| Streetfighter Challenge Draws the Crowds in Ramsey
||THE TT Races may have been cancelled, but that didn't
stop bikers competing at the annual Streetfighter
The event, one of several organised every year by
Streetfighters magazine, attracted a big crowd to the
Mooragh Promenade, Ramsey, on Sunday to watch some
stunning bikes bidding to be fastest over an eighth of
a mile strip.
The streetfighter phenomenon began in the late 1980s
and has grown since.
|The magazine, first edited by BBC Television's Top
Gear presenter Steve Berry, has a worldwide readership
of almost 50,000 and has launched an American edition.
Howard Cartledge, from the magazine, explained the
growth of the culture. 'It is a very northern thing,'
'It is basically that you get a Japanese bike, strip
it, take away the fairing and put the power on, turbo
or nitrous, and bored-out performance parts.
'They are always big bikes. They are never under
600cc. It is an attitude thing. It is about a bike
that goes fast in a straight line. It is about street
bikes. Most of our featured bikes come off the street.
'The basis of most streetfighters is the Suzuki GSXR.
That is the bread and butter of our readership, but we
have had Triumphs and Ducatis.
'The most common bikes are the GSXR and Suzuki Bandit.
The lad off the street can come along and have his
bike scrutineered and, as long as it is road legal, it
is track legal.
'At the lower level it is quite a cheap sport. You
turn up, pay £25 and run all day.'
Howard said one of the streetfighter stars, Wayne
Little, started on a GSXR doing 12 seconds over the
straight distance. That's now down to nine seconds on
a modified bike.
'We did a survey a few years back and found 62 per
cent ride a Suzuki and 70 per cent earn more than
£25,000 a year,' he said. 'They can be expensive toys,
but that doesn't stop the man in the street modifying
his bike. Anyone who has a road legal bike can come
along have it scrutineered and have a go down the
The magazine runs a championship around Britain,
including a round at Jurby in July, called Straight
At the TT event in Ramsey bikes can reach 150mph or
more, despite covering a shorter distance than in
Howard said: 'We run the competition over 12 rounds
throughout the country and we're sponsored by Pirelli,
which is a good sponsor because we say a tyre lasts
'At Ramsey we've had crowds of between 11,000-15,000
and up to 90 bikes taking part. This is the fifth year
'A lot of people want to have a go but won't because
they don't want to feel like a fool.
'We've had great support from Ramsey Commissioners. I
think they support us because the event is very
important to the town.
'We have actually got quite a little Manx contingent
now. Some Manx riders come over for our rounds in
'There are a couple of guys from Onchan and Colin
Eastwood was the fastest in the sprint last year.'
For full story and more pictures see the Manx
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