A lot of the good things in life happen because you were in the right place at the right time —
This was the case around 1991 when I was riding the TT course on my Honda Revere. I had just decided that I could do that – get a race licence – ride fast and smooth and become a TT racer —
While up on a side road on the mountain near the Bungalow section – I came across two riders with the new F1 Rotary Norton and a Kawasaki ZZR 1100 —
Turned out to be MCN Chief Road Tester Chris Dabbs and the big burly MCN photographer from that era.
The snapper would lay down on the white line and take pics of Chris wheelying towards him – hairy enough even without traffic so I was roped in as Traffic Manager.
My reward was to be handed the keys of the Norton and be told to go try it out. They didn’t know me from Adam and there I was thrashing across the mountain on – as far as I knew – the only F1 Rotary Norton in existence!
A magical experience but my abiding memory came as I toured back down the side road when two of the plastic bolts that Arai used to hold the visor in place on their crash helmets popped and left my visor flapping in the wind. It had been serviced that morning at the Aria service stand in the paddock so they couldn’t possibly have been over-tightened – could they 🤔
Either that or caused by the high frequency vibration from the rotary as it hit 10,000RPM over the mountain. I have nothing but admiration for the late Steve Hislop who was to win the Senior TT on White Lightning – the race version of that bike —