After Thoughts on the Tourist Trophy.
ANOTHER week of hurricane racing in the Isle of Man has come and gone, bringing with it knowledge and experience, both bitter and useful to the various participants, spectators and competitors. The observant spectator and keen student of motorcycling matters should not pay too much attention to the actual finishing order, in the races, since at present day speeds the rider counts for far more than the machine.
Without in any way disparaging the winning machines it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Trophies are almost certain to be won every year by members of a select group, who are too well known to need naming. Far more instructive lessons may be learnt by intelligent ” loafing ” round the various camps, discovering what little troubles have been encountered and listening to rider’s first hand experiences and opinions.
For example, one of this year’s winning marques, in spite of strenuous testing on the mainland, soon discovered a frame weakness, when T.T. braking strains were imposed ; many will be surprised to hear that several of these machines started in the races with buckled chain stays and torque tubes. A temporary alteration was carried out at the point where in later models a permanent fitment will be found, and no further trouble was experienced.
Another lesson connected with the Races lies in the use of new and much improved models, not yet in production. Although the earlier production models may be very good machines, the prospective purchaser will naturally prefer that his machine should be of the very latest and best type, so that manufacturers should be prepared to place T.T. models in early production ; if they announce” No T.T. replicas until 1928,” they will find their sales seriously affected, especially if a rival firm forestalls them in this matter. In connection with the races we notice that the old cry of “Abandon the 500 c.c. class,” is again being raised. We may be thick-headed but we fail to see what useful object is to be gained by dropping the present
senior class, and we may be misguided but we can see many reasons why it should be continued. During the last year the 500 c.c. machine ” boomed ” tremendously; it is the machine of the moment, and as such, is the one on which the activities of experimentalists and manufacturers can be most profitably employed. Racing statistics show us that the 500 c.c. machine is still the most unreliable of modern motorcycles and until this state of affairs is remedied, it seems folly to talk of abandoning the most searching and instructive test of the whole year.
Gloomy prophets, who talk of senior speed becoming dangerous, were well answered, this year, when not a single serious accident took place during the premier event.
Let us hear no more of this old plaint.
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