Our Top 5 Isle of Man TT Documentaries.—We’re still over 100 days out from the 2019 Isle of Man TT, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sit back and gorge yourself on the incredible riders, races, and atmosphere that makes up the world’s oldest road racing event.
The Isle of Man TT has enjoyed a huge resurgence over the past decade. This is thanks to an influx of sponsorship money and riders pushing the limits further than ever before. Peter Hickman (BMW) is the current king of the Mountain Course. The Briton set an astonishing lap record of 135.452 mph on his way to victory in the 2018 Senior TT after a titanic battle with Kawasaki rider Dean Harrison.
The spectacle that is the Isle of Man TT is not lost on the many companies and individuals who currently make TT-based films, and in the past five years especially there have been some brilliant short movies made on the event.
We have compiled five of our favorite films for you to watch right here, absolutely free on YouTube. We have not included the 2011 smash hit TT 3D: Closer To The Edge. This is a feature film and each film listed here is under one hour long.
So turn off your phone, grab a cold one and settle in for a night watching some of the most skillful and bravest men and women on the planet taking on motorcycle racing’s oldest and most revered challenge.
Isle of Man TT by Studiokippenberger
Chris Kippenberger has created a masterpiece in this 18-minute short film on the TT. A winner at the Gold London Motor Film Festival for Best Event Coverage, Isle of Man TT tells the story of the event from the perspective of legends like John McGuinness, Ian Laugher and rookie Tom McHale. Laugher, in particular, explains how he deals with the emotions of seeing a crashed rider extremely well. Beautifully shot, Kippenberger’s film is an emotive insight into the mindset of the TT racer.
Religion of Sports—The Space Between
Religion of Sports is a series of sports documentaries produced by none other than NFL star Tom Brady and his partners Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra. For season three they have focused on the TT.
The Space Between is the most recently shot documentary and focusses on the 2018 TT. The 56 minutes largely shared between up and coming privateer Dominic Herbertson and established TT star, James Hillier. With a sizeable budget behind them, the Religion of Sports team has done an excellent job to evenly show the good and bad side of the TT and the people behind it. Some of the camera work is truly inspiring and shows what a huge challenge the Mountain Course is.
Through The Visor
This is an interesting one in that it’s been produced by Arai Helmet Europe. Arai has been a huge part of the Isle of Man for decades. The company currently holds first and third on the all-time winner’s list with the late Joey Dunlop and his nephew, Michael, lifelong wearers of the brand. Through The Visor has a strong presence of sidecar champion brothers Ben and Tom Birchall. This gives the film a unique perspective over some of the other films on this list.
There’s also a lovely section of the film dedicated to the boys and girls Scouts who look after the timing and scoring board. They have never changed this part of the TT; the Scouts still paint the rider numbers and times on little boards and hanging them above the pits.
Isle of Man TT: A Dangerous Addiction
Isle of Man TT: A Dangerous Addiction is produced by news powerhouse Al Jazeera Correspondent and offers a different view of the event to something like the seminal hit Closer To The Edge.
It was released on YouTube in 2012 and sees UK television news correspondent Simon McGregor-Wood delve into the TT by following privateer racer John Ingram as he goes up against riders like Guy Martin, John McGuinness and Cameron Donald at the 2011 TT. It’s a great watch at 48 minutes long. Although, as it is produced by Al Jazeera and therefore aimed more at an audience unfamiliar with the TT, hence there’s more focus on what can go wrong and the sometimes fatal consequences than in some of the other films in our list.
The Isle Of Men: The World’s Deadliest Motorcycle Race
Conor Cummins is one of the toughest men racing a motorcycle today. The Manxman survived one of the biggest crashes ever seen on Isle in the 2010 Senior TT. Traveling at over 130 mph, Cummins smashed into a stone wall when he fell from his Kawasaki ZX-10R at the Verandah. He suffered a laundry list of serious injuries that would put most people off bikes for life. Yet the softly spoken Isle of Man local fought through the pain barrier and is still racing at the TT.
Produced by Time, The Isle Of Men: The World’s Deadliest Motorcycle Race is not as morbid as the title suggests. It is a true testament to Cummins’ bravery and ability to overcome the odds.
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