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kevin Offline OP
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i'm curious about british machines at the isle of man in the1960s.

how fast were the 500 and 650/750 twins?

all the information i can find lists only average speeds over the 37 miles. for instance, in 1967 neil kelly lapped on a velocette at around 89mph and john hartle lapped on a triumph at 97. both were eclipsed by mike hailwood at 103 on the infamous honda 250, btw.

how fast were these things going to make those averages? what were the actual fastest speeds over the fastest sections?


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What you need access to is the Sulby straight speed trap records. Someone must have them, it's the fastest part of the course on the level with the longest straight. Current Sulby straight record is 206 mph with a course average of 135mph.

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kevin Offline OP
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well, i'm impressed



still looking for the old records


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We were there last year. Memory shakey but, I think, Maria Schneider was fastest at Sulby on a 500cc Patton. Around 142 with the Norton not far behind that. Sadly did not notice any of the old twins on course.

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Originally Posted by pushrod tom
We were there last year. Memory shakey but, I think, Maria Schneider was fastest at Sulby on a 500cc Patton. Around 142 with the Norton not far behind that. Sadly did not notice any of the old twins on course.

Maria Schneider! surely you mean Maria Costello?


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kevin Offline OP
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how fast were the factory bikes back in the day?


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Slower, but by how much ?

Sulby Straight fiques can't be too far away from the Daytona speeds, if you can get these they would be a good guide.

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i can't find those either. maybe i just don't know where to look.

here's why i'm interested. i'm in casual conversation elsewhere with a manx norton guy (who seems to know his [***]) and he recalls that works bonnevilles at the 67-68 TT went through sulby at around 148 mph. that's an incredible speed for any old twin, factory-prepared or not, and i'm trying to find out who exactly ran the TT that fast back then.

i'm looking though claudio sintich's book, triumph thruxton bonneville, 1959-1969, which lists specs and reproduces some race reports from the media of the time. as i am finding, the class was 750cc and the works thruxtons in 1967 were 40-over, at 668cc. they ran 20/43 or 20/46, because the 21s weren't available. so to make 148mph, i calculate that they had to spin them to 8300 on that straight. they were doing this with mufflers, too.

in 1968 the lap speeds were about the same, but the top speeds for the triumphs and BSAs were around 132mph, according to sintich:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

so i'm curious as to whether i'm missing something.

no information on that fast norton


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Originally Posted by pushrod tom
We were there last year. Memory shakey but, I think, Maria Schneider was fastest at Sulby on a 500cc Patton. Around 142 with the Norton not far behind that. Sadly did not notice any of the old twins on course.


heavens that's a pretty machine

[Linked Image from 3.bp.blogspot.com]


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Bry, Remember, shakey memory. Costello sounds like it. Think she came in 4th? McG first on a Patton and Norton Manx second. Bear in mind the current Nortons are not like grand pa's.

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That Patton usually leaves everything else for dust. Some quick bikes out there but that Patton is something else.


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Of the Patton was 142 mph in 2019 then 148 mph is not viable, old racer stories are like fishermen stories, they grow over time.

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For God’s sake guys it’s a Paton, not a “Patton.”


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Originally Posted by kommando
Of the Patton was 142 mph in 2019 then 148 mph is not viable, old racer stories are like fishermen stories, they grow over time.

that appears to be the case this time, i guess..

ah well, i was looking to see whether there were some super-secret-motor-mods that i might learn.


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Originally Posted by triton thrasher
For God’s sake guys it’s a Paton, not a “Patton.”

Auto incorrect whistle


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Originally Posted by pushrod tom
Bry, Remember, shakey memory. Costello sounds like it. Think she came in 4th? McG first on a Patton and Norton Manx second. Bear in mind the current Nortons are not like grand pa's.

Yes, she was just pipped to a podium place. Patons 1st 2nd & 4th, Norton 3rd. The race also saw the tragic loss of Chris Swallow.


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