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...
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.