Welcome to ‘rider of the month’; a new feature where each month we will be focusing on a current icon in the biking community, January’s is Dean Harrison. That’s all thanks to his birthday, if you were wondering – feel free to guess the rest of them!
Local lad, Dean Harrison was born and bred in Bradford on January 24th 1989. Fortunately for him, riding was in his blood. The ‘Harrison’ name was already known within the community when he first started! Both of Dean’s grandfathers were competitive racers, and one rode sidecars, alike Dean’s dad, Conrad was also a competitive sidecar rider. Conrad often took Dean and his brother Adrian to the Isle of Man TT to watch him compete.
This is where his taste for riding started. Unlike his father, though, Dean wanted to deduct a wheel from his machine and just stick to two. Now, we aren’t too sure what Dean would be like at riding a sidecar, but he’s pretty good on two anyway!
For the Harrison family, things come in threes – this is probably a thing that Conrad started. Adrian Harrison is also a competitive rider; you can take a glimpse of what he’s up to here.
It all started in ‘93…
Well, I tell a lie; for Dean Harrison, it all technically started at the age of 12 when he first took an interest in bikes. But at the age of 4, Harrison took a trip to the Isle of Man for the first time to watch his dad take on Snaefell. To introduce him to riding, his dad used to take him and his first bike (CT50) to a field at the back of Leeds/Bradford Airport.
During his teenage years, Dean claimed his first ‘proper’ bike, a VFR 400, which unfortunately was taken out in an accident with a car. Fortunately for Dean, he was okay, and he used the insurance money to fork out and buy his first race bike; a Honda CBR600.
It wasn’t long after his exciting new purchase that he signed up to start competing in races. The Auto 66 at Elvington being the first one. He didn’t do too badly either, claiming a second place!
TT Time for Dean Harrison… and other things
During the next 4 years, Harrison crammed in all the training he could possibly endure. It wasn’t until 2011 when Dean took on Snaefell for himself. Although he came 12th that year, he was bitten by the bug and continued to take on the mountain until he won in 2014.
It wasn’t just the TT in Dean’s personal ‘hall of trophies’. After making his debut at the ‘British Baby TT’, Oliver’s Mount in 2010, Harrison took on these roads year upon year. In 2016 he broke his own record there, taking 24 race wins and claiming a Gold Cup for the second consecutive year. Harrison also dominated Oliver’s Mount last year. He claimed Gold for the Modern Junior, Classic Superbikes and Barry Sheene cups. Conrad came third in the sidecar races last year too!
Signing with Silicone
Dean Harrison first rose to fame in 2016, ironically, this is when he first signed to Silicone Engineering. The Silicone Rubber Manufacturer founded their racing team in 2007. Their first win was in 2013 with Finnish motorcyclist, Mauno Hermunen. Since Dean joined in 2016, they have never been as successful, completely thriving in every competition and race!
Harrison is a familiar face at the BSB, alongside many other familiar riders, such as Shane Byrne and Peter Hickman.
Do you have a rider in mind for February’s ‘rider of the month’? Give us some ideas below!