Isle of Man retiree and classic bike enthusiast Stephen Bardwell was fed up after the grunt of his bike dubbed “The Beast” broke the internals of his gearbox. Then the new gear cluster he bought failed after only 7 miles almost splitting his gearbox case in half. He then turned to TTI for gearbox strength.
“My friend runs these (TTI) gear boxes with his Weslake engines and a few of my friends said that I should have a TTI gear box in my bike as they are the best,” Stephen says.
As a result Stephen now owns a sequential TTI 5 speed AMC XHD (extra heavy duty) gearbox and runs it in his Weslake NRE 963 with a twin 8 valve engine. The bike (pictured left above) reaches speeds of nearly 180mph at 7000 rpm because of its high torque. Steve says it is “one very serious engine.” A test run after “The Beast” rebuild was complete clocked it at 2000 rpm 47 ft lbs of torque in 5th gear, which Stephen calls “insane.” The fact that TTI extra heavy duty 5 speed AMC gearbox is built to handle motorcycle engines with power, with a 150 bhp power rating, impresses Stephen after his previous gearbox experiences.
To feature at the Isle of Man TT this month
Stephen will ride “The Beast” on August 26 at the Isle of Man TT parade lap. He chooses not to race his much-cherished classic bikes which also include a black Rickman Metisse with a Norish Weslake conversion on a 750cc Triumph T140 engine. “I like me as I am and love my bikes and don’t want to get them damaged as the engine parts are no longer made,” he says.
Above Stephen rides “The Beast” at the Isle of Man TT in 2017 in a parade round.
The bikes are entered only in parade and demonstration events but Stephen says he does like to ride them on the TT course when the roads are closed. “The Beast” has been down the Sulby Straight at 150 mph effortless at 6400rpm in a parade lap in August 2017,” he boasts.
If you are watching the Isle of Man races and events live or on television this month you might just catch a glimpse of Stephen parading one of his classic bikes or marshalling. The Isle of Man resident, who retired to the island in July 2017, will be marshalling at Gardeners Lane – a 150m walk from his house. Find out more about TTI motorcycle race gearboxes here.