Hey Reddit! I’m Mark Miller and I hold the fastest lap-time by an American at the Isle of Man TT -- an extremely dangerous, high speed motorcycle race around the public roads of a tiny island in the Irish Sea. I'm also a winner of the Isle of Man's TTZero event riding a USA manufactured Team MotoCzysz electric racing motorcycle.

Filmmaker Mark Neale, the creator of popular MotoGP documentaries "Faster" and "Fastest", has released another terrific film titled, "Charge", in theaters NOW through the end of the week. (Visit www.docuramafest.com/charge for more info)

Watch and share the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvmEC-yXPz8&list=PLmjCQE6eNlYFiwZmmnUsmH3j-Id5N7CJw&index=3

Charge follows our American MotoCzysz team as well as other eccentric international competitors as they build the world's first professional hand-made, one-off electric-powered "crotch rockets" then quite unbelievably pit them head to head (with yours truly along for the ride) at the oldest and most deadly race in the history of motor sport.

Watch a clip of me from the film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWdE_HrDFtM&list=PLmjCQE6eNlYFiwZmmnUsmH3j-Id5N7CJw

As fate would have it, and with a very strange twist, it is not myself that carries today the greatest hope for mortal fortunes, but it is instead my young 40-something team owner and chief bike designer Michael Czysz who has just been informed he has cancer. Michael must start chemotherapy immediately and will miss this year's TT race which kicks off in ten days time, on May 26th.


Please feel free to ask me anything! I'll be available live on Wednesday, May 22nd, from 1pm - 3pm EST.

I look forward to speaking with you!


Proof: https://www.facebook.com/ChargeTheMovie?directed_target_id=0

UPDATE: Thanks everyone, it's 11pm here on the Isle of Man I'm off. Hope everyone enjoyed our chat, I did. If you get the chance have a gander at Mark Neale's CHARGE Movie, it's cool I really like it. Night!

Comments: 319 • Responses: 82  • Date: 

tossmeoff48 karma

How do ride comfortably with such massive balls? But seriously, how many times have you thought "This is it. I'm not gonna recover from this speed wobble."?

MarkMillerTT57 karma


Many many ... many times. In the hundreds.

Best policy is to pin the throttle wide open, in my experience. The chassis tend to correct themselves more often than not when it and the wheels are accelerated.

tossmeoff25 karma

Yeah my head tells me I should that most times but then my sphincter takes over and I panic. Kudos to you on your achievements and bravery.

MarkMillerTT20 karma

Thanks dude

drgk8 karma

I also wish to know if the bike has to be modified to accommodate those stones.

MarkMillerTT63 karma

Tiny balls make your dick look bigger.

I heard.

MotoCzysz39 karma

Mark- You will leave the start/finish line 2nd, as McGuinness has opted for #3 and will leave behind you. We think this could be a drafting tactic to draft you to gain on Rutter. You are the master and ONLY rider to draft nearly the 37M lap. What will be your tactic?

You are the BEST Mark and the whole team is rooting for your return to the #1 position this year!


Strategy ideas/games to follow (privately) ;)

MarkMillerTT16 karma

Hey boy!

Well, Michael, that's between you and I!

No, I have given it some thought. I think practice should be used to try a few things. I also think a ride on the bike prior to the practices would be HUGELY helpful. Mountain Road??

Hope you're doing well kid, hugs.

Jeff310429 karma

Have you ridden any of the electric street bikes (Brammo, Zero, etc.)? What do you think of them?

MarkMillerTT65 karma

Jeff I recently rode one of Zero's latest for just a try and loved it. I also did a bit of an extended ride on an older model on the streets of downtown LA and it was really different in a cool way. You twist the throttle and it goes!

A little disconcerting not having the engine noise to alert car pussies that you're splitting lanes up next to them so a few time I could see them get startled. But all in all I could seriously see a Zero or Brammo as an extremely usable short-distance commuter. I'll get one eventually.

One added bonus is many fit young arty types with half a brain seem to be migrating to them socially, so being an early adopter to the zero emissions crowd might kinda give you the option to meet some cool new like-minded people... in my experience.

Juggernaut78-8 karma

Wow, way to push the electric bikes guys! Hey I'm a superstar and someone is giving me money to pitch some shit I'd never dream of owning!!!

MarkMillerTT5 karma

Unhappy people bore happy people.

Reekis23 karma

Do you like cruising/riding regularly? Or has this race taken away the thrill from that?

Also, if you could own 3 bikes for the rest of your life right now. What would they be?

MarkMillerTT31 karma

I ride almost daily just for fun and training in the canyons of Malibu, California, where I live. The only bummer is there are hall monitor tattle-tails (traffic cops) in Malibu, so that's always weighing on my mind.

I'm a fan of the 2003 Yamaha R6, same as the R6s. It does everything well for the bumpy public roads, has more mid-range than modern 600s (smaller pistons and larger crank shaft), and it's seating position is a nice compromise for flat out knee-dragging vrs. commuting in Los Angeles traffic.

I like the Aprilia RSV4, which I'm racing now... And also probably a new Zero electric bike!

Epsilon147211 karma

I'm a fan of the 2003 Yamaha R6, same as the R6s.

Good to finally hear something nice about my bike! I love the R6s. The newer generation tries to be way too "aggressive" for a street bike.

MarkMillerTT9 karma

The race version R6 is amazing on a race track, but for the street I'm with you. :-)

Jeff310419 karma

What were your first thoughts about CHARGE when you saw it? Did you get on well with Mark Neale?

I think the thing that impressed me the most was the speed of innovation. Season one the bikes are limping around, then opening shot for season two is a bike flying by at 100mph +

MarkMillerTT16 karma

Oh my gawd yeah they just continue to improve like nobody's business. It's one thing to say it or think it, but to actually see the finished products, the zero racebikes, physically sitting in front of you then actually RIDING one at 150mph through trees pubs, it's extraordinary what these kids have been able to will into reality. So impressive.

