‘I was on a Pani­gale, got it hooked up and hit 198mph’ Charley Boor­man p19

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Jor­dan Gib­bons SE­NIOR REPORTER

Q1. What are you rid­ing?

I’ve got a Tri­umph Tiger 800 at home and I’m re­ally ex­cited to get rid­ing again on the new Thrux­ton R. I’ve also got a Kawasaki W650, which I chopped up a few years ago that I’d like to get back on.

Q2. Which liv­ing mo­tor­cy­clist do you most ad­mire?

Ted Si­mon. He was a huge part of why Ewan and I went on our trips. Here was a guy who knew noth­ing about bikes but thought it would be a good idea to ride one. His book, Jupiter’s Trav­els, is in­spi­ra­tional.

Q3. What’s your worst habit?

Smok­ing on a bike. When I was rid­ing in Africa on some long dirt roads I learnt to get the bike up to speed and let go of the throt­tle, then I’d get my cig­a­rettes out and by the time I’d got one and put the packet away, I’d be go­ing slow enough to lean for­wards and light it be­hind the screen. I looked over and one of the guys I was rid­ing with was look­ing at me and ask­ing: “What the f**k are you do­ing?”

Q4. If you could have one su­per rid­ing skill, what would it be?

To be as tal­ented as Valentino Rossi.

Q5. What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone on a bike?

I was in Sepang on a Ducati Pani­gale and I man­aged to hook up quite well on the right-han­der lead­ing onto the back straight and it showed 198mph.

Q6. When was the last time you were scared on a bike?

As I was fly­ing through the air to­wards a brick wall last Fe­bru­ary.

Q7. How many miles have you done in the last year?

Well not many in the last year, but the year be­fore I did about 30,000.

Q8. What’s the high­est mileage you’ve cov­ered in one day?

It was on the Long Way Round and we met this Amer­i­can guy in Mon­go­lia, who asked us to de­liver this pin to his sis­ter. So we rode 700 miles to get there. It was aw­ful, I’d never do it again.

Q9. What ir­ri­tates you most?

Ev­ery­one else.

Q10. You’ve got two weeks off – where are you go­ing?

I would like to do a few more twoor three-day en­duros. I’d string a cou­ple to­gether like the Ro­ma­ni­acs.

Q11. Got one pearl of wis­dom for new rid­ers?

Just be aware that ev­ery­one else on the road can be an id­iot.

Q12. Ever fallen off in a car park (or some­where equally em­bar­rass­ing)?

I was com­ing out of Brands Hatch af­ter a BSB round and it was packed. I man­aged to use my ‘celebrity sta­tus’ to park right in the mid­dle of the track in the paddock area, so I walked up with all my gear on and set off with the disc lock still on. I top­pled over and I was just ly­ing with my hel­met on, as streams of peo­ple walked past say­ing, “Oh, al­right Charley?”

Q13. One in­dis­pens­able item of kit?

Yeah I’ve got some thin deer­skin gloves, like Amer­i­can work­ing gloves and they’re bril­liant.

Q14. Which four peo­ple would you in­vite on a Sun­day blast?

I’d take my friend Roy, Ewan Mcgre­gor, a chap called Paul Bryce and Dutch from the Bike Shed.

Q15. Do you have one tool you couldn’t live with­out?

I travel a lot, so I’ve got a lit­tle punc­ture re­pair kit for plug­ging tube­less tyres.

Q16. Do you ever ad­just your sus­pen­sion?

I do. Preload, damp­ing. I know it… just don’t ask me to ex­plain it.

Q17. Which one of your old bikes would you like to have back?

If I were to look back, I had an old Honda XR600R that I bought as an in­terim bike when I crashed my GSX-R750. I to­tally fell in love with it but I had to sell it to buy an­other. It was a real bitch to start though. You had to sneak up be­hind it and jump on it, but if it knew you there… an­kle breaker.

Q18. What ma­chine would you never buy?

I had a Kawasaki KLX that I just never got on with.

Q19. Which road would you have built on your desert is­land?

There’s a road in Tas­ma­nia that’s about 200km long and it’s just one of the great­est roads you’ll ever come across. It goes from Ho­bart to Stra­han and there’s not a sin­gle straight bit.

Q20. If you ruled the world, what new law would you pass?

I’d make it oblig­a­tory for peo­ple to ride a scooter be­fore they can drive a car.

Ready for the off. Ewan looks one way, Charley looks the other X Ad­ven­turer and all-round good guy Charley Boor­man Wild-haired and sun-scorched, the pair fi­nally reach New York

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