TT 3D : Closer to the Edge - A Review with Padded Leathers
Padded leathers - that's all you've got when you step off at 170 mph and a fiery inferno engulfs the screen as bits of bike are blown everywhere. This incident was the end of Guy Martin's 2010 Isle of Man TT campaign.
TT 3D : Closer to the Edge is one of the most incredible movies of 2011. Guy Martin lived to tell the tale. Since the inception of the TT race in 1907, 231 riders have died looking for glory. The Isle of Man TT is the oldest and most famous motorcycle road race in the world. In 2007, the event celebrated its one hundredth birthday. The 37 mile public roads mountain course is widely regarded as the most dangerous on the planet. The TT is the ultimate challenge for man and machine. The thrill of racing flat-out for these band of brothers who risk it all and reach top speeds of 170 mph just inches from houses, lamp posts and stone walls.
The stars of the movie are the riders themselves. The first scene shows a guy waking up and immediately you think he's an actor playing the part. The camera pans down to a tattoo of a flaming piston on the back of his leg. You notice his mop-head and sideburns. This is Guy Martin in 2010. He provides much of the focus in the movie, along with leading riders John McGuinness, Ian Hutchinson and rising star Michael Dunlop. Martin is the likeable star of the show with his run-ins with the officials and his devoted legion of fans. He remains winless at the TT.
John McGuinness remains the current master of the mountain course and the fastest man ever to lap the Isle of Man with a lap record of 131.578 mph. He said in 2007 that, "just because it's the 100th anniversary doesn't mean the walls will be made of rubber and the trees made of cheese. There's still some horrendous obstacles out there that are gonna have your pants down if you get it wrong".
Ian Hutchinson holds the record for the most wins (5) at a single TT meeting, achieving that clean sweep in the movie.
The average lap speed in 1907 was about 40 mph. The motorcycles have gone from 2 hp to over 200 hp. Riding gear has changed from flat caps and tweed jackets to full face helmets and one piece leathers. Riding gloves then, kept your hands warm. Now, racing gloves have pre-curved finger sections for additional grip and extra armour built into the glove. Additional protection can include titanium or carbon panels for knuckles and the joints of fingers. They may also have other protection panels for the heel of the hand and back of the hand.
The times may have changed but the heroism and courage of all the riders who have ever tackled the Isle of Man TT, remains the same. Let's hope it remains the greatest motorcycle road race in the world, the ultimate challenge for rider and machine.