Want to feel embarrassed about your riding skills, shameful about your lack of toughness, and like you should quit motorcycling altogether? Okay, so maybe that?s the wrong way to sell you on spending your afternoon watching some videos on the Internet, but it?s a common response to what you?re likely about to watch: The TT Legends Documentary.
We have to admit we’re a bit late on the whole thing, as it was released a little over a month ago. But if you haven’t yet seen the TT Documentary, read/watch on and share in our delight.
The TT Legends Documentary follows the Honda Factory Team, comprised of 20-time Isle of Man winner John McGuiness, Cameron Donald, and Australian newcomer Simon Andrews, as they tackle some of the TT series’ most challenging races.
The first episode, entitled “Meet the Team,” provides an introduction to the series and profiles McGuiness, Donald, and Andrews. It’s a neat look at the preparation that takes place behind the scenes and does a great job of humanizing guys you’re about to watch endure an incredible racing series.
Episode 2, “The Bol D’Or,” takes us to the most famous endurance race in the world. The Bol D’Or is a 24-hour race at Le Mans, with each team made up of three riders taking turns on the same motorcycle.
Episode 3, “The Northwest 200,” follows the guys to Northern Ireland to a street circuit made up of public roads. The course allows for some of the highest speeds possible on any public roads. In 2012, Martin Jessop was clocked during practice at 208 mph.
Episodes 4 and 5, “Isle of Man Part 1 & 2,” take us to a little island with a big reputation. The Isle of Man race is one of the most dangerous races in the world. It’s a race other racers come to watch as their peers enter like gladiators to a ring. It’s a race that’s better watched than read about, so just go watch the videos.
Episode 6, “Suzuka 8 Hour Race,” chronicles the team as they head to Japan for another grueling endurance race. The Suzuka 8 Hour race is manned by two riders, allowing for a third as an alternate, and takes place for eight consecutive hours.
Episode 7, “Oschersleben 8 Hour Race,” travels with the team as they participate in the Oschersleben eight-hour endurance race in Germany. This episode includes a little less race footage but does a nice job painting a picture of what it's like as you near the end of an endurance race series. There is some neat, behind-the-scenes, looks at what it's like for McGuinness to still continue racing at 41 years of age, as well as a really interesting look at the preparation attempts and execution abilities of the Honda team's pit crew.
Episode 8, “Le Mans 24 Hour Race,” Mathieu Gines joins the team for an injured Simon Andrews for the 24-hour endurance race at Le Mans. This episode begins with a look from Simon's point of view on the sidelines as he contemplates his participation (and also shows us the craziness that is the Le Mans camp site). The team is able to finish the race, but comes in a disappointing fifth place, which keeps them off the podium for the series by an incredibly frustrating single point.
Watching these made me think twice about any desires I had to be a motorcycle racer. It isn’t just the crashing that scares me. Watching as an entire team has to lend a hand to help a rider off his bike really illustrates how intense these races have become and how far these guys have to push themselves just to be competitive. It’s hard not to be in awe not only of the skill these guys wield, but the courage it takes to continue competing.
Start with the first and enjoy your way through the rest.