JAN 09th 2015

Video: 'Flat‑out and Fearless' – The North West 200

It’s understandable that some people will see the words ‘North West 200’ and assume it must be a large and unruly gang of wanted thugs from Lancashire; racing 200bhp motorcycles on public roads for some reason has never held the same fascination as racing cars around a closed-circuit, after all. ‘Twas ever thus …

However, surely very few forms of motor sport can challenge road-racing if we’re looking to encapsulate the 2015 Festival of Speed theme of ‘Flat-out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge.’

Here we have a clip from what I think is the 2006 Superbike race. The key difference of course between this and the Isle of Man TT is that here you’re racing wheel-to-wheel with a full grid of competitors as opposed to the TT’s time trial style.

Often the racers hit close-to 200mph… while passing back-markers… feet away from hedges, walls and driveways and sometimes with the front wheel lofted as well.

If you only have 10 seconds to devote to this footage I advise you view from 1:45 to 1:55 for an example of just how hairy this kind of racing is. Bear in mind there are barely any run-offs and zero gravel traps …

As I’ve established in my reviews of bikes for GRR, I’m a car person first-and-foremost, but I honestly can’t think of a form of racing on four wheels which requires such an acute absence of fear as this. 

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