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First timers need advice for 2018 - Jethro66 - 10-05-2017

Howdy all

We are a group of Canadian roadracers looking to attend our first TT in 2018
Looking for advice on everything and anything
Is it possible to find a pub that is also an Inn?
Is it possible for s foreigner to buy a motorcycle in the U.K.?
Any suggestions on where to stay, how long to stay?
Experience renting a bike?


RE: First timers need advice for 2018 - Smokin Haddock Racing - 10-05-2017


So much to tell.

Accommodation - lots of options. A pub might be difficult simply because they get booked up so far in advance. 'Homestay' is very popular. The locals open up their houses for the TT fortnight and provide B&B for a reasonable price. All sorts of different options from a single room in a small house to several rooms in a mansion. I've done a number of these and they are recommended. You could also rent a whole house. The accommodation section of this website is useful for that. I have previously placed an advert in the local newspaper and had great response. If there are a group of you coming then renting a whole house might be a good option. Douglas is where the main action takes place, but there are other good towns, in fact the whole island is a gem.

A minimum of a week. Preferably race week, but practice week is also good and not quite so manic. There is lots to see and do on the island besides the bike racing. I guess it depends what you are in to. There are also races on the island straight after the TT on the other road course on the island (post TT races at Billown)

The ferries to the island get booked up very quickly so starting working that one now! Isle of Man Steam Packet run the ferries. There also flights, and you might get a connection from your flight in from Canada.

I'll defer to someone else on the bike questions.

Hopefully you will get more responses and we can build up your knowledge and requirements. Plan now though. It really does get that booked up.


RE: First timers need advice for 2018 - scaramanga - 10-05-2017

race week is what most go for
but i know people who prefer practice week
are you wanting to buy a bike just to use for transport while over on holiday
or are you planning to race or keep the bike
there nothing to stop you buying a bike but the insurance might be more difficult
me personally i love it all but 2 weeks would be too much for me as i just cant spare the time away
good weather and nothing to get in your way and im sure the full 2 weeks would be good

RE: First timers need advice for 2018 - HammerHead - 11-05-2017

Ferry bookings open on Monday 29th May 2017 for TT 2018. Not sure if it's 8:30 or 9:00 am (UK time - BST). I've always found that the website crashes and have spent ages on the phone constantly hanging up and re-dialling until I get through. Might prove costly from Canada! Perhaps your best bet will be flying as you'll have to fly the majority of the distance anyway. Prices of flights or ferry during TT rise quite dramatically. Might be worth looking sooner rather than later to make sure you get what you want.

If you can do the full fortnight that's great. Weather permitting practice runs on the opening Saturday then every night from Monday - Friday. First race day is Saturday after practice and then alternate days (Mon, Wed, Fri). We tend to do practice week and the first few day or two of races as if the weather is wet you have more days of action, but race week is where it's at! Races do get postponed to later days in really wet years so you might see racing every day in race week (or none at all if you book practice week to Saturday and Saturday racing is postponed).

The Island is pretty small so it doesn't really matter where you stay, you can get to the circuit easily enough. There are all manner of options from camping to large houses to fit your group size and budget. Many are booked year on year by the same people so you need to get on this early to get exactly what you want. A lot of homestays and house rentals like a minimum of 7 days, but the distance you're travelling to get there I don't suppose that's a problem.

Unless you plan shipping it home you might find bike rental easier than buying. My guess is that you'll need to get onto this pretty quickly (supply and demand) especially with a big group. I have no experience of this though so others may guide you better.

When you've been once you will want to come again and again, and will quickly learn what works best for you.

RE: First timers need advice for 2018 - badlyoverdrawnboy - 12-05-2017

Hi, I used to run a hire company and offer bike hire on the island during the TT, there is limited hire on the Island, modern bikes are very expensive otherwise there were some old BMWs, for a  big group I doubt it would be worth it or do-able check out Jason Griffith's website. The other alternative is to hire 'across' but then you have to try and get ferry crossings too. You might have a word with Bill from Bike Tours Uk he has been taking groups over for years and is sound, he block books ferry tickets gets your kit across and camping etc - he no longer does bike hire but he will give advice and at least you could get across all together. You might check out Hunts in Manchester who hire out their sales stock.

