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How Good Where The Old Heroes?


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In 1957, Bob McIntyre did a race lap of 101.12 mph on a Gilera 500. Back then, the road around the island was in a much poorer state than what is the case today. Not to mentioned the tyres and suspension bits they used, as well as the fuel available back then.

Now, during the QP for the Classic TT:
John McGuinness clocked an opening lap of 104.599mph in the 500cc session on the Team Winfield Paton and improved to 107.652mph to head team-mate Ryan Farquhar (104.353mph), with Dunlop third at 102.962mph.

In 1957, Bob McIntyre also did a race lap of 97.42 mph in the 350 class, again on a Gilera.

This year:
In the 350cc session, Alan Oversby was the only rider over 100mph (100.046) from Blackpool's Roy Richardson (98.759) on the '68 Aermacchi.

If we look at 1968, Agostini lapped a 350 MV Agusta at 104.78 mph during the race.

Which begs the question; how good were these men of an era long gone? Perhaps better than I have given them credit for.

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Riding Technology.

 

That's true even though there has been some evolution over the years. What's stuck with us over the full amount of times is the same SR's that people were dealing with over 100 years ago. They tend to get much bigger and scarier as the bikes get faster.

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I suppose most of this theory goes out of the window when you are charging around the mountain?

 

Hee hee, I think ALL theory goes out the window, and you are left with pure REALITY!

 

Isn't that why they do it? :)

 

 

That's certainly true. :)

 

As for the theory. It's still applicable and useful regardless of where you ride. It's just a question of keeping your SR's in check. Human beings have not changed much in 100 years. We wear different clothes and are aware of different riding techniques but we all have the same hot button issues that tie into the internal wiring and programming of our minds that make us freak out and react in the worst possible ways. We are the weak link in the man + machine chain.

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But aren't we comparing the best riders on what were the best machines of their day, to guys today riding vintage machinery, who may not be the very top tier riders (since all the top tier guys are training and competing on modern machinery)?

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But aren't we comparing the best riders on what were the best machines of their day, to guys today riding vintage machinery, who may not be the very top tier riders (since all the top tier guys are training and competing on modern machinery)?

 

Good point. The problem with most of these comparisons is it's never a fair comparison if you dig deep enough into the circumstances. There's always some minor detail that invalidates a fair comparison.

 

I have seen people on motorcycle forums complaining that their favorite bike performed poorly because it was tested towards the end of the day when the test rider was tired. A valid point perhaps and perhaps a bit of denial. The reality is it's impossible to know "absolutely". :)

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....oh, the bike test thing. The only people who worry about those rankings are the ones who don't ride on the track anyway, and so have no perspective on how much difference the rider makes as opposed to the machine. I say, buy whatever sportbike appeals to you for whatever reason. It will be more than good enough.

 

The guy currently leading the points in our local Rookie 600 class is on a CBR F4i...

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As to who we compare - Dunlop is a multiple winner on the IoM and has done laps at over 130 mph. The bikes are old, but improved; better ignition, better engine internals, better fuel, better suspension, better tyres, better brakes. And the road is better.

 

Go for a lap with Dunlop in HD

 

His uncle 30 years earlier

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmCYy3gXBIw

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But aren't we comparing the best riders on what were the best machines of their day, to guys today riding vintage machinery, who may not be the very top tier riders (since all the top tier guys are training and competing on modern machinery)?

 

It's important to remember that in '68 if Ago binned his MV the factory had all the replacement parts to rebuild or replace it, but in '14 those bikes are priceless classics so I'm sure they aren't pushing as hard on 50-60 year old bikes that cannot be replaced as they would on one the team can rebuild overnight. plus back then the TT was part of the GP circuit so not only was it TT glory, but it was season points for the title

 

I think the only way you can really compare riders of such differing era's is to compare their abilities to those of their peers, clearly Agostini was head and shoulders above everyone else from 68-71 when he won 58 straight races and won the title every year, but while not having the same outright win streak KR SR displayed the same kind of dominance from '78 - '80, or Rossi from '01-'05, or Marquez right now, can we ever really know if Ago would be a better rider than Marquez if they had both been born at the same time? There is no real metric to measure them both by equally, but clearly they both utterly dominated the sport and all the best riders of their era's so we can never truly know who would be better.

 

 

Tyler

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