I get on very well with Mark Neale, we meet for a pint or three in Santa Monica every couple weeks. I really like CHARGE. I like the eccentric characters, the documentation of a new technical era, and the story itself of men with visions -- some succeeding and some not. I continue to be proud of being involved in some way.

Passeri_18 karma

I never really get to see what a pit stop is like in the Isle of Man TT on television; how long do they take and what all is done to the bike?

MarkMillerTT14 karma

Pit stops take about 40 seconds -- fuel and a new rear tire for the Superbike races.

The organizers on purpose make the petrol in the refill cans pour very slow and by a gravity feel through a long tube and old school nozzle. This forces the riders to take a short breather (40 seconds) during the stop.

The big races are 6 laps in length with two pit stops, the races lasting almost 2 hours.

thedogs27318 karma

Michael Rutter announced that he's shooting for a 110mph lap on the Motoczysz this year. Any similar goals for yourself?

It's also got to be torture easing up on the drinking while you're getting ready for this year's TT. Thanks for all the entertaining appearances on MotoPod. Nothing funnier than hearing a drunk Mark Miller taking a piss.

MarkMillerTT18 karma

Ha ha, one of our finer moments? :-)

To be fair I probably drink more during the MotoPod recordings than all that week! I blame Jim.

Regarding Rutter's goals, what will be will be. The three top zero bikes that I know of this TT, while including the Mugen, will be ridden as hard as humanly possible. I aim to do the same and if I get my way I'll go faster than the lot. 110mph average? That's a pretty big ask... I kinda doubt it but it is absolutely possible. We'll have to see how much better the Czysz racebike is over last year's, as well as what McGuinness will be given. I haven't ridden out latest MotoCzsyz machine yet, wish us luck!

bunnytrox15 karma

Now what would happen if you ran over a banana at this speed? Would the laws of physics apply or would you pull a tom and jerry and flip?

MarkMillerTT34 karma

Probably about what it feels like to hit a poor little rabbit at 150mph... as long as your pointed relatively straight the bananas just explode. :-)

bunnytrox12 karma

Thats good to know, because roadrunner is really pissing me off when I have to take care of him when he hits one.

MarkMillerTT17 karma


-2WheelsGood-13 karma


HUGE fan. (Finally registered just to get in on the AMA!) Although I’ve never met you, you seem incredibly approachable and down to earth. I greatly enjoy your correspondence with the guys a MotoPod and listening to your behind the scenes take on things like the TT, the Nikon commercial, and riding in general are incredibly entertaining. At the core you seem like a “rider’s rider”. And that makes you very easy to connect with and root for. Your news of Michael Czysz’s diagnosis fall on heavy hearts. Since the C1, he seems in my opinion, to be one of the few people in the motorcycle industry that is truly approaching things with a unique and forward thinking perspective. I can never wait to see what he has come up with next.

My question is in regards to electric vehicles and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. In 2011 Chip Yates set great times on his custom made e-bike (he was the only one). At the time the course was mainly paved although there were still several large dirt sections which slowed him down greatly. He then promptly retired before the following year when the complete course was paved. This year ex-Ducati rider Greg Tracy is riding on the Amarok P1A and as a result Chip Yates has dusted off his bike in the spirit of competition /defending his time. The lack of decreasing engine performance due to the 14,000 ft altitude is a perfect opportunity for e-powered machines to take top honors, and surely the E1PC is at the front of its field. Have there been any talks of MotoCzysz running the bikes in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb?

MarkMillerTT10 karma

Yes there have been a discussion or two about the possibility of entering the MotoCzysz electric machine in Pikes Peak, but it always boils down to 'where do you best spend your limited funds?'

The Isle of Man costs the Czysz team an enormous amount of dough and remains their top focus at present. The TTZero event is such a monumental challenge, I reckon Michael and the boys want to spend their money trying to win the most difficult race to win.

It's probably just a matter of time that they show up in Colorado one of these years. First things first, I guess.

malicioushumor12 karma

Do you like fried chicken ? This is very important to us non riders.

MarkMillerTT12 karma

Um, well fried chicken is about as tasty as it gets, right? But damn it's greasy. Sometimes I wish I could just eat whatever the hell I wanted.

username_000017 karma

How much does diet/fitness factor into your training and preparation? It seems like a 2 hour race at top speed would not only be mentally draining, but extremely physically taxing as well.

MarkMillerTT23 karma

An example of my training today, four days before TT kicks off, I was in the gym for about three hours. Did 80 minutes of cardio on three machines, while watching TT laps on my iPod.. four laps today to be exact. I also did a slew of weights, mostly chest and triceps today as I did back and biceps the last time. Loads of legs, stomach, and lower back. Also forearms and hands. The TT circuit is very very demanding and I reckon safer the more fit you show up.

I eat very well these days, it seems. Just loads of chicken breast, home-made smoothies with carrots, spinach, oranges, apples, all that kind of thing. One of my motivations for eating better these days is I feel I don't want to be taken advantage of by corporates that are selling shit food for profit. I don't want to be their sucker.. so I protest by eating more natural stuff. It so happens I need to be fit for my job too and racing the TT is my number one source of income at present.

baconforallforbacon5 karma

please, tell us about your nutrition! do you do cardio, or just diet to keep your weight at appropriate levels?

MarkMillerTT10 karma

I eat very well these days, it seems. Just loads of chicken breast, home-made smoothies with carrots, spinach, oranges, apples, all that kind of thing. One of my motivations for eating better these days is I feel I don't want to be taken advantage of by corporates that are selling shit food for profit. I don't want to be their sucker.. so I protest by eating more natural stuff. It so happens I need to be fit for my job too and racing the TT is my number one source of income at present.

