Tom Loughridge's Race Days

Isle of Man TT - page 11

scan13ss.jpg (47655 bytes) I tailed and slipstreamed Frank all the way to the bottom of Barregarow. I was on fire, my special was definitely steering better than Frank’s bike. The genuine TR250s had a twin brake plate with a single cable leading from the lever two a junction box that bridged the front fender and two cables that went each side of the wheel to the brake plates.

As Frank bottomed the forks the junction box jammed on to the bottom yoke and locked the front wheel on solid. We would probably have been doing around 120mph, I was about 6 feet from his back wheel which came about eighteen inches off the road. I shot past him by inches, how I did not ram into the back of him I don’t know.

I sat up slowed and looked back to see Frank hit the kerb and career down the road, feet off the pegs like aeroplane wings he brought the thing to a safe stop. Seeing he was okay I carried on I did not want to stop. Firstly I was having a cracking first practice lap on the 250 and secondly he probably "stunk like hell."

The second miracle was in the 250 race. I had fitted a steel Suzuki mudguard to the Bultaco forks, as is seen in the photo. I was flat out round the veranda on the mountain when the stays broke. The guard went around the front wheel and under the tyre it must have jammed under the tyre for a split second, because the bike slid sideways in a shower of sparks towards the sheep fencing and concrete posts, I heard the guard bang against fairing and saw it fly sideways. The front tyre found grip and the superb handling of this bike righted everything.

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