‘There should be a bike lane without a speed limit’
Paul Hollywood, star of The Great British Bake Off, loves bikes more than cakes!
Q1 What are you riding? I’ve got a Ducati Panigale 1299, an Xdiavel S, a Kawasaki H2 and a Honda CRF250. The H2 is the one I go to when I go for a ride with the lads. I’ve just had a new exhaust system put on it and seen over 240bhp on the dyno. It’s just lightning fast. The Xdiavel S is so comfortable and beautiful to ride. I can’t quite get my head around it, because it rides like a sportsbike, yet you’re sat in this custom bike position. I sold my Bonnie to buy it, which I miss now. Q2 Which living motorcyclist do you most admire? It was John Surtees. I got to know him over the last few years when I became a patron to the Henry Surtees Foundation. He was there when I started racing and he gave me some great advice. Every time I left the track from testing he would phone me up and ask how I was getting on. He was asking about corner entry speeds, tyre pressures – he knew everything. Considering he’s the only person who has been world champion on a bike and in a car, it’s a great shame that he wasn’t knighted. Q3 Your worst riding habit? I have many but my worst is missing first gear. You know, when you think you’ve got it in, lift your foot up, rev it and you’re just going nowhere while the bike is trying to fall over. Q4 If you could have one riding super-skill what would it be? I’d love to pull better wheelies. I used to be alright when I lived in Cyprus, but I don’t do any over here – too many rozzers! Q5 What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone on a bike? 194mph on GSX-R1100WP down a runway in Cyprus. Q6 When were you last scared on a bike? Last week. A guy pulled out on me just as I’d opened up the Xdiavel. Q7 How many miles have you done in the last year? About 4000. Q8 What’s the highest mileage you’ve covered in one day? Probably around 300. Q9 What irritates you most about life on a bike? Drivers who sit in the outside lane and refuse to move over. Also people who aren’t looking out for bikes. Part of the problem is that cars have such big strong pillars now, the drivers just can’t see you anymore. I think everyone should do a few hours on a bike, so they can see what it’s like. Q10 You’ve got two weeks off: where are you going? I’d love to go to Nevada and do the whole desert thing. I’d ride on road to get there but I’d like to do a bit of off-road when I’m there. Q11 Got one pearl of wisdom for new riders? Expect to be killed at every junction. People just don’t care about us, so expect people to pull out and you won’t be disappointed.
Q12 Ever fallen off in a car park (or somewhere equally embarrassing)? Well, it was this missed first gear situation. I thought I’d knocked it into gear, revved it and lifted my foot and I just started falling. I sort of jammed my leg under it and I was shouting for help.
Q13 Do you have one indispensable item of kit? I love my gloves, I’ve had themas I don’tfor ages.like gauntlets.They’re niceI evenand shortwear them in winter. Q14 Which four people would you invite on a Sunday blast? John Mcguinness, Ben Cohen (former England rugby player – he’s a bit of a rider) plus my mates Chris and Keith. Q15 Do you have a tool you couldn’t live without? My electric drill. Q16 Do you adjust your suspension? No. I swap between the settings but we’re in 2017, so it’s all done with a button now. Q17 Which of your old bikes would you buy back? My old Kawasaki KH250. I bought it for about £50 and it never ran right and eventually just broke down. I swapped it for a bloody snooker table and I’ve regretted it ever since. Q18 What bike would you never buy? I had a GSX-R1100 in 1995. I just couldn’t get it to work for me.
Q19 Which road (or track) would you have built on your desert island? Spa. The elevation and compression as you fly around it are magical. Q20 If you ruled the world, what new law would you pass? I think there should be a motorcycle lane but without a speed limit.
‘Expect to be killed at every junction. Drivers don’t care...’
Hollywood used to tear around Cyprus on the back wheel
Hollywood rode Surtee’s MV Agusta at the Motorsport awards
The H2 is TV star’s go-to Sunday blast bike