Nigerian_Prince_12 karma

Hello Mark, I am big fan of motorized bicycles and wish to convey the opportunity to sponsor your riderracing. I have sum of 20 million pound sterling to bring top level chances to your team win world series motorized cycles championships of Man Island. PM for more details in order to complete transaction of sponsor monies. Many humble thanks.

MarkMillerTT10 karma

Not a big fan of money mate..

ValeYellow4612 karma

First off, you are a hero. Anyone who can ride competitively on the TT, let alone win a class, is amazing. Questions:

What are your thought on the MotoGP season so far? Predictions?

Would you like to race in MotoGP? Even if it meant a CRT?

Will Guy Martin ever win a TT and are you guys friends?

Which part of the track is the most difficult in your opinion? I read "Riding Man" and the idea that it can take years to properly learn the track is astounding.

Why do people always wreck in that one spot on Mulholland Drive? I think it's because of the sudden change in camber, but I wonder what a pro would think.

Can I have an autographed helmet? Please? Lol

Thanks :) can't wait to see "Charge"

MarkMillerTT12 karma



Questions: What are your thought on the MotoGP season so far? Predictions?

So so sick. Loving motogp this season! Marques is so fun to watch ride. So many layers to the stories, I can't wait to see Mark Neale's next doc on motogp.

Would you like to race in MotoGP? Even if it meant a CRT?

Of course, but ain't gonna happen now i'm too old and too lazy to chase those kinds of sponsors and connections.

Will Guy Martin ever win a TT and are you guys friends?

Guy and i are acquaintances only. Will he win one? Yep.

Which part of the track is the most difficult in your opinion? I read "Riding Man" and the idea that it can take years to properly learn the track is astounding.

Hmmm, the whole bloody track is complex. A rider pretty much has to use every single thing they've ever learned about riding a motorcycle fast in each lap. The real bumpy bits are the most unusal because you 'hear' certain sections of the tt circuit are 'bumpy', but let me just that these bumpy sections are so bumpy it's simply beyond belief... Reaching 160mph through some of them.

Why do people always wreck in that one spot on Mulholland Drive? I think it's because of the sudden change in camber, but I wonder what a pro would think.

If you mean 'the snake' it's because people are watching... It gives the street guys an audience, they push shit tyres, there are cameramen taking photographs for their websites and for purchase.. Not rocket science to see what the outcome will be! :-)

Better formatting and undid the capslock, no offence intended mark.

MarkMillerTT12 karma

Okay, cool!

mister91411 karma

Any progress on your TT fictional movie? On Motopod, it sure sounded like an exciting and original movie idea!

MarkMillerTT12 karma

Mister Nine, I'm am massaging it as we speak thanks for asking. Following this TT if I survive I have about four (4) months remaining on the Isle of Man to do very little else but finish it.

gconsier10 karma

I would just like to say you rock and you're fearless..

Not to mention rather funny. I actually have the MotoPod you did after you filmed that Nikon commercial on the S1000RR in Chicago (as a Chicagoan we loved that - it was all over the Chicagoland bike communities)

In case anyone wants to check it out (and I am not committing some random act of unintentional piracy) here is a link to the file in my dropbox.

Also I have to name drop our small subreddit dedicated to getting people on the track. We actually have a few resident Irish Road Racers on there. Please check out /r/trackdays sometime if you are free.

Edit: Also thanks for the heads up about Charge. I will look it up. Thanks! Loved Faster and Fastest, have them both on disk.

MarkMillerTT6 karma

Sweet! Thanks and all the best with your bike projects there n Chicago.

sanitiesrequiem1210 karma


MarkMillerTT22 karma

I was sitting 7th place out of 70 starters in 2009 with less than two (2) laps to go after two solid weeks of riding. I had just busted my best ever personal laptime the lap before and I got cocky.

As I approached this strange little 110mph wobbly bit at the crest of a hill, instead of lifting the throttle loads then roll over it slightly on the gas I thought I would try hitting it full throttle. Since you can only try everything once, ya don't really know what's yet possible until ya do it. I tried it, and the Suzuki 1000 underneath me tank-slapped so violently it ripped the bars right out of my hands.

The bike flipped and I went sailing.

I landed on the bike then I guess rolled off it (thank God). I was headed head first on my back and couldn't see shit. That last thing I saw while on the bike was pole directly ahead in the distance. I knew I was going to hit it.

After an eternity of sliding head first blindly towards the pole (the pole was protected by effectively a mattress) the GSXR hit the pole and I missed it.

I slid to a stop maybe 70 yards from where I hit the ground, stood up, checked myself over... and had a small scratch on my thumb.

My expensive race bike was utterly destroyed by the light pole I had just missed by several feet.

Santies, I do not want to top that one.

AlexKnolly8 karma

What the hell is Guy Martin saying?

MarkMillerTT15 karma

Gibberish. Can't understand a word, I always look in the menus for English sub-titles.

Playlikeachamp8 karma

Where are you looking when you come into and exit corners at the TT?

MarkMillerTT19 karma

Young ladies in the crowd?

If not at the fans probably way up the track. I probably look a little less near the front of the race bike because there are so many strange anomalies in the asphalt being it's a public road and really you don't want to know some of the shit your racing over near 200mph at times.

irreverentmama658 karma


MarkMillerTT9 karma

I have not raced in Austin yet, love, nope.

Jason Pridmore's STAR school are good people, there are many many track day / instructional setups out there today. I suggest you pick up a digital or physical copy of Roadracing World and thumb through the schools in that.

Good luck!

TheLargeMan7 karma

When did you realize racing was your passion and do your parents like you riding a bike?

MarkMillerTT12 karma

Big guy, being truthful I think I had a passion for going fast when I was a fetus. Some are born painters, some singers. Some carpenters and some with an innate ability to manipulate machinery, slow then down to then them sharper. It's from birth.

