‘Crashes? I’ve lost count!’ ‘Most of my miles on the bike are going round in circles’
BMW rider Mattie Griffin, 37, is a professional stunt rider and master of the angle grinder Q13 Q18 Q19
Q1 What are you riding?
A modified BMW F800R, which I use for my stunt shows all over the world.
Q2 Which living motorcyclist do you most admire?
That’s a tough one, but it would have to be Rossi. To achieve what he has in racing and still be hungry for more is amazing. Get well soon Valentino!
Q3 What’s your worst habit?
My insane addiction to wheelies.
Q4 If you could have one riding super skill, what would it be?
Trials. I grew up with it and still ride now, which helps me on my stunt bike, but I’d love to be the best at it.
Q5 What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone on a bike?
Most of my riding is really slow speed stuff on my stunt and trials bikes, but I’ve done a few trackdays on an S1000R. I was never brave enough to look down at the speedo, but it would’ve been pretty fast.
Q6 When were you last scared?
I practice everyday, so the stunts themselves don’t normally scare me, but sometimes the surfaces I do shows on can be slippery. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year I was sitting on the handlebars doing a circle when the back skipped out on some debris, which was pretty terrifying in front of such a big crowd.
Q7 How many miles have you done in the last year?
It’s hard to say. Most of them are done going round in circles!
Q8 What five bikes would you put into your dream garage?
I’d have that new BMW Carbon HP4 Race, one of Schwantz’s 500cc GP bikes, Ago’s MV Agusta, a trials bike and, of course, my F800R stunt bike.
Q9 What’s the highest mileage you’ve covered in one day?
I’m not a big distance rider and generally don’t do big road miles, except for in my van travelling to shows.
Q10 What irritates you most when you are on a bike?
Q11 Got one pearl of wisdom for new riders?
Get the best safety equipment you can and wear it. Also, get proper rider training.
Q12 What advice would you have for budding stunt riders?
Most people would tell you not to do it, but I say do it and take the time to learn properly on private ground, not the road. Wear the correct gear and don’t ride around in a T-shirt looking cool.
Ever fallen off in a car park (or somewhere equally embarrassing)?
Yes, but most of my shows are in car parks so what do you expect?
Q14 Do you have one indispensable item of kit?
It’s a bit of a cliché, but my helmet. It’s a carbon-fibre one from BMW, which is really light and perfect for the kind of riding I do when I’m working and doing the shows.
Q15 Who would you invite out on a Sunday ride?
Definitely my brother. He comes with me to most of my shows. I’d have to invite some fellow stunt riders along for a bit of fun, too.
Q16 Do you have a tool you couldn’t live without?
My Tinkers toolbox, vice grips and a four-inch angle grinder. You can’t just buy parts for a stunt bike off the shelf, so I make all my own parts like the subframe, footrails, engine protector and brackets.
Q17 Do you adjust your suspension?
No. My stunt bike is actually on standard settings. I probably should change the springs, to be honest with you, but I don’t know enough about suspension, which is why I don’t play with it.
If you could have one of your old bikes back, which would it be?
I still have the old Fireblade that I started stunting on, but I’ve never really got attached to the bikes I’ve had. I wouldn’t want them back because they would’ve been wrecked!
Which road (or track) would you have built on a desert island?
The Nürburgring and the Isle of Man TT course, back-to-back! That would be quite something.
Q20 If you ruled the world, what new law would you pass?
I’d ban religion and then there would be no wars.
There are stoppies and then there are Mattie Griffin stoppies
Sitting down on the F800R’S saddle is just so last year you know