How TT winner escaped London scooter scum after scary chase
Ex-racer Mat Oxley escapes scooter scum after chase
‘My local copshop been sold off for posh flats’ MAT OXLEY
Ialways thought that when I was put in the situation of someone stealing my bike, I’d just stop and give them the keys, but when you’re actually faced with that choice, you make very different decisions.”
It seemed like it was a fairly normal London day for 1985 250 Production TT-winner and former MCN road tester and GP reporter Mat Oxley: “I was at the gym, working on sorting out a few old racing injuries when I saw a youth checking out my Yamaha TMAX. At first, I thought he was just looking at it, but I could see that he was mucking about with it. All the time he was on his mobile and quickly I worked out what he was doing. He was on the phone getting reinforcements so they could steal it.”
Yamaha TMAXs are the weapons of choice for scooter gangs in London, because they’re as easy to ride as any twist-and-go but they’ll do 110mph and can carry lots of power tools under the seat. The fact that they’re brilliant as practical transport in London is why the criminals want them, too. Mat said: “I ran out as fast as I could. When I got there, I could see that my glovebox lock had been screwdrivered. Although the TMAX is keyless, it has a secondary ignition switch under there, which they were trying to get at. “I got on the bike as fast as I could and rode off pretty rapidly, cutting through the traffic and filtering pretty hard. But when I looked in my mirrors a scooter was right there. He must have been going like hell. It was then that I made the choice to flee; I didn’t know if I was going to face a knife or an acid attack.
“So I went for a narrowing gap between a car and the bus. It was tight, but the scooter chasing me couldn’t make it. I ended up turning down a street near my house through some twisties as quick as I could and the scooter was gone. I didn’t go out on my bike again for a few days.” Oxley later tweeted that he had to go into “full TT mode” to get away. He said: “It’s made me reassess how I think about motorcycle security. We need to look after ourselves as there are so few police on the streets. I live in London, but the nearest police station is over two miles away; that’s a huge distance these days. My local cop-shop has been sold off to become a block of posh flats.”
MCN tester had success at the TT Theft attempt has made ex-racer very wary