MCN’S 20 QUES­TIONS

‘We need to get rid of that silly speed­ing law don’t we?’ Simon Pavey, Dakar star

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

Q1. What are you rid­ing?

I’ve got a BMW GS Ral­lye that I use for the BMW Off-road school. Last year I was us­ing the 800GSA. Ev­ery­one knows the 1200GSA is the daddy but I re­ally en­joyed the 800 as I’ve had a few back prob­lems the last cou­ple of years and it’s quite a bit lighter.

Q2. Which liv­ing mo­tor­cy­clist do you most ad­mire?

I’m such a Dakar fan that it has to be Toby Price. I know Sam [Sun­der­land] won it this year, but Toby is such a fan­tas­tic all-rounder. He’s won so much stuff in so many dis­ci­plines.

Q3. What’s your worst habit?

Los­ing the keys to my bike.

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

I wish I’d grown up rid­ing tri­als. When you see the guys who are good in ev­ery dis­ci­pline, they al­ways started in tri­als. I started in motocross, so I just don’t have those tech­ni­cal skills of hop­ping the wheels around.

Q5. What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone two wheels?

120mph off-road. That must count for some­thing.

Q6. When were you last scared on a bike?

Last week ac­tu­ally – I was in a tankslap­per just be­fore I face­planted into the ground. I caught a lit­tle rut in the ground and the next thing I was up­side down. I’ve just had the stitches out.

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

I don’t know. Off-road we count hours, rather than miles.

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

That would be on the Dakar in Africa – in the early days we used to have 800-mile stages.

Q9. What ir­ri­tates you most?

Noth­ing. One of the great things about mo­tor­cy­cling is that it takes all that stuff away. The ir­ri­ta­tions are the things that stop you rid­ing.

where are you go­ing?

Por­tu­gal. The rid­ing is fan­tas­tic and we’re still dis­cov­er­ing new trails ev­ery year.

Q11. Got one pearl of wis­dom for new rid­ers?

Be pa­tient and let the learn­ing come to you. Don’t ex­pect to be able to do ev­ery­thing straight away.

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

Dakar in 2003, when it was still down through Europe be­fore you got to Africa, you’d ride down the French roads, The French loved Dakar, so ev­ery time you went un­der a bridge or toll there would be thou­sands cheer­ing for you. Any­way, I pulled into a toll on my Dakar bike, lost my foot­ing and fell against the booth, which trapped me un­der the bike and jammed the horn on. The guy had to come out of the booth to get the bike off me.

Q13. Do you have one in­dis­pens­able item of kit?

My Kli­makom­fort wa­ter­proof is es­sen­tial in Wales. Peo­ple for­get that when the weather is s**t, if you’ve got good kit, you can still en­joy rid­ing.

would you in­vite on a blast?

One of the things I’m very lucky to have is the chance to ride a lot with my son Llewe­lyn. In fact, I’m lucky to have the whole Off Road Skills crew, so it would be those guys.

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

I have a lit­tle 1/4in drive socket set that has been my go-to tool­kit for ev­ery Dakar I’ve en­tered. I’ve changed an en­gine in the mid­dle of the dunes with that kit.

Q16. Do you ad­just your sus­pen­sion?

Yes, but I’m not su­per-pedan­tic. When you’re an off-road guy, the base set­tings are vi­tal for get­ting the bike to han­dle prop­erly. That said, I’d take an ESA bike any day – we all like to think we’re smart with that stuff but those guys have spent one mil­lion hours test­ing it.

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

For­tu­nately that has just hap­pened. The very first Dakar I did was on a Honda XR600 and I got it back a few years ago but it’s just been in a box. I had to go back to Aus­tralia as my mum was poorly and Evan the me­chanic sur­prised me by book­ing me on the Dis­tin­guished Gen­tle­man’s Ride for when I was back. I thought I had noth­ing to ride but on the Satur­day night he pre­sented me with the XR fully run­ning and re­stored to ex­actly how it was at Dakar.

Q18. What would you never buy?

I had a love-hate thing with my old CCM. I rode for CCM in the 1999 Dakar and it was my best and worst year in a lot of ways. There were two of us rid­ing for CCM that year and al­though we won the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ award, we spent more stage hours work­ing on the bikes that we did rid­ing them. Sadly, it’s the only one I haven’t got, so if any­one out there knows where it is…

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

In that sit­u­a­tion I would have no track be­cause the best rid­ing in the world is when you go off-piste, there’s no track and you’re mak­ing the line.

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

We’d get rid of that stupid speed­ing lark for a start, wouldn’t we?

‘The best rid­ing in the world is when you go off-piste’

Pavey is a mul­ti­ple Dakar fin­isher. Here he is in 2013 Off-road in­struc­tors don’t come much bet­ter than Pavey Pavey would think noth­ing of stop­ping here and chang­ing an en­gine

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