there is always going to be the much maligned FF for a long time to come especially in the country.
The advent of commercial electric airliners is 60 years and probably well beyond away.  Batteries are still so far away from the energy Density of liquid fuels, it's going to take many generations of battery improvements to make an electric Jumbo remotely possible.

There is no question EV's can be Built that have good range and performance but even the Cheapest Tesla here is still 70K+ and that puts it into the Limited Luxury Market. Despite the typical greenwashing, They are in fact NOT cheaper to run on " fuel " costs at all here compared to a similar size IC.

I don't think it's the ability of EV's that is in question now, I think it's the affordability.  Everyone says they will get cheaper but again the question is by how much and how long will it take? There are a number of fundamental components in an EV that are expensive, in limited supply and with very limited resources available for them. Not a formula from things getting cheaper, very much the opposite.

The longevity is also an issue/ Question.  Time those battery packs die in 7-10 Years there is a good chance they won't be worth replacing and the whole car will have to be scrapped. Recycling a Vehicle is no where near as eco Friendly as keeping one on the road.