I'd have liked to make it to the IOM when living in the UK until 13 years ago, but it was so difficult to book a ferry crossing anything less than 18 months in advance, so I never went in the end.... Joey was the president of our bike club (VFR) in UK at the time, he'd actually contacted us to ask for the position which of course we gave him willingly, although sadly we never got the chance to meet him before he died.
Speaking of great people of the biking world, one man who will always deserve to be remembered and is no longer with us is John Britten, a New Zealander who home built a V-Twin hub centre steered bike to go racing internationally with. The video of the story was
no longer available.... one of the most inspiring stories of one man living his dream I've seen. It brought tears down my cheek watching it for the first time. This man was a genius engineer!
John designed the entire bike, cast his own engine components at home, frame, fairings, etc. The story shows the bike being built, carbon fibre fairing being moulded then tossed because it weighed a tiny bit too much, etc. He'd work night and day and expect everybody else to do the same. An increbible story.
In it's first race at Daytona in practice it cracked a cylinder liner so John & his team took it out and tried to find a machine shop first to make another, but finding it wasn't possible got use of a workshop to weld & re-fit it overnight with the help of some enthusiastic hairy Harley riders. It worked. For the race the next day it was in 1st position against Ducati works teams before the rectifier (One of the few parts not made by John & his team) failed and ended that first race for the Britten team. The bit where the Britten overtakes the Ducati with it's front wheel pawing the air is a moment of joy and seeing John's reaction - you could tell everything he'd worked for became worthwhile that very moment. The man had amazing passion which was his unstoppable force and of course it was contageous. He gained a lot of fans worldwide just in that first event.
I forget who was riding the Britten on the IOM in 1992? when there was a fatal accident, but the bike had seriously impressed a fair few people including Massimo Tamburini
(I think, but not 100% sure I remember the video correctly) who bought one because he was so impressed with John's passion. I believe Joey Dunlop rode a Britten at some point too.
Things were going well before John got skin cancer and passed away in 1995.
Sadly the best always seem to die far too young and John was mourned by many New Zealanders.
I still have the VHS video in my collection of media at home, but my ever inqusitive little daughter has put so many things inside the VCR player she's killed it a long time ago. I keep meaning to open it up and try to fix it, but there's always other things to do
Definitely a video worth watching. It's called the Britten bike story.... It's a V-Twin too.
Good news: I just did a search - it's available on DVD at last! Just bought myself a copy.
Well worth watching with your group of biker buddies on a BBQ night...