You could buy a bike here but you need insurance to register it and tax it and can't take out uk insurance unless you are a uk resident with a uk address, you can bring a foreign bike with foreign insurance. Beware of anyone saying you can be 'put on' someones insurance you can't and you won't be covered. I have direct experience of some Ausssies who all gave their mates address in London and came unstuck. Also check that anyone hiring out has proper hire insurance there are only two hire insurance companies in the uk READ the policy carefully, I know of at least two hire companies who didn't have proper insurance or ignore the insurance requirements. The proper hire  insurance won't cover loads of occupations such as models, actors. proffessiona,l sportsmen etc but more relevant 'anyone involved in the licensed trade - I had to refuse a party who worked for a Coors distribution warehouse in the US. Its all very well blagging your insurance form - but you won't be covered and the Island is no place to be uninsured.

Some Canadian licences don't show you've had a full licence for the required period so you have to get a certified abstract of your driver record from your licence office.

Strangely some EU countries allow 3rd country nationals to buy and insure a bike for travel anywhere in the EU so that might be a possibility but you have to check they would cover the Isle of Man which isn't in the EU but has various insurance agreements - also of course its the added agg of an extra ferry crossings and distance.

One thing for sure everyone of my customers who made the effort from around the world were absolutely blown away, many just couldn't believe that the whole thing is actually legal, sell a kidney if necessary there's no need for a bucket list after you've done a TT.

RE: First timers need advice for 2018 - Azman - 16-05-2017

If a group best to get Ferry Booking when they open up for 2018 bookings next month.I usually go Wed of Practise week for 7 nights, driven by Work etc, but if you are coming all that way, ideally you should try to get all of Race week and the Senior race. Accom is always tricky, use 'Visit Isle Of Man' link that was sent in the above message, it gives contact details of Hotels and B&B options and also Homestay and you should search this Forum, as a lot of useful info hidden away on Ferry Accom and Course hints and Suggestions. If you do get there, remember Ride on the Left....Eh! Cheers Azman.

RE: First timers need advice for 2018 - Jethro66 - 14-04-2018

time to dig this up from last year this time.
Well racing and life got in the way for 2018, so we are trying to organize a trip from Canada for 8-10 people.
We have decided we want to fly into london, ride to italy for the motogp round at Mugello then ride back to catch the last 3-4 days of the TT.
Well knowing that any homestay we book is gonna charge us for 7 days we are ok with this.
So if anyone has opinions on certain bike for hire companies in london, or has an opinion on a better pan please let me know.

RE: First timers need advice for 2018 - charlieb - 24-04-2018

Mugello on Sunday, IOM before Wednesday race day might be a little ambitious!! Ferry tickets to the Island book up very quickly, although tickets sailing out mid race week usually available for a few weeks from release of bookings (which still means booking during June 2018 for 2019 sailing), tickets back to the main land Saturday or Sunday after the Senior on Friday are usually sold out on the first day that bookings are made available. I would definitely recommend getting your sailings booked before making any other arrangements (everything else, bikes, accommodation etc will have a solution, but without ferry tickets.............). Or do the Classic TT/Manx GP instead, still needs to be booked early October for following year but achievable. Combine with British GP (though you would miss the classic racing) or earlier/later European GP to extend your holiday. If the bug bites after watching the Manx, you will definitely abandon everything else and focus everything on getting ferry tickets for the TT, like the rest of us have to every May before the next years TT!!!!!!!!

RE: First timers need advice for 2018 - Jethro66 - 24-04-2018

Yeah a little
We are now thinking, of riding to Bologna for a factory tour after the GP, and grabbing a cheap flight to liverpool or even the isle on Tues or Wed. Saves a poo ton of riding.
Bike hires on the Isle? I've only seen one, anyone know of more?