In my experience there also seems to be a range of differences in what some people 'compute' as manageable levels of danger. For me it's always been about the science -- the geometry of the shapes of the corners, the coefficient of friction, available grip, in the tires etc. Back in my short circuit racing days I was better at laying down one solid fast lap in qualifying but then sucked at the actual race itself, the "Racecraft". I was always just happy to be third or second, on the podium with maybe the fastest single lap of the race. Nicky Hayden, John Hopkins, Josh Hayes, Kurtis Roberts... they were the real racers I was just a street squid with a little talent and the ability to weasel into better and better teams. And let me just say, better race bikes make you look better than you are. Ha ha

infosnax7 karma

Is it constantly terrifying to ride at those speeds, or only when you wobble or have a near miss? It is nerve wracking to even watch. Have you ever wrecked, and can you describe it? Thanks, and best of luck.

MarkMillerTT17 karma

The TT circuit is 100% terrifying, if memory serves. Sure there are some more comfortable seconds than others in each lap but on the whole you realize you (literally) have you life in your fingertips each tenth of a second you're on the bikes for two weeks. It's an unusual circumstance, and we all make errors all the time, especially in bike racing.

I crashed at the TT one time, in 2009. Scared the living shit out of me. I missed a pole at 90mph by six feet... my bike hit the same pole and exploded into four separate pieces right next to me, true story. I haven't been the same in the head since. I thought that was it. I was going to die.

Then I didn't. Very surreal.

Grolex7 karma

What type of protective gear do you wear? Is it to the point where if you wipe out then you're just done, or can people still recover as long as they have the gear on?

MarkMillerTT13 karma

I race exclusively with Joe Rocket apparel head to toe. There latest kit is excellent.

On the public roads the protective gear I reckon should give you a fighting chance should you not hit some solid like a 200 year old jagged cobblestone wall or find yourself flying off a cliff at 145mph. Very difficult to survive these incidents, in my experience of seven TTs. I've lost a good number of friends doing this type of racing the past several years and it's real. Tactile, reality. Some dear friends of my have been relegated to hamburger inside their leathers and helmets which makes the lure of this spectacle much less romantic in a hurry, true story.

ValeYellow467 karma

How the heck do you pronounce "MotoCzysz"? :)

MarkMillerTT10 karma



s9oons7 karma

When did you first start riding? Who got you into it?

MarkMillerTT16 karma

Hi, the short version is I asked for a motorbike for every single birthday and Christmas growing up but never got one. Fast forward to high school I started buying used crap to ride the piss out of but hid the from my parents. Then started club racing in college, again hiding that fact from my parents. The day of graduation I had to admit to them after I walked that we all had to jump in a car to catch up with my bike because I had the regional championship on the line and couldn't miss it. So the whole family drove to the club race, I one the race and the championship, and they were please I stuck to who I was all along.. even if behind their backs. Onward to AMA/Pro, Graves Yamaha, Attack, Erion Honda. Got bored, found some fun things to race overseas ever since ..

djnnif6 karma

Was looking into buying my first street bike, what would you suggest?

MarkMillerTT9 karma

Any year Yamaha R6s... you won't regret it.

Be sure it's the "s" model.

jbmass6 karma

Apart from the MotoCzysz, which bikes will you enter this year?

And what are your expectations for all the classes you enter?

Finally, ever thought about entering other road races, such as the Ulster Grand Prix?

Thank you for doing this AMA.

MarkMillerTT11 karma

Hi, I'm also racing this year a nicely prepared Aprilia RSV4 semi-Superbike.

My concern about racing the Ulster or the North West 200 is they are mass starts that will race in the rain. Just not my thing, mate. I've done the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix 14 times now, a road race in China lined in steel Armco as you know, but at least the circuit environment is contained between the walls and they will not race or practice in the wet.

staticfox6 karma

What kind of feeling is it to ride the Isle of Man flat-out? Do you fear it at all or are you incapable of feeling fear like some sort of inhuman robotrider?

MarkMillerTT10 karma

It's beyond belief fast and narly, very very scary. But also an opportunity to negotiate 260 corners PER LAP.

The average speed at Daytona on a Superbike is, what, 101mph or something? The current record at the TT is over 131mph average, as you know.

It's the challenge. And the sense of doing something with real meaning and consequence in this otherwise dumbed down fake low quality world Made In China.

bakkouz6 karma

What are you thoughts on the North Sudan/South Sudan Conflict?

MarkMillerTT29 karma

If this is a serious question I'll answer it by telling the truth -- About five years ago I turned off my television and radios and haven't turned them on for a broadcast of any kind since.

I assume every shit thing in the world is continuing to happen daily, all the best to you.

thatolemountainman6 karma

How does the unecessary risk of death affect your family and friends? What was their initial reaction when you told them about the race?

MarkMillerTT7 karma

It scares everyone.

I don't think most my family or friends knew what it was in 2006 for my first try. Since doing the TT seven times now I think they know more of the what the racers are now and the inherent danger that comes with such an event.

slinky226 karma

Hi Mark! Harry Mallin a/k/a Brammofan here. (please give my regards to Michael - I know he'll triumph over this like the champ he is). I wanted to ask you about your predictions for electric motorcycles and electric motorcycle racing - what can we expect in the next 5 years? The next 15 years? Big fan of you, Mark!

MarkMillerTT12 karma

Hi Slinky, thanks!

With hand on heart I believe the two-wheeled electrics both on and off the race track are going to steadily grow and grow and grow. Once a person rides an electric for the first time and for any decent length of time, they are so fun! So different without the noise and vibrations, like holding onto the back of a seagull that's soaring three feet off the ground. I can't see this scheme not taking off -- being propelled forward with seemingly no mechanical effort -- once the word truly gets out in a broad sense.. it's inevitable.

Lycurgan5 karma

Dammit I read this as Marissa Miller and got really excited.

MarkMillerTT8 karma

Sorry dude!!

AlrightStopHammatime4 karma

How often do you have to polish those balls of steel?

MarkMillerTT11 karma

Ask my lady? Two times a day, if you're really interested.

tungsten_md4 karma

Range being equal, do you prefer combustion or electric now?

