A selection of Manx Grand Prix legends and motorcycles that have raced on the 37¾ mile Isle of Man Mountain Course since 1923.
|Celebrating 100 Years of the Manx Grand Prix Set Mint
|Celebrating 100 Years of the Manx Grand Prix Set CTO
|Celebrating 100 Years of the Manx Grand Prix Sheet Set Mint
|Celebrating 100 Years of the Manx Grand Prix Sheet Set CTO
Len Randles rode his 500cc side-valve Sunbeam to win the 1923 Amateur race and the Crookall Trophy. The Sunbeam carried leather tool-boxes, for machine reliability was questionable and a retirement rate of 30% quite usual. Len returned to win in 1924, when lap speeds reached 60mph.
Contested mainly by machines from British manufacturers, the MGP saw substantial increases in speeds through the 1930s. Albert Moule is shown on his new Norton, a make that dominated racing in that period.
Ron Langston riding to second place in the 1959 Junior MGP. The classic lines of the Manx Norton are shown to advantage in unstreamlined form and although streamlining was in general use elsewhere by 1959, it was not permitted at the Manx until 1962.
Chas Mortimer rides Ballaugh Bridge on his 250cc Italian Aermacchi four-stroke. The late 1960s saw all classes facing increased competition from Japanese twin-cylinder, two-stroke machines. Such growth in use of two-strokes represented a major change in MGP racing, where four-strokes previously ruled.
A regular MGP competitor from 1971 to 1982. This image from 1976 shows that with his Yamaha TZ350E he had joined the two-stroke hordes who swamped the Manx in the 1970s. The racing of two-strokes brought very different sights, sounds and smells, and also increased speeds. By 1979 the Senior MGP lap record stood to Clive Watts at 105.27mph.
In 1983 the organisers introduced the racing of Classic motorcycles to the MGP meeting. Multiple wins went to riders like Bob Heath and Bill Swallow, while American Dave Roper led several races but had to settle for second place finishes. He is shown leaving Creg-ny-Baa on an AJS 7R.
Carolynn Sells became the first woman to win a MGP when she rode to victory in the 2009 Ultra-Lightweight race on a 400cc Yamaha FZR. It was an historic moment in Island racing. Later extending her role at the Manx, she became a voluntary ambassador for the races, then a Rider Liaison officer and Committee member.
Today's MGP runs over 4 laps. A rider stops to refuel upon completion of 2 laps and has to sit while the pit crew refills the petrol tank, cleans screen and visor, checks the bike for any problems and perhaps advises of race position. Here Nathan Harrison has tanked up and is being sent on his way at the 2019 MGP, where he took a double race victory in the Junior and Senior events, setting lap speeds of over 122mph.