Events: Festival

Gary Johnson on a Triumph at Goodwood Hillclimb

Goodwood 2017: Triumph’s century of speed

Past, present and future perfect

The past, present and future of Triumph became one as former Isle of Man TT winner Gary Johnson made his Goodwood debut in West Sussex, UK, on three bikes built almost a century apart. The two-time Mountain Course winner made his first ever Hillclimb on Tom Simister’s 1927 Triumph TT bike and ended with a ride out on the all new Street Triple RS 675.

His verdict? “They’re stratospheres apart. The 1927 TT wasn’t the easiest bike I’ve ridden in my life because of the hand shift but it was an honour and a pleasure to ride. How they ever managed to ride them at the speeds they did is beyond me.”

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The Simister TT bike took third place in the 1927 TT

Gary’s second Hillclimb in the back garden of Lord March’s estate in West Sussex, UK, was on his own 2017 TT Daytona, before his final run on the new 765 Street Triple.

“I loved every minute of it on my own bike even though I was on cold tyres and the track condition wasn’t great, but I did manage to pull a few wheelies. Really it was all about showing off some special bikes to the crowds,” he says.

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Gary’s Isle of Man TT Daytona 675 R

“As for the Street Triple 765, I love this bike. It’s great fun, has a fantastic engine, a mega chassis and is quite simply an unreal ride. I switched all the rider aids off of course for a few tricks, but they’re there if you want them.”

‘Peaks of Performance’ was the theme this year and featured the usual breadth of brand new machines and classics. Gary says: “It was such a chilled out event that I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It was a privilege to ride a bike that has played such a big part in the history of motorcycle racing.”

Other highlights from the four-day Festival included:

  • Ex-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s achievements were celebrated this year with the traditional sculpture next to Goodwood House – the cars representing the 86-year-old’s five ‘ages’ the sport
  • Triumph’s new Moto2 engine and the 1964 Triumph P1 (Prototype) used to develop the 750cc triple engine platform.
  • A flying car from Dutch maker Pal-V
  • The world’s first driverless electric racing car in the shape of Robocar, the star attraction at the new Future Lab display.