Mike Hailwood's Suzuki Motorbike

Contributed by Manx National Heritage

Mike Hailwood's Suzuki Motorbike © Manx National Heritage

The TT started on the Isle of Man as legislation in the UK did not allow for the high speeds or road closures needed.No other motorsport event in the world can claim to have as much heritage as the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) motorcycle races.

First run in 1907, by the 1930s the races had become Europe's premier sporting event.

Adolf Hitler saw the propaganda potential of a Nazi TT victory, and in 1939 sent an elite team to win. In the 1960s Japanese firms Honda and Suzuki wanted to break into western markets.

It was at the Isle of Man TT, the world's toughest motorcycle race, that they chose to make their debut. Honda's success was largely due to their partnership with Mike Hailwood, the greatest motorcycle racer Britain has ever produced.

In 1978, after 11 years away, Hailwood made a sensational return to the TT. This is the machine supplied to him for the 1979 event, upon which he won his 14th and final TT race.

Comments are closed for this object


  • 1. At 11:00 on 23 July 2010, Cubikrube wrote:

    As a biker and a fan of bike racing in general i think this is a really disappointing article. Five extremely short paragraphs to talk about a true legend in this sport is pretty poor. Yes, it might be about his bike but there's very little info there either.
    It's a shame because you had an opportunity to give people more. This man was certainly worth that.

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  • 2. At 11:50 on 23 July 2010, Bazzaclarke wrote:

    I agree with the previous comment, so much potential for a great article, but very dissappointing.The man and his machines is still a legend to all motorcyclists and IOM fans.

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  • 3. At 12:11 on 23 July 2010, mort wrote:

    I would have thought the 99.9 mph Triumph was a more important bike and moment in history of the TT.

    Mike Hailwood, a greater TT rider than Joey Dunlop or has the Manx National Heritage forgot that the most successful overall rider at the annual TT races is awarded the "Joey Dunlop Cup".

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  • 4. At 13:18 on 23 July 2010, squatterswatter wrote:

    The article heading was " Mike Hailwood's motorbike"
    The photo caption was "Mike Hailwood's Suzuki motorbike"
    unfortunately the features writer then rambled off into the history of the TT, Adolf Hitler and in passing mentioned the 1960s Japanese Honda and Suzuki works teams.
    Precious little there about Mike Hailwood's motorbike. Still, it was a definite BBC first to run any feature containing "TT" and "motorbike" without mentioning the number of riders to have lost their lives over the years.
    Well done BBC!

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  • 5. At 13:49 on 23 July 2010, Johnno66 wrote:

    Always good to see both, historic people and events remembered - it proves their legends live on. But yes - more info would make a more interesting read. keep on though.

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  • 6. At 07:51 on 28 January 2011

    Failed moderation

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