Course improvements
Kursaal Flyer Offline
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#1
Course improvements
Following along the same lines as the Ballig bridge thread ,over the years there have been quite a few changes and improvements to the TT course , are there any in particular that have made a significant difference to lap times ? I know this is not a easy thing to answer because there is a year between each meeting the bikes improve as well .
A friend of mines dad reckons that quarry bends are straighter than they used to be, or is this just a visual thing because the edges are clearer ?
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09-12-2014, 06:25 PM
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Dougboy
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#2
RE: Course improvements
The Quarry Bends section is very different now, having been altered (in the 80s?). Brandish was a sharp 2nd gear corner until quite recently and the changes there would definitely trimmed a few second off he lap. Windy Corner was another that changed significantly.
Bedstead, Hillberry, Signpost, Creg and the Nook / Governers sections have been improved though with probably less impact on lap-times. The Sulby and Cronk-y-Voddy  starights are also much smoother now. 
09-12-2014, 06:42 PM
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sticky Offline
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#3
RE: Course improvements
I think the combination of the easing of Quarry Bends (probably two gears higher now - maybe??) and the fact that riders are carrying much more speed into a smoothed Sulby Straight has had the greatest impact
09-12-2014, 07:03 PM
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Alfie Noakes Offline
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#4
RE: Course improvements
May Hill / Cruickshanks / Whitegates is like a snooker table compared to how it was not so long ago, the old Quarry bends was horrible - dark under the trees, really bumpy, blind and if my hazy memory is correct there was a sort of dip in there as well. The big time gains will always be where there's a high speed run afterwards - Quarry, Windy, Brandiish. Brandish now must be 30-40mph+ over the old much tighter corner and considering how hard you had to brake into there i'd say the time gained with superior exit speed as well could be getting on for 10 secs. The grass/bank at Brandywell and the right hander before Black Hut have also been cut right down to aid vision through the corners.
09-12-2014, 08:01 PM
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kilbil Offline
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#5
RE: Course improvements
The flattening of the bump at ago,s leap must of increased the speed all the way down to quarter bridge.  I believe the ballaspur jump was also made safer. Although not recent track mods they have all counted to the taming of the course. 

Kilbil
09-12-2014, 08:50 PM
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Alfie Noakes Offline
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#6
RE: Course improvements
It's debatable whether the course "improvements" have tamed the course as the corners mentioned now have to be tackled at higher speed to put a competitive lap in, is it safer or easier when the entry/apex/exit speed of a corner or section is higher ?.
09-12-2014, 09:13 PM
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Splashdown Offline
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#7
RE: Course improvements
Well they HAVE tamed the course Alfie, but the approach to a lot of the TT course is totally different now to how it used to be. The mental concentration required to be at the present speeds is almost certainly more intense than it was. The rider has to be fitter and stronger to hold on to the power, but the course is certainly smoother, and therefore physically a little easier.
I could tell you a lot about the course changes from the Second World War, but it would take all night!!
09-12-2014, 11:50 PM
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BenjiesDad Offline
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#8
Wink  RE: Course improvements
Iam sure People would love to hear that Splashdown,
Think it would be a good read for us all,
Something to do over installments maybe,, Lol
10-12-2014, 09:05 PM
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the old man Offline
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#9
RE: Course improvements
(10-12-2014, 09:05 PM)BenjiesDad Wrote: Iam sure People would love to hear that Splashdown,
Think it would be a good read for us all,
Something to do over installments maybe,, Lol

