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MD Video Pick: Lord of the ‘Ring

I don’t know how anything gets done in present-day America. If you have a computer with an Internet connection, all day long you’re bombarded with invitations to waste a minute here or five minutes there watching or reading the flotsam and jetsam of media your friends, family and people you don’t know send you.

Well, here’s one more thing, and though it’s 8 1/2 minutes long, it’s worth watching. Really. It’s a lap on board with German endurance racer and Nurburgring veteran Tim Rhotig as he rides the famous Nurburgring. What sets it apart from most such video is the nature of the camera. Developed by DORNA for MotoGP use, it uses gyros and other technology to keep the camera level while the motorcycle is being tossed from one side to another. It’s about the size of a small tankbag, and it’s mounted just in front of the rider.

Watch as Rothig—on a Kawasaki ZX-10R during tire testing of the new Bridgestone R10—makes what looks like a perfect lap of the 13-mile Nordschleife circuit. With the horizon rock-steady, you can really see Rothig’s lines, braking points—and some wicked wheelies down the straights and off the turns. You can also see how fast and precisely a professional like Rothig can turn a motorcycle, study his handiwork on the controls, all without the distraction of an obnoxious techno-beat or hip-hop soundtrack. Instead, production company Radio Viktoria mixed input from two microphones  to get a perfect blend of intake and exhaust sounds—without too much wind noise.

Hey, whatever you’re doing can wait eight minutes and 32 seconds, right? Just don’t start watching Radio Viktoria’s other videos…

27 Comments

  1. Dean says:

    Balls of Titanium!!

    What a great video! The reason that is a “near perfect” lap is that the harder you try for perfect, one mistake and you hit that steel guard rail at an unfriendly speed. What a great run around the ring!

    According to the laws of physics, I think the rider is slightly younger than the rest of us now.. Ahh, youth!

  2. Gutterslob says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I thought “perfect” laps around the Nordschleife on a 1000 were around the 7:30 mark, at least according to the times the Baron set for U.K based Performance Bikes magazine around 4 years ago. Those were tourist laps though (Bridge to Gantry), and in traffic.

    Awesome vid, btw.

  3. Drew W. says:

    Awesome video with great perspective on speed, lean angle, bike movement. It certainly takes balls and skills to go that fast, that smoothly, on that track with NO runoff! Impressive!

  4. ZRexrider says:

    Awesome video – great skills, amazing bike and the sound is perfect. You can get a real sense of the ability needed to ride at those speeds that smoothly. I love the rear end getting squirrelly under hard braking at the 4:40 mark. To have that track to yourself for a day would be heaven.

  5. Doc says:

    I like it. Hopefully they’ll do it again with a different perspective. I do prefer IOM though. You get a great feeling for the speed and the closeness of everything the camera angle they use at the IOM. There is a video on Youtube of a stock ZR-1 Corvette doing a quick lap at the Ring. Done from inside the car, it’s also great entertainment without music, except for that V-8 working making it’s own wonderful music.

  6. W1LLPARK3R says:

    Geez. that made the IOM look safe..

  7. GixxerGary says:

    OMG! My heart rate went up as if I was doing a two-up ride with this very good rider. Great video. This makes me want to do the Mammola/Ducati two-up ride even more than before.

  8. Bud says:

    It was great to be able to watch that without all of the music and editing that you often get with these things.

  9. Phil K says:

    That’s great riding skills, no doubt, but what is more impressive is that you can walk down to the Kawasaki dealer and get the same bike to ride on the street.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “but what is more impressive is that you can walk down to the Kawasaki dealer and get the same bike to ride on the street.”

      now here’s a man who understands the “value” inherent in motorcycling (relative to all the other crap). he needs no convincing. philK you are going to be a general some day… now disassemble your weapon and continue…!

    • Dean says:

      absolutely!

      Now if we can just do something about the traffic around here…

  10. MGNorge says:

    Interesting perspective. I don’t think I’d want this as the only view but it would add some to the viewers.

    • Mickey says:

      I don’t mena as an only view, but as supplemental footage. Speed does such a horrible job of filming that you get no idea of how fast, or how hard they brake, or how far they lean over. This camera angle at least gives some idea of that. On Sundays it looks like the boys are riding around 70 mph when we know they are approaching 200 at times. Nascrap gives a better feeling of speed than Speed does for Moto GP.

      • monsterduc1000 says:

        Agreed. i hate it when they show the @$$ of the rider or the back view of the throttle hand. WOOOOO!!

  11. Mickey says:

    Neat vid. Now that’s the camera angle/sound track that would make watching Moto GP more exciting instead of that here’s their butt and sponsor logo angle we get, which gives no impression of the speed these guys are traveling.

    That also gives you an idea of how much work putting 30 perfect laps in a row would be to win a race.

    Cmon Speed or Dorna or whoever decides these things, give us some better viewing (like this vid)

    • blackcayman says:

      +1 – you finally get a sense of how hard they are riding

    • Ruefus says:

      I don’t disagree, but remember that the camera is “about the size of a small tankbag, and it’s mounted just in front of the rider”.

      While its nice for this video, for a World Championship competitor it’d be an impediment. Even my feeble attempts at imitating Rossi are interrupted by the little tankbag I use getting in the way.

  12. jason says:

    How solid are those walls?

  13. Chris says:

    Wow.

  14. mthomp15 says:

    I think he needs to go a bit slower so I can read the graffiti on the track. Punk ass kids….wait a minute….. That was me before I found motorcycles! I only wish I was that smooth. Awesome!

  15. Trpldog says:

    Looks like me going to work.

  16. Norm G. says:

    I LOVE IT…!!! i wanna throw up a lil’ bit in my mouth… but I LOVE IT…!!! go-pro’s got nothin on the gyro-cam. LOL but wait, does this mean this tech available now to the consumer…? or does tim just “know people”…?