The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, commonly known as the Isle of Man TT, is an annual motorcycling event run on the public roads of the Isle of Man. It’s where the best of the best motorcyclists reach eye-watering speeds in excess of 250 km/h on narrow winding country roads of the island.
More than 100 years on and thrill seekers still venture to the Isle of Man every summer for the same reason the gentlemen of 1907 did. It was the spirit of competition and advancement that brought the original TT competition to the Island, as racing on the highways and byways of Britain was forbidden by an Act of Parliament and the introduction of a 20mph speed limit in 1903. The Secretary of the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland, Sir Julian Orde, set off in February 1904 for the Isle of Man because he had a fairly shrewd idea that the Manx authorities would adopt a more conciliatory attitude toward automobile racing on public roads. It worked!
It was not until the following year in 1905 that a trial race for motorbikes was to be introduced the day after the Gordon Bennett Car Trial. The inability of the bikes to complete the steep climbs of the mountains led to the race being redirected, and it didn’t return to the Mountains until 1911.
Despite numerous rider deaths over the decades, the Isle of Man TT remains hugely popular among spectators and riders alike. It’s also a major source of revenue that draws in tourists from all over the world.
This commemorative art piece is part of my motorsports series to celebrate the early pioneering and daring racers of the early days. Any motorcycle rider or racer would love this one.