MCN’S 20 QUESTIONS
‘I dropped my W800 on my wife’s foot and broke her toe’ Dutch, Bike Shed founder
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’