MarkMillerTT5 karma

I still prefer an ICE, but the two schemes are so vastly different I want to continue both separately.

The gas stuff just has such superior range at the moment.

tungsten_md2 karma

Thanks Mark! Best of luck at the TT! You all that ride the TT are heroes!

MarkMillerTT2 karma

Thank you very much

mister9144 karma

How's your French?

MarkMillerTT16 karma

Ha ha, shit! I can say Kisses, Goodnight, Give Me Some Lovin' Sexy, and that's about it. What else would one really need in the end?

artegos4 karma

how do you possibly prep for the TT as an American. Do they close the course for practice multiple times during the year or is it only in the few weeks before the TT.

also what kind of cancer is csysz fighting and what's the prognosis? The man is amazing and it would be awful if motorcycling lost him so soon.

MarkMillerTT5 karma

Hi, not sure what kind of cancer Michael has only that about six months of treatment has begun.

I ride the public roads of Malibu loads and loads to stay fresh and on occasion enter various racing around the world including Endurance World Championship roads, British Superbike, Thundersport GB, Macau Gp, etc.

There is a whole week of TT practice before the races kick off each year at the TT, as well.

Doctor-Obvious4 karma

I doubt you'd be able to honestly answer this, but I'll ask anyway.

Have you ever been in a situation where you were being pulled over and KNEW you could outrun the police, but didn't?

Have you ever been in one where you did? (That's the more curious question) :)

Thanks man! You're a legend!

MarkMillerTT15 karma

Me riding a sport bike on a public road and pulling over for a traffic dork (cop) in a sedan, BMW, Kawasaki, or Harley -- is like a leopard being asked by an elephant to stand still so he can squish him with his foot. It's unnatural.

I've pulled over a few times, sure. But I've also run a few times and it's the scariest thing in the world because above all else you don't the traffic dork (cop) to kill himself trying to show you how well 'trained' he was at the traffic dork academy.

I hate traffic dorks with every molecule of my body. Not police men and women, gotta love them, but full-time traffic dorks who enjoy being cocks and hurting strangers financially for no good reason, eight hours a day five days a week.

Rant over.

Doctor-Obvious2 karma

Thank you for your response. I was wondering about that! Follow up question, if you have the time:

Have you ever unsuccessfully tried getting away from a traffy dork? How did that play out?? Are you afraid they will see your plates? Motorcycle cherries annoy the hell out of me. They look like pissed-off wasps cruising down the interstate, and they never say anything other than "Here's your ticket. Bye." It's like they have the personality of a rock.

MarkMillerTT5 karma

I ran once but not for long enough and got caught. I pulled over into a complex to hide and they slowed down and searched for me, that was me caught. Got a DUI out of it for my trouble, too which in Southern California they hand out like parking tickets. For most the years I've had a driving license I've kept dealer plates on my vehicles.

Moabalm3 karma

I've always wanted to know, and seeing as you seem to ride regularly on the street, what's your opinion on the best street tyre at the moment? And more importantly, where do you see tyre technology for particularly demanding courses (IoM, Northwest 200) going?

MarkMillerTT5 karma

My personal tyre choice for sport bikes on the roads is Michelin. Depending on the time of year ie temperature, rain, etc, I choose the most aggressive (least tread, hardest) possible for the condition.

Regarding race track tires, all I can say is the race tires are improving so much every year it ogles the mind.

My preferred race tires are still English-made Dunlops but the Pirellis have come a long way.

RYBOT30003 karma


MarkMillerTT8 karma

Hmmm, I would say most modern "Superbikes" should be able to kiss 200mph.

Heck, many stock 1000cc sport bikes can nearly reach that velocity, the Kawasaki and BMW, for example.

NvgtrWiggles3 karma

What is it like working with Motoczysz? Did you ever get a chance to ride the C1, and if so what was it like? I understand that the two are completely different experiences, but do you find yourself having a preference towards the electric bike or the more conventional? I have a lot of admiration for Michael Czysz, and I'm sorry to hear about the recent news.

MarkMillerTT9 karma

I have not had the privilege to ride MotoCzysz' MotoGP prototype.

I love working with Michael and the boys, really unusually cool and smart crowd. We scribble shit down on napkins, charts and graphs and the like, and Chris about all excited about the technology and it's potential to tear up that 38 mile TT circuit with their latest hand-made one-off weapons.

I am so, so very lucky to be a part of this... feels kinds like being a test pilot for fighter jets some times, one of my other career path desires.. I even went to university for five years along those lines. But yeah, super smart cool team to work with.

notProfCharles3 karma

What's it like going 200+mph?

MarkMillerTT11 karma

My bikes typically top out at between 197mph - maybe 202mph? Most importantly, anything over 180mph feels FOOKING FAST.

True story.

brickonwheels1 karma

With that in mind, what is the fastest you have traveled on a motorcycle, either at the track or not?

MarkMillerTT2 karma

I'm guessing between 202-204mph based on gearing and rpm. That's unusually quick, they usually stop pulling or run out of race track around 197mph, 198mph in my experience. The MotoGP bikes are eclipsing 200mph more often then ever, aren't they. I've heard 209mph read from the computer of one Superbike at the TT once, 207mph a different time. These were not my race bikes, however, and to be fair the top speeds are only kissed for a couple seconds a lap and do not make the biggest difference in besting your laptimes over, say, a better handling motorcycle..

lskyw3 karma

Do you feel the TT Zero is looked down upon by fans, journalists or other riders? Also, do you believe safety at the TT can be improved without changing the whole event? Will we ever have no deaths at the TT?

MarkMillerTT6 karma

'I' no longer see or hear any Negative Nancy's toward the TTZero race. On the contrary, now once pissy marque riders are trying to get rides on one.

There also seems to be a completely separate new following that are exclusively fans of electrics, so it kinda feels like there are more fans of that event than ever.

