Science Proves Isle of Man TT Legend John McGuinness is the Ice Man

Not only does John McGuinness still race the Isle of Man TT at the age of 43, he still wins it, racking up his 23rd victory at this years’ event. So what is so special about John McGuinness that makes him still able to challenge for victory at the world’s most dangerous motorcycle race? Apparently, it’s his nerves.

More accurately, his lack thereof. IT company EMC, semiconductor firm Freescale and Alpinestars partnered together recently to analyse what makes him so successful. Using a specially equipped bike and suit — fitted with sensors measuring over 20 different aspects of both McGuinness and his bike — they captured body position, bike position, biometric, and mechanical data.

They took to the Circuit Monteblanco in Spain along with journalist Adam Child as a comparison. Biometric data included heart rate, breathing rate and calories burned along with bike data such as speed, yaw and lean angle.

McGuinness hit a top speed of 268 kp/h to Child’s 266 kph but the negligible difference in velocity was in stark contrast to their respective heart rates. Despite the immense speeds ridden, McGuinness’ heart rate never went above 146 beats per minute – and for much of the lap was below 140. For someone his age, the target heart rate for moderately intense exercise is between 88-149 beats per minute. For McGuiness not to even break that upper limit given the speeds he is reaching is incredible.

Journalist Adam Child’s heart rate peaked at 174 bpm and for most of the lap sat around the 170 mark. While Child might not be in the same league as McGuinness, he’s not a hack when it comes to riding bikes either. While more data on more people would need to be collected, it’s possible to infer that being cool, calm and collected not only prevents crashes but allows for consistently fast lap times.

EMC, Freescale and Alpinestars aren’t finished though, Next year they intend to do further testing, this time at the Isle of Man TT – a race certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Source: EMC


Guy Martin and Triumph to Make World Land Speed Record Attempt

Obviously not content with the speeds reached at the Isle of Man TT, beloved racer and motorcycle personality Guy Martin will attempt to break the motorcycle land speed record at the salt flats of Bonneville, USA next month. The current record stands at 376.363 mph (605.698 kph) which is nearly double the top speed Martin reaches at the Isle of Man TT.

Guy Martin will be piloting (riding?) the 1,000 bhp Triumph Rocket Streamliner in his attempt to bring the record back to the United Kingdom after a 45 year absence. It is not expected Guy Martin will be able to assist the English cricket team in bringing the Ashes back any time soon, however.

Triumph has a long legacy of claiming the land speed record and held the title of “World’s Fastest Motorcycle” from 1955 to 1970 with the exception of a brief 33-day period. The record-breaking Triumph streamliners of that period were Devil’s Arrow, Texas Cee-gar, Dudek Streamliner and Gyronaut X1, the former achieving a top speed of 245.667 mph (395.28 km/h). Today’s bar, held by Rocky Robinson since 2010 riding the Top Oil-Ack Attack streamliner, sits at 376.363 mph (605.697 km/h).

The 2015 Triumph Rocket Streamliner features a carbon Kevlar monocoque construction with two turbocharged Triumph Rocket III engines producing a combined 1,000 bhp at 9,000 rpm. The motorcycle is 25.5′ long, 2′ wide and 3′ tall. Powered by methanol fuel, the bike is competing in the Division C (streamlined motorcycle) category.

The iconic Bonneville name was conceived following Johnny Allen’s land-speed record runs at the Salt Flats in September 1955, when he reached the record breaking speed of 193.72 mph. The first T120 Bonneville model was unveiled at the Earls Court Bike Show and went on sale in 1959.

With final testing scheduled at the Bonneville Salt Flats in mid-July, the record attempt will take place 24-27 August, 2015.


IOM TT – The Latest Film On The World’s Most Dangerous Race

This years’ Isle of Man TT only finished a few weeks ago, where sadly French rider Frank Petricola became the 243rd rider fatality at the event since its inception in 1911. It’s this ever present risk of death or serious injury that is the focus of Studio Kippenberger’s short film – simply titled IOM TT – where it examines what attracts riders year after year to this momentous yet unforgiving event.

It doesn’t reach the incredible heights of TT 3D: Closer to the Edge which remains one of the best automotive documentaries ever, but then again it would be difficult to come close given IOM TT has a run time of a mere 19 minutes.

Thankfully, that 19 minutes packs a fantastic punch, with breathtaking footage one magazine described as “truly stunning photography and painstakingly arranged slow-mo sequences that perfectly capture the drama and danger of threading hedgerows at 180 mph.”

IOM TT can be purchased for viewing off Vimeo for $4.99. Check out the trailer below.


Road Documentary Review

Road follows the lives of four Dunlop’s and their careers in road racing in Northern Ireland. Like the exceptional Senna, it delivers an experience that can be enjoyed by fans of the sport as well those who wouldn’t know the difference between a sportsbike and a cruiser. Like Senna, Road is a documentary that will draw you in emotionally and bring you into the lives of those it follows. In fact, the motorcycle racing takes a back seat to the story of Joey Dunlop, his younger brother Robert and Robert’s two sons Michael and William.

For those unfamiliar with their history, Joey Dunlpo is regarded as the best road racer ever to live, having won a total of 26 Isle of Man TT races (including three hat-tricks, his last coming in 2000 when he was 48 years of age). He was killed only weeks later in a little known race in Estonia. His younger brother Robert eventually followed Joey into the sport but his career was curtailed due to serious injury. Today, two of Robert’s children race in road racing events, both with good success.

Almost all of those interviewed were extremely close friends and relatives of Joey and Robert Dunlop (save for one brief appearance by former Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker and his asinine comment that road racers only race because of the risk of death) and you can see for many of them that the loss they suffered from the two brothers’ deaths is still with them.

Visually, Road is good without being great. Comparing it to TT3D – Closer to the Edge makes it look poor in comparison, but as I said at the outset this is a film more about the men rather then their machines. The historic footage of Joey and Robert from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s is great however and shows nothing has really changed in the sport, save for some extra hay bales and foam on the outsides of the circuit.

In the latter parts of Robert Dunlop’s life when he races with his two sons, it comes across that he almost doesn’t even ride for the enjoyment anymore but instead it has become his addiction. Even his son William remarked how he had seemingly changed in the last years of his life. The same could be said of Joey Dunlop who went racing to escape reality so to speak after the suicide of one of his closest friends – a decision which ultimately cost Joey Dunlop his life.

Road is a fascinating documentary and if this had been an actual movie, you’d give it a D- for the fanciful storyline. But these events actually happened and though many might not agree with some of the decisions these men made, they died doing what the loved and then some. You can watch the video for free here or you can purchase it through Amazon UK.