When you’re not out riding, can you give our readers some background into what you do?
Technically I’m a house husband. I’m quite fortunate, I was a youth worker and when work dried up I was able to take early-ish retirement. So that basically means I can live and breathe bikes! If I’m not cleaning my bike I’m planning a ride, and if I can’t get out to play I’m reading about bikes or researching my next one. I’m lucky that I was brought up in the motor trade so I can do most of my servicing and repairs.
What was the first motorbike you owned and what do you own currently?
The first bike I owned was a D1 BSA Bantam. My parents got it for me to ride on the beach in the vain hope I would be tired of bikes by the time I was old enough to get a licence. They didn’t realise they would be starting a lifelong passion. I’m currently riding a Yamaha FZS 1000. I say currently because as we all know there’s always something new calling to you!
How did you come to be a part of the Carole Nash customer council?
I simply replied to an email and was lucky enough to be considered. So far, the best bit has been spending a day in Ron Haslam’s company.
How do you think the government could help to combat the rising number of motorcycle thefts in the UK?
I think it’s time the government got tough on bike and scooter thefts and allowed the police to chase thieves. I understand the police aren’t allowed to chase thieves if the thief doesn’t have a helmet on. Also, the fine a thief receives doesn’t reflect the cost and loss of what is more than just a vehicle to us.
Do you have any recommendations for good motorbike trips for other riders in the UK?
Ride up into the Scottish Highlands and make sure you stop to take in the views. Plus, I know it’s not the UK but if you get the chance, ride into Europe; the roads are long and drivers on the whole seem to see bikes!
For new riders, do you have any crucial safety tips?
Ride like every other road user is out to get you, buy the best quality gear you can afford, and no matter how hot it is never ride in just a t-shirt and shorts!
Do you think commuting on a motorbike is more beneficial than driving into work?
Our roads are now so congested that commuting by two wheels can cut that congestion. In Belgium, the Department of Transport and Mobility did a study that found that if just 10% of all private cars were replaced by motorcycles or scooters, congestion would drop by a substantial and noticeable 40%. Riding to work can be a great start to the day. But I’ve lost count of the near misses I’ve had due to half asleep drivers, or worse still, those putting makeup on or eating breakfast as they drive. But on a nice day there is always a longer road home.
What’s your opinion on the proposed ban on diesel and petrol vehicles in 2040?
It’s a fact that one day oil will dry up, so manufacturers will have to look at other fuels and it’s only a ban on production, not on the use (I hope). Let’s face it, there are people still riding bikes that were made 60, 70 or more years ago, so I think in some way the internal combustion engine will go on. Seeing the TT zero race shows that electric bikes can be fast and reliable/ It’s just the range and weight now that needs sorting.
If there was one dream motorbike you could own, what would it be?
Don’t be silly! If I could still kick-start a bike, it would have to be a Brough Superior SS100, or maybe a streetfighter based on a MotoGP bike. I also really like the look of the new Triumph T120, and the Street Triple and the Indians look pretty good too. There’s far too many bikes to name.
Do you feel there was ever a ‘golden era’ of motorbikes?
Not from a sales point but I think we now have so many amazing bikes to choose from. I think the “golden era” are those times you’re out on your bike with mates, the sun’s shining and the roads are empty.