i would love to read that when splashdown has time
11-12-2014, 10:04 AM
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Kursaal Flyer Offline
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#10
RE: Course improvements
I know we will never know and one can only really guess like the comparisons of different riders from different eras.
But I wonder what the lap record would be if say you had the course as it was from say from 1955 and put a modern super bike round it .
Let Geoff Duke have a go at his own 1955 lap record of 22 minutes 38 seconds once he got used to all that modern power and handling.
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11-12-2014, 10:25 AM
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Splashdown Offline
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#11
RE: Course improvements
Interesting. Geoff Duke would have had to change his style to ride a modern bike round any circuit. Unfortunately he was always adamant that HIS was the correct style. Who could argue? He had won six World Titles, and six TTs.
Anyway, such was his skill, if he was born in the modern era, he would just adapt the current style, and like any top rider, he would be on the pace. As I've mentioned earlier, the course is easily 2 minutes faster from 1937. From 1955 the difference is about 1 minute 45 seconds. Take one minute 45 seconds off 22m 39 (it was 39 not 38 KF), you get 20.54. That's about 108mph.
Interestingly, I reckon the MV's were doing around 110/111 at the Classic TT (20m20s)
Well if you put modern tyres and disc brakes and better suspension onto Geoff's 1955 bike, I reckon 112 is about right.
Discuss.
11-12-2014, 05:49 PM
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Alfie Noakes Offline
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#12
RE: Course improvements
It's a discussion with an enjoyable and infinite amount of input/info available - If tyres, suspension and bhp are the most important then how come there's such a small gap between a Superstock and Superbike especially as Stocker's don't change tyres ?, is it better to be on a machine that possibly moves around under you more but gives more feedback ?, is it more of a challenge to deal with your machine's reaction to bumps at a slower speed or the bigger commitment/speed and lean angle involved with a smoother surface?. Like Nick says the riding style back in those days was totally different - would you be able to use the lean angle/grip/stiffness benefits of a slick tyre over the bumps/surface of that era ?. Another question for Nick - Did the works/factory bikes of those days have trick/non retail suspension and tyres that weren't available to the other riders ? and were there the aftermarket suspension companies and components around in those days ?.
13-12-2014, 11:39 AM
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SILJA Offline
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#13
RE: Course improvements
I have noticed that some years ago a measurement was made to compare the percentage of a lap on full gast at the same rider's 600cc- and 1000cc-bikes. On a 600 it was full at 75% of the lap and on a 1000 only 15% of a lap. Which means , for my eyes, that the modern big bikes already are too fast for the circuit. Of course a bike with a lot of power can accelerate better to get a higher speeed and shorter lap time, but with a higher speed one have to brake earlier for the coming corner. My conclusion is that the faster speeds around the TT course now , are depending of less bumps and straightend corners. Some gain, but not as much, because of tyres, brakes, stronger engines and better suspension.
Don't be that optimistic! The light in the tunnel can be a train. Sad
(This post was last modified: 13-12-2014, 02:29 PM by SILJA.)
13-12-2014, 02:26 PM
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Max Power Offline
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#14
RE: Course improvements
A good analysis there Nick. I have often tried to imagine what impact modern tyres, suspension and brakes would have when combined with the changes to the course.
The variable factor of course is the rider, and I guess it's difficult to say how Geoff Duke, Mike Hailwood and Giacomo Agostini would stack up against the current crop of TT riders who now race replicas of their machines. My personal feeling is that they would be faster, simply because they represent the best of their era bar none. They compare to Marquez and Rossi today.

John
13-12-2014, 04:19 PM
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Alfie Noakes Offline
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#15
RE: Course improvements
Ask the riders if the 1000cc bikes are too fast or not enjoyable, .. I know what their reply will be :o)
13-12-2014, 06:26 PM
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Kursaal Flyer Offline
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#16
RE: Course improvements
In the main class then I can only assume then that the best balance between bike rider and course has been passed and maybe the more powerful bikes of today are just to much even for the todays smoother straighter course.
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13-12-2014, 06:52 PM
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Alfie Noakes Offline
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#17
RE: Course improvements
I have to ask - Where does the assumption/information come from that the 1000cc are too fast ? because there's never any complaints from the people sat next to me in the hedge or the riders I know in the paddock, also take into account that the 600cc bikes have a higher corner speed - does that make things safer or better then with a lap speed of "only" 128 ?.
14-12-2014, 09:54 AM
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SILJA Offline
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#18
RE: Course improvements
(14-12-2014, 09:54 AM)Alfie Noakes Wrote: I have to ask - Where does the assumption/information come from that the 1000cc are too fast ? because there's never any complaints from the people sat next to me in the hedge or the riders I know in the paddock, also take into account that the 600cc bikes have a higher corner speed - does that make things safer or better then with a lap speed of "only" 128 ?.

Well, I'm not discussing safety. I'm only trying to find an explanation why the speeds of the laps are faster and faster. Once more, I believe that the course surface, bumps and straightened corners are more important today than the bikes technical status, concerning higher lap speeds.
Don't be that optimistic! The light in the tunnel can be a train. Sad
14-12-2014, 08:55 PM
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SILJA Offline
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#19
RE: Course improvements
And from a spectators view, who can tell if a bike passes in 160 or 180 m.p.h.???
Don't be that optimistic! The light in the tunnel can be a train. Sad
14-12-2014, 09:23 PM
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Alfie Noakes Offline
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#20
RE: Course improvements
What did you mean by this then ? - "Which means , for my eyes, that the modern big bikes already are too fast for the circuit". The road/corner changes at Quarry, Windy and Brandish weren't specifically/uniquely made to make the bikes go or lap faster they were made to improve the ease of use for the public with their cars/bikes/trucks etc on open roads and much of the road surface improvements and repairs are what happens naturally over time with repairs due to degradation, if they wanted to make it "easier" and faster then the run from Ginger Hall to Ramsey would get properly smoothed out - but it hasn't has it ?. The only part of the circuit I can remember being specifically changed/worked to aid the racing on is the crest of Bray Hill where there was road planing works involved with the bump and manhole cover after the tragic sidecar race in 1978. The recent changes at Hillberry involved closed road speed testing but again the road surface was due for renewal and the racing was taken into account, it wasn't specifically changed or altered because of an intrinsic problem with bike racing or to make the bikes faster through there - the dip/depression on the apex area is still there. The course is what it is and is matched by the evolution of man and his machine and speaking from a fair bit of very personal/mates/fellows experience since growing up on the IoM - a racing bike is never ever going to be too fast.
14-12-2014, 10:15 PM
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