MCN’S 20 QUES­TIONS

‘I dropped my W800 on my wife’s foot and broke her toe’ Dutch, Bike Shed founder

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents - By Jor­dan Gib­bons MCN SE­NIOR RE­PORTER

Q1. What are you rid­ing?

I’ve got four cur­rent rides, but my main one is a new Thrux­ton. Un­til that, I was rid­ing a T100 that’s been heav­ily mod­i­fied by Down & Out Café Racers. It’s got an in­ap­pro­pri­ately fat 16in front wheel with big tyres and ex­tra wide yokes. It’s all ti­died up with af­ter­mar­ket switches, con­trols, ig­ni­tion. Ev­ery­thing’s been changed ex­cept the en­gine re­ally.

Q2. Which liv­ing mo­tor­cy­clist do you most ad­mire?

Valentino Rossi – I’m just a to­tal fan boy.

Q3. What’s your worst rid­ing habit?

Maybe I’m a bit rude. I’ve been rid­ing for years in Lon­don, so I do have a slightly grandiose sense of right of way. If some­one leaves a gap, I’ll have it.

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

Be­ing able to tell the fu­ture.

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

It was on the straight at Alme­ria, Spain, on a KTM RC8R and I pinned the throt­tle to the stop but I daren’t look down at my speed. I held it un­til I s**t my­self and had to slam on the brakes.

Q6. When were you last scared on a bike?

It was prob­a­bly that time on the RC8R when I was rid­ing with peo­ple who were much bet­ter than I was. I prob­a­bly put it in the gravel three times.

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

Prob­a­bly about 4000-5000 miles.

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

About 490 miles when I picked up my Paul Smart Du­cati. I had to pick it up from Bel­gium, then ride to Brus­sels to get the pa­per­work be­fore bring­ing it home.

Q9. What ir­ri­tates you on a bike?

Dan­ger­ous road users.

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

I’d quite like to ride across Amer­ica. I’d love to do a big Canada-amer­i­caMex­ico tour be­cause North Amer­ica is so weird. It’s more ex­otic than peo­ple re­alise.

Q11. Got one pearl of wis­dom for new rid­ers?

Imag­ine you are in­vis­i­ble and make no sound - and ride like no-one is aware of you at all.

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

I was wheely­ing my W800 flat tracker into the pits at Dirt Quake and dropped the bike in front of every­one. Not only that I dropped it on my wife’s foot and broke her toe. Be­cause I was so em­bar­rassed, I was very un­gentle­manly about it and my name was mud for ages. Still is, re­ally!

Q13. One in­dis­pens­able item of kit?

My Davida Speedster hel­met. I’ve loved them for years and this is the third one I’ve had.

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

I’d in­vite my wife, Ross our Bike Shed web ed­i­tor, Gareth who runs the Bike Shed shop and Ian, an early in­vestor in the Bike Shed.

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

Erm, a roll of gaffa tape prob­a­bly.

Q16. Do you ever ad­just your sus­pen­sion?

Yeah, I do ac­tu­ally. Not be­cause I know any­thing about it, but be­cause I know it makes a dif­fer­ence. When­ever I get a bike tuned, I would never get an en­gine tuned with­out the sus­pen­sion too.

Q17. If you could have one of your old ma­chines back, which would it be?

My KTM 950SM be­cause it had the best en­gine, good fu­elling, good sus­pen­sion. You could use it for ev­ery­thing.

Q18. What bike would you never buy?

I had a KLR650 that was just ter­ri­ble.

Q19. Which road (or track) would you have built on your desert is­land?

The B1056 to Finch­ing­field but with­out the houses built on it, or any of the traf­fic.

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

I’d pass a law that free­dom is ab­so­lute, as long it doesn’t im­pinge on other peo­ple’s free­dom!

‘I pinned it un­til I s**t my­self and then slammed on the brakes’

Dutch set up Bike Shed and loves a good cus­tom Chunky-tyred T100 spe­cial by Down & Out Dutch’s W800 takes per­son­al­i­sa­tion to a whole new level

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