SatanicAng3L3 karma

The biggest issue I have with electric bikes is that I feel that they will not stir anything in my soul with the lack of exhaust noise. Being that I've never actually ridden an electric, how does it compare to an IC bike?

MarkMillerTT6 karma

Since I haven't ever raced an electric on a short circuit I don't actually know how they feel on a proper race track.

On the TT circuit which is 38 miles in length we have to ride the electrics about half throttle the whole distance in order to finish the 38 miles.

But it's a surreal feeling to ride, maybe more fun than to watch and listen to.

The electrics are a different game, not modern roadracing we all love but with a different motor scheme. They really are, for me, a different sport.

I like both.

scoutycat3 karma

1) What's your favorite track? 2) How do you overcome the fear and keep going? Do you just love the fear, or are there tricks?
3) What's the most damaged you have been and still driven? My husband works safety at the local track, and he's always telling me the bike guys are constantly dodging medical and trying to ride with broken bones, dislocations etc.

MarkMillerTT3 karma

Hi, my favorite race track has to be the Isle of Man circuit, nothing compares with it's average high speeds and high numbers of corners per lap. Plus the sensation of speed is so much greater as everything whizzing by your helmet is so much closer than at normal race tracks.

If you can physically operate the motorcycle once it's rolling you'll typically race, in my experience :-)

MarkMillerTT2 karma

Finally, fear is not the cool part for me, it sucks. Some say fear let's you know you're alive but I hate it. I think.

MarkMillerTT3 karma

Thanks everyone, it's 11pm here on the Isle of Man I'm off. Hope everyone enjoyed our chat, I did. If you get the chance have a gander at Mark Neale's CHARGE Movie, it's cool I really like it. Night!

EsbenT3 karma

I don't usually ask questions in AMAs, but since I'm a huge motorsports fan I can't pass this one up. First off, good on you for performing so well at the Isle of Man!

Are you familiar with Riding Man by Mark Gardiner? I think it's an amazing account of what it must be like to scout out the circuit and partake in the TT. If you per chance have read the book or actually know Gardiner personally, would you say that you identify with his story?

Have you met any of the big guns i.e. Guy Martin, John McGuinness, Martin Finnegan, and spoken with them? What is your perception of them? I think they are nuts, and also really cool dudes. Are you also a really cool dude? I assume so :p

MarkMillerTT4 karma

I have not read the book you mentioned so I'm sorry I can't comment on it, I met the author once or twice though.

I've spoken with Guy and Martin of course before he was killed but I have more history and friendship with John. We've been racing at Macau in China together since the late 1990's.

My impression of these people are clear -- extremely smart, witty, funny, love life, love to laugh, competent, driven. McGuinness and Guy Martin are worlds apart in many ways, Guy is Guy, John is one of the boys.

There seems to be a special twinkle in the eye of every good real roads racer, in my experience. They just aren't normal, much more laid back with regard to what's really important in life and what is not. You cannot fake the TT, it's life or death and matters to you and everyone who loves you. There seems to me to be loads of importance placed on unimportant things in this day in age and allegiances given to these silly things by a certain percentage of people around us. Racing 175mph on a motorcycle between poles trees cliffs pubs schools and steel walls brings with it a reality check that maybe could only be alternatively found in the trenches of a serious war, where you or those around you can and do bite it often and often horrendously. Anyway, these racers some I know very well are special in that they ask for life to grace them with the true feeling of mortality, I guess. After racing the TT for two weeks I feel like I'm walking on a cloud an inch off the ground. It's peaceful having survived it.

HeftyDanielson3 karma

What was it like for you riding round the IoM TT track for the first time in anger, comparing it to your other AMA/Pro rides? As a Manx-man I ride/drive the track daily on my commute and can only imagine what it is like a full speed. (Mad Sunday runs don't count)

MarkMillerTT4 karma

To be honest, the first time I got to ride the TT course in anger I was grinning from ear to ear. I could not believe I made that dream come true. It's so fast and flowing and fun and unending. Violent yes, scary yes, but especially in your first year you don't care as much about results so you just some it all in. I loved it mate. Still do, can't wait until Monday..

TheMagnificentBoner3 karma

What's your opinion on 4-wheel racing?

MarkMillerTT7 karma

I don't watch any, to be fair. But I'm sure there's something of interest to be had... and I'm getting older fast, might have to look towards 4 wheel racing a little for a grin.

I aim to race some rally before I die.

Stofficer23 karma

Any advice for getting to the tt and racing it? I live on the east coast (fl) and have been intensely pursuing my passion for racing. I have an extremely supportive wife. Im 22 and my current boss raced the tt three times in the late 80s. Im extremely confused when it comes to the licence. How did you obtain yours. I have my CCS race licence.

MarkMillerTT10 karma

My advice is to kiss your wife and pursue a different, more safer dream. I'm sure you have others.

If that doesn't persuade contact the Isle Of Man government offices and inquire about an entry. For info, I hear they turn down most who apply for an entry for the TT. Apparently of the hundred or so that are given entries each year hundreds are turned away. It's simply too dangerous I guess to grant everyone with a bucket list a try. It's serious serious business and I would genuinely consider focusing on a different goal.

Having said this, do only what you must... is one opinion.

RockVegas2 karma

What kind of strength training or physical conditioning do you have to do for such a career? People seem to think that these bikes just glide themselves along, meanwhile there's a huge physical strain on the rider.

MarkMillerTT3 karma

Today four days before TT practice starts I did 80 minutes of cardio on three machines about another hour and half of weights.. Today was chest, triceps, stomach, lower back, and certain low altitude leg squats that simulate the long times spent bouncing up and down off the seat during TT.

Thanks for asking, yeah the big bikes are hard work, no ballet here.

viffers2 karma

What is your favorite section of the TT and what is the scariest part?

Which TT rider would you want to hang out with for a week straight if you had to choose?

