Taking on the TT with one wheel

dougie lampkin tt wheelie

Published on 16 September 2016 by Robert Drane

Dougie Lampkin, a former multi- FIM Trial World Champion, is taking on a whole new challenge next week: he will ride the full TT circuit on just his rear wheel.

Expected to take almost two hours, he will wheelie the full 37.7 miles live on Red Bull TV. Dougie’s average speed will be about 20mph (a bit short of the 123mph wheelie world record broken in August) and he will use a bike uniquely customised specifically for this challenge.

Dougie Lampkin wheelie around race track corner

The Red Bull athlete has been training for six months to prepare him for the physical and mental challenges that he will face. He will particularly feel stress on his feet, ankles, knees and neck.

Dougie said: “I have taken on some big tasks before, but this one is absolutely massive as there are so many unknowns. Over the last six months it has given me a lot of sleepless nights, and although we have made good progress in more recent weeks I am under no illusion just how tough it is going to be on the day.”

Dougie Lampkin portrait with motorbike

Dougie will also have to remain focused despite the vehicles and spectators on the working roads. While there will be a running roadblock to protect him, oncoming traffic will still be going past.

“What started out as just an idea, which I have had for a few years now, will soon become reality thanks to the support of Red Bull once again. Like everything I do, I will be giving it 110% to do my best to succeed.”

It will be broadcast live online by Red Bull TV at 1700 on Saturday September 24. Watch the trailer video here.


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Wheeling the TT

Dougie Lampkin will face not only physical but mental challenges as well. He must face over 200 corners of the twisting TT route. Dougie set out his six biggest challenges:

  1. One mile from start – Bray Hill
    Being so close to the start, Dougie will yet to have warmed up when he meets this difficulty. “This will be the first occasion that the rear brake will be put under load and could be quite inconsistent due to it not being up to its operational temperature.”

  2. 17 miles from start – Ballaugh Bride
    Dougie expects the hump-back bridge to require some fast gear changes and consistent stability.

  3. 24 miles in – Ramsey Hairpin to Water Works
    “Subject to weather conditions, again it may be necessary to select a lower gear in order to safely navigate first the turn at Water Works and then the 180-degree Hairpin as the road continues to climb and which can be incredibly greasy if wet due to the trees overhead.”

  4. 30 miles in – Verandah to Windy Corner
    Here, Dougie is at mercy of the weather conditions. If the weather proves poor, particularly with strong winds, “This part of the course could prove to be really tough with the impact of such conditions only reducing after the aptly named Windy Corner.”

  5. 34 miles in – Kate's Cottage to Signpost Corner
    The descent will require much braking. Special care will be required to prevent the brakes from overheating and failing.

  6. The final 400m
    Speaking to RedBull.com, he said: “Within the last 400 metres you have two hairpins which I will have to change down two gears to get through. It’s a downhill right-hander into it and that’s what I would say is the most challenging part on the course. A sting in the tail, for sure.”

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Photos: Red Bull

Dougie Lampkin wheelie on race track sunset