A major part of a visit to the TT is hearing the many different noises emanating from the engines of motorcycles, both of racing and road specification..Only a few years ago there were fans who once they were off the ferry replaced their road legal mufflers with much noisier versions...This didn't make the bike go any faster, in fact the lack of back pressure could damage the engine but the noise impressed the rest of us.
My first memory was from 1947 when, holding my Dads hand I was walking up the pit lane when A norton came up behind us, overtook and because the rider knew my Dad, blipped the throttle....The noise hit me in the face and I did NOT like it...!!!!
We had no ear defenders in those days so I just had to get used to it....After that I stood at the side of the starting line with Dad, savouring each bike as it set off on a practice lap...I even got up to go to early morning practice !!
There is still little to match a Manx Norton starting up but Matchlesses and AJSs performing a similar event come a close joint second.......I liked Moto Guzzi Singles and BMW sidecars but after the aforementioned I would place NSU
The 1950s and it all changed -- the Italians brought the 4-cylinder MV Agustas and Gileras, and Moto Guzzi raced an EIGHT CYLINDER 500 !
All of these produced fabulous sounds which still cause the hairs to stand up on the back of my neck......
1959 saw the arrival of machines from Japan, firstly Honda four strokes then they were followed by Suzuki, Yamaha two-strokes backed up by Kawasaki and Tohatsu....Now we had noise, a screaming noise which was the most wonderful sound we had ever heard.
It seems that nowadays all bike sounds are fairly similar yet we have had the Britten, the Norton Rotary and now the new Norton.