Is Guy Martin really that hard to understand in real life?

MarkMillerTT4 karma

Viffers, I'm trying to think what's my most and least favorite bits of the track but can't seem to nail anything down. I love and kinda hate all of it, to be honest.

I like Bruce Anstey and his wife, Gary Johnson, David Johnston, Paul Shoesmith, Brandon Cretu the American.

I don't understand Guy in person or on film.

Challenge_Considered2 karma

How hard is it to juggle "I need to win this" and "this is a one-off bike?" Do you see red once you hit the track but go as fast as you non-recklessly can?

When you buy a street or track bike, what is the first modification you have to have on it?

MarkMillerTT4 karma

It's strange when you first jump off your own racebikes and onto an organized team. You think, "Ah shit, I don't need to worry about crashing this thing 'cause I ain't paying for it and they'll just replace whatever I damage." Then you get the professional ride and realize it was much easier to crash your own kit because it was yours. These boys work very hard often as full time jobs to make your racebike perfect... You feel SO bad when you crunch them up. Having said this, they don't want to work all year on your race bike for you to then go slow on it. And everyone knows their is crashing in our sport.. There is def a fine line there between try and don't crash.

1) Fresh new tires, 2) Ohlins steering damper, 3) steel braided brake lines..

justintt1232 karma


MarkMillerTT5 karma

My advice is not to race it, far too dangerous.

ThrobbingWetHole2 karma

I am fast with TTs as well, but only when I motorboat

MarkMillerTT4 karma

What does TT stand for in boat racing then? My father is a huge Unlimited Hydroplane fan..

Jungle_Buddy932 karma

What is it like going 200 mph

MarkMillerTT5 karma

I think mostly, true story, about how fast the gain is spinning down by my left foot. It's really is fast, you're pushing so much wind up near and beyond those speeds that I've often wondered if you could physical hold on to the bars if you abruptly sat up into the wind with out being under braking. It's quick quick... To be fair things start getting serious about 180mph in my experience. Things change about 180mph.

coferj2 karma

Do you TT riders have to specially design the cockpit of your bikes to accommodate your uncharacteristically huge balls? (figured another ball question was in order)

Seriously, though...after watching you guys run the circuit, I have to pull the couch fabric out of my ass when I stand.

MarkMillerTT8 karma

On board the bike is one thousands times more real than watching a onboard lap on Blu-Ray, which I do a couple times a day.

The TT circuit is mental. More than you might think. Mental.

It's stupid, really. Insanity. But so very fast and such a challenge.

I've done a few things in my life, including flying, but nothing nothing can compare to the TT. It's just mental.

SatanicAng3L2 karma

The biggest issue I have with electric bikes is that I feel that they will not stir anything in my soul with the lack of exhaust noise. Being that I've never actually ridden an electric, how does it compare to an IC bike?

MarkMillerTT5 karma

Since I haven't ever raced an electric on a short circuit I don't actually know how they feel on a proper race track. On the TT circuit which is 38 miles in length we have to ride the electrics about half throttle the whole distance in order to finish the 38 miles. But it's a surreal feeling to ride, maybe more fun than to watch and listen to. The electrics are a different game, not modern roadracing we all love but with a different motor scheme. They really are, for me, a different sport. I like both.

ShitOnTheWayToWork2 karma

Do you have any advice to the younger generation that looks up to you and wants to get into the MotoGP and TT scenes?

MarkMillerTT9 karma

I would say forget about TT, too dangerous.

But MotoGP is possible if you and your parents dedicate their lives to the kid reaching that goal. I've seen it several times now, personally.

The kid has to have talent, of course, also helps if they can speak well for themselves, has a brain, and desires NOTHING but to reach the goal.

It's a choice, in my experience. Those who make it don't talk about how, they simply go racing and do not stop until you get there.

Try and race something every weekend. Sell the house, by a crappy van and drive to another club races then another. Dirt track helps enormously.

Race, race, race, give personal gifts to every sponsor along the way. Act professionally and focused at all times (that means dad and mom too), then ride like the wind.

Race to win, to just 'do well for the bike we have', or such nonsense.

There is no one set way to become a professional racer, do it your own way. Own it, make it yours.

Do not stop for any reason.

It's a decision, not a lofty unobtainable dream.

AnotherDriver2 karma

Hey! It is a pleasure being able to interact with you. I must say that you have balls of steel. Being able to ride in excess of 250km/h into a blind corner that crests must be exhilarating. I can't even imagine the thought process as both wheels lift and your peripheral vision goes all fuzzy.

Anyways to my question!

What are your thoughts about the Cafe Racer culture and people re-imagining bikes to their own liking? (Example provided).


I would also like to give a shout to your esteemed colleague for his unfortunate situation. Ride, Drive and Live.

MarkMillerTT5 karma

Wow, those are some seriously cool looking motor bikes, so meticulously kept, so uniquely styled.

Love it, thanks for the note.

Bear_Grillz1 karma

What's your best time at the Dragon?

MarkMillerTT2 karma

The Dragon?

MarlesBarkley1 karma

I hope I'm not late too late! Thanks for the ama!

How did you get your start racing superbikes?

Also, how scary is the Isle of Man when you are whipping through those little towns at unbelievable speed?

MarkMillerTT3 karma

In short, I hid motorcycles from my parents until the day I graduated from college and had to rush from the ceremony (with family in tow) to win a regional championship. From there I paid to go AMA/Pro racing for one year, got picked up by Suzuki, then a bigger Suzuki team, then Graves Yamaha, Attack, Erion Honda, etc. But this was a long time ago, been enjoying racing abroad for many years now, the Isle of Man TT being one of my favorites.

Riding the circuit through the public roads are beyond belief fast. Very violent, and very scary. Extraordinary fun and nerve racking at the same time as its so dangerous.

Thanks for the note

blinkingrocker1 karma

What is the worst injury you have sustained while riding?

