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The World's Deadliest Motorcycle Race


Yesterday I just finished watching the 2017 Isle of Man TT races, which I had recorded. In the final race, the Senior TT, Ian Hutchinson (Hutchy) crashed into the barricade on a fast right hand sweeper going up the mountain on the second of six laps. He broke his right leg - again. This time it was his femur. In 2010 he broke both his tibia and fibula. The 2010 breaks were so severe that he cannot operate a foot brake with his right foot, so an extra rear brake lever has been added to his BMW S1000RR to be operated by his left thumb. The announcers noticed that he applied the rear brake while entering the right hand sweeper, but didn't know what caused the crash. Later, a photo of his front tire at the time of the crash showed that it had just been punctured.

In the same Senior TT race, James Hillier very narrowly escaped wiping out as he came over a jump at maybe 120 MPH. His Kawasaki ZX-10R wiggled so violently that Hillier was over a foot off of the seat and his left leg was way off the left side of the bike in his attempt to regain control. Somehow he regained control and continued the race - without having to change his underwear. That was a very scary moment. During the red flag after Hutchy's crash, his crew replaced the rear shock, which greatly improved his ability to control the bike for the remainder of the race.

I attempted to find out how Hutchy is doing and came across an article which mentioned that three people have died on the course this year. Last year, four were killed. In the last decade, 32 people have died on this course. I found another article that puts the 100 year tally at 246, making this event the deadliest motorcycle race in the world.

I didn't watch all of the TV announcers' banter, but I found it very odd that they made no mention of the deaths in the dialogue I heard.

Racers are not the only casualties at this race. Out of control motorcycles have careened into the crowds killing spectators as well. I did think it very odd to see people sitting just a few feet away on a wall next to motorcycles speeding past them at 180 MPH. Not my cup o' tea, thank you. I'd prefer to be a little further back out of harm's way.

It is also noteworthy to mention that Michael Dunlop won the Senior TT on a new 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R with little modification and very little time spent testing the bike prior to the race.


I find it odd how European spectators on road races actually crowd the course so much that drivers have run through entire curves of people...........


Related: A couple of years ago, we went to the Tour De France.
            Racers were coming down off a mountain and headed towards the finish line.
              Bikes were probably rolling 30-35 mph where I was.. (Were "much" faster as they came off the mountain into the section)
            Road was about 15 ft wide, and about 1/2 mile long in this section..
            The crowd kept squeezing in until the opening was maybe 5' wide (for the entire 1/2 mile).
                  Police would make them move back to give the racers room,,,  and they would squeeze back in..

In this case, no one would have been killed, but it made the race more dangerous for the riders and made it much more difficult for them to pass one another. (ie; it effected the race)

Surprised me that it was allowed.
Not only was it allowed, it (apparently) was normal practice..

Ride safe, Ted



Sport Tourer
And Europeans call us Americans "crass".  :))

Itis an interesting difference - wonder why?

(PS - Just pokin' fun up there - we quite often deserve the label, and sometimes we simply embrace it!)


Crotch Rocket
Forum Subscriber
The Isle of Man has its own government and while it is part of Great Britain, it is not in th UK or the EU.
As a consequence they have very little of the "Nanny state" problem.
All the participants and spectators are aware of the risks and take part anyway.
Deaths and injuries happen every year.
Most deaths are non-racers out running their guardian angels on twisty roads with no speed limits.

Racer deaths are rare but injuries are common.
That is the nature of road-racing. If you make a mistake there is a wall/lamppost/kerb that is gonna break you.


Sport Tourer
      One race, I would brave the crowds and BS to go see! >:D

Those guys doing 100+ MPH next to a 400 year old stone wall??? :eek:

Well....Not a lot of time to say, uh,oh.... :-[

To much throttle.....Not enough brake!!! ;D


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Sport Tourer
Bigfoot_16 said:
It is also noteworthy to mention that Michael Dunlop won the Senior TT on a new 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R with little modification and very little time spent testing the bike prior to the race.

      Bigfoot, I did read your original post on this, but guess I got side tracked to the danger aspect!

The Suzuki bit, is interesting as I know 99% of the bikes are outfitted with Ohlin's suspension....

But can't help but wonder what else the mechanics do to these bikes....

As they are pretty hot right out of the box!!! ;D


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Crotch Rocket
During the years I lived in Scotland I got to go twice. This is one race everyone should try attending. It is totally different from any other venue in the world. Just plain AWSOME riders, spectators, residents, everyone.