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Onboard Video With Screaming Suzuki RG500 Two-Stroke at Isle of Man

We don’t hear much about two-strokes anymore, but here is your chance to ride along with Danny Webb at the Isle of Man TT course aboard his Suzuki RG500. In addition to the sound of his two-stroke, the video gives you a good idea of just how dangerous/crazy it is to ride a fast motorcycle on this road course. The video was taken during the 2019 Classic TT. Here it is:

40 Comments

  1. PatrickD says:

    Happy to say that I got to run my 1989 RGV250 on the Island last year (as a spectator) at the Classic TT in August. I never got to experience the 2-stroke experience at the time, and wondered what all the fuss was about.
    I was travelling at only a portion of the speed of Danny here (the roads are open and speed limits apply in built up areas), but there were enough times that I was revving it out in 4th, 5th and 6th that made the overhaul costs worthwhile.
    Danny looks almost steady because he’s so smooth. Danny knows the way that the course goes, and you have to be 3 corners ahead here to go fast. It’s perhaps true that tyre and suspension technology have caught up with the engine capabilities of these 500 2 strokes, such that they are not the intimidating prospect they were in the early 1980s
    These Team Suzuki bikes are beautifully presented.
    It’s so good to see them being used as intended.

  2. SmokinRZ says:

    I love the smell of Blendzall in the morning.

  3. bmbktmracer says:

    Given the way the cameras distort the image, making the road look much narrower than it actually is, the reality must be rather boring. The vast majority of the course appears to be straight with moderate bends. There are a few tighter turns, but not many. And I’m certain none of it is run blind as they surely pre-run/qualify in order to set the starting grid. Not a fan.

    • tim Rowledge says:

      I can assure you that those roads are not wide. Typically roads around rural areas in the UK might be 20ft wide at best. And there are no run-off areas. And there are trees and houses and lampposts and traffic lights and all sorts of terrifyingly unbouncy things right at the edge of these narrow roads. Remember, we don’t drive Yank Tanks because they physically don’t fit our roads, quite aside from the inability to go round corners.
      I’ve been round the IoM track. It’s scary as fuck. I’ve ridden fast on narrow English country lanes and I promise you it is not ‘rather boring’.

    • Motoman says:

      You sounds like you are watching a different race than I am. And based on your comments, it seems like this video is the first time you’ve seen IOM footage. Boring?

  4. Superlight says:

    Sorry, but I’m not a fan of the Isle of Man TT, the Pikes Peak races and even the Tail of the Dragon, and I’m a former road racer. The penalty for errors is just too high in those venues. Make a mistake and you are seriously hurt or you die – no thank you, no matter how exciting it looks for spectators.

    • Motoman says:

      I’m not a former road racer but a track day junkie and I have to agree. Living in southern CA, there are too many people that treat the street like it’s a race track (and with opposing traffic). Some of the crashes I’ve seen and heard about are scary and avoidable. I cringe now when I watch the TT’s especially with the footage these days. I was riding at Willow Springs and the guy pitting next to me crashed in turn 8 at about 120mph. Had a little scrape on his elbow. Fixed his bike up (stayed on its side, luckily) and was back out on track. He would have most likely been dead on the street.

  5. Bill says:

    Gosh, I miss 2-strokes

  6. ill_mostro says:

    That was the best thing I’ve seen in a long time. Pretty unnerving how all that air fencing is painted to look like brutally unforgiving fieldstone walls. I am kidding of course.

    Balls o’ steel is right.

  7. Jabe says:

    I usually watch these Isle of Mann videos while seated on the porcelain throne. It helps things.

  8. todd says:

    “I trust my tires, I trust my tires, I trust my tires…” It’s a good thing the tell all the pesky deer and turkeys to stay off the course on race day!

  9. dt-175 says:

    for a peaky stroker, he sure didn’t shift much.
    for a flighty stroker, it sure didn’t wobble much.
    there are some BIG left-handers on the mountain section.
    what was the bike with whom he started? I only saw two pipes.

    • todd says:

      You were probably only seeing two of the four pipes on a RZ500 or MAYBE a TZ750.

    • Morgan says:

      Pretty sure that the bike he started with is a later model TZ250. Note that it has white numbers on a green background. Classic 250 colours. THe last of the 250s were seriously fast motorcycles. Close to 90 bhp in less an 100kg.

