SWM SM125

Honda Rac­ing boss Neil Tuxworth has seen it all and done most of it, too

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Mini-su­per­moto fun

Q1 What are you cur­rently rid­ing?

I’ve got an Africa Twin DCT, a great all round bike, but my favourite bike from ev­ery­thing I get to try at Honda is the Gold Wing. I’m look­ing forward to see­ing the new one next year as I think I’ll have to get one.

Q2 Which living mo­tor­cy­clist do you most ad­mire?

He may not be alive but I still have to say Mike Hail­wood. After just six months of rac­ing he won the 125cc, 250cc and 350cc Bri­tish cham­pi­onships, was sec­ond in the 500s, fin­ished third at the TT and fourth in the world cham­pi­onship.

Plus, he went to Mal­lory and won the equiv­a­lent of a Bri­tish Su­per­bike race after 11 years in re­tire­ment. That’s like Shakey Byrne re­tir­ing to­day, com­ing back in 2028 and win­ning a BSB race!

Q3 What is your worst rid­ing habit?

I hate wear­ing crash hel­mets. I hate any­thing on my head. When I raced I was the last per­son to put my hel­met on and the first one to take it off.

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

To be able to ride like Valentino Rossi. He’s amaz­ing for his age, the fact that he’s been in the sport so long and is still com­pet­i­tive and has the en­thu­si­asm.

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

I did 179mph through the speed trap on my TZ750 at the North West 200 in 1977. I fin­ished third in the Su­per­bike race.

Q6 When were you last scared on a bike?

When I rode at the TT I would of­ten scare my­self. There are a lot of places that frighten you, but Bal­la­garey… it’s blind over the brow of the hill.

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

I’ve done about 1200 miles on the Africa Twin so far this year. I’ve been on a few ride­outs and things like that.

Q8 What’s the most miles you’ve done in a day?

About 400. Down to Nor­folk, and then back to Lin­colnshire.

Q9 What ir­ri­tates you most on a bike?

Driv­ers who don’t pay at­ten­tion, or see mo­tor­cy­clists. I look at ev­ery car driver as a hazard.

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

The WW1 battlefields and grave­yards of Bel­gium and France.

Q11 Have you got one tip for new rid­ers?

Al­ways be wary when­ever you see a car, they could do any­thing.

Q12 Ever fallen off in a car park or any­where equally em­bar­rass­ing?

At Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed this year, I fell off Joey Dun­lop’s TT win­ning SP-1 in the pad­dock at about 2mph. I’d moved five yards, turned it on the lock and just fell over. It was so em­bar­rass­ing. Sacri­lege. The bike had come from the mu­seum in Ja­pan spe­cially.

Q13 Do you have one in­dis­pens­able item of kit?

I al­ways wear my back pro­tec­tor, even on the road.

Q14 Who would you take with you for a Sun­day blast?

My friend, ex-speed­way rider Steve Lo­mas. I spend quite a bit of time with him any­way. The sec­ond would be Prince Harry. Dave Thorpe is an­other. He’s such a humble guy and is still Bri­tain’s most suc­cess­ful mo­tocross rider ever. Also Mar­lon Brando, he’s dead but such an icon.

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

My Snap-on screw­driver. It’s got loads of dif­fer­ent heads, so is re­ally use­ful for lots of dif­fer­ent things.

Q16 Do you ad­just your own sus­pen­sion?

Yes I do. I wouldn’t say I’m an ex­pert, but I know what I want.

Q17 If you could have one of your old bikes back, what would it be?

My TZ750 Yamaha, as that was an iconic ma­chine when I raced it. I re­ally en­joyed that pe­riod of my ca­reer.

Q18 What bike would you never buy?

I just don’t get chop­pers. To have the wheel stuck out miles in front of you isn’t my style.

Q19 Which race track would you build in your back gar­den?

I’ve got one! Cad­well Park – that’s where my ca­reer started. Phillip Is­land is a fab­u­lous cir­cuit, but a lot of that is to do with the set­ting and where it is. If it was in my gar­den it wouldn’t be quite the same!

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

That ev­ery car driver has to spend at least two years rid­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle.

‘I’d love to be able to ride the way that Valentino Rossi can’

Neil is one of the god­fa­thers of the Bri­tish rac­ing scene

E V I H C R A I D E M R E U A B

Tuxworth rac­ing in the 1976 Isle of Man Ju­nior TT More re­cently, he’s worked with Guy at Honda Rac­ing

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