PB editor Chris hides the jazz mags, then shows us round his sex prison
PB editor Chris Newbigging finally lets us into his steamy granny annex-cum-garage.
FOR THIS month’s 360-degree garage we have stayed close to home. Very close. In fact, this single garage is the haunt of PB’s head-honcho, editor Chris Newbigging. Yep, the man who is responsible for ensuring the work-shy layabouts that contribute to this magazine actually put (single) finger to keyboard has opened up his small slice of peace and tranquility to the world. Well, after he kicked a granny out of it...
“I honestly bought the house because of the garage,” Chris explains. “The house was a house – it had all the necessary parts, such as a roof and walls – but outside there was a self-contained granny flat with insulation, heating, and even a toilet and shower. I reckoned I could fit the bikes through the folding French doors, so I was sold. I needed my own space for bikes because at that time I was writing lots of technical features
involving stripping bikes down, so I needed a comfortable garage for work.” Like so many of us, Chris’s formative years revolved around bikes. But rather than a childhood fiddling with engines, Chris has learnt his mechanical skills through moped racing and working on various magazines such as Practical Sportsbikes before he ended up on PB. It was always on the cards. “Growing up, my interest was always sportsbikes, skids and wheelies, so ending up on PB was kind of inevitable. Especially after I twatted a Ducati Desmo while working for MCN and landed them with a £36k insurance bill... Looking back, I was probably destined to join PB – I’ve read it for years, did work experience on the magazine back in 2004, and Gus Scott used to be my neighbour.” Since taking over the reins from disgraced former- editor Matt Wildee, who was last seen searching for food in a bin around the back of Lidl and swearing at passers by, Chris hasn’t looked back.
“I’ve just celebrated my one-year anniversary of being PB’s editor,” Chris said. “So it seemed a fitting time to show readers that I’m not just some keyboard warrior, and that, in fine PB tradition, I do actually have a collection of motorcycles in my garage that mainly run, and a few unfinished projects that will probably remain that way...”
‘I bought the house because of the garage. I needed my own space’
8 Hoover ‘Every garage needs a hand-me-down hoover. I think I do more in the garage than in the house. This one’s full of filings and gunk.’ 10 1 Licence plate ‘My grandfather brought this home from work when I was a kid and I attached it to my go-kart. It has always travelled around with me. I have no idea where he got it from – he’s never been to Canada, nor has he owned a Canadian car. Tea-leaf...’ 9 2003 MV Brutale 750 ‘This is an original first year Brutale and I really like it. I only bought it because it was cheap at £3200 and nearly immaculate. I’ve always liked Italian bikes, but a 916 was too expensive and my other option, a Super Duke 990, was too pricey. The MV was perfect and it is far more reliable than people say. Its engine’s architecture is inspired by a pre-SRAD GSX-R750 – it even rattles like one.’ 2 Trackday poster ‘That’s me behind Foggy in my MCN days. It was one of the first times he had ridden after his accident and he was on a road 996, but he was still fucking fast. I followed him around with a camera on my bike. I followed Spencer the next year; he was riding an RS500 so bloody hard both wheels were drifting into corners. It was amazing to watch and shows how committed they are when they are riding – their minds work so much faster than normal riders’ minds.’ 10 White board ‘I bought this thinking I’d use it a lot as loads of 360° garages we have featured have them – but I never use it. Maybe it’s me, my brain isn’t good with lists.’ 2 1 7 Having served time on Practical Sportsbikes, he saved this banner from a bin at the London show 10 8 9 11 Giant blue bog roll ‘This was a gift from PB reader Nathan, so thank you Nathan. We borrowed his 888 and he gave us this bog roll as well as the bike. He also gave us some thick rubber gloves, which are ace for lubing chains or removing wheels as they are thicker than latex and won’t split.’
3 Ducati towel ‘This was a gift from World Ducati Week in 2007, I didn’t steal it. Although I did have a larger Ducati towel and that was stolen from me at a race meet. But the joke’s on them, I had been flossing my arse crack with it...’ 12 Safe solvents parts washer ‘This is really good stuff and was sent into PB for evaluation. I don’t like having a vat of petrol or paraffin in my workshop, especially as I love to break out the blowtorch...’ 4 Kneeslider ‘This is a Weeble Racing kneeslider that we had specially commissioned. It’s a moped racing thing, but having a designer kneeslider is pretty cool – the colours are hideous, I guess Stevie Wonder picked them.’ 5 Honda RC161 engine poster ‘This was a gift from the curator of the Barber Museum in Alabama. They stripped the engine and took pictures. The Barber Museum is ace and has some fantastic events including the amazing Vintage Festival, which is one of the best things I’ve ever been to. And the track is awesome.’ 13 Mountain bikes ‘Downhill bikes are great fun and basically motocross bikes minus the engine. I’ve never got into motocross because it’s such a commitment, but this is as much fun, a lot easier to transport and it’s a cheaper hobby, too. I reckon it helps my road riding and it’s a great stress release.’ 14 NWS stand ‘This stand was built by NWS and I found it at the back of PB’s lock-up. It’s just like an ABBA stand but you don’t need different adaptors as the bits that stick in the bike are pointy. A great stand but sadly no longer made.’ 6 Flat track metal shoe ‘The idea is that you use it like a third wheel, to catch slides. I’ve only done one bit of flat track, but it was great fun. Maybe in the future when my son is older...’ 7 Honda NSR500 name sheet ‘I rode a Honda NSR500 at the Festival of 1000 Bikes in 2012. It was Garry McCoy’s Shell Advance NSR500 V-twin. It was a lovely bike, like a 250GP bike but with more power. It only made 130bhp but it matched a Superstock ZX-10R as it was so light. I got about 25 minutes on it in the end, it was beautiful.’ 4 3 5 6 13 15 12 14 15 1989 Suzuki RGV250K ‘This started out as a box of bits. In fact, it didn’t even have a box, it was just bits. I got it from a sweary Australian who got it from a shouty Irishman and it consisted of basically a frame and motor. I got it for free and after I did a bit of research I discovered the frame and engine numbers were the original pairing, so I restored it and got its original logbook. It’s standard-ish but better with improvements where appropriate. It’s a 124mph two-stroke, so is a lot of fun to ride.’