    • pedro says:

      He is shifting a lot – the bike is never under 9k and mostly 9-12k – it looks easy…

  10. Limey says:

    Took me back to 2010 when we rented a cottage on the race circuit in Kirkmichael..Totally awesome experience..seems like he missed a gear at the Ramsey hairpin tho..never could I imagine racing on the island..moreso with a two stroke fearing a motor seizing anytime I shut the throttle…best ever vacation..It was very challenging back in the day, but with motorcycles putting out 200+ hp it is totally insane nowadays..it still remains the very best vacation ever!…..

  11. Grover says:

    This is like racing through the streets of San Francisco (though not quite so hilly). To bad we have no such racing in the USA.

  12. Mick says:

    Ouch! Were I to own such a thirty something year old ride I would definitely want a much tighter venue. I ice race two strokes and I always hate droning down long straights pinned. I feel so sorry for the poor little guy down there and I think that straights are boring. It’s just not right to flog the little guy so only to produce boredom.

    Yeah yeah yeah. I know that some guys like speed. My idea of speed is going fast through a corner.

    • Dave says:

      They must mix he pre-mix a little thicker and jet a little rich on top cause yeah, a seized piston at the end of one of those runs would introduce the rider to some infrastructure in the worst way.

  13. Ricardo says:

    These guys are super humans, most all of the corners are blind corners yet they take them at full speed. I couldn’t do that running on my two legs ha ha

  14. Walter says:

    That is a very well carb’d/sorted 2 stroke

    In isolation, it looks like the bike’s a jet- then he gets passed seemingly rather easily. And the 4 strokes really pull away on slower speed acceleration.

    And that’s a wrist sweatband wrapped around the reservoir.

  15. Hot Dog says:

    20 years ago these things were (and still are) smoking fast but the modern day liter on this video blew by them. Ah, to be young, bullet proof and invisible again.

    • Tim says:

      Invisible? That’s probably a pretty good skill to have when the Highway Patrol clocks you at 150 mph.

  16. Wendy says:

    I remember the great Joey Dunlop saying that if you aren’t touching your head on a couple of those walls, you aren’t doing it right. I could never do this on a pedal bike.

  17. Artem says:

    Great

  18. Artem says:

    great

  19. Tom K. says:

    What a great video, I caught myself grinning like an idiot while watching. For someone not up to speed on race bikes, why is the (I’m assuming) brake reservoir wrapped in what appears to be cotton gauze? And, I’m also assuming, that the speedo is reading in kph?

    This is why street racing for us mortals is illegal, LOL.

    • Nick F says:

      No speedo, it’s the coolant temperature

      • Tom K. says:

        Thanks, I can now see the “C” in the still photo of the video. On the “wrist sweat band” over the brake reservoir, I was thinking it was there for the bike’s sake, it makes sense it’s just a convenient place for the rider to store it. Live and learn.

    • MGNorge says:

      “Why is the brake reservoir wrapped in what appears to be cotton gauze?”
      Ostensibly to protect the reservoir and its contents from breaking down in sunlight. Also to soak up any “leakage” of fluid that might come to be.

      I suspect today it’s mostly just bike bling. Something to show others that you’re hard core. Used to be sweatbands wrapped around but today they are but another accessory in almost every catalog, online or in print. They’re called socks.

    • pedro says:

      Just guessing – he’s probably not using engine braking so the brakes are doing a lot of work. Maybe a safety thing so if hot brake fluid starts spraying, it’s not on his face.

  20. VFR Marc says:

    Forget Moto GP – this is what riding fast on a motorcycle is all about. Thanks Danny Webb and Team Classic Suzuki.

  21. Glenn says:

    I’ve never noticed the wind socks at the corners – what a brilliant idea. Love watching the front (and sometimes both) wheel loft coming off the humps in the road. Listening to the revs rise as he gets to the edge of the tire makes the viewing experience so much more real. Every time I watch a lap of IoM, I marvel at the fitness and focus.

  22. Magnus says:

    Bumping over the red line a few times and buried the needle once or twice. Ahh, the sweet sweet sound of the two stroke in its powerband, wonderful memories. Now my brain is dubbing over with the magnetic whine of my Zero. Strange how things change yet stay the same.

  23. JanJ says:

    Can remember doing Deal’s Gap on Wing — 2 up multiple times…. A couple of them pulling a trailer…. And a Rocket came up and passed on a corner dragging knee and leather…. Wife asked: Do you want him passing on corner ?? “I don’t have much of a choice.”… I slowed areas between corners… Looked at video afterward…. Then I looked at this video….
    Knew it would be different…. Different doesn’t do it justice!!!

  24. Phil D says:

    Need some Smell-O-Vision to go with this!

  25. joe b says:

    couple of corners, I knew what was coming, but I would have crashed in many others.

  26. bob says:

    Balls of steel.