‘There should be a bike lane with­out a speed limit’

Paul Hol­ly­wood, star of The Great Bri­tish Bake Off, loves bikes more than cakes!

Motorcycle News (UK) - - THIS WEEK - By Jor­dan Gib­bons SE­NIOR RE­PORTER

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

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