The Moddey Dhoo MCC Bike Show

Dur­ing his visit to the 2017 Isle of Man TT, Gaven Dall’Osto packed in as many lo­cal sights and events as pos­si­ble. Here’s one...

Old Bike Australasia - - OUT ’N’ ABOUT -

The two weeks of the Isle of Man TT sees many com­pli­men­tary events for the mo­tor­cy­clists that come from all over the world. In the coastal vil­lage of Peel a lo­cal mo­tor­cy­cle club (with an in­ter­est­ing name, Moddey Dhoo) hosts a mo­tor­cy­cle show ‘by bik­ers for bik­ers’ and amaz­ingly the event is free. This year saw the 11th run­ning of the event. Peel it­self is pic­turesque with a long ‘c’ shaped water­front prom­e­nade. At one end is Peel Cas­tle on a bridged is­land and this is where the leg­end of Moddey Dhoo be­gan. In Manx Gaelic Moddey Dhoo trans­lates to ‘Black Dog’ and this con­jures the tune of a Led Zep­pelin song. Leg­end has it that an ap­pari­tion in the form of a sav­age dog-like crea­ture with black curly hair lived in a pas­sage­way in the cas­tle where it ter­rorised the in­hab­i­tants. One night a drunken sol­dier met with a sav­age death and ‘Moddey Dhoo’ was then sealed in the pas­sage for­ever. The club logo in­cludes the cir­cu­lar Isle of Man logo with an an­gry head of Moddey Dhoo in the cen­tre. On the other end of the prom­e­nade was the Peel skate park with a raised flat area, a grassed steep rocky back­drop and a view of the ocean on the other. It was a beau­ti­ful place to display the bikes. I ar­rived to a very rainy morn­ing but by the start time at mid­day the weather fined up beau­ti­fully. I grav­i­tated to the older bikes as this is my area of in­ter­est and met some in­ter­est­ing and friendly peo­ple. My first high­light was an elderly gen­tle­man dressed in pe­riod tweed rid­ing in on his 1930s twin port AJS R12. He de­serv­ingly took out the award for the ‘Best Vin­tage Bike’. A beau­ti­ful 1950 Tri­ton stood glis­ten­ing in the sun. Its owner is a TT track mar­shall who te told me he built the Tri­ton in the win­ter so this was its first out­ing. I loved those trun­cated mega­phones for ex­tra ground clear­ance on cor­ner­ing. The award for ‘Best Race Bike/Replica’ was fit­ting for this gem. I saw a lit­tle 175 BSA Ban­tam com­plete with leg guards and the sub­tle use of minia­ture TT re­lated de­cals. There were John McGuin­ness de­cals on the leg guards, TT 2010 and a Joey Dunlop de­cal on the rear mud­guard. Yes, the owner rode to the Isle pri­mar­ily for the rac­ing. He has a cou­ple of Ban­tams so took one to the Isle for a spin and de­cided to show it. My other bike of in­ter­est was a 1928, 349cc DOT. DOT mo­tor­cy­cles were made in Manch­ester which is not far away across the Ir­ish sea in the UK. Lit­er­a­ture of the time sug­gests that DOT mo­tor­cy­cles were made to a high stan­dard and they pledged their ma­chines were ‘De­viod Of Trou­ble’. Peter is a Manx lo­cal and told me he was only the sec­ond owner. It was origi- nally raced by Bill Bull on short cir­cuits in south­ern UK, then later on grass tracks. Peter also said that while not many were made he be­lieves there are a cou­ple in Aus­tralia. Peter’s DOT is pow­ered by a Bradshaw en­gine known as the ‘Oil boiler’. I noted the smooth alu­minium hous­ing all the way up to the cast iron head. No cool­ing fins were re­quired on the bar­rel as it was oil cooled from within (hence its nick name). A me­chan­i­cal oil pump was re­spon­si­ble for all en­gine lu­bri­ca­tion and cool­ing which was ad­vanced for the time. The over­head valves, a twin filler sad­dle tank, pie crust tin work, ad­justable damper Bramp­ton girder forks and such, were only avail­able on top end ma­chines of the time. The ex­ter­nal (ba­con slicer) fly­wheel fin­ished off this beau­ti­ful en­gine. Peter’s DOT was fac­tory built per­for­mance ma­chine and cou­pled to the hand change, 3 speed Sturmey Archer gear­box is good for an amaz­ing 82 MPH. In all 17 awards were dis­trib­uted. Most went to vis­i­tors to the is­land with some from as far away as Switzer­land and Hol­land. Well done to the Moddey Dhoo MCC who also ac­knowl­edged sup­port from the Dept. of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Peel Town Com­mis­sion­ers and the Lo­cal Po­lice. A per­sonal thanks goes to Andy Scullard event co-organiser for sup­ply­ing me the win­ners list and gen­eral in­for­ma­tion.

Road le­gal Har­ris Du­cati TT2 600 Replica. ABOVE LEFT Per­fectly at­tired to match his 1930 248cc twin port AJS R12. ABOVE 1954 Tri­ton, win­ner of Best Race Bike Replica. The 1928 349cc DOT with its Bradshaw (Oil Boiler) en­gine.

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