Noel Pope was a British racing motorcyclist who achieved significant success in the 1920s and 1930s. He was born on May 18th, 1909, in Bristol, England. Pope is most famously associated with Brough Superior, the high-performance motorcycles that he rode to many victories throughout his career.
Pope began racing in the mid-1920s and quickly established himself as a talented and determined rider. He gained national attention in 1927 when he set a new record for the fastest lap at the Brooklands circuit, achieving an average speed of 115.77 mph. This achievement helped to propel him to the forefront of the British racing scene.
Throughout the 1930s, Pope continued to compete at the highest level of motorcycle racing, winning numerous races and setting several speed records. In 1932, he won the prestigious Senior TT at the Isle of Man, considered one of the most difficult and challenging races in the world. He also set a new record for the fastest lap at the Ulster Grand Prix in Northern Ireland, achieving a speed of 88.53 mph.
Pope's success was not without its challenges, however. He suffered several serious accidents during his career, including one in 1936 that left him with a broken leg and forced him to retire from racing temporarily.
In September 1949, after the war, there was an attempt to break the world land speed record on a streamlined Brough Superior motorcycle at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA. This ambitious venture was partially supported by Comerfords of Thames Ditton, his local motorcycle dealership. However, due to a high-speed crash during the attempt, it had to be abandoned. The motorcycle had been previously used for the Brooklands record.
Despite these setbacks, he continued to compete and remained a prominent figure in the British racing community.
Noel Pope died in 1971, aged 61, and left an indelible mark on the world of motorcycle racing and his achievements continue to inspire riders to this day.