Steam Packet supports free race bike displays at Classic TT
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is supporting a stunning series of free to view exhibitions of historic motorcycles at this year’s Classic TT.
The privately owned collections, which span many decades and feature some of the greatest British marques as well as legendary international machines, will be on display in the Classic TT paddock until Tuesday 30th August.
Dick Shepherd will be exhibiting his definitive collection of Triumph Grand Prix motorcycles, which represent and tell the story of Triumph competing on the Isle of Man in the immediate post-Second World War years in the TT and Manx Grand Prix.
The bikes on display include the 1946 Triumph Protocycle Grand Prix bike, ridden by Ernie Lyons, which was the first twin cylinder to win the Manx Grand Prix in 1946. Other bikes that will be on show include David Whitworth’s 1947 Triumph MK1 and the third MK1 Grand Prix bike built – one of only nine of its type, which was the only Grand Prix bike to leave the factory with steel rims.
Dick Shepherd’s collection also includes two 1948 MK2’s, of which only 150 were ever built. John Simister’s 1948 MK2 Triumph that featured in the ’48 and ‘49 Senior Manx Grand Prix and 1950 Senior TT as well as successfully competing on short circuit races and C.A Stevens’ bike ridden in the ’48 MGP and ’49 Senior TT, will both form part of the display.
Other Triumph’s include the unique, one off MK3 prototype built by Triumph’s experimental department to try and win the 1950 Senior TT for Whitworth, although he eventually finished 19th, and two commemorate Triumphs Grand Prix's built on the new Thruxton R Bonneville chassis, appropriate on the 70th anniversary of Ernie Lyons most famous win.
The race history of Honda’s iconic RC45 is told through a collection of their most celebrated machines under the banner of Rev it Red featuring machines ridden by some of the biggest names in TT history including Joey Dunlop, Steve Hislop, Phillip McCallen, Jim Moodie and Ian Simpson.
Private collector and race sponsor John Chapman is bringing a display from his collection including the NSR500 Honda which Roger Burnett won his one and only TT Race on, two MV Augusta 500’s, a collection of RS250 Honda GP bikes and many more machines which will be raced in this year’s Classic TT by the likes of Ian Lougher and Dan Kneen.
Another team competing in this year’s Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts who will also be bringing an exhibition to support their race effort is Steve Wheatman’s Team Classic Suzuki. The team, which has enjoyed notable success with Michael Dunlop riding the XR69, will be exhibiting bikes ridden by the likes of Graeme Crosby, Mick Grant, Pier Francesco Chilli among others.
Fans will also be able to enjoy some of the bikes that tell the story of John McGuinness’ incredible TT career from his own private collection as well as a collection belonging to one one of the stars of the TT in the 1990’s, Ian Simpson.
Local collectors Des Collins and Ronnie Russell will also be displaying a number of machines from their immaculate collection of Kawasaki’s.
David Cretney, the Isle of Man Government’s Political member for Tourism and Motorsport commented:
“This is a stunning collection of motorcycles which is as strong as anything we have seen on the Isle of Man. We are very grateful to the private collectors who have generously loaned us their machines for fans to enjoy and to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for supporting the exhibitions.”
Mark Woodward CEO , Isle of Man Steam Packet Company said:
We have been a proud supporter of the Classic TT since its inception in 2013 and have been able to see real growth in terms of visitors to the festival every year since then which is in part due to the great classic racing now on offer as well as the strong exhibitions and entertainment put on for fans.”