MarkMillerTT2 karma

Twisted my foot around nearly 360 degrees, my tib fib looked like a candy cane. After healing my right leg is now 1in. shorter than my left, true story, aargh. Sucks..

MagicalCanoe1 karma

Do you ride ACH/GMR (Angeles Crest Highway/Glendora)? Do you prefer Mulholland/Malibu over them?

What bikes do you own/ride in the canyons? I'm sure we've crossed paths before on Mulholland.

MarkMillerTT5 karma

I love the Crest but since moving to Calabasas I never make the trek out to Pasadena very often.

I leave my garage and hit, among others, Stunt, Piuma, up the Snake, down Latigo, up Mulholland, and come back the same way to the house. One tank of gas, 120 miles, R6, happy boy.

LoL_bsims1 karma

Are you featured in this video? its the road warriors video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU-ynRoqDEs

MarkMillerTT3 karma

I'll have a look at it when I get a moment.

CBR6131 karma

Hello Mark, fairly new rider ( only 2 years experience ) but absolutely adore cruising on 2 wheels. I have a near unbelievable amount of respect and admiration for pro riders (TT, MotoGP, and dirt riders) every video I watch I'm left in awe at their ability to control these beasts.

I would consider it an honor if you could do your best to describe what it feels like rocketing through the TT course at 200+MPH ?

huge fan best of luck and keep the rubber side down.

MarkMillerTT2 karma

Typically we're shy of 200mph for all but one or two places but there are many places still that are flat out on a 1000cc Superbike and yes it's violent, scary, bumpy, tunnel vision, physical, but above all it very very fast.

Hard to describe only that you don't blink a lot through different bits of the track, total concentration because a lot of times at the higher speeds you must turn the bike before you get on top of the corner you're turning... at.

You cannot make many mistakes or it's your ass and often you're threading needles between sidewalks and the like.

It's a big puzzle, really. Trying to paint the perfect painting of the landscape over and over again starting with a fresh canvas at the beginning of each lap, being scored by the stop watch for your best interpretation of how best manipulate yourself and bike for its combined weight, traction, acceleration, braking, etc.

Most of the time you're trying to be perfect, perfectly efficient. A greater average speed is the result of your hard work, ability, and machine.

grandmastapoop1 karma

Do you personally have health insurance and if yes, who pays for it?

MarkMillerTT4 karma

For this TT event American must be loaded up well with insurance in the event we got hurt. Since its social medicine here in the UK their taxes pay for their insurance, but as an expatriate I must have extra insurance which is paid for by multiple sources.

ETL4nubs1 karma

Hey Mark! How do you feel about everyday riders riding stretched / lowered bikes? I am from NorthEast USA and there are TONS of curved roads that are fun to corner (I ride an 09 R1). Do you also feel like it is a waste for everyday riding to do these things to a bike? Thanks.

MarkMillerTT4 karma

Hi, for me to each their own. Bikes are fun, enjoy what you enjoy I reckon. I'm not a big wheelie stunt or drag guy myself but I'm damn impressed when see some of the boys doing amazing things on their own bikes.

Take care

kristianwithak1 karma

First off I think your extremely talented and dedicated so keep doing what you love. Second of all, what tips would you give to someone who wants to have a career/life in some aspect of the auto/moto racing world?(not a racer specifically but anything really).Aside from my great passion for auto and moto racing and nice valleys close to my house to attack, I have no real experience as my parents could never afford go karts or minibikes. I personally believe I have a good knowledge on how most of the mechanical components work on a performance vehicle but again, I have no real experience . Im leaving for the military in 2 months so from your experience what are some things you suggest I work on if trying to make a living in "the industry"? Thanks, Kristian.

MarkMillerTT4 karma

Broadly answered, for me, if everyone did what they were good at the world would turn and be a happy place. Do what you love, forget about money, you don't need much.

Be in control of yourself, work for other's dreams (a job) as a final temporary solution, work for yourself at all cost. You'll get there, starve for a few years and do what your born good at.

Most the mechanics in MotoGP are highly educated. There are many schools to train (race) mechanics.

Make a decision not a dream. Just 'do' whatever you aim to do and don't stop until you arrive. It's not complicated.

One opinion.. hope that helps if only a little

Cabagekiller1 karma

Asking for myself here. I just started riding what tips do you have for a beginner biker? I have a Suzuki gs450 now but want a gsxr600 eventually. Would love to hear your tips. Thanks man.

MarkMillerTT2 karma

Keep fresh tires on your bike above all things. When they wear funny, say before you got faster, the contact patch can be hindered at higher lean angles. Think of your tires like gasoline, keep throwing new ones at your bike it's part of the hobby.

Secondly, just ride and ride and ride, learn it for yourself. Where leathers whenever possible, trust me you'll be glad you had them on if you happen to take a spill and taking a spill once in a whole is also part of this hobby, it happens and not a big deal.. if your wearing leathers.

esstwokay1 karma

You people are insane. Iv been watching isle videos for years. I can't begin to imagine the adrenalin rush it had to be.

I love what you do, keep kickin ass.

MarkMillerTT2 karma

Thank you, I love the videos too. I prefer the lines from Cameron Donald over all others, on the whole.

petworth1 karma

Just gonna leave this pic from Laguna Seca 2011 here.

MarkMillerTT2 karma

Cool pic

snootsatwork1 karma

Hey Mark, I'm a huge fan of MotoCzysz, and it's a huge bummer to hear that Mike has cancer. :(

I'm at work, and having trouble thinking of good questions for you right now, but I do have one request! I work for a SolidWorks reseller, and I would love to have a desktop wallpaper showing a rendering of your bike in SolidWorks with the SolidWorks logo. I know you guys used it pretty extensively to design the bike, and it would be awesome to be able to use that on my work computers!

Keep on being awesome!

MarkMillerTT3 karma

Drop a note to the MotoCzysz contact on their website?? They should be able to help you out with that.