Motorcycle Classics

Sammy Miller’s Flying Ducati 900 SS

Trials legend and former road racer Sammy Miller walked away unhurt from a spectacular crash during the Parade lap that ran before the 2008 Isle of Man Senior TT. The 74-year-old Irishman was riding a Ducati 900 SS as part of Ducati’s celebration of Mike Hailwood’s historic comeback in the 1978 F1TT.

“I came out of the shade as I rounded Waterworks bend and I was blinded by the sun,” explains Sammy. “I just couldn’t see where the road was going and before I knew it I was airborne.”

Sammy landed on heather and gorse bushes, which prevented him from falling down the cliff into the sea below. Neither bike nor rider suffered too many scratches. “Being a trials rider comes in useful some times,” joked Sammy.

Sammy was a works rider for Mondial and was leading the Lightweight TT in 1957 when he dropped his bike at Governor’s Bridge on the last lap. He remounted to finish fifth, and third in the 250cc World Championship.

He’s now back at work at his museum in New Milton, Hampshire, England. When asked what his wife, Rosemary, had to say about his escapade he replied: “Let’s just say the words ‘bloody,’ ‘old’ and ‘fool’ featured in the conversation!”

  • Published on Aug 18, 2008
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