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  • Writer's pictureMotorbiters - News

Meet the Team - Nick

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

We caught up with Nick, co-founder of MotoBiters to find out what bikes he has had and what he rides now, his favourite places to ride, stay and eat and what are his hot spots to visit after Lockdown.

What keeps you busy outside of riding your motorcycles?

I run a very diverse architecture, property and construction consultancy that operates nationally; in the current climate that is quite a demanding task! To be honest escaping on the bike from all that work is the perfect release.

How long have you been riding?

I have always liked getting away for the whole day where possible, and ideally for longer trips, so when my knees gave up and I could no longer ride a mountain bike for prolonged periods I decided to give motorbikes a try. I didn’t set out to be a biker, I thought I would just give my knees a rest for a few years. I am something of a later starter on account of that, but needless to say I was immediately hooked and that was 20 years ago now.

What was your first bike and what bikes have you owned since passing your test?

My first bike was a Yamaha DT125R; a two-stroke, off-road style bike. It was modified to give it a bit more power than a learner bike should have and could do 85mph! I crashed and rebuilt it a lot. Since then I have had several adventure bikes from Yamaha and Triumph. I also went crazy and had a litre sports bike for a while.

What are you riding now?

I have a Honda Africa Twin as my main bike, which I absolutely love. I also have a very old Triumph Tiger that can’t bear to part with.

What are the differences between your two bikes and how do you use each one?

People ask that a lot, “Why have you got two adventure bikes?” The answer is that despite being similar in some ways they are completely different. One is modern, reliable and essentially an overgrown, go anywhere dirt-bike. The other is like a classic range rover in that it purports to be off-road capable and is large, very comfortable and has a commanding view of the road, but best kept for journeys on the road during summer.

What has been your all-time favourite bike?

It hurts to answer that, probably the Africa Twin as it is just so complete.

Are there bikes you still want to own?

Yes, lots, ideally I would like a barn full of them. If you are going to make me narrow it down, I can’t stop looking at power cruisers such as the Ducati’s X-Diavel S, or the new Rocket 3R from Triumph.

What do you love about riding?

I love exploring and meeting people. My ideal trip involves pointing the bike in a direction I haven’t been before and seeing what I can find. Normally I find you stumble across great roads, fantastic pubs, see amazing things and meet interesting people without even trying.

What’s the biggest lesson motorcycling has taught you?

People are far kinder and much more hospitable than you would imagine. I have had people put me up, feed me, help with breakdowns just for the sake of kindness.

Do you name your bikes?

Yes I do, but they have to earn names. My tiger is called Patch for example as for a long time following a big crash he had mismatched fairings of all colours.

Where has been the best ride so far?

Probably around the lap of Ireland I did a few years ago. We got very lucky with the weather, the scenery is astonishing and unspoilt and we had a few great nights out.

Riding a motorcycle is perceived as risky and dangerous. How do you balance this against being “responsible?”

If motorbikes and MotoBiters are about anything it is taking time for living well, feeling life and enjoying the time we have. There is the risk of regretting your whole life if you don’t do the things you really want to.

What is it about motorcycling that differentiates and makes it more empowering than other adventure sports for you?

The essential essence of motorcycling is freedom especially when camping and riding alone. You can literally do anything and go anywhere without worrying about time or other people’s needs. This is really rare in today’s world. I also like being able to park exactly where I want, when I want.

Where has been the best overnight ‘bike’ stay accommodation you have stayed at?

I stopped, with a group of friends, in a place in Normandy which was very well set up for bikers getting off the ferry in Cherbourg which struck me as being the ideal model for a accommodation. Food, bar, games room, bed, covered bike storage, a very warm welcome and cheap. We’ll make a MotoBiters trip there soon, so I’ll say no more for now.

What is your dream motorcycle adventure (post lockdown)?

Most of the places I would love to visit by bike are in the Middle East and a bit troubled at the moment. Syria, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria etc. Sooner or later I am going to have to go though. Maybe I shall start with Turkey!

Have you had any bad experiences with your motorcycles on trips or day to day riding?

Crashes are never fun and neither are breakdowns and theft, but other than this no, people are very helpful to bikers normally. I remember what must have been a truly huge seagull crapping on my bike being a not-so-good-experience on one occasion.

How many miles do you typically ride a year?

About 6000.

Are you part of a motorcycle community? Can you tell us a bit more about that?

I am part of a couple of online groups of adventure rider groups and help organise trips and meetups from time to time. I think it is important to participate in groups even if you ride alone most of the time otherwise you miss out of so much wisdom and help.

Do you prefer riding by yourself or as a group?

I like both. Finding and being in the right group is priceless but being in the wrong group is worthless, so pick your riding friends carefully! Good riding friends bring knowledge and experience besides friendship and are very valuable indeed.

You never get the same sense of absolute freedom in a group however, and sometimes just a few days away, alone, is a magically indulgent time.

How would you describe your riding style?

It’s a very fluid kind of go-anywhere, pottering, easily distracted, navigationally unbound exploratory style that hasn’t yet been hampered by any form of punctuality.

What’s your favourite thing to eat whilst on the road?

I keep a stash of peppermint cremes on board at all time as a pick me up. Other than that I try to eat what is fresh, local and seasonal in pubs and restaurants. When camping I will also seek out fresh ingredients from farm shops over supermarkets.

If there were one thing you could change about the way people perceive or see or think about riding, it would be?

I think people tend to homogenise ‘bikers’ into a single group but in truth they are highly varied, and often quite individual. As a result a lot of people get tarred with the wrong brush somewhat unfairly.

Any advice for others who want to get into riding?

Oh yes for sure choose from… Get some decent training done. Don’t buy the fastest bike you can until you are absolutely ready, then still don’t. Don’t spend too much on the bike itself, almost all bikes will take you where you want to go. Never go faster than you wish to when in a group. Assume all car drivers are homicidal. Get off before you are tired. Drink lots of water. Spend your money on proper maintenance, good riding gear and trips. Waste nothing. Accept help when offered. See where that road goes. Stop and look at the things you are passing, you may never go that way again. Pay kindness forward.

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