Monday, the ground is frozen, there is ice on the cats, even the air is frozen…I wish I lived in California, or the south of Spain, or Egypt, anywhere, just so long as it is warm. Or maybe just not having to get up on a Monday morning would do? Snug in my duvet, blissfully aware that the Speed Triple now boasts a shiny new and loud set of pipes. Yeah, that would do, but unfortunately I do have to get up, why can’t I win the lottery and retire?
Anyway, time for a bit of reflection about what has been happening in the world of motorcycling in the past week and so, here is the news according to Ratso.
Valentino Rossi has won a race, ok that in itself is not surprising, he wins lots of races, but this time he won it on four wheels. It seems that Valentino has a dark and twisted secret, he likes to finish his racing season by racing a car (sorry for my bad language) in a 3 day rally in Italy. It does underline just how good this guy is at all things internal combustion related when you know that he was racing against, and beating a Hyundai works and World Rally Championship Driver. That is serious competition for a guy who is only doing it to wind down after a long season racing!
Guy Martin might race in the TT again, or maybe not, who knows, certainly not him! He has been racing once more in New Zealand taking his own hand built Martek GSX1100 turbo out for a thrash at the Burt Munro challenge. He did however take it a bit easy, he turned the boost down so it was only producing 260bhp! When asked about the possibility of a TT return he said that he if he did return he would be “In it to win it”. He also said however that this would mean concentrating 100% on the race and he did not know if he could devote that much time to it with his other obligations.
Talking about the TT there is serious talk about a TT themed film being made, possibly staring Matt Damon. The story is to be about an American racer who comes out of retirement to take on the Island course one last time.
Very soon, on January 2nd in fact, as the rest of us are coming out of our hangovers, 146 motorcyclists will be on the starting line for the Dakar rally. I seriously miss the days of the traditional Paris Dakar but, now in its ninth year, the South American version is really pulling out the stops. 14 days, 5500 miles, from Asuncion to Buenos Aires, and a maximum altitude of 4000m this is going to be a real tough race and one which I will be glad to watch from the comfort of my settee rather than participating in.
In America this week a new motorcycle company has announced that it will start producing bikes from 2018, Vanguard Motorcycles. A 1917cc V twin engine will power the new bikes, they are meant to be producing three models, and the engine will be a main frame part, the rest of the cycle parts hanging off it. I have to say, it certainly looks different, whether I like it or not, I am not sure, but there are parts I do like. The whole steam punk industrial look of the engine and wheels and cycle parts is lovely, but the seat and tank are not doing it for me. However one part that does “float my boat” is that rear end, I love it, but then I have always been a sucker for a great posterior!