This year’s Isle of Man TT is about to start this weekend and just when I was feeling a bit meh about it (no Guy Martin; the usual suspects/musical chairs thing; the whiff of Groundhog Day i.e. once again nothing really new), a press release arrived via Bike Sport News indicating that Bruce Anstey is going to ride one of these:
Yes, Padgett’s is entering a Honda RC213V in the Superbike class and the Senior TT,  and the Kiwi Bomber himself is to ride it.
What a mouth-watering prospect that is – it reminds me of what James Whitham said his dad suddenly announced when he heard Mike Hailwood was going back to the Island in 1978: “Come on lad, we’re goin’!” 
Even though according to MCN, Padgett’s have been working on the the idea for some time, it’s still an untried concept in a sector of the sport that is more conservative than it thinks it is. There has been no proper testing in advance so it’s very much a shot in the dark. Nevertheless, the Senior’s rules allow Grand Prix bikes to run and that’s what the RC213V is supposed to be: a reputed 220 bhp in a package that is lighter than a Superbike and more nimble like a 600; and crucially, it is also two inches longer than a Fireblade and therefore in theory more stable, on a circuit where stability is everything.
I’m putting a tenner on Bruce Anstey right now. If the right version of Bruce shows up, if Clive Padgett gives him ‘a ham sandwich and a kick up the backside’ , and if the bike works, then he’ll win. The lap record will probably go too (133 mph? 133.5?).
In any case, regardless of how it actually pans out, once again Padgett’s are to be commended for having the imagination to even consider doing this, just like when they entered the Yamaha YZR500 in the Classic TT (guess who won on it first time out?). I’d also like to know where Padgett’s got the RC213V from. I mean, did Clive just ask Honda..? Is that how much influence winning five in a week in 2010 gave him..?
 from the documentary: “When Superbikes Ruled The World” (it’s a minter – click on the link to watch it).
 Interview with John McGuinness in ‘That Near Death Thing’ – Rick Broadbent (2012).
Image: Bike Sport News/Honda/Padgett’s (?).