Isle of Mann TT Motorcycle Race History Part 1: The Early Years

First, here are a couple of common questions and the corresponding quick answers. “Where is the Isle of Man?” It is an island between Ireland and the UK in the Irish Sea. “What does the TT stand for?” It stands for Tourist Trophy.

With those items out of the way, here are the basics of the early years of the Isle of Man TT motorcycle race. This now historic race of vintage motorcycles was conceived in 1906. The idea came up at an Auto Cycle Club dinner in England. Because in England, it was both illegal to close roads and the speed limit was only 20mph, the Club looked to the Isle of Man.

The first motorcycle race was held in 1907 on a 16 mile course. There were two classes – a one-cylinder class and a two-cylinder class. The speeds of the winners, respectively, were 36 mph and 38 mph.

In 1909, the separate classes were dropped, fuel restrictions eliminated, and pedaling was no longer allowed. This video, taken in 1910, was the first video of the Isle of Man TT race. Charlie Collier was the winner with an average speed of 50.6 mph.

We’ll have some follow up blog articles, but for now, check out the video and let us know what you think on the Lightning Customs Facebook page.

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